In a post sometime previously I disparaged Peter Hamilton’s books with typical forthright thoughtlessness having been bored to sleep by one of his Greg Mandel books. This thoughtlessness was commented on, so I decided to try another of his books.
Having just finished The Reality Dysfunction, I now withdraw my former disparaging comments. Its actually pretty good. Although his obession with sex is still way too noticeable.
Anyway - which of the new SciFi writers are really worth reading / persisting with? Stephen Baxter just barely passes the time for me (although I’ll read his books), whereas Kim Stanley Robinson is a guaranteed purchase. Recommendations?
Yeah, the first Reality Dysfunction book was way overboard on the softcore porn. It really turned me off on the series, years ago.
On my second try, this year, I made it through the first book, and found that they got better as they went on.
All I have left is the last Neutronium Alchemist book, then I’m done!
As for other sci fi, some of my favorite authors are:
Greg Bear. Especiall ‘Eon’ and ‘Eternity’, and ‘Darwins Radio’.
Gregory Beneford. A PhD who teaches at UCSD. Hard science fiction.
Vernor Vinge. ‘Fire Upon the Deep’. Best. sci-fi.ever
Dan Simmons. The Hyperion Trilogy.
David Brin. I don’t like his talking dolphin stuff, but ‘Kiln People’ was awesome!
Connie Willis: Doomsday Book
I read the Mandel books recently. They aren’t too bad. Sloooow though. I’d agree on the sex-filled though. I dunno, it doesn’t bother me that much. I just wonder when the heroine is going to get boned again.
The Night’s Dawn trilogy is quite good IMHO, with some kickass scenes. There are a few plot threads that I dislike (Valisk), and the thing ends <semi-inviso-text-on>[color=white]with the mother of all Deus Ex Machinas[/color], but hey, it was fun to read.
I enjoyed the Night’s Dawn trilogy, but didn’t care too much for Hamilton’s latest, Fallen Dragon, which could have done with some serious editing IMO. On holiday recently I finally got round to reading Iain M Banks’ Excession, my first copy having been stolen from the pocket of my raincoat in a pub, which was an excellent addition to the Culture series. I also enjoyed Ken MacLeod’s loose trilogy The Star Fraction, The Stone Canal and The Cassini Division. Of course I didn’t realise that they were a loose trilogy unitl after I’d read The Stone Canal first, but that didn’t spoil things too much, as each is a complete novel in its own right.
Greg Egan does some great stuff. His last few books were a bit disappointing, but Diaspora remains one of my all-time favorites, with Permutation City and Quarantine way up there as well. He’s also done a lot of short stories, and has a few collections of those out that are all worth picking up.
Ted Chiang has so far only done short stories, but has enough of them to have a collection out recently, Stories of Your Life and Others. Very highly reccomended.
I just finished reading Dan Simmon’s new hardback “Ilium” which is a return to the epic sci-fi mixed with heavy literary references that he displayed in Hyperion (although this book is a new and different future universe). Warning: Ilium is the first of a series and has an ending that is only partially complete. But I really enjoyed it and felt it was his best book since The Fall of Hyperion. Recommended.
Also, if you like old school sci-fi in the Robert Heinlein/Spider Robinson tradition then I recommend Red Thunder by John Varley. A classic romp in the old school style and lots of fun.
Also I quite enjoyed Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan. My review is available someplace in this forum.
I liked both Ventus and Permanence by Karl Schroeder.
Vernor Vinge also has an older set sometimes packaged in one volume called Across Realtime, which combines The Peace War and Marooned in Realtime. I couldn’t dig into the seqeul, but The Peace War was great. Very thought-provoking. Jonathan Lethem is also good, but make sure you’re getting his sci-fi stuff and not his more mainstream fare.
The fifth installment of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, titled Wolves of the Calla, is due out in a November.
Be aware that Banks also writes pretty wierd ‘straight’ fiction as Iain Banks (without the ‘M’). I’m not saying you shouldn’t read them, they’ve received quite a lot of critical acclaim, but don’t expect all of his stuff to be SF.
[quote=“krayzkrok”]I greatly enjoyed the Night’s Dawn Trilogy, best read in a darkened room late at night, which definitely gets better as it goes along (ending notwithstanding).
But Hamilton dropped the ball in a major way with his latest book, Misspent Youth, an intriguing concept that is best appreciated by reading the first and last chapters, and missing the midlife crisis porn-filled dramas the occupy the remainder.
damn I just bought Misspent Youth!
I kinda enjoyed fallen dragon though, I think it’s at least on par with Night’s Dawn.