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C.T. Phipps

The Space Opera, Military Sci-Fi, and Interstellar Sci Fi thread

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Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Time doesn't exactly fit the categories listed in the title thread, but has elements of all three(still waiting for C.T. to add more categories to the list :) ) More of evolutionary sci-fi but a highly entertaining read. 

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Starship Troopers by Heinlein is solid. Not exactly Space Opera, but Military Sci-Fi, for sure.

Or Joe Haldeman's Forever War perhaps. A bit of an easier read in the same vein, methinks.

Edited by Manhole Eunuchsbane

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2 hours ago, Astromech said:

Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Time doesn't exactly fit the categories listed in the title thread, but has elements of all three(still waiting for C.T. to add more categories to the list :) ) More of evolutionary sci-fi but a highly entertaining read. 

I just want to read about a bunch of space dudes doing things in space.

:)

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16 hours ago, Seli said:

Hurley's The Stars are Legion is closer to proper space opera.

Yeah, but The Bel Dame Apocrypha is sooooooo much better.

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On 11/5/2017 at 3:29 PM, Altherion said:

I'm going to second (or perhaps 'fourth') the recommendation for Vinge's Zones of Thought series. This is one of the instances in which I would recommend the internal chronological order over the publication order. That is:

  • A Deepness in the Sky
  • A Fire Upon the Deep
  • The Children of the Sky

The Expanse is also good, although it is not at the same level. There's also John Scalzi's Old Man's War series which likewise has quite a few original ideas.

Can I ask why you would recommend the chronological order over the publication order? I expect I'll start this series in the next month and was planning to read it in publication order. There doesn't seem to be a strong sentiment about which way to read the series other than a minor spoiler that's revealed if reading in chronological order. 

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On 11/6/2017 at 7:10 PM, Darth Richard II said:

I haven't read that but the impression I got from this board was that it was pretty terrible.

You are correct, sir.  It was terrible even for Stephenson.

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On the indie side of things, I'd like to recommend Dawn Chapman's THE SECRET KING: LETHAO which is basically 70s Battlestar Galactica with psychic powers. I very enjoyed the whole premise and the cast of characters with one of them being a realistically flawed gay main character.

On the more humorous side of things, I'd also like to state HARD LUCK HANK is HILARIOUS. It's the story of a thug on a space station with superpowers who never learns a damn thing in a thousand years.

Edited by C.T. Phipps

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3 hours ago, WarGalley said:

Can I ask why you would recommend the chronological order over the publication order? I expect I'll start this series in the next month and was planning to read it in publication order. There doesn't seem to be a strong sentiment about which way to read the series other than a minor spoiler that's revealed if reading in chronological order. 

There is, I suppose, a slight spoiler if you read A Fire Upon the Deep first but it didn't particularly bother me and A Deepness in the Sky is the significantly better book so it'd probably be mildly disappointing if you read them the other way round.

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12 minutes ago, ljkeane said:

There is, I suppose, a slight spoiler if you read A Fire Upon the Deep first but it didn't particularly bother me and A Deepness in the Sky is the significantly better book so it'd probably be mildly disappointing if you read them the other way round.

I don't think it matters too much either way but there's a couple of reasons the publication order works a bit better:

It's been a long time since I read, but I seem to remember there's some ambiguity in A Fire Upon The Deep about whether Pham Nuwen really is who he says he is, even he doesn't necessarily know. Deepness removes that ambiguity.

Also, the ending of Deepness reads significantly differently if the reader knows about the zones and that they're heading in the wrong direction.

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6 hours ago, WarGalley said:

Can I ask why you would recommend the chronological order over the publication order? I expect I'll start this series in the next month and was planning to read it in publication order. There doesn't seem to be a strong sentiment about which way to read the series other than a minor spoiler that's revealed if reading in chronological order. 

The overlap between A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky is basically one character... but it is an important one. If you read them in publication order, you will know the fate of this character after A Deepness in the Sky before you even start reading the latter and, because of the nature of the book's plot, you should be able to interpolate quite a few things about said plot starting from roughly a quarter through the book. I'm not saying it spoils the story -- after all, most people (including myself) read A Fire Upon the Deep first and still loved A Deepness in the Sky -- but it does nail a few things down and I think it would be even better without this foreknowledge.

That said, you are right: there is also a minor spoiler for A Fire Upon the Deep in A Deepness in the Sky and certain theories and events in the latter have a different tone if you've read the former, but I don't think these have the same impact.

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The addition of the "military" aspect to the space sci-fi thread, reminded me how much I enjoyed the Grand Admiral Thrawn Star Wars trilogy back in the day. Was it written by a guy called Timothy Zahn? That seems to ring a bell.

Anyway, I found it to have a lot more strategic depth and internal logic than the movies from the same franchise. It is basically a sequel to the original movie trilogy, where the last remaining, and apparently most competent by far, Grand Admiral of the Imperial fleet returns from some far off mission to take control of the few remaining Star Destroyers and other Imperial battleships to fight a last ditch war against the now superior Rebel Alliance.

I can't recall much of the detail, but one is almost left rooting for the "villain", as he tries to restore the former Empire with his supreme tactical ability against what seems overwhelming odds. At least that's how I recall it. It's been many years.

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I'm not sure that any of the sci-fi novels I've read and have come to enjoy fall under these sub categories, but since there doesn't seem to be any other sci-fi thread running at the moment, here I am.

The sci-fi I've read and enjoyed are Arthur C Clarke's 2001 space odyssey quartet (although I grew tired of it by 3001 and didn't finish that book), Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars and Aurora, i'm planning on finishing his Mars trilogy eventually and I thought Aurora was fantastic. I read the Mortal Engines quartet by Phillip Reeve back in middle school and it remains one of my favorite series. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman was very good as well, if not more cerebral than the other books i've mentioned. I've also read some of Martin's Thousand Worlds books and they

I suppose you could say I tend to enjoy sci-fi that is based around Earth in the distant future. If anyone has any recommendations in this vein please let me know!

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2 hours ago, Ghjhero said:

I suppose you could say I tend to enjoy sci-fi that is based around Earth in the distant future. If anyone has any recommendations in this vein please let me know!

The Expanse might be the obvious suggestion, being largely set in the solar system.

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On 11/17/2017 at 6:48 PM, williamjm said:

The Expanse might be the obvious suggestion, being largely set in the solar system.

Thanks! I’ll check it out. 

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On 11/17/2017 at 4:34 PM, Ghjhero said:

I'm not sure that any of the sci-fi novels I've read and have come to enjoy fall under these sub categories, but since there doesn't seem to be any other sci-fi thread running at the moment, here I am.

The sci-fi I've read and enjoyed are Arthur C Clarke's 2001 space odyssey quartet (although I grew tired of it by 3001 and didn't finish that book), Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars and Aurora, i'm planning on finishing his Mars trilogy eventually and I thought Aurora was fantastic. I read the Mortal Engines quartet by Phillip Reeve back in middle school and it remains one of my favorite series. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman was very good as well, if not more cerebral than the other books i've mentioned. I've also read some of Martin's Thousand Worlds books and they

I suppose you could say I tend to enjoy sci-fi that is based around Earth in the distant future. If anyone has any recommendations in this vein please let me know!

Check out Morgan's sci-fi, I'd go with either Altered Carbon or Thirteen / Black Man to start.  I think you'd like it.

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9 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

Check out Morgan's sci-fi, I'd go with either Altered Carbon or Thirteen / Black Man to start.  I think you'd like it.

At first I was wondering why Goodreads had the same blurb for Thirteen and Black Man before realizing it was published as Thirteen in the US. Morgan has a good PR guy lol. 

I like the look for Altered Carbon already, I’ll start there and see how I enjoy his work before seeing if I want to continue on, but thank you!

Edited by Ghjhero

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Interestingly, I was debating making a cyberpunk thread as well. :) There is quite a sci-fi dearth in threads here.

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On 17/11/2017 at 10:34 PM, Ghjhero said:

...

I suppose you could say I tend to enjoy sci-fi that is based around Earth in the distant future. If anyone has any recommendations in this vein please let me know!

It is a stretch based on your previous experiences, but it is worth checking out The Quantum Thieves and its sequels by Hannu Rajaniemi.

Another option are Saturn's Children and its sequels by Charles Stross.

There is also Schismatrix by Bruce Sterling.

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I haven't read much science-fiction, but anyway:

Hyperion Cantos - by far my favorite sci-fi novels. The first one is one of the best books I've ever read, and the fourth one might have the best climax I have ever read, while being a great book too. The second book is very good, thought the third one is a bit boring.

The Expanse - quite good but not great IMO, with some pointless acts, and for most part, not much depth in characters until the fifth book or so. It has potential though, and I still feel that we have just touched the surface of the stories.

Dune - first book is brilliant, second one is quite good, after that it becomes a bit shit.

Ender's Game - loved the first and to some degree the second book. The third one was bollocks, haven't read the others.

That's it...unless we count the Star Wars book, in which case The Thrawn trilogy is absolutely magnificent, probably the only sci-fi novels I have in pair with Hyperion, and Darth Bane trilogy is quite good too.

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