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‘Cerebral’ science fiction recommendations please.

(59 Posts)
Foghead Wed 07-Mar-18 14:56:18

I really want to think. About technology, science, space and mankind (or any ‘other’ kind)
Can anyone recommend anything please?

lucydogz Wed 07-Mar-18 17:29:09

Philip K Dick's short stories. Very presient imo, but very dystopian, so I don't read too many.

MySockIsWetAgain Wed 07-Mar-18 17:30:58

The Algebraist. The quantum thief. Altered carbon.

MySockIsWetAgain Wed 07-Mar-18 17:32:30

This is assuming you have read all the Arthur C Clarke, Asimov and Phillip K Dick out there.

UrbaneSprawl Wed 07-Mar-18 17:34:04

Chris Beckett’s “Dark Eden” trilogy is excellent.

OutsideContextProblem Wed 07-Mar-18 17:34:17

The 3 Body Problem

Or Iain M Banks, obviously given my name - try Excession

OutsideContextProblem Wed 07-Mar-18 17:35:13

Or Stanislaw Lem - Solaris? Or the Cyberiad in a lighter vein

KochabRising Wed 07-Mar-18 17:39:23

The sparrow
Eon by Greg bear
All the older stuff - Vonnegut, Asimov, Clarke, ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, etc etc
Ursula le guin - left hand of darkness

KochabRising Wed 07-Mar-18 17:40:36

Ah Iain banks. Much missed sad
Haven’t read the three body problem yet - it’s awaiting me

JellySlice Wed 07-Mar-18 18:03:33

Definitely Ursula Le Guin.
Also Ira Levin (This Perfect Day), TJ Bass (The Godwhale), George Stewart (Earth Abides), Neal Stephenson (Snowcrash), Aldous Huxley (Brave New World).

Hmmm these are all dystopian hmmgrin

I think Snowcrash may be The youngest on my list. IME modern sci-fi tends to be more about frightening the reader than about challenging their preconceptions and making them think

EllenRipley Wed 07-Mar-18 18:18:47

Anything by Iain M Banks
The Sparrow - amazing & gut wrenching
Kim Stanley Robinson...

Now I'm annoyed because I should be able to remember more amazing sci-fi that I've read. Curse my menopausal brain.

EllenRipley Wed 07-Mar-18 18:21:58

@UrbaneSprawl
Thanks for the Eden tip! Just ordered, hooray for Amazon Prime... 😃

ArcheryAnnie Wed 07-Mar-18 18:30:27

Ursula le Guin is one of my all-time favourite authors, and my favourites are The Dispossessed and The Left Hand Of Darkness.

Octavia Butler writes about the most alien aliens I have ever read about. particularly "The Bloodchild", and her "Xenogenesis" trilogy.

OutsideContextProblem Wed 07-Mar-18 18:32:44

Left Hand of Darkness and The Disposessed are compulsory reading if you have inexplicably missed reading them so far.

ArcheryAnnie Wed 07-Mar-18 18:32:51

Oooh, hang on, I've just remembered this: a 10-min talk on youtube by a sci-fi author who at the end of her talk gives a whole load of recommendations of other women sci-fi authors!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdkgg7gFR5Q&t=22s

JellySlice Wed 07-Mar-18 18:49:40

Body of Glass by Madge Piercy

KochabRising Wed 07-Mar-18 19:06:12

Can I also recommend if you have a kindle: they do really good short story anthologies for pennies: the ‘sci fi mega pack’ series have loads of the older classics in mixed with newer authors. Also ‘golden age of sci fi’ anthologies.

If you can get hold of them the old ‘spectrum’ anthologies are amazing too. I’ll dig mine out and photograph the contents pages when I get a moment

BlackAmericanoNoSugar Wed 07-Mar-18 19:07:00

The Revelation Space series by Alastair Reynolds
Children of the Star by Sylvia Engdahl
Some of CJ Cherryh, I don't like all of her stuff but some is great.

Foghead Wed 07-Mar-18 20:53:55

Lots of choice. Quite a few I’ve not come across so thank you all.

TheDeafeningClatterofDuplo Wed 07-Mar-18 21:40:54

At the moment I'm reading 'Seveneves' by Neal Stephenson, and really enjoying it.

Don't want to give spoilers so I won't say too much except it's about what would happen if the moon blew up (that's on page 1 so not giving anything away there) and has many elements of 'how to survive in space'. It's very detailed, and great fun if you accept the premise - though getting more into fantasy now for the last part of the book, some of which is weird and far-fetched.

If you like Stephenson - and I am very much a fan, as long as he isn't writing sex scenes (which so far this book has avoided) - I say go for it!

I also rate it for being basically a book about women doing stuff. There are men too but female characters drive this book and even the annoying people (both sexes) are at least interesting.

moonbells Wed 07-Mar-18 21:54:02

I would suggest CJ Cherryh too. The Foreigner series is great for cultural differences and the chaos that can ensue, but isn't too good for the tech side which sort of arrives as a sideline rather than the main story. More linguistics.

The Union/Merchanter universe is definitely good for one of the best (imo) descriptions of both sleeper and ftl travel and the relativistic effects, and how society changes while ships are in transit. There is no one 'entry' book, and they can be very dense to begin with, and hard to get into. Once you're in, though, they take over your head. Do NOT start wth Cyteen as it's quite hard to get into and you need some prior knowledge of the universe for it to make any sense at all. I'd go for Downbelow Station.

If you haven't read Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice yet, please do. It's stunningly good. The other two books aren't quite as good but finish off well.

And yes, Ursula Le Guin. I must re-read when I find which bookshelf I put them on (Most are double-stacked so not trivial to find anything if not on the front.)
Have fun

doctorcuntybollocks Wed 07-Mar-18 21:54:57

Engine Summer by John Crowley.

ididyeah Wed 07-Mar-18 22:13:15

Book of Strange New Things.

Glitteryglitter Wed 07-Mar-18 22:21:45

Some great recommendations on here thank you! My goal this year is to read more and to revisit the sci-fi classics I trawled the local library for as a teenager

YesILikeItToo Wed 07-Mar-18 22:27:10

Another vote for SevenEves. Great fun and extremely thinky.

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