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I went to Barnes and Noble today and didn't find anything that interested me. Anyone have any good sci fi recommendations? I hate fantasy but like hard sci fi. Ben Bova, Catherine Asaro, Stephen Baxter....

Read all their stuff and need more!!

Anyone have any authors they like?

Janet
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Hard SF?

James P. Hogan. You'll like him.
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How about "Hunting Party" by Elizabeth Moon.

Thuvia
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Hi Janet,

I went to Barnes and Noble today and didn't find anything that interested me. Anyone have any good sci fi recommendations? I hate fantasy but like hard sci fi. Ben Bova, Catherine Asaro, Stephen Baxter....

Read all their stuff and need more!!

Anyone have any authors they like?

Janet


Thanks for popping in to the British Invasion. Help yourself to a cup of tea while I ponder your question...

My favourite hard sci fi is Iain M. Banks. His series of books in the "Culture" series is a great creative achievement - a future universe in which the dominant civilisation is run jointly by humans and artificial intelligences of awesome power. But because they were made by human beings most of them like us and stick around to help rather than destroy us.

The first in the series is "Consider Phlebas" and that is definitely the one to start with. The others can be read in any order but I'd avoid "Feersum Endjinn" which is untypical and experimental on his part. IMO the experiment failed.

You can find more about the Culture here:
http://web.onetel.net.uk/~zakalwe/imb/culture.htm

Iain M Banks is the same author as Iain Banks. He uses the "M" to indicate his SF novels.

I'd be interested to know what you think.

Regards,
TK
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I went to Barnes and Noble today and didn't find anything that interested me. Anyone have any good sci fi recommendations? I hate fantasy but like hard sci fi. Ben Bova, Catherine Asaro, Stephen Baxter....

Read all their stuff and need more!!

Anyone have any authors they like?

Janet

Thanks for popping in to the British Invasion. Help yourself to a cup of tea while I ponder your question...


Hi Janet - of course this is not the British Invasion board - I was momentarily disoriented there by a time warp and several pan-galactic-gargle blasters! Either that, or it was a test!
TK
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Thanks for popping in to the British Invasion. Help yourself to a cup of tea while I ponder your question...

Hi Janet - of course this is not the British Invasion board - I was momentarily disoriented there by a time warp and several pan-galactic-gargle blasters! Either that, or it was a test!
TK


I was wondering what was going on.

Thuvia
<G&T gargle blasters?>
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Hi Janet - of course this is not the British Invasion board - I was momentarily disoriented there by a time warp and several pan-galactic-gargle blasters! Either that, or it was a test!
TK

I was wondering what was going on.

Thuvia
<G&T gargle blasters?>


A Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains dashed out by a solid gold brick with a slice of lemon wrapped around it. The complete recipe can be found within the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Speaking of which, anybody yet read "The Salmon of Doubt" yet?

Moonglade
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Anyone have any authors they like?

Janet


Try Samuel Delany.

"Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand" - I can't describe it. you have to read it.

"Dhalgren" - unbelievably depressing novel of ambiguous sexuality in the distant future.

"Nova" - Hard Sci Fi at it's absolute best. A Moby Dick type tale that really gets to you.

"Babel-17" - Language as a virus and a weapon of war.

There are others. He can be a tough, tough read, but he's well worth it.

Enjoy.

l1soul.
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Chung Kuo series by David Wingate (Wingrove? Win...something)
....8 books set in a world where China took over, re-wrte history, and set up continent spanning Cities. Very dense but really worth the effort.


Night's Dawn "Trilogy" (Reality Dyfunction / Neutronium Alchimist / Naked God" by Peter Hamilton. Again dense, each "book" has been published in 2 volumes, paperback. By the end of book one the shape of the story unfolds. So well written even the ending, which could have easily slipped into hackneyed dues ex machina <sp?>, fit in.

alex
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I like the one Chung Kuo book I read, and have friends that love the whole series.

The one problem I had with it is I couldn't keep the characters straight because, not surprisingly, they all had chinese names. So half the time I didn't know who was who. Other than that, it was a really good book.
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Try Samuel Delany.
"Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand" - I can't describe it. you have to read it.


This was amazing. I read it almost 20 years ago. Tell me, did the g-d sequel ever come out?!? On the last page he writes that "Stars" is the first novel in a planned diptych, that volume 2 "The Splendor and Misery of Bodies, of Cities" will be out in the next year or two. Then I never, ever saw that second book. Did it ever happen?

Samuel Delany is a genius. But I don't see his work appealing to a hard-sf / Ben Bova fan. Semiotics is not exactly on a par with must other "hard" sciences in hard sf. And I can't exactly give Delany's work high marks for "readability". A nice place to start with Delany might be the short-story collection "Driftglass" from the late 60s / early 70s. This has some wonderful stuff in it, very much in the tradition of the 1960s "new wave" of science fiction.

If you're a Delany fan, you might want to track down his volume of critical essays "The Jewel-Hinged Jaw", now out of print. Delany has also written some pretty off-the-wall stuff, like gay pornography. A very, uh, eclectic career.
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Chung Kuo series by David Wingate (Wingrove? Win...something)
....8 books set in a world where China took over, re-wrte history, and set up continent spanning Cities. Very dense but really worth the effort.


7 books. I liked it, but wouldn't call it "hard" sci-fi. It is an interesting world to visit however.


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A nice place to start with Delany might be the short-story collection "Driftglass" from the late 60s / early 70s. This has some wonderful stuff in it, very much in the tradition of the 1960s "new wave" of science fiction.

Here it is:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0451144244/qid=1023730796/sr=1-48/ref=sr_1_48/002-8908236-9942413

I echo the guy who calls "Dog in a Fisherman's Net" his favorite. "Aye, And Gomorrah" and "Time Considered As A Helix of Semi-Precious Stones" won Nebula awards for Best Short Story in their respective years, and "Time" is my other favorite story in the volume. "We, In Some Strange Power's Employ..." is a fun homage to Roger Zelazny, not a serious peace at all. An excellent collection.
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he one problem I had with it is I couldn't keep the characters straight because, not surprisingly, they all had chinese names. So half the time I didn't know who was who.

True that was a problem, even with the list of characters. Except for the major characters, I just gave up & tried to keep them straight in the section I was reading.


alex
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I liked it [Chung Kuo], but wouldn't call it "hard" sci-fi.

I may need a clue what is generally meant by the phrase "Hard Science Fiction." I tend to think in terms of Space Opera, Alternate History, and that sort of thing.

alex

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I may need a clue what is generally meant by the phrase "Hard Science Fiction."

It probably means different things to different people. What it means to me is "Hard Science" + Fiction. In other words, sci-fi where science and technology are central to the story, especially when real scientific theories and possibilities are explored. What does it mean to other people?
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"What it means to me is "Hard Science" + Fiction. In other words, sci-fi where science and technology are central to the story, especially when real scientific theories and possibilities are explored. What does it mean to other people?"

Good question.

Twenty years ago I used to read "hard science fiction," I read a great deal of it, there was a bookshop in town devoted to it, but I have not ready any in more than a decade. At the time, I did not read fantasy, now when I look at the science fiction/fantasy section, my eyes skip over both.

I guess Robinson's "Mars" series might be considered hard sci fi, I liked the first two.

I read the first William Gibson book, liked it, never read another. There didn't seem a point to doing so. Is that book now considered ancient history?

Has science outraced literature, and the imagination?
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I may need a clue what is generally meant by the phrase "Hard Science Fiction." I tend to think in terms of Space Opera, Alternate History, and that sort of thing.


Hard sci fi is sci fi based on established or theoretical principles of science or actual scientific theories.

By the way, thanks for the suggestions everyone. I will need to go look for some of these.

Don't you just hate it when you've read every single book by your favorite authors? Then you just have to wait for him/her to write something else, or find another author who is kind of similar or who you also like but for different reasons.

Janet
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I guess Robinson's "Mars" series might be considered hard sci fi, I liked the first two.


I liked the first two, too, although I was kind of tired by the third one. I read them all back to back, though. Maybe I should have taken a little break.

I like John Varley, too. I really liked "Steel Beach". I also remember reading the "Ophiuchi Hotline" years ago and I tried to find it recently and I think it must be out of print. Anyone else read that?

Janet
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Have you though about getting any science fiction magazines, like Asimov's or Analog. I've discovered some interesting authors that way.

Thuvia
<not sure if I suggested this before>
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Have you though about getting any science fiction magazines, like Asimov's or Analog. I've discovered some interesting authors that way.


Yeah, I actually get Asimov's. I discovered Catherine Asaro that way.

(Ok, she's not exactly hard SF, but I still like her).

Janet
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That's how I discovered Kage Baker. The Company stories are an interesting premise.

Thuvia
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I like Kage Baker's Company stories, too!! There was one just in the last couple of months I liked a lot--can't recall the title.

Unfortunately, in a recent decluttering purge, I got rid of several issues that had piled up.

You know, the very first story I ever submitted for publication was to Asimov's? I was about 15, I think, and it was rejected, of course, but the editor took the time to sit down and give me a really thorough critique of my story. I have always appreciated that, particularly when I got older and realized how many of these stories this poor person had to read.

One of these days, I may get up the gumption to send them another one. They are pretty good about publishing new authors.

Janet
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This was amazing. I read it almost 20 years ago. Tell me, did the g-d sequel ever come out?!? On the last page he writes that "Stars" is the first novel in a planned diptych, that volume 2 "The Splendor and Misery of Bodies, of Cities" will be out in the next year or two. Then I never, ever saw that second book. Did it ever happen?

Samuel Delany is a genius. But I don't see his work appealing to a hard-sf / Ben Bova fan. Semiotics is not exactly on a par with must other "hard" sciences in hard sf. And I can't exactly give Delany's work high marks for "readability". A nice place to start with Delany might be the short-story collection "Driftglass" from the late 60s / early 70s. This has some wonderful stuff in it, very much in the tradition of the 1960s "new wave" of science fiction.


jh21045,

I'm not sure I agree that Delany isn't exactly hard Sci fi, but there is already a thread going on about that. I will admit that he won't necessarily appeal to a Ben Bova fan, but I like 'em both so what the heck.

Delany is definitely a hard read. There is real depth to his work and he treats a paragraph like a painting. He's worth the effort and I totally agree that he is a genius. I never heard of "Driftglass" but I'll see if I can find it. I think I'll take a pass on the gay porno stuff 'tho (Not that there's anything wrong with that, as Mr. Seinfeld might say :-}

Thanks for the book suggestion,
l1soul
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It probably means different things to different people. What it means to me is "Hard Science" + Fiction. In other words, sci-fi where science and technology are central to the story, especially when real scientific theories and possibilities are explored. What does it mean to other people?

That's is pretty much what it means to me. Something I'm not a big fan of.

Mark
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By the way, I have a suggestion for anyone needing book recommendations. There's a great book recommender at www.alexlit.com. You register, put in your opinion (positive or negative) on 40 books, and it compares you to thousands of other readers who have input their preferences. In your case it would generate a list of books other people who like Ben Bova, Catherine Asaro, and Stephen Baxter liked. The recommendations tend to lean heavily towards F/SF due to the nature of the internet population. They also sell short stories and some e-books, I think. Check it out, I found a lot of GREAT authors this way.

-mapletree
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This is one of my favorite sites for getting new sci-fi book recommendations.

http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Cavern/6113/

Steve
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There's a great book recommender

I'm really, really going to show my age here. I like my recs from people. People that will say why they liked an author, mentioned strengths and weaknesses. Someone that I can tell, "well I liked X, but here's why I didn't like Y." Then they reel off another couple books, series, authors. The dialog continues. To a very nice extent like this board.

Now I found a list I liked on Amazon built by an individual. Did the wish list thing to a number of them. But it was check the editorial review, check customer reviews, lots of work. Kinda cold work. I'm fortunate to have friends that read overlapping genres with me, and we trade off on what we've read.

Now I confess, I'm picky. Very picky. I don't borrow books, not from friends and not from libraries. I like to have a connection to my friends. I want to be able to talk to them whenever I want. Grins I spent a day recently with the Stone family. Hazel Meade, geez, wish I knew half the math she did; heck I wish the unholy twins were my best friends. Sure, I first met them over 20 years ago, and thought the same things, but that's the point isn't it?

I'm old fashioned. I don't listen to books on tape, and I don't read them on line. 99% of what I read is something I'll want to re-read. Some friends I visit once a year, some once a decade, some more frequently, some less. Most of the time when I invite a book into my life, it's for life. There are those for whom it just doesn't work out, and I'm sorry to say they end up on half.com. But I don't invite them in for just a moment.

There's the point. A computer can generate what I might like. Heck Amazon does it everytime I go there. People that liked the book you're looking at also liked these. Doesn't matter. I've never chatted with their database. Can't tell it I like vampires, but not trite, but with a gay theme, but forget cheap AIDS tie-ins, vampire aspect secondary to character development and plot.

Yep, I may take longer to find a prince of a book; a book I want to keep forever, but I don't have to kiss as many frogs as some of my friends do. I almost always have charming friends waiting for the next dance, a couple staggered piles on my dresser, a smaller one on my desk at work. Should they all have their dance, nestled on my shelves are hundreds of my old friends. Somewhere one will always come out and be eager for my company.

Why just last week I was beginning to apologize for neglect and Podkayne told me not to worry. Twenty years was nothing. Ya know what? She was right.

Rav
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