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Submitted on
July 3, 2013


3 (who?)
I love a great SF read. A book that not only inspires me and opens my mind, my also pushes me through its pages at blinding pace because it's just too good to put down. Such great reads are rare… which is both a curse and a blessing.

The curse is, of course, there aren't enough great reads. If only every book could shine that brightly! The blessing is that we don't have to suffer the same withdrawl symptoms all the time. When I finish a great read, I want/expect my next read to be just as good. It almost never is, leaving me feeling a bit lost and depressed.

Note use of the word "almost". I just had a rare double-header of great SF novels: James S.A. Corey's "Abaddon's Gate"… and Ranez Naam's "Nexus"…. I heartily recommend both… though be warned, each one will probably have you itching to read the sequel by the last page. "Nexus'" sequel… comes out in August. The next James S.A. Corey Expanse book won't be out for AT LEAST a year.

But that brings me to the interactive segment of this blog. What are the Really Great SF books you've read in the past couple of years – the ones make you sad when you realize you've digested the last word on their last page and/or the ones that seem to call you back for a re-read, if only to relive some of its reader experience? Care to share?

And finally… on the subject of sharing… here are my recent picks for really cool deviations. Explore and enjoy!

CNSA Nanking by Abiogenisis North American B-70b Valkyrie by bagera3005 Richard Nixon fighting a Saber Tooth Tiger by SharpWriter Neuromancer cover : update by sourgasm <da:thumb id="381585614"/> The Rock Rats by TK769 <da:thumb id="376434062"/> ICAN-II by SMPritchard VA104 by yakonusuke National Supersonic Dream by jactoc Kassandra by GrahamTG Warbot by Lenzerwin Pulp by fanlay CALIBAN'S WAR by dana-redde Cover to The 5th Beatle GN by Andrew-Robinson Kalle Linnaeus ASV-01 by AtomicGenjin Cowboy Bebop: Faye Valentine. Realism. by Shilesque Flight from the Imperial Palace by Colourbrand Earth religions beyond the milky way -Buddhism. by V4m2c4 It Approaches.... by CyberRaven MM45 /  Benoit Godde Concept Artist by Benoit-Godde Yellowjacket Destroyer by Reactor-Axe-Man Shuttlecraft - Microbus by BJ-O23 Sush and The Beach Scooter colors by Sabakakrazny HAL 900 by Smaggers
  • Mood: Tired
  • Listening to: The Rain....
  • Reading: &quot;Fleet of Worlds&quot; Niven/Lerner
  • Watching: Space Battleship Yamato 2199
  • Playing: zip
  • Eating: usually
  • Drinking: only the good stuff
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dana-redde Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I totally know what you mean. I was on such a roll with the Expanse books, and then I encountered some real stinkers immediately after, which probably seemed even worse in comparison to the Expanse books. I had such a visceral reaction to the mediocre book I read after finishing one of my favorite books, China Mieville's Perdido Street Station, that I chucked it across the room and have had a vendetta against it ever since. It was like being served a processed Hostess cupcake when I'd grown used to high quality chocolate cake.

Some good recommendations here! I tend to read books that are a little hard to box in--rarely straight-forward hard SF or high fantasy. As mentioned, I love China Mieville's "weird fiction." (I will cut anyone who calls them 'steampunk'). I've also really enjoyed Paolo Bacigalupi's  dystopian "bio-punk" work.

I recently read Gene Wolfe's Shadow of the Torturer and hated it x_x

On the burner I've got some Iain Banks, more Paolo Bacigalupi, Gibson's Idoru, and Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312. Also making my way through an 800 page nonfiction brick about post-independence Africa, just to mix things up!
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013  Professional General Artist
Which Bacigalupi do you have on deck? I loved Windup Girl. Shipbreakers was good. But The Drowned Cities.... well, it's technically a well crafted story, but one of the biggest downers I've ever read.
dana-redde Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Reading Shipbreakers now! Really enjoying it, and amazed how they'll slap the YA label on anything with a younger protagonist. Windup Girl is one of my favorites. It's imperfect, but it's really stuck with me in the few years since I read it. I've always been an Asiaphile (I was in steamy Hong Kong when I read it!) but the book got me interested in Thailand in a way I haven't been able to shake. I also enjoyed Pump Six, his collection of short stories.

I fear he's eerily prophetic about a lot of things. I'm excited about his next "adult" book, The Water Knife, due out next year or later, about a war between Phoenix and Vegas over water resources.

Oh no, I was looking forward to The Drowned Cities after this one! Was it a downer because it was disappointing or because it was depressing?
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
I really enjoyed the Pump Six collection. Most of the stories felt Baccigalupi-like, but it was nice to see him explore a wider variety of themes.

Drowned Cities was technically accomplished... it was just a downer. It's not the setting, it's the character's stories. Maybe I was in an over-sensitive mood when I read it? I'll be interested to hear what you think of it.

So is The Water Knife set in his established future history or is it stand-alone?
dana-redde Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm really enjoying Ship Breaker, so I'll definitely give Drowned Cities a try. I'm finding Ship Breaker quite dark and harrowing, so maybe it's good that I'm going into DC prepared :D (YA my ass lol)

Not sure, I think it may be standalone? I've just gathered bits and pieces about it from his Twitter.

He also has a book about zombies coming out, but it's for middle-grade readers, haha.
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
I can do without the zombie book, though I'm sure his publisher will love it. I have a friend who's an established SF author and his publisher has, at times, suggested he work vampires into his stories. Sad.....
dana-redde Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ugh, seriously? Yeah, zombies do nothing for me. They often just become a metaphor for the poor or some other undesirables, and then we get to watch a (usually) white dude butcher a bunch of them. Fun.
EvilestOne Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013
I tend to prefer the scifi books written in the 1940s. Seems to be better to me for some reason.
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Whatever works! We do it for OUR enjoyment, eh?
EvilestOne Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
I like to tinker...I like the equipment...seems like the stuff written back then was more interested in figuring out how we'd be doing the things they were doing in the stories than it is now.
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