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Old 10-29-2013, 08:14 AM
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Recommend Me Some Good New SF&F


Ok, I have to face it. My Big Three fave writers are gone. Zelazny is long dead. Banks just died. Tim Powers is still around but he ain't writing so good any more. I need fresh blood.

I'm also a big fan of Vernor Vinge but he doesn't write so often. I lurved me some Neal Stephenson but he hasn't written anything I've liked since "The Diamond Age." I think John Crowley's "Little, Big" is the best fantasy novel ever written, by a huge margin, but I don't really like anything ELSE Crowley has written.

I've tried other writers, with indifferent success. I tried Ken McLeod's "The Cassini Division. Meh. I tried Jack McDevitt but I got tired of the flamy space thingies raining on everyone's parade. I tried Greg Bear, Greg Egan, Peter Hamilton and others. Meh, meh, meh. They may be topnotch writers, but I didn't like their stuff.

I guess my SF tastes turn to well-written galactic space operas featuring far-flung interstellar civilizations, lots of alien races, advanced tech, with interesting and well throught out approaches to that tech, with an optimistic viewpoint about the future of the human race, which probably explains why Banks' Culture novels are at the top of my list.

In terms of fantasy, I've tried Emma Bull, Robert Holdstock, Charles de Lint, Jim Butcher and others, none of whom were all that appealing to me. I like fantasists who create new takes on traditional mythical themes that are so original that they completely redefine those themes. At least, that's what I think Zelazny, Tim Powers and John Crowley have in common.

So, given my tastes, what do you think I might like?
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:19 AM
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How 'bout Larry Niven? From the sound of it, you might like The Mote In God's Eye he wrote with Jerry Pournelle.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:28 AM
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How 'bout Larry Niven? From the sound of it, you might like The Mote In God's Eye he wrote with Jerry Pournelle.
Niven's not exactly new, I've read and enjoyed most of his stuff, so your guess at my taste is sound, and I did like The Mote in Gods Eye. But when I was a teen I got into SF big time and basically read everything, good bad or indifferent, that was SF or fantasy that I could find. You can safely assume I did not miss anything by anybody right through the eighties. In the last twenty years I have gotten lazy and not checked out new writers like I used to. In the last ten years or so, especially, and I'm not patient enough to wade through the crap any more. Which is why I'm asking for some outside opinions.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:32 AM
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...I guess my SF tastes turn to well-written galactic space operas featuring far-flung interstellar civilizations, lots of alien races, advanced tech, with interesting and well throught out approaches to that tech, with an optimistic viewpoint about the future of the human race, which probably explains why Banks' Culture novels are at the top of my list...
Not so much on the optimistic part, but you might like Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space series. Avoid the last book of the trilogy, but definitely try the short stories and other novels set in that universe. It's SPACE OPERA, and a little slow, but be patient.

For fantasy, Charles Stross's Laundry series is just plain fun. Sort of Stephenson-like, with a healthy dash of Cthulhu-ness to the narrative. I liked his two Eschaton-series books for SF, even though he won't be making any more of them.

I've heard about, but not read yet, good things about Stephen Baxter's stuff.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:40 AM
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Gene Wolfe.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:49 AM
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Not sure how new to you he is---you didn't mention him in your OP---and I don't know how revolutionary he is, but for fantasy, there's this George R.R. Martin guy that people are talking about...
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:50 AM
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Okay, newer stuff:
Linda Vagata's Vast
Neal Asher's Orbus
Catherina Asaro's The Quantum Rose

(I'm assuming you know Bujold's Vorkosigan series.)
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:19 AM
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Not so much on the optimistic part, but you might like Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space series. Avoid the last book of the trilogy, but definitely try the short stories and other novels set in that universe. It's SPACE OPERA, and a little slow, but be patient.

For fantasy, Charles Stross's Laundry series is just plain fun. Sort of Stephenson-like, with a healthy dash of Cthulhu-ness to the narrative. I liked his two Eschaton-series books for SF, even though he won't be making any more of them.

I've heard about, but not read yet, good things about Stephen Baxter's stuff.
Revelation Space does sound good, exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for.

I'll check out the Strosser books too.

I've read Stephen Baxter, he does the big tech thing well but my feeling is basically "meh."
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:20 AM
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Gene Wolfe.
I've tried his novels, don't really care for him. His short story "The Fifth Head of Cerberus" was brilliant, however. He's hardly a new guy.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:35 AM
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I've been going through John Scalzi lately. The "Old Man's War" series is quite good. And he appears to be writing quickly.

The Silo series is also good, but it's not really what you've asked for in the OP. It's more distopian, humans struggling to survive after a cataclysm.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:47 AM
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If you're willing to include fantasy, read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

For humorous fantasy, A. Lee Martinez, Christopher Moore, and Jasper fforde are the best at it right now (Terry Pratchett is still good, but he's moving away from humor).

fforde's Shades of Grey is one of the wildest science fiction novel of the past ten years. It really stretches the imagination; in fact, you don't realize until halfway through that it is science fiction. (The title is unfortunate, alas, and may be the reason the sequel hasn't appeared.)

Martinez's is mostly fantasy, though his The Automatic Detective is science fiction -- a robot as a 40s film noir private eye. Monster is amazingly good.

As for Moore, he's always overlooked in science fiction circles, but his Sacre Bleu is an excellent mix of SF and art history, with a lot of humor.

Whether these fit your tastes now, they will fit your taste when you've read them.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:55 AM
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Probably the best new sf I've read this year with spaceships is the 3rd James S. A. Corey book, Abbadon's Gate. The first, Leviathan Wakes, came out a couple of years ago - very good. The Solar System has been widely colonised by humanity but tensions are rising between various factions, when a minor space freighter finds an abandoned spaceship drifting in the void... It's a bit light on alien civilisations, though.

You might like Eric Brown; something like Helix or Engineman maybe. Or Starship Seasons.

Fantasy? Try C. Robert Cargill's Dreams and Shadows. Struck me as a bit John Crowley-esque at times.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:23 AM
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If you like Vinge and highly advanced tech, you might enjoy John C. Wright's Golden Age trilogy. It's an adventure tale woven around the Icarus myth that explores how human motivations and accomplishments are expressed in a world where we have achieved vast material wealth, AI, and almost complete control over our own mental wiring.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:32 AM
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Have you read Spin? That's what came up for me when I read your tastes. I seem to remember there's a sequel as well. Hmmm.... I must go look for that.

ed: Yup, Axis. I know what I'll be reading next.

Last edited by Athena; 10-29-2013 at 11:33 AM.
  #15  
Old 10-29-2013, 12:23 PM
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I've recommended them before and I'll recommend them again: Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief & The Fractal Prince are fucking amazing. I hope you like to think while you read; these books require it. The third book, The Causal Angel is due out next year. The books are set in a post-human, post-scarcity time. The tech is so far advanced that it sometimes seems nearly incomprehensible. And Rajaniemi rarely offers any expositional text; it's up to the reader to catch up to the story.

Also, Richard K. Morgan's excellent Tokeshi Kovacs novels: Altered Carbon, Broken Angels and Woken Furies. I think Altered Carbon is easily the weakest of the bunch, but it's worth reading if only to get to the other two. Very high tech future, mankind on multiple planets in multiple star systems, often encountering the remains of ancient galaxy-spanning civilizations while still dealing with the sordid side of humanity we all know too well.

I also loved Morgan's Black Man (published as Thirteen in the US).

To be honest, so far I really like his fantasy series (A Land Fit For Heroes) so far as well.

I also highly recommend David Weber's Safehold series, although there are times when he gets bogged down in what many people call his "gun porn" phase. And the naming convention he uses is stupid, annoying and makes no sense given then context of the world he is writing about. But the story is truly epic and the characters are awesome. And despite myself, I've learned more about guns, explosives, artillery and quite a few other things from these books than I ever would have guessed I would know in my lifetime. The first book in the series is Off Armageddon Reef.

David S. Goyer's Heaven series is a hoot, as well. I just got the 3rd book, but I have to re-read the first 2 before I can dive in to this one. It's about a Near Earth Object that turns out not to be an asteroid; it's a ship. A ship with living creatures on board, but seemingly none of the race that created it. Humans land there and disaster follows. Then miracles happen. Then more disaster. It's been fun so far.

BTW, I've been writing down some of the things others have recommended; the winter is shaping up to be excellent for reading!

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 10-29-2013 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:05 PM
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I've been going through John Scalzi lately. The "Old Man's War" series is quite good. And he appears to be writing quickly.

The Silo series is also good, but it's not really what you've asked for in the OP. It's more distopian, humans struggling to survive after a cataclysm.
This, although I've only read Old Man's War so far (note to self: put rest of series on reading list.).

I have also only read the first book in the Silo series, but it was AMAZING. Best SF book I've read in years. Doesn't have the galactic space opera component you are looking for, but I recommend it nonetheless because it is such a great novel.

*reading through the rest of the thread and adding books to my reading list*
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:06 PM
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I second Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell for fantasy. I also really like the Malazan books. I think both of these works redefine mythic archetypes, or if not that, at least do a great job talking about them in new ways that make you think about them differently.

Last edited by Frylock; 10-29-2013 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:49 PM
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I'd have recommended Peter Hamilton but the OP said he's already tried his work. So take my recommendations for what they're worth based on that.

If you're going to try Stross, you might want to check out his space opera books first before his Laundry series. There's Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise (which were published in a single edition as Timelike Diplomacy). Or Saturn's Children and Neptune's Brood. Or a couple of his novellas are available online: A Colder War and Missile Gap.

In fantasy, I've been reading Brandon Sanderson lately. I like his work so far so you can put him down as a fantasy writer who appeals to a reader who's more usually into science fiction. Elantris is a good place to start. It's his first novel and it's a stand-alone book rather than part of a series.
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:05 PM
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I will throw in a recommendation for Walter Jon Williams, and a tentative recommendation for the Dread Empires Fall series, starting with Praxis. I am tentative on that because the first two books are incredibly awesome and the last is a major anti-climax, but before that you have a fairly plausible space opera. I found his Knight Moves to be very Zelazny-esque.
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:21 PM
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I know you said you'd read Niven, but have you seen Juggler of Worlds by Niven and Lerner? from wiki "It is set in the Known Space universe. Most of the book revisits earlier stories (the Beowulf Shaeffer stories in Crashlander from the points of view of Sigmund Ausfaller and several Pierson's Puppeteers".

It's part of a series. I'm liking it a lot, so far.
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:25 PM
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Michael Flynn wiki link. He's described as a "hard" SF writer. I don't like hard SF but I really liked his River of Stars trilogy. One of my favorite books is Eifelheim, about aliens in a Bavarian village in the 14th century.

sffworld.com is an excellent resource for recommendations and reviews.

Last edited by AuntiePam; 10-29-2013 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:27 PM
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I guess my SF tastes turn to well-written galactic space operas featuring far-flung interstellar civilizations, lots of alien races, advanced tech, with interesting and well throught out approaches to that tech, with an optimistic viewpoint about the future of the human race, which probably explains why Banks' Culture novels are at the top of my list.
Peter F. Hamilton. Definitely. (oops I see you tried already. Ah well)

Last edited by Terr; 10-29-2013 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:28 PM
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Your tastes seem pretty level with mine, so I would definitely recommend China Miéville. Kraken, Perdido Street Station and Embassytown are IMO his three best, in that order.

None of them are galactic space operas, but I think you'd like them just the same.

Last edited by Morbo; 10-29-2013 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:32 PM
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Probably the best new sf I've read this year with spaceships is the 3rd James S. A. Corey book, Abbadon's Gate. The first, Leviathan Wakes, came out a couple of years ago - very good. The Solar System has been widely colonised by humanity but tensions are rising between various factions, when a minor space freighter finds an abandoned spaceship drifting in the void... It's a bit light on alien civilisations, though.
I came in to recommend this. Very good writing, doesn't try to do more than tell a broad adventure story with sympathetic heroes and despicable villains. A good portrait of humanity on the verge of interstellar travel. ETA: definitely read the first book first: Leviathan Wakes.

Last edited by Larry Borgia; 10-29-2013 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:18 PM
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I'll second/third the Alistair Reynolds recommendation as well as Spin by Wilson.

There's a new book by Ann Leckie called Ancillary Justice which has a lot of buzz and positive feedback so far.

As far as something different, I enjoy the Tobias Buckell Xenowealth series (first book is Crystal Rain). This ends up being space opera but the hard sci-fi parts are done very well.

For true space opera, I enjoy Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's Liaden Universe and the Lois McMaster Bujold Vorkosigan series.

For fantasy, have you tried Terry Pratchett?

If you haven't read Bujold then I would read those first; they are wonderful!
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:47 AM
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I came in to recommend this. Very good writing, doesn't try to do more than tell a broad adventure story with sympathetic heroes and despicable villains. A good portrait of humanity on the verge of interstellar travel. ETA: definitely read the first book first: Leviathan Wakes.
Definitely; I didn't mean to imply you should just skip the first two.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:19 AM
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Baxter's latest, co-written with Terry Pratchett, is worth a read: The Long Earth.

You may also like KSR's 2312... but I would check this one out of the library or buy it secondhand.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:21 AM
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And I will add that if you haven't yet read In Conquest Born by C. S. Friedman, ignore the cheesy cover and get thee to thy bookshop posthaste!
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:56 AM
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I guess my SF tastes turn to well-written galactic space operas featuring far-flung interstellar civilizations, lots of alien races, advanced tech, with interesting and well throught out approaches to that tech, with an optimistic viewpoint about the future of the human race
Have you tried Brin's Uplift Saga? It has all of this, in spades. You can maybe skip Sundiver, but from Startide Rising onwards, it's great.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:12 AM
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Your tastes seem pretty level with mine, so I would definitely recommend China Miéville. Kraken, Perdido Street Station and Embassytown are IMO his three best, in that order.

None of them are galactic space operas, but I think you'd like them just the same.
Really? You think Perdido Street Station is better than Embassytown? Both are good stories, but I felt the actual writing in Perdido was a bit clunky. I found myself noticing how often people spoke, roared, grumbled, moaned, bellowed, etc.; that is, I was noticing the structure of the story as well as the plot. That's like seeing the stagehands during a play. It's not great writing if you can see the bones.

That said, I came here to post Mieville - brilliant writer, whose craft improves much in the later novels.

Last edited by Slow Moving Vehicle; 10-30-2013 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:40 AM
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On the fantasy side, you might like Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series. It's a cross between a police thriller and Harry Potter.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:05 AM
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Also on the fantasy side. The Rook by Daniel O'Malley is a great modern fantasy; well written, interesting universe (modern England).

I also like Will Wight's Traveler's Gate series, which has decent writing, an interesting magic system and very good characterization. The Travelers of Valinhall are just plain cool, even the crazy ones. Maybe especially the crazy ones.
  #33  
Old 10-30-2013, 02:11 PM
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If you're willing to include fantasy, read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

For humorous fantasy, A. Lee Martinez, Christopher Moore, and Jasper fforde are the best at it right now (Terry Pratchett is still good, but he's moving away from humor).

fforde's Shades of Grey is one of the wildest science fiction novel of the past ten years. It really stretches the imagination; in fact, you don't realize until halfway through that it is science fiction. (The title is unfortunate, alas, and may be the reason the sequel hasn't appeared.)

Martinez's is mostly fantasy, though his The Automatic Detective is science fiction -- a robot as a 40s film noir private eye. Monster is amazingly good.

As for Moore, he's always overlooked in science fiction circles, but his Sacre Bleu is an excellent mix of SF and art history, with a lot of humor.

Whether these fit your tastes now, they will fit your taste when you've read them.
With two recommendations, Jonathan Strange and Mrs. Norrell has gone to the top of my "to check out" list. I'll look at the others too, but there are so many ways a story about a noir robot detective can go wrong. (I'm also a fan of detective novels.)
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:13 PM
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Not sure how new to you he is---you didn't mention him in your OP---and I don't know how revolutionary he is, but for fantasy, there's this George R.R. Martin guy that people are talking about...
Been watching the TV series, it's the BEST THING EVAH and avoiding the books because I want to be surprised by plot developments (can you say, "Red Wedding?"). But I'll prolly pick up book one, one of these days.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:15 PM
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Not so much on the optimistic part, but you might like Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space series. Avoid the last book of the trilogy, but definitely try the short stories and other novels set in that universe. It's SPACE OPERA, and a little slow, but be patient.

For fantasy, Charles Stross's Laundry series is just plain fun. Sort of Stephenson-like, with a healthy dash of Cthulhu-ness to the narrative. I liked his two Eschaton-series books for SF, even though he won't be making any more of them.

I've heard about, but not read yet, good things about Stephen Baxter's stuff.
Have checked out Revelation Space, looks delicious, on my list. Though the vaguely religious sounding titles kinda bother me, as I don't really like religious, mystical or occult elements as a central part of a science fiction story.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:16 PM
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Okay, newer stuff:
Linda Vagata's Vast
Neal Asher's Orbus
Catherina Asaro's The Quantum Rose

(I'm assuming you know Bujold's Vorkosigan series.)
Checked out Vast. Tasty! I'll check out the rest too.
  #37  
Old 10-30-2013, 02:19 PM
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I will throw in a recommendation for Walter Jon Williams, and a tentative recommendation for the Dread Empires Fall series, starting with Praxis. I am tentative on that because the first two books are incredibly awesome and the last is a major anti-climax, but before that you have a fairly plausible space opera. I found his Knight Moves to be very Zelazny-esque.
I've read some Walter John Williams, "Queen of Angels" was pretty damn good. I didn't know he'd done a space opera.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:22 PM
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I know you said you'd read Niven, but have you seen Juggler of Worlds by Niven and Lerner? from wiki "It is set in the Known Space universe. Most of the book revisits earlier stories (the Beowulf Shaeffer stories in Crashlander from the points of view of Sigmund Ausfaller and several Pierson's Puppeteers".

It's part of a series. I'm liking it a lot, so far.
Pournelle kinda soured me on team-ups with Niven. I feel that works by Pournelle and Niven are just not as well written as books by Niven alone. In fact, I feel that Niven was made a lesser writer subsequently by his team-up with Pournelle (are you getting the Jerry non-love here?) Might be different with Lerner, I'll check it out.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:26 PM
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And I will add that if you haven't yet read In Conquest Born by C. S. Friedman, ignore the cheesy cover and get thee to thy bookshop posthaste!
As an old SF hand, I can totally ignore the cheesy cover, though in fact, I kinda like them. Part of the genre. Though to be fair, my favorite cover artists, Richard Powers and Frazetta, get all kinds of cred.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:29 PM
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Really? You think Perdido Street Station is better than Embassytown? Both are good stories, but I felt the actual writing in Perdido was a bit clunky. I found myself noticing how often people spoke, roared, grumbled, moaned, bellowed, etc.; that is, I was noticing the structure of the story as well as the plot. That's like seeing the stagehands during a play. It's not great writing if you can see the bones.

That said, I came here to post Mieville - brilliant writer, whose craft improves much in the later novels.
I'll check them all out and go for the one that looks tastiest, if I like them.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:32 PM
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I'll second/third the Alistair Reynolds recommendation as well as Spin by Wilson.

There's a new book by Ann Leckie called Ancillary Justice which has a lot of buzz and positive feedback so far.

As far as something different, I enjoy the Tobias Buckell Xenowealth series (first book is Crystal Rain). This ends up being space opera but the hard sci-fi parts are done very well.

For true space opera, I enjoy Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's Liaden Universe and the Lois McMaster Bujold Vorkosigan series.

For fantasy, have you tried Terry Pratchett?

If you haven't read Bujold then I would read those first; they are wonderful!
Everybody recommends the Vorkosigan series, and they're a popular topic on Dope SF discussions, but nothing I've read makes me think I will like them. Plust I have read other Bujold stuff and not been all that impressed. But so long as I'm in a sampling mood, I'll sample the first book.
  #42  
Old 10-30-2013, 02:38 PM
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To everyone who has responded: I will check out each and every book recommended, it is the least I can do. I have this thread on the browser on my Kindle, I just open the thread, pull up a title, then go to the Kindle bookstore and download a few sample chapters to read. Really gives me a feel for the author's writing style (it's important to me, I love good, smooth prose. It's like good, smooth whiskey.) I've checked out Vast, Revenant Space and one other, can't recall the name offhand, and all three looked like good reads. Bookmarked.

Keep 'em coming!
  #43  
Old 10-30-2013, 02:40 PM
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Some seconds:
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Probably the best new sf I've read this year with spaceships is the 3rd James S. A. Corey book, Abbadon's Gate. The first, Leviathan Wakes, came out a couple of years ago - very good. The Solar System has been widely colonised by humanity but tensions are rising between various factions, when a minor space freighter finds an abandoned spaceship drifting in the void... It's a bit light on alien civilisations, though.
Absolutely! James SA Corey is awesome. It's a pseudonym for the team of Daniel Abraham and some dude that works as George R.R. Martin's assistant, and they're great together. Wonderful space opera action, some gah! horror moments, and well-written women.

Speaking of which, Daniel Abraham by himself is a great writer. His "Long Price Quartet," four books about a world in which poets perform magic by embodying a principle (such as "stone softens") into the form of a "god" with limitless powers within this principle, are really well done.

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Have you read Spin? That's what came up for me when I read your tastes. I seem to remember there's a sequel as well. Hmmm.... I must go look for that.
Spin is great: very hard SF with interesting characters and a lot of surprises. I didn't much care for the sequel, though.
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Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
I second Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell for fantasy.
More excellent fun. The humor in the book is bone-dry, and it starts a bit slow, but it works up to a great climactic few hundred pages.
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Your tastes seem pretty level with mine, so I would definitely recommend China Miéville. Kraken, Perdido Street Station and Embassytown are IMO his three best, in that order.
I'm a bit Mieville dork, although I find him very uneven. Some of his books are actively bad (I'm looking at you, Un Lun Dun), but The City and the City and Embassytown and Perdido Street Station are among the best F/SF I've read in my life.
  #44  
Old 10-30-2013, 02:43 PM
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For sci-fi/fantasy mix, try Jack L. Chalker - almost anything he wrote. All of the "Well World" series, the "Four Lords of the Diamond" series (I bought the original covers for those - they hang in my office), The Dancing Gods series, the Quintara Marathon... all great.

Chalker does have a little fetish though - almost every book deals with some kind of body transformation. But that doesn't detract from and often enhances the plot.
  #45  
Old 10-30-2013, 02:57 PM
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Gene Wolfe.
How were the Wizard Knight novels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbo View Post
Your tastes seem pretty level with mine, so I would definitely recommend China Miéville. Kraken, Perdido Street Station and Embassytown are IMO his three best, in that order.

None of them are galactic space operas, but I think you'd like them just the same.
How was Railsea? My friend recommended it.

Last edited by Mahaloth; 10-30-2013 at 02:58 PM.
  #46  
Old 10-30-2013, 03:02 PM
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Have you read Felix Gilman's The Half-Made World and its "sequel" The Rise of Ransom City? The word "steampunk" is often used in descriptions of the two but do not let that put you off! They are in a class of their own, sort of a fantasy Western novel, about two factions in this world -- The Line (monstrous Order/Bureaucracy embodied by giant trains and their stations) and The Gun (monstrous Chaos embodied by demon-possessed weapons and their handlers) -- who are competing for supremacy as the known world expands its frontier.

They're hard to describe but are really well-written with very lively prose.
  #47  
Old 10-30-2013, 03:17 PM
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How was Railsea? My friend recommended it.
I enjoyed it, but for me it's second-tier Mieville. Totally weird and totally socialist and anti-authoritarian, as are all his books, but it was preachier than it had to be and not quite as cerebral as he is at his best.
  #48  
Old 10-30-2013, 03:44 PM
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I'm definitely paying attention to this thread...the OPs tastes seem much like my own.

4th-ing [i]China Mieville[/b], superb tech-fantasy reads.

Did you mine John Varley's works yet? Ophiuchi Hotline and Steel Beach are must-reads, and he's the best short story writer since Bradbury. The Titan trilogy is also some wonderfully fun space opera.

I really enjoyed Glen Cook's Black Company series, they get a little formulaic, but there's some wonderfully fresh upturnings of fantasy tropes.
  #49  
Old 10-30-2013, 04:27 PM
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How about David Gerrold's War Against the Chtorr series? The first book, A Matter For Men, is a fantastic story as well as an homage to Heinlein, but they grow increasingly strange with each new novel. Of course, there is a downside: we've been waiting for the 5th book, A Method For Madness for more than 20 years now. Seriously. I have had it on pre-order at Amazon for more than 3 years, but the publishing date keeps getting pushed back. Still, awesome series.

For space opera, try the Starfire books by David Weber & Steve White. The first one is called Insurrection.
  #50  
Old 10-30-2013, 04:49 PM
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Ooh, I just finished reading a really good book which no one has mentioned...

The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach.

Kind of hard to describe without giving it away, but it starts as a weird cultural study of a fascinating alien human culture and artists who spend their entire lives weaving a carpet out of human hair, and goes in all sorts of interesting directions from there.

I second the Silo series.
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