What are you reading and what is on your book stack to read?

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695 Replies - 34602 Views - Last Post: 24 November 2014 - 11:27 AM

#691 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is offline

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Re: What are you reading and what is on your book stack to read?

Posted 24 November 2014 - 10:51 AM

Space warfare seems to be my cup of tea. I also really liked the way that "The Forever War" was pretty consistent with the known physics of the time. Jumping through black holes obviously wouldn't work, but incorporating the relativistic time effect and things like having to deal with the force of maneuvering at high "G's" was great.

Edit: I guess I forgot about the Ender's Game saga. I've read all (I think) the books and short stories in that series too, loved the focus on the psychology of the characters later in the series.
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#692 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: What are you reading and what is on your book stack to read?

Posted 24 November 2014 - 11:10 AM

Harry Harison's "Bill the Galactic Hero" is an amusing pastiche of the combat SF novel, and actually a pretty good entry in that conversation. I haven't read it in a little while, so some of the humor might have aged out a little. Now that I'm thinking of Harrison, he's definitely got a lot of pretty good stuff. The Stainless Steel Rat books are sort of light SF espionage/heist books, and kind of fun, but he had a trilogy called Deathworld that might suit you. For really "hard" science fiction, you can't beat Hal Clement. His stories are so hard they don't generally have antagonists - just people (some of whom are human) against some environment. The classic Clement novel is called Mission Of Gravity, and it's an absolute jewel of world-building - he sets up a highly-elliptical planet, such that there is a huge gravitational disparity between the equator and the poles. The mission is to retrieve some McGuffin that's crashed in the polar region - which gives Clement a chance to show off his whole world. Good fun.

If you want more Heinlein, I'd steer you towards his "juveniles" - Space Cadet (ignore the title!) can almost be read as a prequel to Starship Troopers, although they're not linked at all, internally.

Obviously, Arthur Clarke and Robert Silverberg are both going to be people you'd like to check out - Silverberg's fiction isn't always hard SF, but he was able to pull that off. Clarke was mostly hard SF, and I'm not going to even start trying to pick out the places to start with those two.

You might also want to haunt your local purveyor of used books, and look for the Wollheim annuals. Those always had a bunch of great stories, and they'd give you a chance to find some writers that you especially like. Wollheim published his annual World's Best SF collections for at least two decades, and I've found them to be a very reliable source of good story in the period that I think is going to interest you most (on this request, at least).

In the more contemporary vein, you have the William Gibson problem - people who start out writing hard SF find that the future is catching up with them. But Charles Stross's real fiction - Glasshouse, Iron Sunrise come to mind - might fit the bill. (Iron Sunrise feels a little like a callback to Heinlein's juveniles at times, which I found most pleasing)
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#693 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: What are you reading and what is on your book stack to read?

Posted 24 November 2014 - 11:10 AM

With my space and general scifi if I find myself casting about I'll snag a popular 'best of' sort of thing and cast a wide net for a new author.

Two that I enjoyed:

The New Space Opera .. Dozois, Gardner R.
http://www.amazon.co.../dp/0060846755/

The New Space Opera 2: .. Dozois, Gardner R.
http://www.amazon.co.../dp/0061562351/


I really did enjoy this book by Card..
The Worthing Saga (Worthing, #1-3) Card, Orson Scott
http:// www.amazon.com/Worthing-Saga-Orson-Scott-Card/dp/0812533313/
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#694 bingy  Icon User is offline

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Re: What are you reading and what is on your book stack to read?

Posted 24 November 2014 - 11:13 AM

Stranger in a strange land is another good Heinlein book to read. It deals more with Sci-Fi politics but is a great read.
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#695 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: What are you reading and what is on your book stack to read?

Posted 24 November 2014 - 11:14 AM

Hm. Now that I think of it, there are a few anthologies you might want to look for if you particularly like combat SF. Body Armor:2000 and Supertanks were two of them - and I think Haldeman might have edited those, now that I think of it. Certainly Marting Greenberg would have been involved as well.
Also, Keith Laumer's BOLO novels are basically a series of small novels about monstrous intelligent tanks, so probably worth a look.
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#696 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: What are you reading and what is on your book stack to read?

Posted 24 November 2014 - 11:27 AM

Quote

monstrous intelligent tanks,

Damn.. just.. damn. Added that to the list too.
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