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What Science Fiction are you reading?

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#1 burgeranacoke

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:27 PM

I think it is about time we broke up the What are you reading thread a bit. Let's see how it goes.

Just as a background. I have read a lot of good and not so good science fiction. I may or may not have read any of your favorite SF authors.  I read a lot of other styles of fiction and i also read non-fiction, usually historical or scientific.

My favorite all-time without putting to much thought or length in it will mostly look like many other SF readers favorites....

Rendezvous With Rama - Arthur C. Clarke

Foundation - Issac Asimov

The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg

Dune - Frank Herbert

Red Mars - Kin Stanley Robinson

A Mote in God's Eye - Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle

Concrete Island - J.G. Ballard

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut

The Handmaids tale - Margaret Atwood

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

But enough of the listing lets get to the rockets and spacesuits.  One thing I will ask in this thread is that you at least give us a sentence or two about what you are reading or have read.  I tend to think that just posting a title is not really entertaining or insightful, but hey do what you want.

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#2 burgeranacoke

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:11 PM

I have a couple of recent entries that I would like to present, the first one is a kindle offering but it is available in paperback.  Wool: The Omnibus Edition.   I picked this up because it was super cheap, $5.99 and highly recommended.

Posted Image

from Amazon...
This Omnibus Edition collects the five Wool books into a single volume. It is for those who arrived late to the party and who wish to save a dollar or two while picking up the same stories in a single package.

The first Wool story was released as a standalone short in July of 2011. Due to reviewer demand, the rest of the story was released over the next six months. My thanks go out to those reviewers who clamored for more. Without you, none of this would exist. Your demand created this as much as I did.

This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.


Good mid-level SF.

It is a neat book to start this thread because to me it has a faint echo of 2112.  The Priests of Syrinx are not in robes but they are present in their coveralls.  It is a gritty post apocalyptic tale set in the near future with believable characters. People survive in underground silos.  Wool is simply written. Pacing was a little off in the beginning, this work started out as three short stories, the last 2 episodes are more novelettes. By the middle and end that quibble of pacing dissipated and it became a real page turner, so much that I purchased part 6, First Shift - Legacy another $3.99 and read it in a couple of sittings.

First shift from Amazon:

In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platform that would one day allow robots smaller than human cells to make medical diagnoses, conduct repairs, and even self-propagate. In the same year, the CBS network re-aired a program about the effects of propranolol on sufferers of extreme trauma. A simple pill, it had been discovered, could wipe out the memory of any traumatic event. At almost the same moment in humanity’s broad history, mankind had discovered the means for bringing about its utter downfall. And the ability to forget it ever happened.

To my buddies and buddettes in SOCN.  The dem/libs are the bad guys!


No this book does not dwell on politics and the bad party could be easily interchangeable so do not let this little factoid misrepresent the fun of this little SF adventure.

Next up, I think, because it is a tough one to think about "reviewing"... Hegemony by Mark Kalina.  It is another cheap kindle buy $.99

Currently reading: A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge

#3 EagleMoon

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:59 AM

I'm currently rereading some Heinlein books that I haven't read in decades. Read Stranger in a Strange Land about a month ago, and just finished Number of the Beast and The Cat Who Walks Through Walls.  Heinlein's characters can be some of the most chauvinistic pigs in literature but his stories are still fun to read. One of my all time favorites of his is Friday, which I'll probably dig out of the vault next.

#4 rushgoober

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:46 PM

View Postburgeranacoke, on 14 November 2012 - 10:27 PM, said:

My favorite all-time without putting to much thought or length in it will mostly look like many other SF readers favorites....

Rendezvous With Rama - Arthur C. Clarke

Foundation - Issac Asimov

The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg

Dune - Frank Herbert

Red Mars - Kin Stanley Robinson

A Mote in God's Eye - Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle

Concrete Island - J.G. Ballard

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut

The Handmaids tale - Margaret Atwood

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Currently I'm making my way through the amazing Foundation trilogy - I can't believe I never read this before!

Robert Silverberg is one of my favorites - The Book of Skulls isn't my favorite ever by him, but it's great and I've read it at least twice.  Even better from him is the superlative Nightwings, and I love his book To Live Again.  Finally, his short story collection The Best of Robert Silverberg is completely amazing.

Other sci-fi all time faves:

Ken Grimwood - Replay
Arthur C. Clarke - Childhood's End
Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451
Theodore Sturgeon - More Than Human
Frederick Pohl - Gateway, and the follow-up Beyond the Blue Event Horizon
Harry Harrison - The Stainless Steel Rat (original trilogy)
Frank Herbert - Dune
Robert Heinlein - Stranger in a Strange Land, Time Enough for Love and Number of the Beast
John Brunner - Stand on Zanzibar

There are tons more I'm sure that I'm not thinking of.

Special mention to my favorite sci-fi short story collection of all time:

R. A. Lafferty - Nine Hundred Grandmothers

It's had multiple editions, but is out of print - can be found if you're lucky at used book stores or sometimes on ebay.  Used on amazon or abebooks as well, but you might have to pay for it.  The book is filled with the craziest stories you're ever likely to read, but it's totally brilliant.

Edited by rushgoober, 15 November 2012 - 10:03 PM.


#5 bathory

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:06 PM

View PostEagleMoon, on 15 November 2012 - 12:59 AM, said:

I'm currently rereading some Heinlein books that I haven't read in decades. Read Stranger in a Strange Land about a month ago, and just finished Number of the Beast and The Cat Who Walks Through Walls.  Heinlein's characters can be some of the most chauvinistic pigs in literature but his stories are still fun to read. One of my all time favorites of his is Friday, which I'll probably dig out of the vault next.

Don't forget Starship Troopers!

#6 micgtr71

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:26 PM

I have been revisiting Philip K. Dick over the last few years. My goal is to read everything he ever wrote.

#7 rushgoober

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:34 PM

View Postmicgtr71, on 20 November 2012 - 08:26 PM, said:

I have been revisiting Philip K. Dick over the last few years. My goal is to read everything he ever wrote.
I haven't read anything by him, though I've certainly seen movies based on his works.

Of what you've read, what do you recommend most highly?  I hear The Man in the High Castle and Ubik are particularly good???

#8 micgtr71

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:52 PM

View Postrushgoober, on 20 November 2012 - 08:34 PM, said:

View Postmicgtr71, on 20 November 2012 - 08:26 PM, said:

I have been revisiting Philip K. Dick over the last few years. My goal is to read everything he ever wrote.
I haven't read anything by him, though I've certainly seen movies based on his works.

Of what you've read, what do you recommend most highly?  I hear The Man in the High Castle and Ubik are particularly good???
Ubik is really good. There is a collection of short stories that he wrote (some became films like Minority Report and Adjustment Team). The Variable Man was excellent. Eye in the Sky was fantastic. A Scanner Darkly and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep were also great. Androids bears very little resemblance to the plot of Blade Runner. If you have a Kindle, there are a lot of free short stories to grab that are really excellent. The Skull, Second Variety...Check them out and enjoy.

#9 EagleMoon

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:28 PM

Starship Troopers will definitely be next. ;)

#10 goose

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:14 AM

Just finished the Hunger Games.  Would have been a great short story, ala Most Dangerous Game.  As a novel, a bit thin.

#11 bathory

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:08 PM

hyperion by dan simmons

#12 rushgoober

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:24 PM

View Postgoose, on 11 December 2012 - 02:14 AM, said:

Just finished the Hunger Games.  Would have been a great short story, ala Most Dangerous Game.  As a novel, a bit thin.

I loved it.  Give the other two a try - the story gets REALLY dark...

#13 USB Connector

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:56 PM

It's a graphic novel but I highly recommend Transmetropolitan. It's a series that follows a misanthropic reporter who is dragged out of his seclusion and back into his job. The story takes place somewhere in the distant future. I love the series because it makes social commentary that are both subtle and obvious ranging from obvious plot details or something mentioned in passing or that appears in the imagery. To top it off the story ranges from laugh out loud funny to dead serious drama to mildly disturbing to light hearted.

#14 goose

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:14 PM

View Postrushgoober, on 11 December 2012 - 05:24 PM, said:

View Postgoose, on 11 December 2012 - 02:14 AM, said:

Just finished the Hunger Games.  Would have been a great short story, ala Most Dangerous Game.  As a novel, a bit thin.

I loved it.  Give the other two a try - the story gets REALLY dark...
Perhaps this Christmas.  :)

#15 drbirdsong

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:06 AM

Larry Niven.  I never read a thing he wrote that I didn't like.  Awesome hard science fiction and outstanding story telling.  He just finished tying all his "Known Space" books together.  He's had me hooked for over 40 years.

#16 bathory

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:43 PM

been wanting to check him out, my buddy's a big Ringworld fan

#17 EagleMoon

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:46 AM

I just finished reading Ringworld and have started The Mote in Gods Eye. Loved Ringworld, which I had tried to read years ago but just couldn't get into it then. TMIGE seems like its going to be really cool too.

#18 Rhyta

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 07:11 PM

Bathory, I am going to read Hyperion this month, have had it on my to read list ever since I read Ilium and Olympos by Simmons.  It was a great melding of sci fi and greek mythology.  I particularly loved the two robots dicussing who was the better writer: Shakespeare or Proust.  I would rank The Dispossessed by Ursula LeGuin one of the best sci fi novels I have ever read.  I tend to agree with others listed:  Farenheit 451, Handmaid's Tale.  I liked the Hunger Games Trilogy, it had a lot hidden themes that I found very topical to our society today.

#19 bathory

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:22 PM

the dispossessed is good stuff, I'm about to start the left hand of darkness once I finish hyperion

#20 MaxxQ

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:54 AM

Pretty much anything by Clarke, Asimov, Niven, Heinlein, James P. Hogan, Dr. Robert L. Forward, is a good read for me on the hard SF side.  I have never, for some reason, been able to read more than Herbert's original Dune.  Every time I try to read Dune Messiah, I can't get past the first 50 pages or so.  I refuse to read any of the other books until I can get through at least the original three, and I've been trying for 30+ years.

For lighter SF, Alan Dean Foster, and certain Piers Anthony books (no, not the Xanth books).

That said, over the past few years, I have been reading - and re-reading, and re-re-reading - David Weber's Honorverse series.  It's military science fiction set about 2000 years from now.  The books (and main character, Honor Harrington) are heavily influenced by C.S. Forester's Horatio Homblower (note the initials), and the tactics used during battles are based on age-of-sail-era broadside battles, but in space.  Too much to go into at the moment, but the "science" of the Honorverse hangs together pretty well.  I'm currently on my seventh read-through of the entire series - I got a friend at work interested, and I'm reading the series one book ahead of him just so I can tease him about stuff coming up soon.  He also happens to be a budding writer (SF and fantasy).

There are a total, so far, of more than twenty books in the series, three of which are a spinoff series written by Weber alone, and two more (with a third coming out this year) of which are a second spinoff series co-written with Eric Flint.  There are also five anthologies of short stories and novellas written by Weber and several other authors, including Flint and Jane Linskold.  A sixth anthology is forthcoming this year, as well as the Honorverse Companion, which I have had the honor (no pun intend... - well, yeah, it *is* intended) of contributing towards due to my work with a group of other Honorverse fans who work very closely with David.

Aside from the novella House of Steel, written by Weber, the rest of the Companion was written by the various members of the group (not me, though - I'm not a writer.  My contributions are more on the artistic side), and covers more detailed background info on the politics, military organization, science/technology, and other aspects of the Honorverse that fans have been craving for years.  There will most likely be more Companions as well, as we completely ran out of room for this one.  Very little of my work is in this one, but there may be more of my stuff in the later releases.

While I can't go into too much detail on what our group (or myself) actually does for David (due to an NDA), I can give you a hint at what I do, since this was done before I joined the group.  Coincidentally, it was all posted here at TRF about 5 years ago:  http://www.therushfo...60#entry1454083




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