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View Full Version : is there any actual new sci-fi?



ed
2006-06-13, 08:59 AM
can anybody recommend any new* sci-fi that isn't related to a licensed property? good old-fashioned space opera would be ideal if they're actually publishing any these days. i'm developing the impression that the only genre fiction being published these days is part of licensed properties. if hollywood is creatively bankrupt, the same charge could be leveled at US publishing, w/ equal if not greater justice.

ed

*by new, i mean "has hardcover pub date of less than 10 years old".

bosssmiley
2006-06-13, 09:03 AM
Dan Simmons "Ilium" gets raves from everyone I know who's read it. Should make the time myself...

Other than that, I'm stumped. I've been reading a lot of older stuff recently, sorry. :-/

ed
2006-06-13, 09:05 AM
heh...that's precisely my problem, too! thanks, i hadn't heard of that.

ed

Charity
2006-06-13, 09:24 AM
Stephen Donaldson's Gap series nearly meets your criteria. It's worthy of a read.

1. The Real Story: The Gap into Conflict (1990)
2. Forbidden Knowledge: The Gap into Vision (1991)
3. Dark and Hungry God Arises: The Gap into Power (1992)
4. Chaos and Order: The Gap into Madness (1994)
5. This Day All Gods Die: The Gap into Ruin (1996)


Though my Fav Author at the moment would have to be Iain M. Banks which definately qualifies.

Much of Banks' science fiction deals with a vast interstellar civilisation, the Culture, which he has developed in some detail over the course of six novels and a number of short stories.

Consider Phlebas (1987)
The Player of Games (1988)
Use of Weapons (1990)
Excession (1996)
Inversions (1998)
Look to Windward (2000)

His other, non-Culture, science fiction novels are:

Against a Dark Background (1993)
Feersum Endjinn (1994)
The Algebraist (2004)

Were-Sandwich
2006-06-13, 11:46 AM
Its pretty old, but I suggest The Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchett. The ending feels a bit Deus-Ex-Machina, but most of the book is good. It also makes a brilliant satire of the whole genre.

chionophile
2006-06-13, 12:02 PM
I'll second Charity on Iain M. Banks, really good stuff.

Check out Peter F. Hamilton's A Night's Dawn series, which consists of The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist and The Naked God. *One of the best space operas I've ever read, if that's what you're looking for.

Also by Hamilton, his more recent series, Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained, both excellent.

Get Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan too.

Edit: Oh, and if you don't mind straying into fantasy, George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire is easily at the top of the list. *Consists of A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows (although there are still three or four more books to come...)

Dr._Weird
2006-06-13, 02:00 PM
3 more books to come.

A Song of Ice and Fire would be the series I would reccomend, to anyone really, the books will keep you occupied, and though long, they're still quite enjoyable.

EDIT: Happy 1000th post birthday (To me!)

Forderz
2006-06-13, 02:20 PM
http://www.schlockmercenary.com/ is a lighthearted, ingrossing story with top notch characters, and real science. Sorta.

Varen_Tai
2006-06-13, 03:02 PM
http://www.schlockmercenary.com/ is a lighthearted, ingrossing story with top notch characters, and real science. Sorta.

I'll second this one. Schlock is delightfully funny and original. Plus, I know Howard personally, and he's just as funny and brilliant IRL.

[/blatant name dropping] :)

FuziSlipers
2006-06-13, 04:05 PM
Are you wanting strict sci-fi or would fantasy be welcome as well?

And I haven't heard of that Donaldson series! I still need to read his Thomas Covenant series but I loved loved loved the Mordant's Need books! If I'm getting anything misspelled or mistaken, though, forgive me. I haven't read them in a few years and I am probably in need of a good rereading once again.

There is always new fantasy out there. As far as the sci-fi side of things, if you haven't read Anne McCaffrey's "The Ship Who..." books or her Rowan books, then I would highly recommend those. I tend to lean nearer to fantasy than sci-fi, but McCaffrey is a genius in anything she does.

Edit: Except her Acorna books. I haven't read them because it annoys me that she is so focused on them while giving Pern away to her son. Hmph.

ed
2006-06-13, 04:57 PM
wow, thanks guys! i knew i could count on fellow gamers! :>

ed

RyleneCaleah
2006-06-13, 07:26 PM
Space Opera......

David Weber *The Honor Harrington series. *
Starts with "On Basilisk Station" *and runs on from there

Elizabeth Moon the Herris Serrano series.
Starts with "Hunting Party" *And again goes on....

Elizabeth Moon "Vatta's War" Series.
Begins with "Trading in Danger" and then "Marque and Reprisal" *Waiting for book three to get here (Had to order on-line)*

Try www.sfbc.com (Sci-Fi Book Club), at least for ideas. *They give you the blurb and reviews from club members. *Their books are hardcovers if you like them, much cheaper than anywhere else I've seen. *Or you can just use them for research and go to your local library/bookstore if you are lucky enough to have good ones near you!

Enjoy.

*

Hungerdog
2006-06-13, 07:37 PM
Have you considered old stuff that might be "new" to you?

E.E. "Doc" Smith-The Lensmen Series
Just about anything by John W. Campbell

Any of the myriad other writers from the "Golden Age" and pre-Golden Age of Sci-Fi.

You may very well already have devoured these old gems. If not, they are well worth the effort to find and the time to enjoy, IMHO.

CaptainSam
2006-06-13, 08:11 PM
Space Opera......

Elizabeth Moon the Herris Serrano series.
Starts with "Hunting Party" And again goes on....

Elizabeth Moon "Vatta's War" Series.
Begins with "Trading in Danger" and then "Marque and Reprisal" Waiting for book three to get here (Had to order on-line)


"Marque and Reprisal"? Huh? (Looks at Amazon) Ah, must be the American title. It was called "Moving Target" here in England.

Don't forget "Remnant Popluation". I've read most, if not all of Elizabeth Moon's books and keep re-reading them.I feel that she needs to write more and care for her horses less. But I'm selfish like that ;)

If you're looking for a sweeping space saga with ships, guns, drama, comedy, tradegy, good, evil, monsters, heroes, villains and derring-do, then give Simon R. Green's "Deathstalker" a try. It's not to everyones taste, but it's another series that I go back to on a regular basis. So much so, I might need to get some new books soon as they're wearing out.

On a side note: Rylene, have you seen the difference in covers between the US and UK editions of Moon's Serrano books? Which do you prefer? I always shudder when I see the US (http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/0671721763.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg) and the UK (http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/1857238818.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg) ones side by side. Maybe it's a personal preference thing, but I think they spent more over here.

waspsmakejam
2006-06-13, 08:16 PM
Any reason you don't like old science fiction?

I can thoroughly recommend:

"The Stainless Steel Rat" by Harry Harrison (lots of cool shooty bang bang stuff) also "Make Room! Make Room!" particularly if

The Foundation Trilogy (aka the first three foundation books!) and the "I Robot" collection by Isaac Asminov.

Dune by Frank Herbert (only the first one, forget the movie)

Also "Shadrach in the Furnace" by Robert Silverberg.

Anywho, if you are stuck for sci-fi, always check out the Nebula and Hugo award nominees and winners.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebula_Awards
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_award


Finally, try reading the back pages of any paperback books you like. The publishers put those adverts into paperbacks for a reason, they think you might like those too. And very often they are quite right.

ed
2006-06-14, 08:44 AM
hungerdog, waspsmakejam: the nature of the request is actually b/c a friend of mine got me wondering about the matter. i mean, hey, i like going back to checking out the classics just like any other geek, but at the same time, as an aspiring writer myself, it behooves me to know what the current state is, you know? :>

thanks, guys!

ed

Mr Croup
2006-06-14, 10:00 AM
There are definitely people writing new sci-fi. Check out www.365tomorrows.com. It's a website that posts a new sci-fi short story every day. Two of the writers are friends of mine, so I may be a bit biased, but there is some really amazing writing up there, everything from space opera to sci-fi horror.

RyleneCaleah
2006-06-14, 07:33 PM
"Marque and Reprisal"? *Huh? *(Looks at Amazon) *Ah, must be the American title. *It was called "Moving Target" here in England.

Don't forget "Remnant Popluation". *I've read most, if not all of Elizabeth Moon's books and keep re-reading them.I feel that she needs to write more and care for her horses less. *But I'm selfish like that *;)



On a side note: *Rylene, have you seen the difference in covers between the US and UK editions of Moon's Serrano books? *Which do you prefer? *I always shudder when I see the US (http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/0671721763.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg) and the UK (http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/1857238818.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg) ones side by side. *Maybe it's a personal preference thing, but I think they spent more over here.

Wow, I actually prefer the US title..... That doesn't happen often!

I usually do prefer the UK editions, they are just a little bit harder to get hold of for me. I already have my Mum sending me all kinds of stuff and books are low on the list if I can get them elsewhere.... Of course, UK editions must be better since they spell things properly :P

Can't say I've been comparing covers on either side of the atlantic recently (especially since I'm stuck in the middle of the Pacific!) but I used to see the differences at the used sci-fi/fantasy bookshop I frequented in my Uni days! I generally prefered the UK covers then.....

Gorbash Kazdar
2006-06-14, 08:15 PM
Stephen Donaldson's Gap series nearly meets your criteria. It's worthy of a read.
Hey! Another fan of the Gap series! I definitely second this recommendation. I'm probably an unusual case since I haven't actually read the Thomas Covenent books - I didn't know who Donaldson was when I picked up the Gap books, but I fell in love with the series pretty fast once I picked up the first book.

For another recommendation, particularly if you find that you like the Gap series, I'd suggest checking out Alastair Reynold's books, particularly the trilogy that begins with Revelation Space. It's followed by Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap. His work is very dark, gritty hard scifi space opera on such an epic scale it's difficult to describe. Of his other books, I've only read Chasm City, which is set in the same universe as the above trilogy; a few of its main characters show up in the latter two books as well. I would read Revelation Space before Chasm City to avoid some spoilers (which, IIRC, are relatively mild). None of these books, btw, are more than 5 years old. The first book of the trilogy is the strongest, and IMHO the last drags in places, but they're all solid books.

Charity
2006-06-15, 04:06 AM
Alastair Reynold's books, particularly the trilogy that begins with Revelation Space. *It's followed by Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap. *His work is very dark, gritty hard scifi space opera on such an epic scale it's difficult to describe.

*snip* Sounds like my cup of tea, if you havn't read Banks Gorby I think his work is outstanding, he also does some even better (IMHO) contemporary fiction,

The Wasp Factory (1984)
Walking on Glass (1985)
The Bridge (1986)
Espedair Street (1987) adapted for BBC radio in 1998 (directed by David Batchelor)
Canal Dreams (1989)
The Crow Road (1992) adapted for BBC TV in 1996 (directed by Gavin Millar)
Complicity (1993) filmed in 2000 (directed by Gavin Millar), retitled Retribution for its US DVD/video release
Whit (1994)
A Song of Stone (1997)
The Business (1999)
Dead Air (2002)

Corylus
2006-06-15, 08:49 AM
I would also give the Tim Powers book a look see if you haven't read them but they don't exactly meet our friend's criteria and aren't new.

Reading through the recomendations I'm somewhat amazed at how many of those listed I've actually read. ;D

storybookknight
2006-06-15, 12:21 PM
In addition to a lot of the stuff here (some of which is new to even me) allow me to recommend:

David Wingrove's Chung Kuo

Ben Bova's .... everything

Orson Scott Card - you've probably read it already, but if you haven't, why not?

Eric Flint - any and all, especially the series starting with 1632

Zelazny published some stuff postmortem recently, of which Lord Kai(I believe was the name) was my favorite. It's more of a fantasy novel than science fiction, but *shrug*

L.E. Modesitt Jr. never stops writing, and while his fantasy is on the low-magic gritty side, his science fiction is generally top-notch heavily scientific stuff.

As for Nebulas and Hugos... maybe I'm biased, but they never seem to get things quite right.

Gorbash Kazdar
2006-06-20, 04:41 PM
David Wingrove's Chung Kuo
I loved this series, but it is incredibly long. We're talking Wheel of Time level here. Also, IMHO, it suffers a bit in the later books - it's not as bad as Dune, but the last books aren't as good as the first few. It's been a while since I read the series, though.

Also, I think Timothy Zahn has a new book out - at least, I think I saw one at the news stand when I took a flight earlier this week. I've always liked Zahn's stuff - it tends to be a bit pulp-ish, more action/adventure space opera kind of stuff, but it's very well done in that style. It hits exactly the right notes when that's the kind of book you feel like reading. I can't speak to the new book (I can't even recall the title), but I've always had good experiences with his work.

Arian
2006-06-21, 02:02 AM
The Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold

Ryujin
2006-06-21, 05:38 AM
It's definitely worth your time to check out the Baen Free Library (http://www.baen.com/library/), which offers free e-book versions of many classic and recent SF & F works by David Weber, Eric Flint, David Drake, etc.; perfectly legal since Baen Books publishes these titles.

Also, if you have the money, you can subscribe to Jim Baen's UNIVERSE (http://www.baens-universe.com/), a short story SF & F anthology featuring many of today's leading writers such as Gregory Benford & David Brin.

This article (http://www.baens-universe.com/articles/editorial_one?PHPSESSID=7ac4b8dac3ce4481d468addf30 5ee58d) by Eric Flint should also explain in part the state of publishing in the US as it is today, in answer to the original poster's query.

Arian
2006-06-21, 07:39 AM
It's definitely worth your time to check out the Baen Free Library (http://www.baen.com/library/), which offers free e-book versions of many classic and recent SF & F works by David Weber, Eric Flint, David Drake, etc.

And indeed, Lois McMaster Bujold. Woot, "The Mountains of Mourning"! ;D

theswarm
2006-08-03, 12:26 AM
The Keys to the Kingdom series by Gareth Nix is very good.
Its a weird blend of sci-fi and fantasy involving a giant House with seven relms and seven Keys that the hero must gather. So far, four books have been published; Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday, Drowned Wendsday and Sir Thursday

Arian
2006-08-03, 03:31 AM
I like Keys to the Kingdom very much, but by what definition is it sci-fi?

waspsmakejam
2006-08-03, 01:52 PM
Just thought of a recent sci-fi book I really enjoyed - but its dystopian rather than space opera though, and (allegedly) for children:

The Supernaturalist by Eoin Coffler

sun_tzu
2006-08-03, 03:52 PM
I'll second this one. Schlock is delightfully funny and original. Plus, I know Howard personally, and he's just as funny and brilliant IRL.

[/blatant name dropping] :)
If webcomics are fair game, then I'd like to reccomend A Miracle of Science (http://project-apollo.net/mos/) - high-quality stuff, IMO at least.

King_of_Oz
2006-08-07, 04:50 PM
I recommend anything by Orson Scott Card, especially Ender's Game.

My theory as to the lack of new Sci-fi is that actual science is advancing faster than authors can come up with new ideas.

Kruxx06
2006-08-20, 11:55 PM
China Mieville has written some good stuff recently. His best in my opinion being Perdido Street Station

Anouther favorite of mine is Neil Gaiman, who has written Neverwhere (and a book called American Gods which I think is his best, but it's more fiction/fantasy than Sci-Fi)

Thiel
2006-08-23, 03:51 PM
Anything by Elizabeth Moon that you can lay your hands on.
Btw. Vatta's War book 3 "Engaging the Enemy" was released 30 Mar 2006.