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Alastair Reynolds / Hard Sci-Fi - 23/6/2009 4:10:44 PM   
JessFranco


Posts: 2523
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: London
Alastair Reynolds has just been given a ten-year, million-pound, ten-book deal by the publishers Gollancz.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/jun/22/alastair-reynolds-million-pound-deal

I finished his debut novel, Revelation Space, yesterday and enjoyed its mixture of "hard science fiction" and epic space-opera more than i had anticipated. I'm not a huge sci-fi reader and have relatively little knowledge of physics but i found it fairly interesting and though-provoking, working reasonably well as straight pulp drama too.  Any fans? Is it worth investing the time in the rest of the five-part series or his other work?

Are there any other particularly good hard sci-fi writers to be looking out for?

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RE: Alastair Reynolds / Hard Sci-Fi - 25/6/2009 1:26:33 PM   
BigKovacs


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From: Textile Street.
Stephen Baxter is very good hard sci-fi apparently. I've only read one of his books, Evolution and found it to be very interesting 'factually' and fairly entertaining as far as the story goes so assuming the rest of his work is similar I'd reccommend him.

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RE: Alastair Reynolds / Hard Sci-Fi - 25/6/2009 3:45:50 PM   
JessFranco


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From: London
Excellent, thanks.

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RE: Alastair Reynolds / Hard Sci-Fi - 25/6/2009 6:56:12 PM   
homersimpson_esq


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From: Springfield
I read Revolution, Space a few years ago, and enjoyed it. Tried the second book, and was unsure. And found the third unreadable. Maybe my tastes changed (I didn't read them right after each other), but I found the books to be far more weighted towards the "science" at the expense of the "fiction". That is, it was boringly technical.

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RE: Alastair Reynolds / Hard Sci-Fi - 26/6/2009 7:51:24 AM   
ilovebeerme


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I've read all his books outside the series - Pushing Ice, Century Rain, House of Suns, The Prefect - and enjoyed them all to varying degrees.

Iain M Banks (Consider Phlebas to start), Dan Simmons (Hyperion), Kim Stanley Robinson (Mars Trilogy), Asimov (Foundation) are all good.

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RE: Alastair Reynolds / Hard Sci-Fi - 26/6/2009 7:58:51 PM   
Mogwai


Posts: 671
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Northern Ireland
To be able to write good science fiction is hard; to write good hard science fiction takes a very talented writer. All science fiction, properly done, is difficult to do well but hard science fiction walks a thin line between, what Homer said as "boringly technical" and a well-written story.

For example, Stephen Baxter, while he has some interesting ideas his writing fails him. I find his novels nothing more than a science book with a few one-dimensional characters thrown in. Hell, even the "grandfather" of hard science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke wasn't a very good writer but he knew how to how to deliver a story.

I would recommend Hyperion by Dan Simmons. A wonderful writer and definitely top ten science fiction novel. Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy (good call ilovebeerme) these novels could have easily been as exiting as a school science textbook but instead it has characters and plot you believe in.

Another nod for Iain M. Banks and if you find you enjoy Banks then try Ken MacLeod. One of the best hard science fiction writers is Greg Egan, his novels often revolve around quantum mechanics, post-humanism and AI among other things, try Permutation City or Diaspora.

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RE: Alastair Reynolds / Hard Sci-Fi - 27/6/2009 11:05:55 PM   
norters the red


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Joined: 8/4/2009
From: Liverpool
Chasm City is one of the greatest things I have ever read.

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Your scientists have yet to discover how neural networks create self-consciousness, let alone how the human brain processes two-dimensional retinal images into the three-dimensional phenomenon known as perception. Yet you somehow brazenly declare that seeing is believing!

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RE: Alastair Reynolds / Hard Sci-Fi - 28/6/2009 9:57:42 AM   
hozay


Posts: 3374
Joined: 13/10/2005
From: the long,dark teatime of the soul
I read Diamond Dogs,Turqoise Days,Tales from the Revelation Space Universe within the last year and honestly had to grab it off the book shelf to remind myself what the story lines were.Diamond Dogs I really enjoyed while reading it but I gave up on Turqoise Days through a lack of interest.I'm sure I read Absolution Gap some time ago as well.
If by Hard Sci-Fi you mean heavy on the technical side then I'll go with beer and second the Foundation series and Iain M Banks (although I preferred Against A Dark Background).I'd also suggest M.John Harrison's Light and you really can't go past Arthur C.Clarke - Rendezvous With Rama,magnificent and The City And The Stars which I'm actually reading now,almost finished,brilliant ideas and so well written.

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RE: Alastair Reynolds / Hard Sci-Fi - 3/7/2009 5:02:37 AM   
ilovebeerme


Posts: 4531
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Magic Beans
The City and The Stars was great. As is Rama (but not the sequels!)

I recommend Iain M Banks just generally. Starting with Consider Phlebas is a good intro but don't miss all the others (Use of Weapons, Agaianst a Dark Background, Player of Games, Look to Windward all superb).

I agree with Mogwai about Baxter. I really tried but I just didn't care. At all.

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