It's 2015 - What Sci-Fi book are you reading?

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
#1
Since Kenubrion is too much of a sentimentalist, and Boreas is probably on vacation on the GCU Officer I swear I was only doing 50, it falls to me to open the long-awaited new annual sci-fi thread. I figure that if we'll get a lot of responses we could make a new one every few months, so let's play it by ear.

Anyway I'm not reading anything sci-fi at the moment, but I'll get to The Martian in a few days. This year I also plan to read more Culture books, and as for anything else - We'll see.

Oh, and @TomTheBeliever (or any other mod, really) - make this one sticky, will you?
 

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#3
I'll be on to The Fall of Hyperion some time this month.
Oh, you will be enjoying that! Great book.

but I'll get to The Martian in a few days.
I'm reading it now, and really enjoying it.
Personally I think it's the best sci-fi book of 2014!I already envy you guys for being able to read it a first time.

I'm currently 25% into Consider Phlebas at the moment. Really liking the writing by Banks, but I have to adapt to the longer chapters again after reading lots of short books with lots of chapters.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#4
I also started "The Martian" yesterday ... And finished it this morning.

Awesome book, well written, funny, nerdy, with just the right amount of suspense. I could literally not put it down.

Best regards,
Andy
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#5
Have read "Ancillary Justice" and also enjoyed it quite a bit. So much, that I have now moved on to the sequel "Ancillary Sword".
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#6
I was gallivanting around on the Very Fast Picket But I didn't Shoot the Deputy.

"The Martian" and "Ancillary Justice" are both on my list. "Ancillary Justice" is more of a priority. I bought the book last year and then realised that it's part of a projected trilogy. So, I'm waiting until a short while before the third installment is published before I start on those.

Haven't been doing much reading the last couple of weeks. I did manage to finish off a self-published title I picked up, "Arc Royal" by Christopher Nuttall that actually wasn't so bad. Very light, fluffy, military sci fi with a strong Battlestar Galactica feel. Decently written, just a few editing mistakes, and it allowed me to shut my brain off which is just what I was looking for. I will probably pick up the sequel. I recommend this over the Lost Fleet books, as Nuttall's writing is smoother, with better dialogue (to be worse than the dialogue in the first two Lost Fleet books would require effort) and more believable characters with some decent development.

I've still got three books going. I've been reading a little from each of them the last couple of weeks. Still on "Eisenhorn" and "Musashi" and I also started a new author (for me) "Singularity Sky" by Charles Stross. I've been watching more TV shows lately.
 

atheling

A Poet of the Khaiem
#7
I finished Neuromancer. It was cool. I don't have much more to say, as it turns out. I was going to say something thoughtful about "cyberspace", but it ran away and hid and I can't find it now.

I probably won't read any more of this stuff. The crazy gimmicks would only start to pile up and contradict each other like Star Trek episodes, and it would start to suck. That would be a shame. Right now it's lovely, so I'll leave it there and move on to something else.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#8
@Boreas, I think you will like "The Martian".

Have finished "Ancillary Sword", and it was not bad ... but not as good as "Ancillary Justice".

Funny, the beginning of the book actually promised more than the first book in the series, but the end was lacking for me. Not really an end, more a small climax and lots of open threads to be knotted up in the final book of the series (while the first book would deserve, IMO, to stand alone, without really requiring a sequel).

So @Boreas, IMO you could go ahead and read it. Good book.

Best regards,
Andy
 

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#9
Have finished "Ancillary Sword", and it was not bad ... but not as good as "Ancillary Justice".
Not really an end, more a small climax and lots of open threads to be knotted up in the final book of the series
I didn't even know it was going to be a trilogy. I did have the same feeling concerning Ancillary Sword, the first book was better and plotwise the sequel didn't really add anything substantial.

I have finished Consider Phlebas yesterday. I liked the book, but wasn't blown away by it. There was some predictability in the story and the character developments. I didn't mind really, but it was there nonetheless. I'll continue this series, but not on any regular basis.

Moving on with The Waking Engine by David Edison. Only just begun so I'll refrain from articulating my thoughts so far.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#10
I was gallivanting around on the Very Fast Picket But I didn't Shoot the Deputy.

"The Martian" and "Ancillary Justice" are both on my list. "Ancillary Justice" is more of a priority. I bought the book last year and then realised that it's part of a projected trilogy. So, I'm waiting until a short while before the third installment is published before I start on those.

Haven't been doing much reading the last couple of weeks. I did manage to finish off a self-published title I picked up, "Arc Royal" by Christopher Nuttall that actually wasn't so bad. Very light, fluffy, military sci fi with a strong Battlestar Galactica feel. Decently written, just a few editing mistakes, and it allowed me to shut my brain off which is just what I was looking for. I will probably pick up the sequel. I recommend this over the Lost Fleet books, as Nuttall's writing is smoother, with better dialogue (to be worse than the dialogue in the first two Lost Fleet books would require effort) and more believable characters with some decent development.

I've still got three books going. I've been reading a little from each of them the last couple of weeks. Still on "Eisenhorn" and "Musashi" and I also started a new author (for me) "Singularity Sky" by Charles Stross. I've been watching more TV shows lately.
Glad to hear that about Nuttall since my first try didn't pan out, and I was hoping such a prolific author would be a favorite. I'll try Arc Royal at least as a sample and keep my fingers crossed. He must be like Sanderson, writing with both hands, as his output is amazing. A new author for me who I like results in a long period of reading bliss as I tend to read everything they wrote, to the exclusion of all else, if I like them. Iain M. Banks was the last author that I read that way once I started with Consider Phlebas. I even read a couple of the Iain Banks ones but they don't compare to the Culture for me.

Just finished the superb Abyss Beyond Dreams, in the middle of Bradley's Darkover short opening book The Planet Savers, and have Golden Son pleading to be read, but I like to savor for a while one's I know I will love. Still haven't gotten to Words of Radiance or Fell Sword or Tower Lord even though I pre-ordered each and they're waiting.
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#11
I'll try Arc Royal at least as a sample and keep my fingers crossed.
I'll send you my copy if you want. It actually wasn't bad as far as fluff goes. It kept my interest all the way through, and I was pleasantly surprised by the character treatment. I mean, it really is like Battlestar Galactica (I don't know if it's a subconscious homage, or a conscious sci fi exploitation novel): you have your alcoholic captain, an ambitious, politicking XO, complicated relationships/sex between pilots, an old throwback of a ship (the Arc Royal is an important name in British naval history - it was the flagship of the British fleet in the battles against the Spanish Armada - I just learned this in a celebrity episode of Mastermind that I watched a few days ago - and I think there's always been a ship named the Arc Royal since) that turns out to be the only defence against an enemy with superior technology, a crew made up of navy misfits, etc, etc. I think the actual battles and tactics were better in the Lost Fleet books (also with a very strong BSG feel), but this first in a series by Nuttal is better written, relatively speaking. The political set-up of the various Earth nations is also interesting. I wouldn't actually recommend it, unless you just *have* to read military sci fi, or you're looking for something super light to pass the time.

For better military sci fi, I can recommend Glen Cook's "Passage at Arms" that I read last year. Very claustrophobic, intense and exhausting. Made me really feel like I was in a submarine (though it takes place in space), and really made me appreciate the fact that most of the time, it's all about the nerve-wracking waiting. Or, as Banks so aptly satires with one of his war ship names, "Killing Time".
superb Abyss Beyond Dreams
Superb and PFH just don't go together.
 
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Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#12
Oh, and how is your Neal Asher reading coming along? With about 12 books in his Polity universe, you have a treat ahead of you, if you enjoy his works. I really do like his books now. Of course, it can't compare to Banks, but very little can. I'd say Asher and Reynolds are kind of similar: Asher is more action oriented, whereas Reynolds is more big concepts. Of the British authors dealing with large canvas science fiction, I reckon Reynolds and Asher are the best after Banks. I think Reynolds deals with his concepts a little more elegantly than Asher (who is quite Culture-like in his Polity premise). Asher, like PFH, uses a hodgepodge of science fiction tropes, and borrows freely from ideas already used by Banks and Reynolds, but does them really well, with a fresh take.

Banks > Reynolds ≥ Asher >>>>> Hamilton
 
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Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#13
Red Rising. That's sci fi, right? I just bought it because it was on Kindle special. Trying to clear out some of these books I bought on special before buying more.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#15
I like it so far (about 20% in). But. I think this is the sort of story I've read a dozen times before.

The Hunger Games comes to mind. Maybe also Mistborn.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#16
Oh, and how is your Neal Asher reading coming along? With about 12 books in his Polity universe, you have a treat ahead of you, if you enjoy his works. I really do like his books now. Of course, it can't compare to Banks, but very little can. I'd say Asher and Reynolds are kind of similar: Asher is more action oriented, whereas Reynolds is more big concepts. Of the British authors dealing with large canvas science fiction, I reckon Reynolds and Asher are the best after Banks. I think Reynolds deals with his concepts a little more elegantly than Asher (who is quite Culture-like in his Polity premise). Asher, like PFH, uses a hodgepodge of science fiction tropes, and borrows freely from ideas already used by Banks and Reynolds, but does them really well, with a fresh take.

Banks > Reynolds ≥ Asher >>>>> Hamilton
Thanks for the offer of Arc Royal. I'm in Kindle Unlimited so it's free. Going to start checking it out later today. I liked the first two Polity books, the prequels I guess, Prador Moon and Shadow of the Scorpion. Didn't get far in Gridlinked and can't remember why I set it aside. Probably got distracted by the ten-star masterpiece The Abyss Beyond Dreams.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#17
I like it so far (about 20% in). But. I think this is the sort of story I've read a dozen times before.

The Hunger Games comes to mind. Maybe also Mistborn.
I liked the first 20%. It was the last 80% I had problems with.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#20
Half way into Neuromancer. It's weird. I don't like the writing style, it feels choppy and disconnected. It doesn't flow at all. Maybe that's on purpose. It does create a certain atmosphere because of it.
I'm also not connecting to any characters, I couldn't care less what happens to them, if they live or die.
That's bad. I realized that no matter how atmospheric the book is (think Night Circus for example) or how big are the concepts, if the characters don't make me care it's game over.
I would love to hear some suggestions on character driven science fiction books.