Ajar said:it's the hardest of hard SF, written by a PhD in marine biology with a 15-page referenced appendix at the end.
Can't wait. It's pretty much guaranteed to be excellent.Ajar said:I hear Vinge is writing a sequel to A Fire upon the Deep, too.
I've maxed my non-fiction quota for right now. After playing the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game earlier this year I bought a huge stack of books about the Chernobyl accident and tore through them all. Ghastly but fascinating reading. Of all of them I recommend "Chernobyl: Confessions of a Reporter" by Igor Kostin (a photojournalist's memoir,) and an incredible book of collected accounts called "Voices from Chernobyl" edited by Svetlana Alexievich.Ajar said:I've also started picking away at Robert Fisk's gigantic The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East, but that one's going to take a while.
He sounded familiar, so I looked him up. In my early teens, I borrowed Distress from the library and just couldn't get into it. I hadn't thought about him since, until just now. I'll add him to my SF reading list after Stross. Thanks!David Miscavidge said:Ever read Greg Egan? I loved Permutation City, though it smacks you in the face with a really intense biochem lesson in the first 15 pages and is interspersed with some really heavy physics stuff. Fantastic book
I found it hard to start Blindsight, as there was some comment about "now in the future that we've abolished all silly concepts like religion" near the beginning that turned me off of it. I'm eventually going to get back to it though. I just wish I could find more hard sci-fi that actually dealt with the issue of human spirituality instead of dismissing it.Ajar said:I've never been one to evangelize books, but I've gotten four or five friends to read Blindsight and every one has liked it. One said 'It kicked my ass" -- it's the hardest of hard SF, written by a PhD in marine biology with a 15-page referenced appendix at the end. It's also available free on Watts' website [http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts.htm] (along with much of the rest of his body of work) under a Creative Commons license, in case you can't find a copy at a library or in a store.
I highly recommend the Ender series by Orson Scott Card then. He certainly doesn't dismiss it. Ender's Game is great fun, and the sequels have an entirely different tone but are amazing stories.Alex Karls said:I just wish I could find more hard sci-fi that actually dealt with the issue of human spirituality instead of dismissing it.
The series only improves (in my opinion) from the beginning. I would recommend it to anyone. And yes, Akka remain (by far) the warmest character, and my personal favorite.Ajar said:Hey, Landslide, I read The Darkness that Comes Before and didn't love it -- are the second and third books any different? Does at least one sympathetic character emerge from somewhere?
I don't need them to be white as snow, but I do like to be able to sympathize at least a little bit with at least one character. I disliked everyone in The Prince of Nothing. But the world was great, so if it gets better as you go I'll probably finish the series at some point.Archon said:As far as sympathetic characters, I found the characterizations in The Prince of Nothing series to be part of the appeal. I'm so tired of books where the protagonist is white as snow.
Greg Bear has written some fairly recent hard sci fi (read: science extrapolation). Slant [nanotech] and Darwin's Radio [quantum leap human evolution] come to mind.TomBeraha said:I highly recommend the Ender series by Orson Scott Card then. He certainly doesn't dismiss it. Ender's Game is great fun, and the sequels have an entirely different tone but are amazing stories.Alex Karls said:I just wish I could find more hard sci-fi that actually dealt with the issue of human spirituality instead of dismissing it.
Good Omens, a collaboration by Neil Gaiman, and Terry Pratchett, is wonderful. To this day, 6 years after reading it, various bits of the book will pop into my head and make me laugh, smile, or ponder. As I understand it, Pratchett's influence is the humor, but Gaiman provides the meat. Since reading that, I've picked up absolutely everything I can get my hands on that Gaiman has written, without touching another Pratchett book. I highly recommend it.bok said:Anyway I have a stack of Terry Pratchet books lying around, I've read one or two and I enjoy the odd humour but they never feel 'satisfying' to read through.
When Da Vinci Code first came out I thought that it was going to be more than a bunch of barely strung together historical baloney. Man, it was hardly more likely than Connections! http://www.amazon.com/Connections-James-Burke/dp/0743299558/ref=pd_bbs_2/105-4349407-3026011?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1188949282&sr=8-2 Oh well, maybe it drove a few people to Cryptonomicon. http://www.amazon.com/Cryptonomicon-Neal-Stephenson/dp/0060512806/ref=pd_bbs_1/105-4349407-3026011?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1188949319&sr=8-1Geoffrey42 said:And about Da Vinci Code. All I can say is, I'm terribly sorry for the loss of your innocence, and best wishes to restoring your faith in the world of literature. Having managed to avoid the book, I still get the feeling that the world would be better off without Oprah or Dan Brown and their contributions to "reading" as a popular thing to do. I'm all for literacy, but really. I mean, come on.