SF/F Reading in January 2017

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Boreas, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    Great! I will be looking forward to your recommendations even if this means adding more tittles to my already fat-fat reading list.
     
  2. Royce Sears

    Royce Sears Regular Member

    I agree completely! Hard Scifi Space Opera is my absolute favorite! "Keepin' it real..."
     
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  3. Royce Sears

    Royce Sears Regular Member

    In this hard scifi vein, I'd recommend Leviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Corey.
     
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  4. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    The Expanse is my favourite SF series, but is it classed as hard SF??? I'm not so sure ... A book we've both read recently @Royce Sears, Red Mars, would fit into what I perceive to be the hard SF bracket. Leviathan Wakes et al edges more towards space opera in my opinion ... ?
     
  5. Royce Sears

    Royce Sears Regular Member

    Yes, Red Mars for sure, but I just double checked Amazon, and it is classified as Hard Scifi. For the most part it is pretty hard scifi.. I haven't seen the TV Series, but I would give the book at least a 4, but more likely a 5 on the Mohr's scale of SciFi hardness. I would have liked to see a bit more in the way of effects of traveling at high-g, but that's just a nit-picky point.
     
  6. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I'd say Leviathan Wakes is a light mix of both hard SF and space opera. Kind of like a bigger scale version (plot-wise) of some of Charles Sheffield's works like Cold as Ice or The Ganymede Club, or smaller scale, intrastellar space opera rather than the more traditional interstellar kind. LW does attempt a fair adherence to major physical principles, but I'd still classify it more towards the space opera spectrum because of it's more melodramatic adventures, action and battles.

    5 sounds about right. I'd give it a half point more, so 5.5 for a decent attempt to explain coping mechanisms for high-gee acceleration. But no higher because the acceleration seems a little fanciful given energy allocation or allowance...and then there's the
    ugh, bloody vomit zombies.

    EDIT: for comparison, I'd say that Iain M. Banks' Culture falls around 3 to 3.5 (handwavium and magic), Peter F. Hamilton is around 4 (maybe 4.5 considering the potentially feasible high-tech aspect), Alastair Reynolds' space opera works fall around the 7 or 7.5 mark as does Baxter's Xeelee universe, Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama and 2001 and The Fountains of Paradise range between 8 and 9, and the works of Greg Egan and Robert L. Forward are in the range of 9 or 9.5 on the Moh scale of SF hardness.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  7. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    Regarding Hard SF, I really enjoyed The Forge of God and I definitely want to read Anvil of Stars. Rama has so far swallowed me whole. I'm loving it!
    I think I’m enjoying Bear and Clarke because of the mind-blowing connotations their stories present regarding humanity. I like the science. I don’t necessarily understand all of it, but when it is well written within the story, it can build a rather beautiful background. However, it is not the main reason of my enjoyment.

    I have bookmarked Leviathan Wakes, but any other recommendations would be most welcome.

    By the by, I have also seen that Rama II has very poor reviews. Should I read it?

    I also have Attanasio’s The Last Legend of Earth. What category does this one fall into?
     
  8. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    The subsequent Rama books were not written by Clarke. I tried reading the second one a long, long time ago and put it away. Although, I've heard from one or two contrarians that the sequels are worth it and do bring in dividends if you push through. However, many don't seem to think so. I'd say skip them and go on to other works by Clarke.

    The Last Legends of Earth is pure space opera, and although it would score very low in the SF scale of hardness, it has very convoluted plot lines and deals with some simple-yet-complex themes. It's mind expanding stuff.
     
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  9. Royce Sears

    Royce Sears Regular Member

    Good comparisons! Totally agree
     
  10. Royce Sears

    Royce Sears Regular Member

    I've posted a review on my blog for Battle Cruiser by B.V. Larson.

    I found it to be an interesting read because of what the plot COULD have been with the right characters and better dialogue. I'm just not a fan of stiff, formal, Victorian dialogue--in a setting that's supposed to be the future of Earth. I found the science to be reasonably accurate with only the occasional and slight deviation from good, solid speculative fiction (i.e. no handwavium magic)

    I also posted a flash-fiction short story with a lead in element to the Space Opera I'm working on currently.
     
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  11. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Well-Known Member

    My library had Daughter of Eden, the conclusion of Chris Beckett's trilogy and I snapped it up. This has been my fav sf series of the last decade - clever, challenging and infinity memorable. The first, Dark Eden, won the A C Clarke award.

    Anyone else read then? If not - go forth and try them!
     
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  12. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Haven't read him yet, but I definitely intend to!
     
  13. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    I've had the first book sat on my bookshelf for a few years now. Sounds as though I should really get around to reading it. I remember picking it up in a charity sale for 10p just because I liked the cover! Yep, I judged the book by its cover ..
     
  14. Stephen Jansen

    Stephen Jansen Full Member

    Just joined the group. I have just started Jerusalem by Alan Moore. following on the heels of that massive volume is The Exegesis of Philip K Dick but I intended to slip the Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch between the two so I'll have completed the VALIS trilogy. Anyone else reading books they can hardly lift?
     
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  15. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    Welcome Stephen!
     
  16. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    Finished Rendezvous with Rama. I love it when a story places you into a real “what if…” mind-set. And this is what Rama has delivered. Hard SF to make you ponder about a plausible(why not) future rendezvous. An fantastic way to mess up one’s head.

    I have immediately begun The Last Legend of Earth. Oh my! @Boreas, convoluted plot lines? mind expanding stuff?
    I'm about 80 pages into the story and I feel Attanasio has taken me by the feet, spun me around and thrown me into the Overworld.
    I'm not the faster reader of the Wild West. I enjoy taking my time, but I'm finding myself going back to paragraphs thinking: "wait, what was that?"
    Attanasio is so damn clever!! I have the feeling this story is going to follow the same crazy fashion as his own mane does.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
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  17. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

  18. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Hi Stephen! I bought Moore's Jerusalem right when it came out. I've been a Moore fan since I was 14 and was mesmerised by his incredible run on Swamp Thing. But I still haven't read his Voice of the Fire!
    Glad you liked Rendezvous with Rama! Another Clarke I recommend is City and the Stars - very far future SF and not of the 'hard' variety. It's actually a rewriting of his first novella, Against the Fall of Night, but the revision is different enough for AtFoN to also merit a reading at some future point after you've read the major Clarke works. Also, although I haven't read Greg Bear's Eon yet (his most famous novel), it ventures into the same territory as Clarke's RwR and is written in a more modern style. It might be something for you to look into since you've liked both RwR and Forge of God.

    I cannot wait for you to finish Last Legends of Earth and babble out your stupefied opinion!
     
  19. Stephen Jansen

    Stephen Jansen Full Member

    thank you
     
  20. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    I'm about halfway into Plague Forge, 3rd book in the Dire Earth Cycle by Jason Hough. So far this is proving to be a decent finale ..
     
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