Sci-fi book recomeendations
Don’t really rate the Baroque cycle (although I’m a big NS fan in general). Classic case of all a writer’s faults being on display with few of his strengths. It’s actually boring for long stretches, which is unheard of for a writer of Stephenson’s wit and style.
Quicksilver is one of the most disappointing books I’ve ever read, actually, when you look at the trajectory his writing was on, prior to.
Loved anathem, although it’s a bit ropey in structure. Superbly imagined work IMHO. Reamde is total shite, but that was more an experiment by NS to write an airport thriller so it’s not like it was a failure from that perspective. Intriguing to see what he will do next.Posted 4 years agoCountZeroMember
re: Stevenson, I didn’t get a lot from REAMDE either. But loved most everything else.
I really enjoyed REAMDE, but failed to really connect with his books after Diamond Age.
I think pretty much anything I could possibly think of to recommend has already been covered, now.
Actually, I’ve just thought of a really good series of books, well worth anyone’s time, the ‘Okies’ series, by James Blish:
Perhaps Blish’s most famous works were the “Okies” stories, known collectively as Cities in Flight, published in the science-fiction digest magazine Astounding Science Fiction. The framework for these was set in the first of four novels, They Shall Have Stars (first UK publication under the alternative title of Year 2018!), which introduces two essential features of the series. The first is the invention of the anti-aging drug ascomycin; Blish’s employer Pfizer makes a thinly disguised appearance as Pfitzner in a section showing the screening of biological samples for interesting activity. (Pfizer also appears in disguise as one of the sponsors of the polar expedition in a subsequent book, Fallen Star). The second is the development of an antigravity device known as the “spindizzy”. Since the device becomes more efficient when used to propel larger objects, entire cities leave an Earth in decline and rove the stars, looking for work among less-industrialized systems. The long life provided by ascomycin is necessary because the journeys between stars are time-consuming.
They Shall Have Stars is dystopian science fiction of a type common in the era of McCarthyism. The second, A Life For The Stars, is a coming of age story set amid flying cities. The third, Earthman, Come Home, is a series of loosely connected short stories detailing the adventures of a flying New York City; the title piece was selected as one of the best novellas prior to 1965 by the Science Fiction Writers of America and included in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two.
For his fourth and final installment, The Triumph of Time (UK title: A Clash of Cymbals), Blish set the end of his literature’s universe in AD 4004. (The chronology in early editions of They Shall Have Stars differed somewhat from the later reprints, indicating that Blish, or his editors, may not have planned this at the beginning of the series.) A film version of Cities in Flight was in pre-production by Spacefilms in 1979, but never materialized.
Has lots of interesting tec, like the Spindizzy Drive, that allows an entire city to become a spaceship.Posted 4 years ago
I think I first read them at school, a really excellent writer, Blish wrote quite a lot of stuff.
E.C.Tubb’s ‘Godwhale’ is also really worth looking out.matthewjbSubscriber
I struggled with Anathem (Cryptonomicon being my favourite) and am scared I’d not enjoy his “Baroque Cycle” books –
Personally I preferred the Baroque Cycle to Cryptonomicon. If you’ve got at least a slim grasp of history it’s great. I’ve read them all at least three times.
Anathem was hard work for the first 3rd or so. Then it took off.Posted 4 years ago
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