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  1. #1
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    Stories with a strong focus on atmospheric landscape and exploration.

    Think Tolkien's obsessive topography in a story about space colonization. Does any such worthy stand-alone or series exist, aside from DUNE or the MARS TRILOGY?

  2. #2
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Dark Eden by Chris Beckett is a strong example of this.

    Also, Hothouse and the Helliconia Trilogy by Brian W. Aldiss. Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds, arguably. If you include ocean floors and hydrography, Startide Rising by David Brin.

  3. #3
    Registered User Pennarin's Avatar
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    I second Dark Eden, and it will be followed by two sequels.

    I didn't quite like what I read of Allen Steele's Coyote series, but they are popular enough.

    Karl Schroeder's Virga series is set in an artificial, vast freefall environment but is supposed to be beautifully described as well as being unusual.

  4. #4
    Registered User beniowa's Avatar
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    I quite liked the first Coyote book. The sequels not so much.

    Anne McCaffrey's Freedom's Landing books may fit the bill as well as John Scalzi's The Last Colony.

    Stephen Baxter's new book, Proxima, is billed as a planetary romance and it does indeed have a fair bit of exploration and colonization. But what the book's blurb doesn't tell you is that there are two other sub-plots of Cold War-style detente politics and a cosmic mystery that somewhat overshadow the exploration/colonization bit.

  5. #5
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    I am also looking for something along these lines. I enjoy near future with exploration, possible alien contact, intrigue...I don't want far future with excessive AI, clones, fantasy etc. Looking forward to Dark Eden but have not found it anywhere yet. My favourite book is Rendezvous with Rama (along with the rest of the series). I don't mind Allen Steele and Jack McDevitt but don't love them.

    Latest books I have read were Pushing Ice (which I found o.k. although the characters were poor imo. By the middle I was hoping the one main character would be killed off). I was considering giving Reynolds another try but it looks like the rest of his books are more far future stuff.

    I tried Ian Banks but can't get in to him.

    I am reading Leviathan Wakes right now and almost finished. I won't be reading the sequels as I found the whole vomit zombie idea "B" grade. Just my opinion. The best part of the book for me was the beginning where Julie was stuck in the locker. I hoped the story was going to be about her experience but she's not really in it after that.

    I've thought about giving Peter Hamilton a try as he gets a lot of love on this site but his books also seem to be far future. I only have a few minutes a day to read so a large book can take me months. If they are too epic in details, civilizations etc, I find I am always having to go back and try to remember what happened earlier.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

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