What Sci-Fi Book Are You Reading?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
I wish someone would pay me to read ^_^
That's pretty much what's going on with me lately. I get in to work, no one gives me any jobs, I collect my salary and read Kindle books on my work computer...
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
Just finished reading "Passage to Arms" by Glen Cook. It was similar in style and feel to the the first Black Company book (the only one I've read), just in a military sf setting. It was a very claustrophobic read, and I thought his style fit the cramped and stress inducing conditions of the ship environment very well, maybe even more so than in "The Black Company".
 
Last edited:

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
I just finished Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. I love Abraham's fantasy so I was pretty sure I would like this but I actually loved it. I am not a huge fan of Sci-Fi and prefer fantasy. The exception is Hyperion which may be one of the best books I have ever read. I like my sci-fi like I like my fantasy... "low." The less science and the more fiction the better.

Leviathan wakes is to me, a plot driven story with excellent characters and the sci-fi setting is really the backdrop for a great story. What I liked most about it is how believable and immersive it was. Nothing groundbreaking, but a really enjoyable read and there was more than enough there to make me want to continue with the other novels in the series. Okay...back to fantasy for a bit....
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
I just finished Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
You know what; I think this is what I need right now (plot driven story with great characters). There's the added bonus I already own it, so might pick this up next-ish. After reading a couple books I've not been overly enamoured over, I've kinda decided to return to Malazan and read Blood and Bone next, but this sounds the kind of thing I want to sink my teeth into after (despite the great recommendations I've had in the 'I like this so recommend me this' thread).
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
I'm slowly working my way through Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh. I'm on page 37 and although it hasn't been terrible so far, I can say that if this does turn out to be a good read then that has nothing to do with the writing style.
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
I'm slowly working my way through Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh. I'm on page 37 and although it hasn't been terrible so far, I can say that if this does turn out to be a good read then that has nothing to do with the writing style.
"Cyteen" is not the best place to start with Cherryh's Alliance-Union universe. I also found it a little more difficult to get into than most of her other novels. The best place to start would be the first one published, "Downbelow Station" - there's also a prologue which gives a very succinct account of the setting and history for most of her stories. Many of her novels in the Alliance-Union universe take place during the Company Wars between Earth (and it's holdings) and the Union (of which Cyteen is the capital) with the Merchanters stuck in-between. Most of the novels can be read as stand-alones, though there are a few that need to be read in order; most notably, "Hellburner" after "Heavy Time". Also, "Rimrunners" can be read as a stand-alone, but you'd get more out of it by reading it after "Downbelow Station". It's a very interesting and detailed future history. One of my favourites.
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
"Cyteen" is not the best place to start with Cherryh's Alliance-Union universe. I also found it a little more difficult to get into than most of her other novels. The best place to start would be the first one published, "Downbelow Station" - there's also a prologue which gives a very succinct account of the setting and history for most of her stories. Many of her novels in the Alliance-Union universe take place during the Company Wars between Earth (and it's holdings) and the Union (of which Cyteen is the capital) with the Merchanters stuck in-between. Most of the novels can be read as stand-alones, though there are a few that need to be read in order; most notably, "Hellburner" after "Heavy Time". Also, "Rimrunners" can be read as a stand-alone, but you'd get more out of it by reading it after "Downbelow Station". It's a very interesting and detailed future history. One of my favourites.
So should I just start with the Company Wars series then? If I remember correctly that series came earlier in publication order.
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
So should I just start with the Company Wars series then? If I remember correctly that series came earlier in publication order.
Well, the novel "Cyteen" is part of the Alliance-Union or 'Merchanter' universe (a firmly Union based story), and closely related to the Company Wars era itself. You could read it before the others. I would prefer that you start with "Downbelow Station".

Other stand-alone stories in the Alliance-Union setting, though along the periphery of the main-sequence Company Wars novels, are: "Voyager in the Night", "Forty Thousand in Gehenna", "Serpent's Reach" and probably a few more; even the science-fantasy, sword & sorcery novels featuring Morgaine.

It's a little confusing since Cherryh wrote many of her novels in a haphazard manner, and set her stories in different time periods as she expanded her A-U universe. To me, her novels don't fit the definition of a series, per se. I would group them together in themes.

I say start reading the main-sequence books, those stories set during the Company Wars. At least, start with "Downbelow Station" since that should give you a much clear introduction to the setting of this future.

Some of her Company Wars novels include:

"Downbelow Station"
"Rimrunners"
"Tripoint"
"Finity's End"

and a few more. They can be read independently - except you should read "Heavy Time" and "Hellburner" in order. Reading in order of publication is always a safe bet.

Hope that helps.
 
Last edited:

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
That does help. I'm probably not going to read her stuff for a long time as she has written lots and lots of novel and I recently read a sample of Revelation Space and that looked infinitely more interesting than Cyteen.

How many of her books have you read?

And how would you rate her in comparison to other sci fi authors in terms of style, consistency, and ideas?

I was also thinking that I might start with the Compact Space series when I read her again.
 

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
Finished The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner. Was left with mixed feelings on this one.

On the one hand, the story was interesting. Even innovative, considering it's a 1984-style cyberpunk novel written in 1975.
On the other hand, the writing felt uneven. There were flashes of brilliance along with tedious bits. It also didn't help that the author used slang words along the way. I have no idea if that was how people talked in the 1970's or if the author thought that people will talk that way in the future (the future in the book being roughly our time) but it made the reading so much more difficult.

I also had some issues with the ending. In my view, the book should have been concluded around the 85% mark, and the last 15% were unnecessary.
I think this book would have been much better as 50-70 pages novella rather than a full book.

Started The Long War by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett and so far, this book has the exact opposite problem of The Shockwave Rider - Yes, the writing is eloquent and flowing, but sadly, so far I find it not very interesting. Hoepfully it will pick up later.
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
...I recently read a sample of Revelation Space and that looked infinitely more interesting...
I'm a Reynolds fan. I've read his entire oeuvre except for the current unfinished trilogy and would heartily recommend him. His "Revelation Space" books (a trilogy, two independent novels, a short story collection and two novellas) are great space opera with a higher emphasis on science and technology (the dude used to be an astrophysicist at the Space Research and Tech Center/European Space Agency in the Netherlands. We're talking space opera in the 'epic' sense of ideas here, as well. His future history is also quite complex and is presented as a dystopia because of the "Melding Plague" that has spread throughout the major, and most prosperous, part of human civilisation (not Earth). No worries, that wasn't a spoiler. Only his novel "The Prefect" takes place before the era of this nanotech virus. And some of the stories in his collection "Galactic North" give really good, important background info on two of the main types of society that branch out from the basic norm, specifically in the story "Great Wall of Mars". The protagonist from the short GWoM is a major character in the 2nd and 3rd books of the trilogy, and you get his history from the short story, which was published at a much later date - you could read that one story before you start the trilogy - it wouldn't spoil anything, rather add.

Of his independent, non-RS books, I really like "Pushing Ice" and "House of Suns".

How many of her books have you read?
And how would you rate her in comparison to other sci fi authors in terms of style, consistency, and ideas?
A lot...probably around 15 of her novels (including her 3 Morgaine books, which are disguised as sword & sorcery). Like I said, I liked her science fiction works which were set in her Alliance-Union/Merchanter universe and I read most of these in my late teens/early twenties. What I particularly liked about Cherryh was the care she put into the details of adapting life in space (space stations/ships). Her novels have elements of space opera, some 'harder' science aspects, some novels work as thrillers, a couple are more military sci-fi, some are very fantasy-like, and some of the novels on the fringe of her Alliance-Union universe are just plain weird. She has a diverse range.
I was also thinking that I might start with the Compact Space series when I read her again.
No idea about this.
 
Last edited:

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
So, I ended up reading the first Vorkosigan book by Lois McMaster Bujold, "Shards of Honor", which deals instead with Miles Vorkosigan's parents. It was a fast read and really wasn't that bad. The romance angle to it was restrained, which I liked, and I found the female protagonist to be a strong character. I was most impressed by the last 10 pages of the novel, the epilogue - it ended up being quite moving.

Now, I've got to decide if I'm going to start the second Ian Cormac novel by Neal Asher, the 4th Dresden installment or "The Etched City" by K. J. Bishop.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
Reading The Ultra Thin Man by Patrick Swenson (I think that's his name, anyway). A freebie from Tor. Release date is tomorrow. First real full-length sci-fi read in awhile and just the right kind of book for me jumping back in. Part noir-style detective novel, part political thriller, that just happens to have some aliens and advanced technology (which is, for the most part, not explored in enough depth to irritate me). A quick read and not too long, so a nice sci-fi counterpart to all the Dresden Files books I've been reading lately. Sort of has a Babylon 5-style political system (i.e., couple of races of aliens who are mostly friendly to humans, and one race gave advanced technology for fast space travel to humans, plus a union of planets/colonies with a sort of central government). Since I haven't read much sci-fi lately, I don't know how original it is (I suspect not very original), but I'm finding it enjoyable and easy to get through.
 

guilty_as_charged

A farm boy with a sword
Just finished Ender' s Game by Orson Scott Card. I picked it up because I recognized the near to broaden the spectrum of books I've been reading this summer (I'd been limiting myself to classics.) I must say I was pleasantly surprised with the book, as I enjoyed much more than I expected. I found myself able to relate to Ender' s personality and his challenges.
Now I'm on to reading the Maze Runner, due to the recommendation of a friend. I'll let you know how it goes.

guilty_as_charged
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
I decided to start on the 2nd Ian Cormac novel that takes place in Neal Asher's Polity universe. I'm about halfway through, and my interest has waned a just a little bit. I'm not digging any of the major ground battle sequences at the moment. It was great until all these new characters were suddenly introduced, and now I feel like I'm wasting time following their points of view. Besides this con, some of the technological advancements in genetics that he showcases, specifically for adapting to extreme environments, are great. Very imaginative!
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
Got a couple on the go at the moment. Reading The Martian (Andy Weir), and The Ghost Brigades (John Scalzi) - sequel to Old Man's War.

Only 50 pages and 6% in respectively, but enjoying both - liking the writing styles (but knew I'd like that of The Ghost Brigades after really enjoying Old Man's War)

I've forgotten why you said you didn't like The Martian @Hand of Fear ... but will refrain from looking back to earlier posts for the time being, for fear of spoilers!!
 

Zymologist

Has been in the eye of the world
The Martian looks, to me, like one of those books that will bore me to tears but simultaneously be really interesting*. A lot like Neal Stephenson's Anathem.

*I'm not sure how this is possible, but it totally is.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.