The Sci-Fi Book Thread

Discussion in 'Book House' started by Intrinsic, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. khorum Get Raped DONOR

    khorum
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    Well it IS a near-future dystopia, so it's framed around a global jihad so it could be seen as anti-islamic. Not to spoil anything but that's really little more than a framing device and the culprits behind the collapse end up being internal failures anyway.

    If you thought Illium and Olympos were "anti-muslim" then you might see it that way, but really it's a frank extrapolation of where we are and where we're going. It's basically a time-loop whodunnit anyway.
     
  2. khalid Unelected Mod DONOR

    khalid
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    Just picked up the audiobook. A near-future dystopia brought about in response to a spread of islamic terror or its effects doesn't strike me as out of bounds for discussion or bigoted in any way. More like realistic.
     
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  3. Ukerric Bearded Ape DONOR

    Ukerric
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    One of the great benefits of Jihodji's challenging argument from authority (in a thread that shall remain unnamed, lest you be bored to tears by philisophical and logic nitpicking) is that it had me revisit some interesting SF books, namely some of the Culture books by the late Iain M. Banks

    if you're unfamiliar with the Man, he's one of the greatest SF authors of the decade... no, century. If you see a M. qualifier, he considered that book as SF, without it, it was supposed to be "literary", but the distinction is really hard to make in quite a few cases. (M. books are unabashedly SF, non-M. books are... well, weird).

    Anyway, in the context of the Thread That Shall Be Not Named, the most relevant book is Surface Detail, which is one of the Culture "series" books (Banks alternated Culture and non-Culture books within its "M." SF offerings). This one examines in detail the nature of Hell in a materialistic and godless universe. It is quite challenging, morally speaking, and absolutely gorgeous, SF-speaking.

    I hearthily recommend it, as well as every single "M." book from Banks, and a lot of non-M. books. The world has been poorer since cancer took Banks from us.
     
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  4. wilkxus Active Member DONOR

    wilkxus
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    Sounds terribly interesting. Is Surface Detail the best starting point to jump into his works in your opinion?

    Also, what thread/posts are you referring to btw? Just curious, I can do my own skimming if its boring, but a link would be nice =)
     
  5. Daelos Guarding the guardians DONOR

    Daelos
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    I totally forgot about Thirteen. I need to read that again.
     
  6. khorum Get Raped DONOR

    khorum
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    I actually think Black Man/Thirteen would make a cooler Netflix/HBO show than the Kovacs series. Not only is it better conceived and executed, it's way more timely and it's really the best near-future book I've read that deals with the consequences of the culture wars.
     
  7. Ukerric Bearded Ape DONOR

    Ukerric
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    Probably not. If only because one of the minor twist is when you realize one of the characters is a recurring one from previous books.

    All of the books from Banks are completely stand-alone, but the Culture ones occasionally reference events from other books in the same universe. Most people think that Consider Phlebas, the first book of the series, is required reading because it sets the backstory of that universe. The Player of Games (2nd book of series) is also considered an easy read.

    then, almost any book of the series, except for the last two (Surface Detail and Hydrogen Sonata). You can get Surface Detail after reading Use of Weapons (3rd in publication order), and you should really skip Hydrogen Sonata until you've read most of the books. Hydrogen Sonata was written when Banks had cancer, and he knew it was his last.

    Banks alternated non-SF books and SF books, and within SF books Culture ones and non-Culture ones. The others are... sometimes weird.
    The Atheist/Theist thread in General. Beware, heavy dissonance between trying to apply formal logic and stumbling upon heaps of missed assumptions on both sides; for most of the discussion Jihodji and I keep talking past each other's head. And bore the rest of the readers to tears.
     
    #307 Ukerric, Aug 23, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016
  8. slippery Well-Known Member DONOR

    slippery
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    I really need some new SciFi, preferably in stuff similar to Peter Hamilton, or just good interesting Space Opera type stuff. I struggle a lot finding good interesting starship stuff. It's either too bogged down in naval combat to excruciatingly unnecessary detail, or just flounders to find a story. Ironically some of the most enjoyable space books for me were the Solar Clipper series by Nathan Lowell (though I think it's not for everyone) because of how it just treats the fact that it's the future casually and you're just along for shipboard life.

    Lately I've been reading post Nemesis Star Trek stuff, but I think I've hit most of it. I just finished Fluency and Remnance by Jennifer Foehner Wells, those are pretty interesting.
     
  9. Ukerric Bearded Ape DONOR

    Ukerric
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    If you want the best in modern Space Opera authors, then you get, in my order of recommandation:

    - Banks, obviously (see above)
    - Alastair Reynolds. Anything from him.
    - Neal Asher, same.
    - James S.A. Corey (aka Ty Frank & Daniel Abraham)
    - Peter Hamilton (I include him there so you can have an idea of how I personally rank the rest, relative to him)
    - Stephen Baxter
    - Paul Mc Auley

    There's other authors, but they tend to write all over the place; the ones above are pure/primary Space Operatic stuff.

    Oh, and funny bit: Except for Frank/Abraham, every one else is british. No ones does Space Opera better than the brits these days.
     
  10. khalid Unelected Mod DONOR

    khalid
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    These authors don't just write spac operas, but some really good space operas are:

    The Praxis series by Walter Jon Williams
    A Fire Upon the Deep and Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge
    The Vorkosigan series by Louis Mcmaster Bujold
    The Risen Empire and The Killing of Worlds by Scott Westerfield
     
  11. Ukerric Bearded Ape DONOR

    Ukerric
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    He is apparently (finally) writing a sequel. Hope we get more Sula...
     
  12. wilkxus Active Member DONOR

    wilkxus
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    Much appreciated, my very kind thanks for the guidance =), I have not read anything much new and good/fun aside from RR Martin recently and this makes it right to the top of my short list.

    I just had a peek in ....Atheism vs. Theism
    ....and it looks interesting. I have not followed or had such discussions since my Usenet days.

    Just a little aside to sound out on philosophy: perhaps a new Philosophy thread can be started for the crazies interested in sharing and discussing their threads of thoughts spun from the weightier meta-topics of debates too heavy for just Sci-Fi & books.
    Seeing your warning "beweare" mentioned in the general vicinity of philosophical debates around theology and morality.... sealed the deal for me and definitively piqued my interest =)

    I would love to read your/anyones thoughts/ramblings on a more philosophical bent if someone happens to beat me to it and start a new Philosophy thread! Alas I am presently a little short on time wrt to reading/posting here. So though the will is there, it might take me a bit of time to catch up and get to skimming through the "Thread That Shall Be Not Named".
     
  13. khorum Get Raped DONOR

    khorum
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    Some of the best pop philosophy out there today isn't on print, it's on podcasts.
     
  14. wilkxus Active Member DONOR

    wilkxus
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    Argh, really?

    Blah, I read, I love to read. Read read read....

    I love being able to skim, especially material I am not certain to want to bother wasting time with.

    Do you happen to have any particular recommendations btw? TBH Philosophy wise, I would much rather converse, read, debate ideas and opinions with real people here than watch or passively listen to someones videod theories (unless they are podcasts with someone here)

    Shows on Sci-Fi books however, like Prisoners of Gravity would be a great find. =)
     
  15. khalid Unelected Mod DONOR

    khalid
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    So @khorum I'm about 3ish or so hours into Dan Simmon's Flashback audiobook and it is pretty good. A bit over the top at times, but that makes it especially hilarious if you are familiar with the SJW narrative. I think the second chapter or so has quite literally a rape used as character development. Characters openly using racial slurs, La Raza as a national movement using violence to take over parts of the US. One of the main characters used to work in the department under Ward Churchill and so makes a comment about how he was a fake indian, fake professor, and only got his position because of political correctness. One of this guy's daughters moved to france and got put under the veil.

    Glad you recced this. I think he may be a bit over the top as far as what is possible in history, but not any more so than most dystopian fiction.
     
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  16. khorum Get Raped DONOR

    khorum
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    Heh, wait till you finish it. I don't want to spoil it, but it's a bit of a "through-the-looking-glass" thing considering how it resolves anyway.

    The most ridiculous thing about it is notion that the Japanese will be anything other than a rump gerontocracy with more debt than their 10% working age population can service by then. Considering Japan's birth rates, THAT is utter fantasy.
     
  17. suineg Administrator

    suineg
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    You should read some William Gibson.

    Btw just started the Kim Stanley Robinson series Mars last night. It opened well.
     
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  18. khalid Unelected Mod DONOR

    khalid
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    Yeah, I was wondering if the book has a description or explanation for how that happened. Japan seems the most powerful country in the world atm, not sure how that happened. Only country that didn't hvae huge immigration problems and internal dissent?
     
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  19. khorum Get Raped DONOR

    khorum
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    They explain it. It's related to the book's title.
     
  20. khalid Unelected Mod DONOR

    khalid
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    Just wanted to mention how disingenuous I'm finding many of the negative reviews of this book were. One of the book's apparently obvious examples of racism that a reviewer mentioned was a character talking about hanging Obama's administration on lampposts.

    Just got to the conversation he must be referring to. Of course, in context it was talking to a jewish guy about what should have been done to the politicians that abandoned israel and let it get nuked to oblivion. It was completely in character and wasn't even directly referencing Obama. It certainly wasn't "racist", as it had nothing to do with his race.
     
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