What SF book are you currently reading? (2015-16)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by TomTB, Apr 24, 2015.

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  1. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

  2. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Nearly halfway into the last Lost Fleet book, and to sum it up so far, it's the previous 5 books set to fast forward .. The fleet has just done everything it did .. again .. but quicker. This isn't a bad thing though.
  3. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Started Neal Asher's The Technician, it's just great. Can't put it down, which caused a problem in the shower.
    Boreas likes this.
  4. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I have been reading absolutely nothing this last month. Did finally get around to watching a few more movies, though.
  5. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Sometimes it's nice to have some time away from books, recharge the reading battery!

    Me, my current SF read is Beacon 23 by Hugh Howey. It's only a short book and I'm halfway done with it, but i really like this, I think I'm going to be a big Howey fan, his style really strikes a chord with me.
    Boreas likes this.
  6. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I actually tried reading a number of times, but I just couldn't concentrate or I picked up the book a couple of minutes before I fell into la-la land and so just ended up reading a 2-3 pages. But I'm kinda getting the itch to get into a good book again, so maybe this week I'll pick something up and stick with it.
  7. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    I'm going to read The Skinner or Dark Intelligence, both by Neal Asher, who is indeed as good as Boreas has been telling me. I have you to thank, Boreas, for pushing me to stay with him and Alastair Reynolds until I became a believer.
  8. btkong

    btkong Administrator Staff Member

    Just starting on Zero World which looks like it's something like Altered Carbon meets Crashing Heaven meets Inception and then some. Very excited about this one, but we'll see how it pans out.

    I also want to start on The Lost Fleet soon -- it has good reviews and I never gave the first book a proper chance, only a few chapters in before ditching it.

    I'd love to pick up The Roboteer as well, but I'm waiting for the audiobook version.

    And then the new Peter Hamilton book -- the sequel to the awesome 'The Abyss Beyond Dreams'
  9. btkong

    btkong Administrator Staff Member

    I like Larson, but he's a mixed bag. Great if you want some pulpy military science fiction with an expansive world. His characterization is pretty weak though (don't expect a single good female character in any of his books) and his male heroes always turn out to be a Gary Stue type.

    Still, lots of non stop action, expansive world building, and up front squad action against horrible odds (especially in the Undying Mercenary series, which is my favorite of the bunch).

    No, each series is distinct and not in the same world.

    Star Force is his biggest series which is pretty expansive in terms of world building. It gets pretty good. Space Opera meets Military SF.

    Undying Mercenaries is his pure military SF about soldiers who die and can be resurrected.

    He's got a couple others (Mech series and a Battleship series -- but I have not read those yet).
  10. btkong

    btkong Administrator Staff Member

    IF YOU LOVE THE FOLLOWING CYBER PUNKISH MILITARY SF (one that focuses on a kick as hero modied as fuck with biotech)
    • Altered Carbon (or Thirteen) by Richard Morgan
    • Crashing Heaven
    • Lazarus:Artefact
    • The Skinner by Neal Asher
    • Old Man's War
    • Falling Dragon / The Dreaming Void by Hamilton

    David Guin's Death's Head.

    Also read the Jon & Lobo series (which is probably the closest to Richard Morgan's Altered Carbon books I've read, but with better characterization hand down)

    Both series / books feels somewhat similar: ex mercenary soldier modified with sweet hidden biotech abilities who's pitted against impossible odds (in a up front hand to hand military SF dynamic with a squad).

    And finally, if you guys love a pure military SF, non-cyberpunk about a kick ass hero one who's NOT been enhanced to the gills with biotech / wetware), read:

    Poor Man's Fight series by Elliot Kay. Fucking awesome. Absolutely read it if you are fans of Mark Kloss's Terms of Enlistment.
  11. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Well-Known Member

    This is on my tbr list. Everytime I think I'll get to it, something else comes up (I'm reading one to do a cover blurb on and proofing my own audio book so it looks like Ms Taylor will have to wait another wee while.)
  12. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Now reading the sequel to The Skinner, called The Voyage of the Sable Keech. Neal Asher's imagination is incredible and his writing incorporates the astonishing sci-fi ideas seamlessly into a thrilling narrative in each of his books.
  13. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Nice to see you, @jo zebedee! This poor forum definitely needs more participation!

    Damn, you seem to be on a Neal Asher roll! My mood for SF/F has been down lately, but your enthusiasm for Neal Asher is contagious. The next Asher works I need to read are the Spatterjay books starting with The Skinner.
    jo zebedee likes this.
  14. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Well-Known Member

    Thank you! For some reason I can't reply on my pc so was frozen out for a while today. :(

    Anyhow, I raided the freebies at Mancunicon and so have quite a few to get to, including Jon Wallace (I read a short of his in Interzone, I think, and liked it a lot), Scalzi and Andrew Bannister.
  15. Leuck

    Leuck New Member

    If you love Star Wars, Mass Effect and Metal Gear Solid, then you will love Stellar Bliss One: Peace In The Forgotten Dream. Stumbled upon it and finished it in less than a day. Very original concept almost flawlessly executed. The characters are well rounded, sympathetic and relatable. The plot has a sick twist, and this 'Viper' is probably one of the best villains I've read in a very long time. Brings you back to the days when Vader was actually scary. Highly recommend this book for serious scifi fans.

  16. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Was about to start Wool by Hugh Howey, but at the last second I decided to start I, Zombie instead, also by Hugh Howey. It's kinda fun so far!
  17. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Now I have started Wool. Only 20 pages in so haven't formed any sort of opinion yet, but I do like Howey's writing style .. it really clicks with me.
  18. luisaj

    luisaj Full Member

    I've just read "The Paper Menagerie and other stories", by Ken Liu and it was superb! There have been a lot of quality short stories compilations recently (Pawn's gambit, I am crying all inside...)
    "Sleeping giants" by Sylvain Neuvel is pretty good too, I especially enjoyed the geopolitics and micro-management of the protagonist. It actually reminded me of "The three body problem" in that aspect.
    Now for the no-likes I picked up "Something coming through" by Paul Mcauley but I couln't finish it, I really didn't get invested in the story at all. Maybe I'll finish it some time.
    I also read "United states of japan" by Peter Tieryas and I didn't like it too much. Alternative history has always interested me but this seemed to rely too heavily on clichés and the plot felt rushed.
    Now i'm trying to choose between "Brilliance" by Marcus Sakey, "Every heart a doorway" by Seanan Mcguire, "Transgalactic" by James Gunn and "Nemesis" by Alex Lamb.
    Any suggestions?
  19. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Hi @luisaj, I completely forgot that Ken Liu's The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories had been released! It's one of the collections that I've been really looking forward to reading this year. So, thanks for reminding me about it.

    Transgalactic is on my list and also Roboteer by Alex Lamb. If you've already read Roboteer and enjoyed it, then maybe Nemesis would be good choice? Unless you want to take a break from that universe. Together with Alex Lamb's Roboteer, two other authors have been brought to my attention by @wakarimasen, who does some interviews for the companion fantasy site. They are Al Robertson's Crashing Heaven and Tom Toner's The Promise of the Child. All three sound interesting and I need to get to them soon.

    If you like geopolitics in science fiction, then I can suggest two older works. Downbelow Station by C. J. Cherryh, which is a essentially a political thriller with a lot of action and a perfect introduction to Cherryh's great Alliance-Union milieu. And an older (and very short) work called Tactics of Mistake by Gordon R. Dickson, which focuses on geopolitics and military operations. ToM also has a fair bit of micro-management by the protagonist, since he's an expert tactician. But maybe you might like reading Dorsai! first - also concerned with geopolitics and military, but a lot faster paced.

    And if you like hard sf (which your comparison to The Three-Body Problem leads me to believe you do), then check out Stephenson's Seveneves, which contains a lot of politics, tons of science and technology, thriller-like sections, more science and technology and anthropology, and finally, more science and technology. I personally enjoyed the hell out of it.

    Yeah, I heard buzz about this book, but it sounded very formulaic to me, too. I'm not familiar with contrafactual fiction at all. I haven't even read The Man in the High Castle yet, which is probably the most famous book in that category.
  20. luisaj

    luisaj Full Member

    Yes, I am a big fan of Hard SF and "Seveneves" was very good indeed.
    As for the recommendations, I think I'll start with "Nemesis" and then "Dorsai!" (Just to start from the beginning).
    Also "Crashing heavens" has been on my radar for some time, so maybe I'll finally give it a shot.
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