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Subject: Good 2012 Sci-Fi novels? rss

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Neil Carr
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My wife inhales sci-fi novels and I can't keep up with what is out there. I'm looking for something that was published in the last year to get her for Christmas.

She's interested in big idea type stuff... say Cloud Atlas, rather than sci-fi war series and the like. More Star Trek, less Starship Troopers.

Any suggestions?
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Erik D
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echoota wrote:
My wife inhales sci-fi novels and I can't keep up with what is out there. I'm looking for something that was published in the last year to get her for Christmas.

She's interested in big idea type stuff... say Cloud Atlas, rather than sci-fi war series and the like. More Star Trek, less Starship Troopers.

Any suggestions?


Correct me if I'm wrong, but Starship Troopers had some heavy political discussions all throughout the book.
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Stephen Dunne
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erak wrote:
echoota wrote:
My wife inhales sci-fi novels and I can't keep up with what is out there. I'm looking for something that was published in the last year to get her for Christmas.

She's interested in big idea type stuff... say Cloud Atlas, rather than sci-fi war series and the like. More Star Trek, less Starship Troopers.

Any suggestions?


Correct me if I'm wrong, but Starship Troopers had some heavy political discussions all throughout the book.


Not wrong.
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Neil Carr
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erak wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Starship Troopers had some heavy political discussions all throughout the book.


Oh sure... maybe I should say away from "Man-Kzin War" stuff. More about edification and cool new ideas that push boundaries, rather than sci-fi military tactic books.
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CHAPEL
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erak wrote:


Correct me if I'm wrong, but Starship Troopers had some heavy political discussions all throughout the book.


You're right, but Heinlein I always wonder if he satires propaganda, or embraces it in his writings. It's hard to tell sometimes with him.

I think the effect has more depth in Haldeman's Forever War than in Starship Troopers.

For the OP, Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312 was pretty good. I'd also say reading Scalzi's Redshirts, but it's a tad more on the satire side, than having too much of a "deep ideas" side.
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Iain M. Banks--The Hydrogen Sonata
Alastair Reynolds--Blue Remembered Earth
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CHAPEL
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Scott Firestone IV wrote:

Iain M. Banks--The Hydrogen Sonata
Alastair Reynolds--Blue Remembered Earth


Both of those are on my 2012 "to read" list. So much to read before 2013!
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午餐先生
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Redshirts by John Scalzi. Great homage to Star Trek and a light read (not a BIG idea, but fun)... if she inhales them, tho, she may have already read it.
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Jeff Jones
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One of the most respected science fiction literary conferences in the USA is held every year here in Austin. Each year they have a panel of books that you should have read this year. Here is a write up which includes all the selections. Perhaps it will help.

http://sfragments.blogspot.com/2012/08/armadillocon-2012-wha...
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Neil Carr
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Has anyone read the Dogs Stars? She's also into The Road/Walking Dead/etc.
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CHAPEL
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echoota wrote:
Has anyone read the Dogs Stars? She's also into The Road/Walking Dead/etc.


Yes I read it in October
. It's was very good, but grim, not as grim as "The Road" but close.. Reminded me of Harlan Ellison's A Boy and His Dog, but with more of a reality tone to it. The only issue with it is the prose. Sometimes hard to decipher, very free form.
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Matt Riddle
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I didnt love it as the voice of a 15yo girl who reads sci-fi (two things I have never been - a 15yo girl and a sci-fi reader - dragons and wizards guy) didnt really speak to me and nothing much seems to actually happen, but Among Others has won awards and garnered praise.

http://www.amazon.com/Among-Others-Jo-Walton/dp/0765331721/r...

it has ENDLESS sci-fi references, most of which I didnt get, so if she has processed a lot of them she might get a kick out of it
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Justin Cronin's follow up to The Passage called The Twelve is awesome.

The first book is really good and so is the second.

-DK
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Simon "that sci-fi guy"
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My sci-fi "to read" list from 2012:


The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
Year Zero by Kiara Windrider
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
Embassytown by China Miéville
Bowl of Heavan by Larry Niven and Gregory Benford
Redshirts by John Scalzi

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Jeff Jones
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echoota wrote:
My wife inhales sci-fi novels and I can't keep up with what is out there. I'm looking for something that was published in the last year to get her for Christmas.

She's interested in big idea type stuff... say Cloud Atlas, rather than sci-fi war series and the like. More Star Trek, less Starship Troopers.

Any suggestions?


If she has not read China Mieville's Embassytown I cannot recommend it highly enough. Brilliant, brilliant book and definitely a "big ideas" type.

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Lee Fisher
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Kafka wrote:
echoota wrote:
My wife inhales sci-fi novels and I can't keep up with what is out there. I'm looking for something that was published in the last year to get her for Christmas.

She's interested in big idea type stuff... say Cloud Atlas, rather than sci-fi war series and the like. More Star Trek, less Starship Troopers.

Any suggestions?


If she has not read China Mieville's Embassytown I cannot recommend it highly enough. Brilliant, brilliant book and definitely a "big ideas" type.



Embassytown is 2011, so maybe she has read it.

Railsea is fun, especially if you like trains, traingames, etc.
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http://www.bestsfbooks.com/ lists SF titles by year and by award nominations. Simple premise for a list but it is a good starting point.
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Clay Blankenship
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Well I suspect if she has any interest in Vernor Vinge she has already read Children of the Sky (follow up to A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky) but there is no shortage of big ideas in there.

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Calavera Despierta
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I'll second Embassytown. Tell her to give it a chance all the way to the halfway mark - things don't get seriously interesting until then, but when they do, it's pretty profound.


Otherwise, of this year's new sci-fi, I liked
Rapture of the Nerds which is a collaboration between Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow. It's seriously weird and even sometimes a little icky, though given the subject matter, this is entirely the whole point.

Cory Doctorow also has a cool young adult novel coming out about film piracy and rebelling against the MPAA and RIAA that is supposed to be really good. I think it's called Cinema Pirate.

I have Banks' Hydrogen Sonata on my to-read list, and I have to say that ALL of his stuff is good (though some of his are better than others.) If you wife has not read Player of Games, I'd start there, and then maybe Use of Weapons or Matter or The Algebraist.


And Neal Stephenson has a collection of essays that released this year. I haven't read it yet either - I am hoping Santa will bring it.
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