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/culture/ - arts & literature

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 No.222

I finished reading The Three-body Problem from Liu Cixin and I really like it. If you like scifi you sushis should give it a try.

Let's talk about sci-fi books!

 No.223

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What do you think of the books of Philip K. Dick? I read The Penultimate Truth a while back and enjoyed it, but there were a lot of things that I didn't like.
  Firstly is the names for all the technologies. This is probably to do with the era in which the book was written, but to me they sound like something out of wallace and gromit (e.g. the VAC-2000). This isn't really his fault of course, and is something that happens a lot in Sci-Fi; the authors predictions of the future will always be slightly (or majorly) wrong, and so future audiences are inevitably going to find it a little jarring. (A good example of this is how in Asimov's books there are civilizations that span the galaxy but still rely on vaccum tube communications).
 A lot of the ideas in his books are really good; the penultimate truth is about how a small group of elites convinces the population (which live underground) that they are still at war, and uses their labour to live comfortable lifestyles.
  Unfortunately he included a subplot in it about some time traveling Cherokee that didn't really need to be there. Maybe it was supposed to be symbolic of something, but I felt as though it was an idea he had that couldn't fill out a whole story, so he just sort of put it in there. Not that there is anything wrong with having subplots in books at all, I just don't think this one was very well done.

 No.224

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I read Prelude to Foundation by Asimov.
The good part is that the premise is about a mathematician who develops a way to predict the future through mathematical models. The book goes on about all the political/social consenquences this would bring. There are really a few action scenes, so it would sound boring, but it is not, it's so nice.

 No.266

I love sci-fi literature. I read Ringworld a while back and it remains one of my favorites (mainly because I've read little else since then). One thing I read and absolutely hated was Solaris by some Stanislav Lem. I'm wondering if someone else here has read it, and what they think of it. I may have missed the point of it, since there's some devoted audience (and the guy who lended it to me said it was an absolute masterpiece, but all it did was bore me to death and back to life).
>>222
I'll check that one out, any more suggestions?
>>223
Can't much into PKD, his narrative comes as somewhat strange for me, I guess I should give him a more serious try. I read Electric Sheep (mainly because I like the movie) but the others I've tried just feel absolutely strange from the first page and I can't seem to keep up…
Someone strongly suggested Ubik, I'll try that one out.

My reading list just increased by 2

 No.267

Read "Leviathans of Jupiter" and currently reading "Star Maker." The formal was ok. The leviathan civilization felt generic, but I thought the way they communicate was pretty cool. Characters were fine and I'm glad that the villain of the story got humiliated. Although, she seems a bit pointless in the book. "Star Maker" is amazing so far. Are there any books about pure space exploration worth reading like "Star Maker?" Next book on my list is "The Great Explosion."

 No.286

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>>222
A related recommendation is author (and translator of Three Body) Ken Liu's Chinese SF anthology "Invisible Planets"

 No.426

started reading the sequel to the time machine called the time ships pretty good also I enjoy the dune series

 No.451

Read The Man Who Fell to Earth recently. It's brilliant and unfairly eclipsed by the film. Such a realistic novel for something with an alien protagonist.

 No.452

I recently bought a bunch of shorter works by William Gibson and Ursula LeGuin. Read all the Gibson stuff, which was pretty damn good, and I'm about halfway through the first (non sci-fi) volume of LeGuin's "The Unreal and the Real" compilation. I had it before until I lost the book, but it's definitely worth reading again, so I'm looking forward to the stories I haven't read as well as another book of novellas.

Any thoughts on Ada Palmer's "Terra Ignotia" series? I thought "Too Like the Lightning" was very interesting but also kind of unpleasant/uncomfortable to read, and gave up about four chapters into the second book before giving up. I might consider trying again later though.

 No.454

File: 1548616829362.pdf (703.99 KB, (Culture 2) Banks, Iain M ….pdf)

I'll chip in with two major writers who might not be familiar to all sushis.

Iain M. Banks created "The Culture", a society built on tremendously advanced technology, in ten (or so) novels. "The Player of Games" is the second novel (in order of publishing) in the series, but the first one I read. The novels can be read in any order and the first published, "Consider Phlebas", might not be the best place to start. Highly recommended if you have yet to encounter Banks' boisterous hard-SF romps.

Gene Wolfe's work is not everyone's cup of tea. It has more literary ambition than most SF, and Wolfe often shows indirect glimpses of his subject, trusting the reader to infer the the whole. His magnum opus is the "New Sun" complex of interrelated novels and stories set in the far future red giant phase of our Sol. He has written many short stories for magazines.

 No.455

File: 1548617061583.epub (599.6 KB, The-Best-of-Gene-Wolfe-A-….epub)

>>454 How do you post multiple files?

 No.524

>>222
oh yeah baby this thread was made for me! i love chinese science fiction. (not mentioning what's already been posted here)

cixin liu's ball lightning is: great
ken liu's broken stars: awesome
i like xia jia and expect her to be translated more.

definitely looking forward to the fan addition to remembrance of earth's past by baoshu when it's translated to english (and released here).

there's also a three body problem movie in the works supposedly.

stuff that i enjoyed that seemed similar to me (except for chiang but he's ethnic so does this count?):

everything by ted chiang is amazing. if you enjoy liu cixin you should absolutely read everything he's produced. i've watched him in interviews online. i especially liked the lifecycle of software objects and this one where it was an essay, can't remember the name! his two released books are "stories of your life and others" and exhalation.

i really enjoyed void star by zachery mason and it's a little more romantic in its style but if you enjoy that it's an epic read. it's a cyberpunk first speculative science fiction second style book.

i also enjoyed autonomous by analee newitz.

(there is more i've read but they're not coming to mind immediately)

 No.557

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The Martian is my favorite sci-fi book. Hard sci-fi in Mars exploration era, so no aliens or weird tech, just a bunch of nice people vs nature story.
Blindsight and other stuff by Peter Watts is good for depicting the future with more mind mods which it probably will have.
Cookie monster and True names and anything else by Vernor Vinge are awesome. My favorite author for early cyberspace stuff.
Life artificial is good and all online.

 No.807

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This thread is a time machine. Look at you all there in the past! Even one of my posts with a hard-to-believe date-stamp.

Three Body Problem is good. The pessimistic Dark Forest argument is persuasive; even compelling.

Recently I read Tau Zero by Poul Anderson and am drunk enough to give an unsolicited opinion: to wit -
It is one of those "SF Masterworks" so we are probably obliged to read it. The writing is somewhat stilted, as if Poul knew that that he should have humans in his spaceship, but had only a rough, theoretical idea of how they work, and especially, how they talk. The scientific premise is good, though it might seem over-familiar these days to people who grew up with relativity. The implications get bigger as the story progresses, and the ending is as large-screen as you could get - literally cosmic. On the whole I give it 5/10 plus 2 points for being in the csushi roll. Worth reading.

 No.808

>>557
coming back to recommend the quantum thief. Has a cool take on data management in the future, not as cold as peter watts stories, but still interesting and articulate. Same goes for "life artificial".

 No.810

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>>808
>>557
Thanks for the Jean le Flambeur recommendation. I immediately downloaded and look forward to reading. When you said that "The Martian" is your favorite you mentioned no author and there are far too many hits on an internet search of "martian" for me to tell which book you like. Can you specify?

Nice to see that threads can come back to life.

 No.831

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Currently trying to get into sci-fi right now I'm reading
>Blood Music
It's about a scientist who injects himself with some cells he's working on. It follows how said cells affected him and the world around him. It's not much of an action sci-fi story and more of a watch how shit goes down story. It's nice if you want details, but the characters are kind of flat and serve more as mechanisms for the story. It deals with themes of consciousness, hive minds (which is why I read it), and post humanism. The far side pick kind of reminds me of the book

>Biopunk Dystopias: Genetic Engineering, Society and Science Fiction

It's academic so you need to know a few literacy concepts, but it's nothing you can't google. So far it just covered the history of biopunk and tried to define it, pretty interesting stuff. In later chapters it's supposed to define why modern culture likes biopunk so much.

 No.855

>>810
The Martian by andy weir. I figured it would be kinda known because of the movie. I read it when it was a web serial, so seeing it get made into a movie was a really cool experience.
Also while I'm here I've got to recommend the sci fi compendium "the ascent of wonder" I'm only about a third of the way in but I've enjoyed every story so far.

 No.861

File: 1602873257000.epub (2.99 MB, Vinge, Vernor - A Fire Up….epub)

Finished A Fire upon the Deep, and got partway through the sequel.
An overall good book, though I enjoyed it more for it's sci-fi world building than the political intrigue aspects. It takes place in a galaxy where fundamental physics change as you further from the core, allowing ftl travel and more complex technology.

Also tried the sequel a deepness in the sky, but it spent much more time on the politics than the original and I didn't make it to the end



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