literary sci-fi recs

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Postby Kenny » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:56 pm

I haven't read any other but the first and I fuccin loved it
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Postby bongo » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:56 pm

Dead_Wizard wrote:"A Cantlcie of Liebowitz" is the top of the tower for me. I will say that "St Lieobwitz and the Wild Horse Woman" is kind of insane, but I genuinely enjoyed it. There are some BEAUTIFUL sections clearly culled from Henry Miller Jrs notes.

Kingsley Amis' "The Alteration" is awesome; takes place in a world where the reformation never took place and the Catholic Church has a stranglehold on society, gating technology and creating a sort of proto steampunk reality without all the Victorian elements. The plot focuses on a young child set up to join the castrati. Love how America is portrayed in it.

Barry Malzberg's "Galaxies" is an incredible piece of sci-fi metafiction that also works as a standalone story. Kind of a critique on the genre centered on a spaceship pilot trapped in a black hole.

While I wasn't totally happy with it, Thomas Klise's "The Last Western" was one of the more interesting things I read last year. Long outta print, it's the story of a young baseball player from New Mexico who ascends to the Papacy in a very weird cyberpunk reality. Bloated but some cool stuff in the mix. Kind of reminds me of Underworld x Pynchon at points, but with some really goofy elements.

dunno why so much of this stuff is about/by catholics....


yesss thank you
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Postby bongo » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:57 pm

what are the best non dhalgren delaneys
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Postby Kenny » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:57 pm

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Postby Dead_Wizard » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:58 pm

I can't stand Vinge's stuff either. I find it too jargonistic and drawn out, and the parallel plots always leave me wanting to skip ahead.

I finally read Hyperion last year and I'd recommend it though it's kind of ridiculous. I liked that William H Gass is the most celebrated writer of the 20th century in it.
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Postby hoopdog » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:00 pm

just fyi we have a sci fi thread already, some good recs in there!

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=112096
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Postby internetfriend » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:00 pm

iambic wrote:player of games is actually coherent and probably my favorite banks overall (especially the description of the end stages of the final game), whereas iirc use of weapons is a weird remix of stuff he wrote much earlier on in his career: he went back and diced up a more straightforward book and gave it the strange alternating forward-and-back timelines. it doesn't hang together. plus I'm not sure the identity twistToggle Spoiler actually adds anything, whereas it recontextualizes a lot more in player.

big time agree, especially with the forward-and-back thing. it didn't feel like any of the characters or setpieces were solid enough to really cushion those big jumps between timelines
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Postby internetfriend » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:00 pm

bongo wrote:what are the best non dhalgren delaneys

i liked babel-17 very much
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Postby messier object » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:01 pm

bongo wrote:you know actually i havent read sword and citadel - are those as good as the first ones?

they're great

wolfe's fifth head & peace too
also most of the rest of delany
cecelia holland's floating worlds is pulpier but i like it
those two sloane books nlrb put out, rim of morning i think
brunner's late sixties stuff is increasingly bleak to read
strugatskys
malzberg
wyndham & priest
ksr's pacific edge and the rest of three californias tho it's pretty early 90s-hokey
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Postby messier object » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:03 pm

baleen wrote:
Kenny wrote:Man, Bingo, read this book actually:
Image

I hope you haven't read it already yet so you still have it in front of you


I don't want to get in a fight about this but I cannot stand these books so YMMV

i'm with baleen, they're fun to read but they're soooo dumb
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Postby blurst of times » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:03 pm

i know i plug him in all of these types of threads, but ted chiang is the best. his stories are like, black mirror-style thought experiments, but he manages to write in a way that's both grounded in actual science and surprisingly humanistic at the same time

check him out if u liked arrival at least
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Postby joe » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:04 pm

m john harrison - viriconium
dễ dàng wrote:CHẾT TIỆT
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Postby bongo » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:04 pm

hoopdog wrote:just fyi we have a sci fi thread already, some good recs in there!

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=112096


gah yeah i know, i guess i was wanting literary sci fi but idk thats probably a dumb distinction
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Postby joe » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:05 pm

i think there probably could be a distinction, but given the recs in this thread there appears to not be much of one
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Postby Eyeball Kid » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:06 pm

Dead_Wizard wrote:Kingsley Amis' "The Alteration" is awesome; takes place in a world where the reformation never took place and the Catholic Church has a stranglehold on society, gating technology and creating a sort of proto steampunk reality without all the Victorian elements. The plot focuses on a young child set up to join the castrati. Love how America is portrayed in it.

Amis also wrote a number of good sci-fi short stories, though as far as I know The Alteration was his only novel-length stab at the genre. (He did write The Green Man, but that was horror. If there's ever a thread for literary horror, I'd recommend it!)
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Postby joe » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:06 pm

the stars my destination is relatively pulpy to me, for example. but i love pulp
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Postby messier object » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:08 pm

oh i meant to add michael swanwick and howard waldrop also
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Postby internetfriend » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:08 pm

joe wrote:i think there probably could be a distinction, but given the recs in this thread there appears to not be much of one

yeah

i feel like "literary sci-fi" will turn up plenty of (good) stuff like stanislaw lem or, like, borges but delany and stars my destination usually just get categorized as good-ass scifi i think and are very much in keeping with the stuff in the other thread

if you like stars my destination you should read demolished man, too!
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Postby bongo » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:09 pm

ok i will!
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Postby Kenny » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:09 pm

I really really don't like Hyperion so I guess we're even
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Postby bongo » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:09 pm

demolished man is an absoly sick title
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Postby messier object » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:09 pm

the SF book club threads are good for this kind of stuff viewtopic.php?f=1&t=67026 & viewtopic.php?f=1&t=53949
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Postby Sobieski » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:11 pm

Olaf Stapledon
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Postby Kenny » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:11 pm

Let's do a 2018 book club, I'm all about reading a bunch of books this year
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Postby hoopdog » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:13 pm

i would do this
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Postby manvstrees » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:14 pm

Read roadside picnic
Flutehampton will turn out to have always been relished by women who dwell in or near to the past. This is where The Little Reptiles were digitally collected. In recent decades it has become a popular photographic background whenever a maverick cop marries a hooker with a heart of gold.
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Postby Sobieski » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:16 pm

I just found out about Brian Aldiss who’s some british new wave guy? I guess I’ll read his stuff
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Postby largecrow » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:07 pm

Kenny wrote:Tales of the Dying Earth inspired Book of the New Sun and is also one of my favorite books ever:


Do you prefer the short stories, Cugel saga, or that Rhialto the Marvelous stuff at the end? I love all of it but deep down I'm a hard Cugel stan
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Postby largecrow » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:09 pm

Second Roadside Picnic. Anybody read that newly translated(?) Strugatsky book 'The Doomed City'?

Lathe of Heaven, The Dispossessed by Le Guin. Really enjoy all of Gene Wolfe but his later fiction (Home Fires, Sorceror's House) doesn't get recommended often and is absolutely worth checking out.

Michael Swanwick's "The Station's of the Tide" is surreal and powerful.
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Postby iacus » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:11 pm

bongo wrote:what are the best non dhalgren delaneys


Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, the Neveryon series; and i love his non-fiction too. The collected About Writing book is the best thing i've seen a writer write about writing and has long digressions on sci-fi. I'm a real big fan of delany though.

His pre-dhalgren novels are really fun and sometimes very good, but in hindsight clearly the work of an immature artist.
(there was a hyperbole)
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