I just picked up a half dozen older science fiction authors works for $1 each at a flea market. They are my reading on the bus distractions saving other passengers from being strangled with their own MP3 player cords. Just finished The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury and almost done with Reach for Tomorrow by Arthur C Clarke. Some of the story concepts are a bit out of date now but they are still a good read. Which SF authors are you into and how do they compare with the 'classics' of the genre?
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im a big fan of SF but read mainly pulp, like you its paper TV for my brain and bus and before bed reading
for relatively high brow
some of vonneguts stuff is good but i prefer his non SF
foundation series is excellent by aasimov
all the dune stuff, the new stuff by herbets son is excellent
i read a lot of balck library stuff which is very hit and miss to be honest but something i grew up with
i love moorcock but not is SF really
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Asimov has great characters and sweeping plots but he drags a bit especially in the long sagas like foundation or robots.
Clarke has great plots and ideas but his characters are two dimensional. Both have their merits.
I've picked up a few Phillip Jose Farmer books in the last year and find his storytelling to be equal to Ray Bradbury in engagement, but man was he a weird puppy.
julian may's saga of the exiles and galactic milieu are very good umbers
not struck on that dan simmonds stuff but robin friday recommends it and he has good taste in most
I picked up the first two of a sf series by Stephen Donaldson last year. He of the Thomas Covenant, the unbeliever fantasy series. They are surprisingly good. Dark and gritty character dramas set against a desperate human expansion for resources.
The Gap Cycle
A science fiction epic set in a future where humans have pushed far out into space in the attempt to replace depleted resources, The Gap Cycle follows two concurrent story arcs. The first concerns an ensign in the United Mining Companies Police (UMCP), Morn Hyland, who is attempting simply to stay alive after being captured by a marauder named Angus Thermopyle. The second follows the Byzantine political maneuvering of the head of the UMCP, Warden Dios, as he attempts to thwart the machinations of his boss, Holt Fasner, who is the CEO of United Mining Companies (UMC) and the most powerful man in human space.
Each of the epics takes place against the backdrop of a threat to human survival itself from an alien species called the Amnion who use genetic mutation as a way to assimilate and overcome. Trade in raw materials (mostly ores) is carried out with the Amnion in exchange for technology, by both the UMC and illegals. Some illegals trade in Amnion territorial space, referred to as "forbidden space", out of bounds to the UMCP by treaty.
Donaldson wrote the series in part to be a reworking of Wagner's Ring Cycle. The "Gap" of the title refers to the FTL (faster than light) drives used by the space vessels in order to cross great distances, an instantaneous occurrence similar to the notion of "folding" space.
 The Gap Series
may's stuff is well worth a reread, it doesent age like some
never read donaldsons SF, the follow up covenenat stuff hasnt been all that to be honest, or its just a slow burner
who fucking knows?
ever read heinlen's starship troopers?
Heinlen is one that I haven't picked up yet.
Agree about Donaldson's Covenant books, first trilogy was good, second was boring, the third is even worse.
Last edited by Umbuku; 28th July 2009 at 12:09. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
Yes, the Dune series is ace and Asimov's Foundation is stellar.
I really like William Gibson. Neuromancers is a brilliant, brilliant book. Johnny Mnemonic and Burning Chrome (a collection of short stories) are very good too.
It's easy to forget Verne and Wells sometimes too.
Read Dan Simmond's Hyperion books recently as well. Very intelligently written, thought provoking and well realised.
I bummed the Eternal Champion stuff massively. Elrik, Hawkmoon and Corum. I'd be very interested in taking you up on that offer. I'll not leave them in a taxi either...
I have Byzantium Endures here myself. Take a look if you like. It's hard going though.
I didn't mention Philip K Dick in my previous post either. Mega.
Try anything from these guys:
Peter F. Hamilton
In my opinion they are the best of the current crop, I read everything they put out.
Don't forget "Ender's Game" and the follow up books by Orson Scott Card. The first one is the best.
I also like some of the work done by Greg Bear - "Eon" comes to mind even though it is a bit dated.
Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter did a couple of books prior to Clarke's death and they are worthy of a read. I believe Baxter did all of the writing though.
One more I highly recommend is a trilogy by Walter Jon Williams, "Dread Empire's Fall" is fantastic and has the most briliant depiction of space combat I've ever read.
Not Sci-Fi but George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" is amazing. I just hope the bastard finishes before either he or I die!
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Recently came across a supply of Jose Farmer novels in a second hand book store.
Currently on the second book of his Riverworld story. Ludicrous premises but engaging writing style and good characters.
Iain Banks is quite good. I also like Kim Stanley Robinson and the three that Don Ho mentioned.
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And I thought that it was just a car!