I just got through reading Acts of the Apostles by John Sundman. It's his first book in a group (not exactly a series, but not discrete, stand-alone works either) of three.
It's a melange of different genres--action packed, Crichton-esque, page turner thriller; detailed, Neal Stephenson-style nerdery-$#@!-philosophy; a sort of technologically oriented detective story; and a helping of deliberate, borderline satirical social commentary. It has to do with Gulf War Syndrome, computer chip design (all you tech types will undoubtedly get more out of it than non-IT nerds, but speaking from the perspective of a non-IT nerd, knowingly missing the subtleties didn't detract from the overall enjoyment of the story), Borg-like assimilation plots by Bond villains, and it even has a little bit of the coitus sprinkled in for good measure.
It's self-published, so it's a little hard to find (maybe impossible--hell if I know, though for what it's worth, I struck out at a Borders and a B&N or two before ordering from the intertron) in mainstream bookstores, but his stuff can be found on Amazon as well as on his website: http://www.wetmachine.com/
He's also a pretty entertaining and engaging character on Twitter-- @jsundmanus
I'm planning on reading another book from the loose trilogy, The Pains (with the other book being Cheap Complex Devices) over the holidays and will report back...
I had forgotten about this one but the HeeChee saga by Frederik Pohl is a great series. The first book, Gateway, is by far the best, and I haven't read the one that came out in '04 (wasn't well reviewed), but the four original in the saga are excellent.
Totally agree with much on this list and will try to avoid posting repeats of previous suggestions. Here are some new books I've enjoyed recently. Buying a Kindle was the best and worst thing I've ever done. I'm poor in money, but rich in books!
Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim series is a gorier more booby filled version of the Dresden Files, which I also love.
Just finished Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht and really enjoyed it, magic set in the Irish Troubles
Naomi Novik's Terremaire series is a fun, light dragons in the time of Napoleon.
James SA Corey is the alias of Daniel Abraham and RR Martin's assistant, they published a book called Leviathan's Wake which is amazing space opera.
MJ Locke - Up Against It. Really fun and great sci fi.
Ernest Cline - Ready Player One - Video Games, geeks, and epic story.
Allen Steele's Coyote books - Really enjoyed some world building sci fi.
LE Modesitt JR - The Recluse books were fun, the Imager Books are great.
Peter V. Brett - Warded Man Trilogy. Just good old fashioned fun fantasy.
Tim Powers - I've always really enjoyed his books, but the Anubis Gates and Last Call are among some of my favorites of all times.
I've recently finished the first of the Ulysses Quicksilver books by Jonathan Green, Unnatural History in Abaddon's Pax Britannia series. Victorian Age manners in a steam-punk 1990's. It was pretty good and, apparently, there's a part of the series that takes place in the Americas as well.
could be partly teenage nostalgia, but I still go back and re-read the dark elf series by r a salvatore every few years.. especially the first two books. first book is homeland in case anyone interested.
I'm reading the genesis of shannara series by terry brooks now. first I've read of him surprisingly, but really enjoying it.
I've had a real blast reading any and everything by Kark Schroeder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Schroeder). In a nutshell, he writes very-far- future speculative hard scifi and he has some real fun with everything that allows. His very first novel Ventus* reads like fantasy for the first quarter, but it's just a clear demonstration Arthur C. Clarke's third law. His current series (Virga) is set inside of a fullerene sphere dotted with artificial suns, which may or may not be inside of a larger Dyson sphere.. but it's also a swashbuckling adventure series with zero-gravity airship navy vs sky pirate dogfights, and it's mostly the latter.
I'm trying to think of what my favorite book of his is, but to be honest it's a toss-up between all of his standalone novels. The Virga books are good (The Sunless Countries being my favorite), but not mind blowing like the first time I read Lady of Mazes.
*There's a free ebook version of Ventus on his website (http://www.kschroeder.com/weblog/my-...-ebook-version)
Last edited by Junon; 01-12-2012 at 11:42 AM.
This thread and the Kindle app on my new tablet are going to cost me a lot of money in the coming months.
In case anyone is interested in reading some excellent sci-fi pulp in advance of the March film release, the John Carter of Mars books by Edgar Rice Burroughs are all in the public domain and can be downloaded to the Kindle or Ipad for free.
I burned through Princess of Mars last night, and though it starts slow, it gets REALLY good by the end.
Really, I've never been more enthusiastic about recommending a 'new' scifi author.
Neverwhere was, I think, his best book. Door, Hunter, the Marquis De Carabas, and Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar were all great characters. Again, the main character, Richard Mayhew, was the weakest. He just kind of drifted through the story, with everything happening to him & him being nothing but a wooden block.
American Gods could have been his best work, but IMHO, it reads more like a first draft than a completed novel. Course, Gaiman sells tons of books & I post on a message board.
Stranger in a Strange Land is a book that time has not treated well. It was cutting edge and revolutionary for it's time, but it's shock value is lost on today's generation, including myself.
Anyone catch the Science Channel show 'Prophets of Science Fiction'? I saw the Asimov episode last night. Somewhat interesting but not great. I'm hoping the others are better.
^ The H. G. Wells one was fantastic. That guy was $#@!ing brilliant. He basically predicted many of the major innovations and some of the major events of the 20th century. He had vision that's for sure.
I'm new to this board but can't believe that its gone 5 pages without anyone mentioning Peter F. Hamilton. This guy is basically the George R.R. Martin of Sci Fi, but he actually finishes books.
His best work, in my opinion is, the Commonwealth Saga:
The above books are the best, but there is a subsequent trilogy that is also very good and part of the Commonwealth Saga.
The Dreaming Void
The Temporal Void
The Evolutionary Void
He also has another series dealing called The Night's Dawn, but it is not for the faint of heart:
The Reality Dysfunction
The Neutronium Alchemist
The Naked God
Finally, he also wrote a standalone novel that was very good and not related to either series above:
These books are some of the best Sci Fi I have read. All are pretty much epic space opera, but very adult in nature.
Also, I have read very few fantasy novels that I highly recommend but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the George R.R. Martin books and Patrick Rothfuss books that have already been mentioned. I don't know of any fantasy that comes close to those series (which are very different from each other).
Just finished A Canticle for Leibowitz. Fantastic book. I can't believe I missed it all these years. Left me with a profound sense of satisfaction and a vague sense of unease. Amazing cautionary tale and I can't quit thinking about certain aspects. That's good literature. I shouldn't be surprised since I've never read a bad Hugo winner.
Just stumbled onto this thread....add me to the "Ender's Game" groupies. Also, re: that NPR list -- any "top 10 sci fi / fantasy" list that leaves Arthur C. Clarke off is worthless. "Childhood's End" is one of the best novels I've ever read, sci fi or not.
And no sci-fi list is complete without Fahrenheit 451.
Most of the top reads have been mentioned but if you liked Hyperion, I'd suggest Dan Simmons' Illium & Olympos, an amazing sci-fi series that shares a lot from Homer, Shakespeare & Proust.
I don't think I saw Ender's Shadow mentioned, but it's my 2nd favorite book in the Ender's Game series.
I highly recommend the Jason Wander series by Robert Buettner. Its five books, all quick reading all highly entertaining. Series follows the military career of the main character who was orphaned during an alien attack (yes exactly like Starship Troopers which the author acknowledges). Some of the funnier sci-fi stuff I have read in a while.
I have a suggestion you fantasy wonks and fiction-gays: get a job. Then with your little pay check, go buy a second hand how-to book about self finance. Then you'll really be learning and living.
Do you THujone Knight of the $#@! suggest savings in precious stones, manna, or the King's Gold?
Mayhaps privateer's gold?
I'm also looking into a new sword for my quest to find the Lute of a Thousand Voices, should a finance, pay cash, offer my servitude to a Master, or just use the sword my father gave me on my 14th name day on the summit of Mount Dra'flarioys?
My gratitude. May the Lord of Love and Light Reign for all the Moons and May his blessings and grace shine on you, Sir Knight.
I'll hang up and listen.
Just read "The Hungering Saga" by Heath Pfaff.
Decent read, popped up as a recommendation on Amazon.
My debut novel, The Time Weaver is an action packed fantasy.
I also support a local charity with my royalties, so it's double good for you guys. A portion of my royalties from every sale goes toward Austin, TX based The Helios Initiative, a charity that provides free PC's to underprivileged children and families.
Here's the pitch:
It started with a car accident.
What should have killed thirty-year-old Seth Alkirk, instead causes time to stop. He didn't know what was happening as he took in the frozen world around him. He didn't know why he was the only one who could move, or breathe, or see what was going on. But when a rift opens in the middle of the intersection, and a vicious twelve-foot-tall creature steps through into his world, Seth does know one thing for certain...
He has to run. Or die.
Enter Galadir, a parallel world where magic rules. Discover a kingdom in danger of being overrun by a massive army. And follow Seth as he discovers he's not human - but a Time Weaver who can change the balance of the coming war, if only he can learn to control his powers in time.
Thomas A. Knight has spent most of his life either immersed in or building fantasy worlds and bringing characters to life.
From Middle Earth, to the skies of Pern and beyond, no world is too great a challenge for him to conquer. His favourite places include a pair of worlds that spawned from his own imagination, one of perpetual light, and one of perpetual darkness.
When he is not living a life in one of these worlds, he is a husband, father of two little girls, software developer, and avid role-player. He grew up and currently resides in a small town in Ontario, Canada. Holding a diploma in Network Engineering from a private college in Toronto, Ontario he currently works as a software developer at one of the world's leading vinyl siding manufacturers.
I know they've been mentioned many times, but I'll put my two cents in for the Kingkiller Chronicles. I thought the two books published so far were incredible. Oh, and Martin can't be beat either.
Just started a book called "Cordyceps" by Ian Duncan.
Is about the Cordyceps fungus making the leap from insects to humans and the ensuing panic etc that ensues. Pretty entertaining and an interesting take on the traditional viral/CDC outbreak zombie genre.
I read The Windup Girl in the last month. Strong dystopian vision, good writing. Worth the time, IMO.
SIAP but I thought the Night's Dawn trilogy was awesome.
I just read Orson Scott Card's new Earth Unaware, which is a prequel to the Ender series. It's actually one of the best new books I've read in quite some time. OSC goes into the right amount of detail about the right type of things. In some cases the detail was about something I didn't know I cared much about until he described it. I can't wait for the next one in the series whenever it comes out.
Just finished a book called Wool by Hugh Howey, which is 5 short stories put into one book. It's a fantastic post-apocolyptic book that revolves around people that live in a silo. Each short story in the book tends to follow different characters along a chain of events. Pretty sure I picked it up for cheaper than the $5.99 it is on Kindle now, but I still highly recommend it. In April, a new book came out in the series that starts a new chain.
So, I decided to get around to reading the Riftwar series. Why the $#@! is the original trilogy not available on Kindle?
Just picked this up cheap on the Kindle and I'm surprised at how good it is so far. Definitely worth the 3 bucks.
Football .. OC .. Basketball .. Baseball .. Other Sports .. RC Didn't Offer .. Gamboool
Varsity .. Hole in the Wall .. PCL .. Einstein's .. Nasty's .. GM Steakhouse .. NSAA .. Classics
Bada Bing .. Bernard .. Nerdz .. Can you help me with this? .. Shagslist .. Cloak Room .. Bellmont