Got any suggestions for space science fiction?

I’ve been looking for good science fiction novels about space.Do you guys have any ideas for a book from that genre?Here are some specifics about what I’m looking for:
1.It doesn’t need to be scientifically accurate;in fact,I’d almost prefer if it isn’t,so long as it’s still fairly believable.
2.It’s best if it was published no earlier than 1980.
3.I’d especially like a book centered around the Solar System,but it doesn’t have to be,as long as it’s written well.
4.It needs to be around 100 to 500 pages long.
Sorry for being so picky,but there are so many books in the genre that you really need to be specific.Any help with the subject would be greatly appreciated.Thanks for reading.

John Ringo’s & David Weber’s “Empire of Man” series: March Upcountry, March To The Sea, March to the Stars, and We Few.

David Weber’s “Honor Harrington” series. Too many books to list, but good space-opera up to book 4 or 5 before getting somewhat “epic” in scope.

John Ringo’s “Troy Rising” series: Live free or Die, Citadel, & The Hot Gate, with more forthcoming.

For a bit of a brain bender, Glen Cook’s The Dragon Never Sleeps.

There are plenty of good SF novels from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s about spa ce travel within the solar system. Look at Robert Heinlein’s stories (especially the ones in his “Future History” series, collected in The Past Through Tomorrow, as well as several of his “juveniles”, including *Rocket Ship Galileo, Space Cadet, Red Planet, * and Between Planets. Arthur C, Clarke turned out several, as well, including *The Sands of Mars, A Fall of Moondust, The Other Side of the Sky, Transit of Earth, * and others.

Also Hal Clement (the short story Dust Rag, among others, Isaac Asimov 9can’t think of a good representative right now) and George O. Smith (Venus Equilateral). A lot of these are very dated, but fun.

Perhaps I’m having a brain fart (most likely) but…

“It’s best if it was published no earlier than 1980.”

Does that mean you’re looking for pre-1980 stories, or post-1980 stories?

If “post-1980 stories”, you could do far worse than Michael Flynn’s Firestar.

I enjoyed Leviathan Wakes, which is space opera set within our solar system, a few hundred years in the future. It’s one of the nominees for the 2012 Hugo Award.

It’s the first of a trilogy; the second novel has just been released but I haven’t read that one yet.

I meant that I was looking for post-1980 stories.If you were having a brain fart,then don’t feel bad;my brain is like it’s in a continual state of farting.:eek:
Thanks for the help.

***The Telling***by Ursula K LeGuin. Not confined to the solar system, but matter cannot travel FTL; only information can.

Ben Bova’s Grand Tour series is all near-future and within the Solar System.

Also Allan Steele’s Rude Astronauts series.

And some of Robert L. Forward’s work – *Saturn Rukh and Camelot 30K.

I was just about to recommend the Bova Grand Tour series. He takes most of the planets once, and the moon and asteroids get multiple books. All set in the second half of the current century.

Instead, I get to be the first to bring up Footfall by Niven and Pournelle. A wonderful book about aliens trying to take over the Earth, and the Earthlings dealing with it.

Sinister Barrier, Three to Conquer, and *Sentinels of Space *by Eric Frank Russell
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
*The Silver Eggheads *by Fritz Leiber
Their works are not always set in the Solar system, but it’s hard to beat Poul Anderson and Larry Niven for hard sci fi. Ray Bradbury wrote some excellent short story collections
*Under Pressure *and *The Santaroga Barrier *by Frank Herbert
The Best of Leigh Brackett: Many excellent tales including “The Veil of Astellar”
*Damnation Alley *and *Jack of Shadows *by Roger Zelazny

Thanks to everybody for the suggestions;they’re all duly noted,and the books really do seem very good.Your answers have helped a lot.

Not really set in the Solar System but David Brin’s first series of Uplift books builds a great, scary and powerful universe that mankind finds itself having to survive in.

Startide Rising
The Uplift War

Also, Jack McDevitt’s Academy Books set out exploring the universe.

The Engines of God

Top notch space fiction.

Totally ignoring part of the OP (because I feel like it):

*Skylark of Space
Skylark Three
Skylark of Valeron
Skylark Duquesne

First Lensman
Galactic Patrol
Grey Lensman
Second Stage Lensmen
Children of the Lens*

All by E. E. (Doc) Smith and published before 1940, for the most part.

I am going to recommend Steel Beach and its sequel The Golden Globe by John Varley. Written post-1990, set within the Solar system, very well written. Both are between 100 and 500 pages, I think.

I am just re-reading Cities in Flight

Oh heckfire. All my real favorites were too long or too early or both.

All the first four Dune books (pretty sure they’re too long and too early.)
Any scifi by Neal Stephenson (too long but not too early.) Anathem and Crytonomicon are brilliant. Actually, Cryptonomicon isn’t even sci-fi. It just feels like it is.


But I think the Ringworld series by Nivens and Pournelle all fit within the parameters you want. I saw a LeGuin mentioned; I’d add The left hand of darkness. I love LeGuin. Her science is more anthropology and sociology than sprockets and widgets. But whoops, you wanted to stay local to the solar system. Apologies.

If you want to stay right here on Terra Firma for a long, long time, check out A Canticle for Liebowitz. Don’t want to ruin it for you, but city states arise in post-apocolyptic America, and Denver ends up being Rome, for religious reasons.

It’s enough to make you question your Orange Catholic bible, I tell ya.

Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series: good solid SF driven by plot and character.

Far and away my favorite SF that I’ve read recently is Spin. The premise is that one night, a couple of senator’s kids go out on the lawn and watch the stars, and so they’re right there watching when the stars blink out of existence.

It’s a highly character-driven story that nevertheless has several equally startling moments driven by a weird science. Great stuff.

Another one, set on another planet entirely, is China Mieville’s Embassytown. It’s all about an alien race with an exceptionally bizarre linguistic structure, and deals extensively with how language shapes thought. Like all Mieville, you’re guaranteed either to love it or to detest it. I got lucky with this one.

It sounds like you’ve ordered up a copy of "The Cassini Division" by Ken McLeod, which takes place mostly in the space around Jupiter. There’s a lot of libertarianism in it, but it’s mostly space and future stuff and is generally fun. I just skip over the political dreck like I skipped over John Norman’s anti-feminist dreck in the Gor novels. Life’s too short, and good reads are too rare to let political dreck get in the way.

Are you aware Spin is the first book in a trilogy? The sequels are Axis and Vortex.