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Getting back into SciFi after a few decades...

  1. Jan 2, 2017 #1
    ...and need help. I like Heinlein, Niven, Pournelle, Zelazney, John Varley, folks of that ilk. I don't care for thud and blunder books that much.

    Suggest new writers for me, please! I've got a good long string of down time coming up and I'd like to have something to read.
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  3. Jan 2, 2017 #2


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  4. Jan 2, 2017 #3


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  5. Jan 2, 2017 #4


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  6. Jan 3, 2017 #5
  7. Jan 3, 2017 #6
    Well World, etc., yeah.

    I see I haven't made myself very clear, sorry. I'm looking for authors who have come to prominence in the last few decades, ones with styles similar to the ones I mentioned in the OP.
  8. Jan 3, 2017 #7


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    If you're looking for new(er) authors and books:

    - Charles Stross does very good SF and urban/lovecraftian fantasy that often features some critique of modern life and the SF genre in general.

    - Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice trilogy is very well received (I love it but acknowledge the first is quite different in focus from the second and third). It's protagonist is the single surviving unit of a hive mind, the chapters taking place when she was complete are quite interestingly written given her multiple points of view.

    - John Scalzi's Old Man's War series is a well put together, ongoing military SF story that might sit well with you if you're used to MilSF. Pretty straight shooter this one, well written soft SF where humanity is at war with almost every other species in the local region (who are also at war with everyone) over control of rare habitable worlds.

    - Not quite so new but I'd recommend Peter Hamilton, particularly his Night's Dawn trilogy. Gritty space opera with a good level of realism vs fantasy. His Commonwealth books (starting with Pandora's Star) are also good, there's several of them now set in different eras so there's a lot to go through.

    - Greg Egan is good if you're looking for SF with a heavy physics focus (and I mean heavy). I'd suggest Quarantine and Diaspora to start, the former is about applying neural "implants" to the observer effect and the latter about virtual beings colonising the universe and trying to discover the fundamental nature of it as they go.

    For further recommendations it would be good to know what kind of stories you're looking for, any particular themes or settings? Also is it just science fiction you're looking for or are you interested in fantasy as well (you mention Zelazney who I've not heard of but from wiki appears to have mainly written fantasy)?
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  9. Jan 3, 2017 #8
    Thanks, Ryan! Scalzi sounds interesting to a retired CPO.

    I tried Hamilton's Pandor's Star and simply lost patience with him. Too many threads in one book for me, plus I didn't notice it was a triology, so cube that.

    Not interested in fantasy, btw.
  10. Jan 3, 2017 #9


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    If you prefer straight forward plots with a single protagonist then Old Man's war sounds like it's for you. It is a series but the first is a self contained story, it also doesn't take long to get into the action. Chapter 1 has the protag sign up for the army and by chapter 2 he's leaving Earth.
  11. Jan 3, 2017 #10
    Thanks. The last military "fiction" I read was Bill the Galactic Hero. :biggrin:
  12. Jan 3, 2017 #11
    Found An Election on Kindle for $0.99. Sample time.
  13. Jan 3, 2017 #12
    Go out and buy (or subscribe, or get electronically) either Asimov's SF magazine or Analog (hard SF, my preference). You'll get back up to speed very quickly on what's happening now, and find authors you like by reading short stories or novellas. (Or serials, which end up being novel length). There's also a section that reviews stuff that has come out recently or writes about SF written around a particular theme.

    I haven't read it much lately because I was catching up on all the recommendations!

    -Dave K
  14. Jan 3, 2017 #13
    Sounds like a plan!
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