June 11th, 2012, 01:24 PM
John Scalzi's a clear number 1 for me. Next I'd say Richard K Morgan, Iain M Banks and Peter F Hamilton. Not sure who I'd put at number 5. Maybe Paolo Bacigalupi or Tobias S Buckell.
June 18th, 2012, 03:27 AM
if yoiu are going to look into stableford (which I did and ended up reading about 6000 pages of stuff by him), I recommend looking at his 1970's published sf., and/or his black library stuff, if you like fantasy. he did another series (the emortality series) but not sure on dates, it was later. he now seems to publish horror of a sort, and I have trouble reading it.
Originally Posted by phil_geo
June 18th, 2012, 03:28 AM
A talent for War. in my opinion, by multiples the best book he wrote.
Originally Posted by Wulfen
June 18th, 2012, 05:45 PM
Webmaster, Great SF&F
Be aware that much of Stableford's work can look like fantasy, but end up being sf under it. The "Lydyard" trilogy (werewolves in London) is one such series. I do agree that his early work is some of his best. His later work has come in such a gush--many books per year--that I cannot escape the feeling that at least some of it may be what is often called "trunk books", but as I haven't been able to keep up with his outout, that may be unfair.
He is a very thoughtful writer. Though there is action enough in his tales, it is not swashbuckling "space opera" action, but rather character-driven.
Putting together a bibliography is difficult (I know because I have made one, which may already be out of date). That link (mods forgive, ok?) also has several links to other informative material about Stableford, who is sadly under-represented in critical amalyses.
His qualifications for the sort of sf he specializes in are substantial. From Wikipedia: Stableford graduated with a degree in biology from the University of York in 1969 before going on to do postgraduate research in biology and later in sociology. In 1979 he received a Ph.D. with a doctoral thesis on "The Sociology of Science Fiction".
September 29th, 2012, 05:33 AM
Based on output from, say, the last five years: Kim Stanley Robinson, M. John Harrison, Christopher Priest, Ian McDonald, Paul Mcauley.
If I was allowed a 6th it would be Al Reynolds. I would also add as caveats that I haven't yet read Hannu Rajaniemi or Charles Yu, but plan to.
I'm ashamed no women writers feature in this list. I recognise this as my own short-falling. I am planning to try works by Gwyneth Jones and Tricia Sullivan in the near future. I've read some Justina Robson, but her recent output hasn't impressed me (older stuff is great). I would love Mary Gentle to return to SF. I loved Zoo City, but would classify it as fantasy and didn't find Moxyland strong enough to include Lauren Beukes on a SF list. I'm always happy to receive recommendations about contemporary SF women writers.
September 29th, 2012, 05:47 AM
Check out Daughters of Prometheus. And for twentieth century women sf writers, there's SF Mistressworks.
Originally Posted by Luke_B
September 29th, 2012, 10:06 AM
Live Long & Suffer
Player of Games is the only Banks' book I have finished of the three I tried. And I think I only finished it because i was a chess addict in high school. This reviewer gives it a 9 out of 10 but I am wavering between 6 and 7.
Originally Posted by Danogzilla
This is curious since I agree with Alberry on giving 9's to Komarr and A Civil Campaign by Bujold. But Allberry says nothing about the science in the sci-fi stories he reviews so I presume we are operating on different value systems and happened to synchronize on those.
But people do not discuss the ideas they find in the books or authors they say are good. The Old Man's War series is good about displaying behind the scenes machinations and underhanded politics of government but you need to read all three books because it does not show up much in the first book which explains the Old Man universe.
Last edited by psikeyhackr; September 29th, 2012 at 05:36 PM.
September 29th, 2012, 04:27 PM
Thanks, Ian. I already know about the excellent SF Mistressworks (and your contributions). I think Daughters of Prometheus is a new one for me, though.
Originally Posted by ian_sales
October 2nd, 2012, 05:51 PM
My favorite currently productive writer is Greg Egan. I also pay attention to Vernor Vinge, Roger MacBride Allen, Wil McCarthy and Greg Bear. I know considerably more about the works of deceased writers.
October 6th, 2012, 12:14 AM
Confining my answer to 2001 and newer, I have a short list.
Jack McDevitt (Alex Benedict series)
Tanya Huff (Valor series)
I've been reading far too many older writers, filling in the holes and finding some real gems like C.L. Moore.