Recommend me a hard sci-fi

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  • sirtacos 17 Nov 2012 15:30:12 7,205 posts
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    I'm after some 'grounded' sci-fi... the literary equivalent of Sunshine's first half (before it becomes shit), or Moon, or the non-prehistoric parts of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    It doesn't have to be scientifically accurate to a fault. Nor does it have to be full of technobabble. I'm looking for a yarn with a general feeling of authenticity, i.e.

    1) not set in 100'000 years in the future during an intergalactic civil war with the Empire of Glerg or some shit, and
    2) without any convoluted space politics.

    For example: two astronauts are on a spacewalk to repair a damaged solar panel on the International Space Station. They discover the source of the damage: a strange object. FROM THE FUTURE! (ignore that last part)

    Or... some guy is working the night shift at a SETI observatory. Suddenly, one of the computers picks up a mysterious signal: a rhythmic pulse spelling out a cryptic series of letters: FHUTA

    I just pulled that out of my arse, obviously, but you get the idea.
  • RyanDS 17 Nov 2012 15:37:36 8,698 posts
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    The mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • itamae 17 Nov 2012 15:40:28 9,827 posts
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    Rendevouz with Rama, by Arthur C Clarke. You're welcome.
  • Tonka 17 Nov 2012 15:47:39 19,840 posts
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    RyanDS wrote:
    The mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson
    This

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • Moot_Point 17 Nov 2012 15:48:27 3,503 posts
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    Dune. The end.

    ================================================================================

    mowgli wrote: I can't believe this is still going. I'm far too hungover for this. I did not poop on a chair lol!

  • sirtacos 17 Nov 2012 15:50:14 7,205 posts
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    Dune? Hard sci-fi?

    Thanks for the other recs though.
  • Deleted user 17 November 2012 15:57:16
    Blindsight by Peter Watts
  • wysie 17 Nov 2012 16:09:32 82 posts
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    Revelation space by Alastair Reynolds
  • orpheus 17 Nov 2012 16:12:10 984 posts
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    SuperLlamaFarmer wrote:
    Blindsight by Peter Watts
    Absolutely this - you can even read the whole thing free online - but it is very hard sci-fi. The actual story, and the ideas behind it literally blew my mind.

    Additionally, the Hyperion Quartet by Dan Simmons is amazing if you want a larger series to get through (omnibus editions are well worth it). Pretty much anything by Alastair Reynolds (my favourite sci-fi author of all time); start with Revelation Space (first part of a loose trilogy), Pushing Ice (standalone), or House of Suns (standalone).
  • Mr-Brett 17 Nov 2012 16:12:23 12,676 posts
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    Asimov's Robot Series and iRobot (it's nothing like the film) might fit the bill, they're not really heavy of the techno-nonsense, more about the psychology and characters within a sci-fi setting.

    I did read them a while ago though, so may not be remembering them entirely accurately.

    Portable view - Never forget.

  • sirtacos 17 Nov 2012 16:20:10 7,205 posts
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    Love Asimov, but I think I've gone through most of his stuff already.

    His Robot series was by far my favourite. The Complete Robot in particular (definitive collection of his robot-related short stories).

    And yeah, you're right - Asimov is usually light on technocrap and focuses mostly on character. Which is how it should be done IMO.
  • Maturin 17 Nov 2012 16:22:52 2,730 posts
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    The latest Peter F Hamilton is a real return to form. Is quite a good crime novel in addition to the sci-fi trappings.
  • Bedders Content Editor, Gamer Network 17 Nov 2012 16:34:15 102 posts
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    The Rama books are all excellent as has already been mentioned. The City and the Stars is also a good read.

    If you can get hold of a copy (good luck) of Tuf Voyaging that's one of my favourite Martin books. Slaughter House Five is excellent too and at the very soft end of the sci-fi spectrum.
  • AaronTurner 17 Nov 2012 16:40:09 7,521 posts
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    Rendezvous with Rama does sound ideal, I'd recommend it too.

    Talking about it, anyone seen the student trailer production of it on YouTube, looks amazing.
  • spamdangled 17 Nov 2012 17:42:38 27,197 posts
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    Would Altered Carbon count?

    If not, read it anyway. It's amazing.

    Edited by darkmorgado at 17:44:09 17-11-2012

    3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled

  • Lamb 17 Nov 2012 18:21:19 467 posts
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    You want to read some good sci-fi try some Hugo & Nebula awards winners & nominees.

    I read three scifi books in the summer

    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card they are also supposed to be making it into a movie.

    Blood Magic

    Leviathan Wakes

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebula_Award_for_Best_Novel

    http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/

    Google is your friend. The Arthur C. Clarke books are all great.
  • Maturin 17 Nov 2012 18:23:30 2,730 posts
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    AaronTurner wrote:
    Rendezvous with Rama does sound ideal, I'd recommend it too.
    Don't bother with the sequels though. Only co-written by Clarke and take the series off in a direction that to me doesn't seem right from the classic original book.
  • Lamb 17 Nov 2012 18:26:45 467 posts
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    I disagree the sequels with Rama were quite good. Clarke also cowrote the Times Eye trilogy and that was pretty good too.
  • meat_potatoe 17 Nov 2012 18:27:54 83 posts
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    Maturin wrote:
    The latest Peter F Hamilton is a real return to form. Is quite a good crime novel in addition to the sci-fi trappings.
    Is that the great north road? The kindle version is currently 2.40 on amazon.
  • Maturin 17 Nov 2012 18:30:46 2,730 posts
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    meat_potatoe wrote:
    Maturin wrote:
    The latest Peter F Hamilton is a real return to form. Is quite a good crime novel in addition to the sci-fi trappings.
    Is that the great north road? The kindle version is currently 2.40 on amazon.
    Yes. That's the one.
  • meat_potatoe 17 Nov 2012 18:34:54 83 posts
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    Bargain!
  • Maturin 17 Nov 2012 18:41:15 2,730 posts
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    Certainly is. Kindle version cost me a tenner a few weeks ago on release.
  • Kilters 17 Nov 2012 18:53:50 545 posts
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    Blindsight is the best hard scifi I've read in quite a while.

    The Gap series by Stephen Donaldson is excellent.
    Peter F Hamilton is very enjoyable as well.
    Charles Stross accelerando is good intro into his work and free online. Smart ideas.
    Stephen baxter is very hardcore.
  • phAge 17 Nov 2012 19:03:14 24,280 posts
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    Kovacs series by Richard Morgan are quite nice and pretty hard sci-fi.
  • disusedgenius 17 Nov 2012 19:12:36 5,140 posts
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    Ouroborus Wave is pretty interesting and readable hard sci-fi as well.

    Oh, and Forever War is an oldie but a goodie.

    Edited by disusedgenius at 19:16:12 17-11-2012
  • Bedders Content Editor, Gamer Network 17 Nov 2012 19:12:38 102 posts
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    @Maturin Agree that there's a dip after the first book yet I really, really enjoyed The Garden of Rama in a pulpy, trashy sort of way. Rama Revealed is a bit of a trudge too but worth it for the pay-off of the events just prior to Nicole's death, her being given privileged access to other species etc.

    It's not the most sophisticated 'humanity' sci-fi series I've ever read, but I think whatever charm each book has is unique to itself.

    I was sad for the series to end but I also know there's a fair bit of nostalgia clouding my judgement now - they were some of the first sci-fi books I read as a nipper, which is always dodgy territory when it comes to recommendations.

    Edited by Bedders at 19:14:30 17-11-2012

    Edited by Bedders at 19:19:56 17-11-2012
  • Mr-Brett 17 Nov 2012 19:22:15 12,676 posts
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    sirtacos wrote:
    Love Asimov, but I think I've gone through most of his stuff already.

    His Robot series was by far my favourite. The Complete Robot in particular (definitive collection of his robot-related short stories).

    And yeah, you're right - Asimov is usually light on technocrap and focuses mostly on character. Which is how it should be done IMO.
    Good stuff, I should myself read more of that series. I can't think of anything else to recommend right now.

    As for Hamilton, he's good at creating massive interconnected universes and has some interesting concepts but I'd say his actual stories and characters are a bit weak. After reading a few too many of his books I decided I'd finish the Void books (since I'd started) but stop there. So perhaps he has improved but personally I'd struggle to recommend him, especially for this thread.

    Portable view - Never forget.

  • nickthegun 17 Nov 2012 19:31:49 55,848 posts
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    The xeelee sequence by Stephen banter. A dozen books of diamond hard scifi.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    He totally called it

  • orpheus 17 Nov 2012 19:38:55 984 posts
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    BTW, here's the link for Blindsight:

    http://www.rifters.com/real/Blindsight.htm

    Do read the end-notes, some absolutely fascinating stuff in there.
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