Best Science Fiction You've Read in 2015

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by btkong, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. btkong

    btkong Administrator Staff Member

    This thread is as it says -- post your favorite, must read science fiction books that were published THIS year (2015).
  2. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
  3. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    A little early for a thread like this, so I'll wait until December. I'm not even sure how many sf novels from 2015 I'm going to read (so far, I've read none from this year). Definitely Stephenson's "Seveneves" and Reynolds' "Slow Bullets" novella and also his Poseiden's Children trilogy which I'll now get to since his final volume has just been released (a Watney 'yay'!).
  4. btkong

    btkong Administrator Staff Member

    Sevenevas by Stephenson has come out

    The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

    The Nemesis games (The Expanse #5) by James Corey

    Angles of Attack by Mark Kloos

    The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter Hamilton

    These are the science fiction books I've tackled or will be tackling or are tackling atm.

    I'm still working on Stephenson's book and Bacigalupi's -- so I can't comment there. But so far The Abyss Beyond Dreams has done it for me
  5. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    OK, I read very few SF titles that were published in 2015. Alastair Reynold's novella Slow Bullets and Neal Stephenson's Seveneves. I enjoyed them both. I'm actually reading more 2015 published SF now in the beginning of 2016. So, if you don't mind, I'm just going to list my favourite reads of 2015, whether genre or not.

    10 HIGHLIGHTS (in order read):

    Musashi (1935, English trans. 1981) by Eiji Yoshikawa
    • A reread and a favourite, it's the type of novel I love best, as high-minded as the Russians in the way it presents different strata of society, the deep understanding of human nature and the quest for enlightenment. but mixed in with high adventure and written in the most quaint and simple style imaginable and all the more endearing for it.
    Master and Commander (1969) by Patrick O'Brian
    • Excellent with some unexpected and brilliant moments of humour, finally picked up O'Brian after hearing of him for years. Already loved C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower stories, but this is far more sophisticated.
    The Good Fairies of New York (1992) by Martin Millar
    • Scottish thistle fairies who listen to Ramones, binge drink, get into feuds and cause a race riot in New York. And some jaded squirrels, too.
    High-Rise (1975) by J. G. Ballard
    • My first excursion into Ballard's dark mind. I do want to go back, but I'm also hesitant. An extreme look into how technology and modernity can warp the human psyche. Despite how unsettling it is, the short novel is undoubtedly brilliant.
    Iron Council (2004) by China Mieville
    • Some truly sublime moments, with his own take on a character's slow realisation of what I can only term Dharma. Also reminiscent of the type of grand sweep of society that Tolstoy paints in his stories.
    The Master of Whitestorm (1992) by Janny Wurts
    • Old school sword-and-sorcery fantasy that reminded me of Moorcock at times, and wonderfully written.
    Slow Bullets (2015) by Alastair Reynolds (Novella)
    • A departure from Reynolds' usual grand, high-concept space operas to present a more intimate tale on the struggle to preserve human civilisation. A poignant look into memory and identity as a cause for conflict with an ethically satisfying conclusion.
    Seveneves (2015) by Neal Stephenson
    • I love Stephenson's big, shaggy-dog books, despite his flaws. His strengths easily outweigh any negatives and I love his obsessive compulsive approach to whichever topic he's currently into. In this book, it's mainly orbital mechanics, asteroid mining, robotics, genetic engineering (epigenetics) and astronomy. If you're the obsessive compulsive type who loves, loves, loves detail, then this book is for you. Not as good as the freaking brilliant Anathem but still very good.
    2312 (2012) by Kim Stanley Robinson
    • Stunning vision, a poetic flavour in Robinson's writing and a deeply humane work. A well thought out and believable future for humanity in the solar system. I just found out today that he has been awarded the Robert A. Heinlein Award and it is well-deserved (just by going on this work let alone his substantial oeuvre which is what the award is for).
    Swordspoint (1987) by Ellen Kushner
    • An elegant fantasy of manners without magic. People say it's like Jane Austen, but they are wrong - the only part that marginally feels like Austen is in it's resembling Georgian or Regency period England and the manners aspect. It's more swashbuckling, so leaning more towards Dumas or Stendhal or Hope. I've got to say that this is the only novel in recent memory (maybe ever?) where I really did not like any of the characters - they were shades of arrogant, foolish, psychopathic, self-destructive, self-involved, condescending - yet I still enjoyed the story. Though, not as much as Thomas the Rhymer.


    Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle (1957) by Georgette Heyer
    • This is the second Heyer I've read this year and this was by far the better one. a historical Regency romance. Sparkly, light and very, very funny in parts. Now this is good romantic comedy with an Austen flavour but sans the subversive satire, just the romance and some ridiculous escapades. Lots of fun. Loved it and will read more Heyer, including her non-romantic historical fiction. Very well written - wry, witty and farcical in parts.
    The King's Justice: Two Novellas (2015) by Stephen R. Donaldson
    • Two novellas - both mysteries but very, very different. The more I think about them, the more I realise they were pleasures to read.
    Epic (2004), Saga (2009), Edda (2011) - Avatar Chronicles by Conor Kostick
    • Rare to find a series of books for juveniles (from the 8-12 year old range) that are as much fun as these AND very smartly written with thought-provoking SFnal topics. Now, this is how juvie books should be: full of adventure, ethical problems and mind-bending concepts packaged in easily digestible form for children to enjoy and appreciate. I'm now a fan. Second book was my favourite.
    The Vagrant (2015) by Peter Newman
    • I really enjoyed the world-building and surreal quality of the novel. Quite a bit of wonderful imagery, but skilfully sparse in the descriptions. If it weren't for some minor issues with the writing that slightly annoyed me at times, it would be in the top 10 highlights list.


    Armada (2015) by Ernest Cline
    • The type of novel that aliens will point to as justification for the extermination of the human race. Worthless trash. If you read Ready Player One and liked it, then just stay away from this. I swear, reading this book will diminish any warmth you might have felt for his earlier work. It is a clusterfuck of a novel in terms of plot and characterisation and just about as puerile as you can get.

    Also read some very good non-fiction. Started my initial explorations into ancient civilisations (Greeks and Romans) with some introductory texts giving broad overviews. Will read one or two more such introductory texts on the Romans and then start on original sources: Livy and than Caesar.
    kenubrion likes this.
  6. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Thanks Boreas, great post. Plus I have several new books to check out.
  7. georgehudson

    georgehudson New Member

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