all 46 comments

[–]d3rr 6 insightful - 2 fun6 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 2 fun -  (4 children)

Snow Crash, although it's been 15 years. I miss reading.

[–]Aureus 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Came here for this. Also The Diamond Age.

Blindsight is great as well, and free.

[–]Bitchcraft[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I also had a long bout of not reading, but it just took me a few days to snap back into it. If you don't have time to read like you used to (but want to go back to reading regularly), commit to reading on public transport, or anywhere else where you would normally be on your phone. At least that what's worked for me.

I will definitely check out Snow Crash at some point.

[–]Tums_is_Smut_bkwrds 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

My 2nd favorite Stephenson (sp?) book, after Cryptonomicon.

[–]d3rr 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Yeah that one is boss as well. I remember that all of the sudden you get to page 700 and there's a freaking drawing out of nowhere.

[–]Bitchcraft[S] 5 insightful - 2 fun5 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 2 fun -  (4 children)

I've recently re-discovered my passion for reading, in the last few weeks I've read:

  • Recursion by Blake Crouch. I loved this book, for two reasons: The "Fictional Science" in this book is not just window dressing, it facilitates a plot that wouldn't work without it. The writing is very credible, in the sense that the characters believable and the story never breaks its own rules.

  • The Martian by Andy Weir. While this book isn't too deep, it's really fun.

  • Enders Game by Scott Orson Card. Holy shit that book was bad. I just don't get how garbage like this gets to be a "SciFi calssic". The "Science Fiction" elements of the story add nothing. You could tell the same story of "boys in the space fight academy" in a "paintball summer camp" type of setting. Also, why does the protagonist being a "victim" in every circumstance excuse his behaviour? Because of the fanfiction-grade writing, that's why.

[–]Tums_is_Smut_bkwrds 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

I see that Recursion is the follow up book to Dark Matter. Do you recommend reading Dark Matter first?

FWIW Enders Game was a mind blowing read when it came out and Orsen Scott Card was a major SF talent. Unfortunately the book did not age well and now all of the themes feel trite, overdone, and overblown. But you have to take my word for it, it really was a genre changer. I don't think I could re-read any of Card's stuff now, actually.

[–]Bitchcraft[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

No, Recursion and Dark Matter are are completely independent.

Re Enders Game, I understand that it is a product of it's time. But reading it back to back with modern SciFi books made it look really unimpressive. I've vented about this book in this thread twice now, but I don't mean to imply that people who liked it have bad taste. There has to be a legit reason why it was so highly acclaimed, I just don't see it.

[–]Riva 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Did you read Ender's Shadow?

[–]Tetrahedron 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I second The Martian. I just finished reading it last week. I haven't read a book that fast in years.

[–]Tetrahedron 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

The Dune trilogy is one of the few SciFi books I have read. While they are quite a commitment, they're a great read.

[–]blue1324 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I really liked the first one, the rest not so much.

[–]neovulcan 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

Enders Game

Foundation Trilogy

Starship Troopers

The Worthing Saga

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

Jurassic Park

Cats Cradle

I Robot

[–]Bitchcraft[S] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

Jurassic Park

Wow, I didn't realize that was a book. I thought Spielberg wrote all that by himself. I'm definitely putting that one on my to-read list.

[–]neovulcan 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Michael Crichton is a truly fantastic author. I recommend any of his earlier stuff, haven't caught up on the later stuff yet. Even "Airframe" (where essentially nothing happened) was a pleasure to read the whole way through.

[–]Bitchcraft[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I had never heard of him. Thank you for pointing him out to me!

[–]blue1324 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I had forgotten about him, I'll need to look him up and see what he has done in the past 15-20 years.

[–]Maly_Querent 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Uhm let's see, i really love issac asimov's the foundation series. "The changling plague" by Syne Mitchell is also really good. I really enjoyed "dispossessed" "lethe(?)" and "the word for earth is forest" by ursula leguin uhm... octavia butler is cool, too. Kindred was cool, though that might be more speculative fiction than actual SF...

[–]Bitchcraft[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Thanks, I probably will be picking up the LeGuin stuff next. "Disposessed" is the first book in the series, right?

[–]Maly_Querent 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

It's not a series. These are individual stories with their own plot so you can begin wherever. "The word for earth is forest," was LeGuin's last book before she passed a couple years ago.

[–]JrBaconFatKid 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Starship Troopers, Anathem, Seveneves, Dune, Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and the Ender's Game series were all favorites of mine.

[–]StBlops2cel_is_Lord 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

The Adventures Of The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison. It changed my life.

[–]Tums_is_Smut_bkwrds 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

I loved that series. How does it read today though? A lot of that campy, fun stuff has been done and re-done so much that it's not fun to read any more.

[–]StBlops2cel_is_Lord 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

I haven't read it in 25 years, but I BECAME that guy, in a non-spaceship kinda way. I didn't care for the last book, but the first one was so amazing. I still live like a stainless steel rat in the drainpipe of society.

[–]Tums_is_Smut_bkwrds 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Your comment kicked off some nostalgia and I went looking for some Stainless Steel Rat to spend this rainy day with. I was surprised and saddened to find that for whatever reason I didn't keep any in my collection. Could have sworn I had at least 2 of them. But I do have Bill the Galactic Hero so that will do fine.

Interesting that you identified with Slippery Jim so strongly. So you actually became like him, or was it just fantasy? Honest question.

I can't think of the last time I saw one of Harrison's books on the rack so will resort to electronic, but man I really associate reading 'the classics' with paper or hardback.

[–]StBlops2cel_is_Lord 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

So you actually became like him, or was it just fantasy? Honest question.

without going into too much detail...yes, and the philosophy of how he lived still guides me, although it's not a conscious thing, it's just how I am/became. I have also seen it described as being a 'city panther'.

[–]magnora7 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

This short story from 1909 "The Machine Stops" has been ringing in my head lately after reading it a decade ago: https://www.ele.uri.edu/faculty/vetter/Other-stuff/The-Machine-Stops.pdf

[–]porthos 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

  • The Futurological Congress
  • The Dispossessed
  • Stranger in a Strange Land

[–]theFriendlyDoomer 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

I don't read the genre anymore, but I loved Asimov, Bradbury and Clarke. Dune was really powerful for me. Enjoyed Card's Ender series. I read a few of Heinlein when I was bit older and while they were okay, I wish I had read them when I was younger.

Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven is the pick I think that the fewest people here might have read. It's good science fiction while being the best fictional book about daoism I've ever read.

[–]Maly_Querent 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

"Lathe of Heaven" is amazing! I love the whole "dreams changing reality" thing. LeGuin, in general, is a fantastic writer.

[–]theFriendlyDoomer 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The concept was great. The way she handled it was even better. Highly recommended.

[–]Scrubjay 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Right now I'm totally into Neal Asher. Had never heard of him before, but bought one of his books at a library used book sale for 25 cents (because it had a coffee stain on a page), and am now working my way through the Polity. Can't get enough.

[–]Antifa 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Rise of the Jain is sweeeeet.

[–]GreatUnion 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Halo: The Fall of Reach

[–][deleted] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The Gap Cycle by Stephen R Donaldson. It's fucked up, it's bizarre; and it'll have you cheering on objectively terrible human beings before it's over.

[–]Antifa 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

James S A Corey - Expanse.

Stephen Baxter - Xeelee sequence.

Arthur C Clarke - Rama.

Greg Bear - Eon.

Peter F Hamilton - Void trilogy.

Asimov- Foundation series.

David Brin - Uplift Series

[–]soyboy77 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Ender's Game. Don't let the movie put you off. When you read it you'll realise it would be a nightmare to adapt and I've got to applaud the filmmakers for even trying. Love these types of posts, keep 'em coming. The enemy's gate is down.

[–]Bitchcraft[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

I just don't get what people see in Enders game. You are not the first to recommend it in this thread. I read the first one and currently I'm trying to force myself to read "Speaker for the dead".

To me it stands out as really bad (compared to other sci-fi classics) because there is no science fiction in it. Ender and all the other feel like cardboard cut-outs. If Ender is supposed to be gifted, why is he so stupid? One of the most important rules of good writing is "show, don't tell". Card tells us that Ender is a tactical genius, but his "tactics" are really unimpressive: He gets bullied by a fellow kid, and the only "tactic" he can come up with is to injure it to the point it dies? Or at the academy, when Ender hacks the internal comms system, the narrator simply informs us that Ender hacked the system through pure cleverness, but doesn't bother to illustrate how.

[–]soyboy77 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Yeah, I stalled on Speaker for the Dead too. Interestingly enough it's even more highly acclaimed (it won a Locus award). It's possible Ender's Game resonated with me because I read it at "the right time" in my life. If I read it now, it's entirely possible that it wouldn't hold up anymore and I'd be like wtf?

[–]VulpesLeonesque 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Chaga, by Ian McDonald. Meteorites carrying alien life arrive on Earth and start xenoforming it.

Shikasta, by Doris Lessing. All of Earth's history has been a proxy psychic war between competing alien empires.

Excession, by Iain M Banks, and in fact the whole Culture series. Grand space-opera. A machine-superintelligence civilization which keeps organic life such as humans like we keep pets, and their "in-play" (competing) neighbors.

The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman. Time-dilation causes a war with an alien race to last for most of human history; society has changed beyond recognition after every tour of duty, so everyone signs up for another tour.

[–]Tums_is_Smut_bkwrds 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Dragon's Egg by Robert Forward. Hard SF at it's best written by an actual scientist. Do yourself a favor and seek this book out, you will not be disappointed as it is both a delight and fascinating.

(Having recommended the book I'm now concerned that a modern reader might find it sexist or racist or one of the other labels that woke culture is so happy to throw out dismissively when a work of art does not match their current world view. If you're going to read it but not be willing to accept that the world and accepted sensibilities were different 40 years ago then do us all a favor and don't read it. It you can't look past your limited world view to enjoy something just for what it is then please spare us all.

To be clear I'm not saying the book is blatantly sexist or racist or whatever, but it is common for older works to feel like they are to the modern eye)

[–]blue1324 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Daemon by Daniel Suarez is really good. I would have never read it but a guy I work insisted. I read a lot and this was a standout. If you want funny then the whole Old Man's War series is pretty good.

[–]BigDawg 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Probably Foundation... Maybe Hyperion Cantos, not the most enjoyable (still really great) but it has stuck with me the most. It has such a unique blend of ideas mixed into the story.

[–]NewsJunkie 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

1984

[–]NorfolkTerrier 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Recently I enjoyed "The Sparrow" by Mary Doria Russell. Well, maybe "enjoyed" is the wrong word... It's a first contact story with a lot of interesting and quirky characters, and a real sense of joy in the exploration and discovery of a new world. But it also has religious themes and a whole lot of human suffering, and it can get pretty painful at times.

In some ways the bones of the story could be an average Star Trek plot (first contact with less advanced aliens, two species of aliens sharing a planet with one being oppressed, human explorers accidentally interfere), but the level of emotional realism is way beyond most sci-fi stories, and it results in a pretty unique experience.

[–]var_machine 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The Three Body Problem

The Punch Escrow

Snow Crash