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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

Sci-Fi Book Club Recommendation Part 2

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03 Aug 2017 20:42 - 03 Aug 2017 20:49 #252110 by Da Bid Dabid
It is again my turn to choose a book for the sci fi (supposedly sci-fi/fantasy but no one has ever chosen a fantasy novel... maybe 5th head of Cerberus kinda counts). Last time I asked on this site I got flooded with a great wealth of information that was extremely useful. So I figured I'd ask again if anyone has anything else or new to add. I ended up choosing Lord of Light for that selection and it went over quite well, also I read Altered Carbon on my own and enjoyed it.

Original Thread: fortressat.com/forum/43-books-comics/198...ndation?limitstart=0

The books we have already covered list:
Neuromancer
Embassytown
A Fire Upon the Deep
Moon is a Harsh Mistress
The Difference Engine
Shards of Honor
Lord of Light
5th Head of Cerberus
The Watchmen
Left Hand of Darkness
The City & The City
3 Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
Ready Player One
The Collapsing Empire

People HATED The Difference Engine and Ready Player One, with everything else being fairly positive overall. I would actually like to pick something that may have split reviews as the group kinda tends to all like it or all dislike it. Would really be interested if there were split opinions to discuss. Anyway I was leaning possibly toward The Dying Earth or Foundation as they both have been titles I'd been interested in but never got around to reading. Guide me wise FATies.

Edit: After reviewing the old thread I also have Blindsight and the Ted Chiang short stories as likely picks.
Last edit: 03 Aug 2017 20:49 by Da Bid Dabid. Reason: research

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03 Aug 2017 20:54 #252111 by repoman
The Foundation is an all time classic and is one of my favorites, Asimov's Caves of Steel is also great.

The Martian Chronicles is some of the very best as is Fahrenheit 451.

Wanna feel terrible...try Orwelll's 1984

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03 Aug 2017 22:45 #252117 by Shellhead
The Dying Earth won't be a controversial pick for your group. Jack Vance is widely admired for his prose, and the stories are good, too. If your group is focused on science-fiction, his setting does raise an interesting question of where to draw the boundary between magic and high technology.

I only read the first book in the Foundation trilogy, and I don't think that I finished it. Asimov is great at coming up with ideas, but is less successful at writing characters. His fiction is often dry, though I enjoy reading his non-fiction writing.

I still stand by my previous recommendations. The Mote in God's Eye poses some very interesting ethical questions that your group might enjoy discussing. When Gravity Fails is set a couple of centuries in the future, but almost feels contemporary, with the pervasive cell phones and the gender issues.

One more suggestion: Afterparty, by Daryl Gregory, is a relatively recent book that has interesting things to say about pharmaceuticals.

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03 Aug 2017 23:36 #252120 by Sagrilarus
The Mote in God's Eye by Pournell and Niven. Great fiction in the golden age sense of sci fi. Predicts the smartphone.

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04 Aug 2017 00:25 #252121 by Not Sure
It's not hard sci-fi, and might even trend more "otherworld fantasy", but I cannot recommend NK Jemisen's The Fifth Season enough.

It's pretty recent, and is really a trilogy (third book comes out this month), but the first book holds together on its own just fine.

One of the best new novels I've read in a long time.

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04 Aug 2017 04:39 - 04 Aug 2017 04:41 #252125 by Nodens
+1 fpr 1984, should be some interesting discussions about that. I mean, it's more a history novel today than scifi.

You guys should also cover Neal Stephenson and Iain M. Banks. Recommendations:
Snow Crash is just furious and it's got a nice mind bending through NLP thing going.
The Diamond Age is about the future of reading and class.
seveneves might provide the controversy you're looking for. It's as hard as scifi can possibly get, which means incredibly boring if you're not into the technical stuff, but if you happen to be in space when desaster strikes it contains all you need to know to survive. Also, it's actually more of a prologue. The most interesting chapter for me was the one after the last one, that one that never got written.
Use of Weapons and Consider Phlebas are both masterpieces. Use of Weapons about the personal side of warfare in advanced societies, Consider Phlebas is maybe the fastest novel to get from A to B under heavy fire.
Last edit: 04 Aug 2017 04:41 by Nodens.

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04 Aug 2017 10:40 #252130 by engineer Al
I support many of these recommendations, especially DYING EARTH, FOUNDATION, MOTE IN GOD'S EYE, and the Ray Bradbury stuff. Some of my other favorites include:

MORE THAN HUMAN - Theodore Sturgeon
THE STARS MY DESTINATION- Alfred Bester
THE EINSTEIN INTERSECTION- Samuel Delany
UBIK - PKD
CHILDHOOD'S END - Arthur C, Clarke
SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5 - Kurt Vonnegut

These are all great books that should ignite some interesting conversation. ENJOY!
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04 Aug 2017 11:12 - 04 Aug 2017 13:35 #252133 by RobertB
I might have mentioned these before:

Startide Rising - David Brin's best novel. It's kind of like The Matrix, in the sense that you should stop there. The rest of his Uplift series is kind of mediocre.

The Stars My Destination - A classic. (Edit: engineer Al beat me to it)

The Book of the New Sun - I recently reread it. Thought it was okay 30 years ago, but now think it's one of the best fantasy series out there.

Voyage of the Shadowmoon - It's sold as part of a series on the cover, but it's fine as a standalone fantasy novel. Out of left field, and it is one of the most entertaining books I've ever read. I might dig it out and read it again.
Last edit: 04 Aug 2017 13:35 by RobertB.
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04 Aug 2017 11:26 #252134 by engineer Al
Heh. Just looked back at the original thread and I see I made pretty much the same recommendations. Good for me! :)
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04 Aug 2017 11:35 #252137 by Black Barney
if you guys want a good recommendation for some excellent sci-fi novels about vampires on valium, just ask

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04 Aug 2017 11:57 #252138 by OldHippy
Anyone recommended 'The Three Body Problem' yet? I haven't read it but all my friends keep bugging me to read it. I'll get around to it maybe next year. I've heard great things about it.

For fantasy I'd highly recommend 'A Voyage to Arcturus' by David Lindsay.. a very early (1920) what you could call proto-fantasy maybe.. before fantasy was set in stone as a particular thing.. book. It's absolutely fascinating and has some great moments in it. There is nothing quite like it and it is a sadly under-recognized book despite it's huge influence on Lewis, Tolkien, Moore... I think you can get copies pretty easily even if it's OOP for the hundredth time. Here's a little write up that Moorcock did about it in the Guardian.

www.theguardian.com/books/2002/aug/31/fe...ews.guardianreview20

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04 Aug 2017 12:30 - 04 Aug 2017 12:31 #252139 by barrowdown
THE FALL OF THE TOWERS, BABEL-17 or DHALGREN by Samuel R. Delany, because Delany is awesome. If your group liked stuff like Fifth Head of Cerberus, then this is probably a good fit. Otherwise, more stuff by Gene Wolfe (particularly the above recommended BOOK OF THE NEW SUN) is great.
Last edit: 04 Aug 2017 12:31 by barrowdown.
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04 Aug 2017 14:22 - 04 Aug 2017 14:23 #252141 by southernman
Asimov's Caves of Steel and then The Naked Sun are two related books (same characters) that are short enough that you could read both. My Sci-Fi introduction in my teens were Asimov books so I have a fond spot for them, I recently re-read the Foundation Trilogy and it was good as it was 30 odd years ago.
Another one from my book-reading years was theScifi/Fantasy Many-Coloured Land series but I'm sure there has been a lot of books written since then ...
Last edit: 04 Aug 2017 14:23 by southernman.

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04 Aug 2017 15:15 #252143 by Sagrilarus
I enjoyed Caves of Steel too.

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04 Aug 2017 16:37 - 04 Aug 2017 16:37 #252144 by southernman

Sagrilarus wrote: I enjoyed Caves of Steel too.


Did you not read the following one The Naked Sun ? I liked the detective theme to them, and a bit of casually hidden racism from the main character.
Last edit: 04 Aug 2017 16:37 by southernman.

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