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#141249 - Mon Nov 18 2002 11:10 AM New US Science Fiction Authors?
Tielhard Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Oct 24 2002
Posts: 778
Loc: Blackpool UK
Can anyone help?

I read far, far too much Science Fiction when I was younger but more or less stopped in the mid-1980s. When I recently restarted I found that nearly all the books I was reading were by British authors most of whom were completely new to me, when I stopped most books had been by US authors. I started to look around the bookshops a bit more and with a few exceptions nearly all the US books were; further parts of large series, TV/film/game(!) tie-ins or fantasy (some of which is excellent). There were hardly any American authors on the shelves that I did not recognise from the 1980s.

So can anyone:

1) Recommend any new (post 1985 debut) US SF authors and their works?
2) Recommend any other new US SF published since 1985?

I prefer novels to short stories.

Regards and thanks,

Tielhard
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#141250 - Mon Nov 18 2002 02:33 PM Re: New US Science Fiction Authors?
xaosdog Offline
Explorer

Registered: Thu Dec 27 2001
Posts: 80
Loc: San Diego, USA
Linda Nagata: The Bohr Maker, Deception Well, Vast, etc., but start with those, and they are best in that order. Of course, having read Nagata you can never go back to the lame-ass "the future will be about working for the government and wearing a jump-suit" school of science fiction. Nanotechnology, consciousness, and the human neuro-endocrine system.

Kim Stanley Robinson: Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars; this trilogy is the best starting place; it treats the terraforming of the planet Mars. A number of his other novels are based in the same universe, but need not be read in any particular order, and do not require knowledge from the other books; particularly good are A Memory of Whiteness, which is a marvelous fantasy of music and space travel, and A Short, Sharp Shock which is a strangely oneiric little work which I can never put down if ever I pick it up and glance at one of its pages until I have read it through again. He also has three related books, the so-called Three Californias (Pacific Edge, the Wild Shore, and the Gold Coast, I think), each of which stands alone as its own work, and each of which describes a different alternate future for southern California and by extension the world: corporate greed run amok; post-nuclear primitivism; a realistic society that takes natural resources accurately into account in its economy. (but the Three Californias are really literature rather than science fiction.) He has a great work on Antarctica which came out of his research for the Mars books.

Octavia E. Butler: The Wild Seed, Xenogenesis, The Parable of the Sower, Dawn, etc. Culture shock among alien races or within one race which is diverging into more than one.

Since your time, but Australian: Greg Egan. Not to be missed if you like a some (digestible if high-level) science with your science fiction: Quarantine, Diaspora, Teranesia, etc.

Oh, and Michael Moorcock is an American now, so you might check out his new Eternal Champion trilogy starting with Blood: A Southern Fantasy.

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#141251 - Mon Nov 18 2002 11:04 PM Re: New US Science Fiction Authors?
mandelbrotset Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Aug 11 2002
Posts: 230
Loc: Riverside Chicago Illinois USA
I'm in the same situation as Tielhard (quit reading SF in the mid 80's) and now want to explore the genre again too. I just finished reading Diaspora by Greg Egan, as recommended by xaosdog, and it's fantastic. It's about the far future of humanity, when we leave our bodies behind and live and travel multiple universes as software.

I'm interested in finding other, newer hard-science SF writers. Any suggestions?
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"Patterns are set in one place and time, to be followed to the end of all years to come". (Andre Norton)

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#141252 - Tue Nov 19 2002 09:04 AM Re: New US Science Fiction Authors?
Bruyere Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18551
Loc: California USA
Finally someone said Octavia Butler, I think that's the author I've been looking for...who created the "syne" characters?
They were good.

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#141253 - Wed Nov 20 2002 06:59 PM Re: New US Science Fiction Authors?
Tielhard Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Oct 24 2002
Posts: 778
Loc: Blackpool UK
Um, A bit off , offering advice in your own help post but if you like mandelbrotset I can suggest several excellent modern British SF books and authors?

Regards,

Tielhard
_________________________
Regards, Tielhard

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#141254 - Thu Nov 21 2002 11:13 AM Re: New US Science Fiction Authors?
xaosdog Offline
Explorer

Registered: Thu Dec 27 2001
Posts: 80
Loc: San Diego, USA
I'd be interested in knowing about any good new Limey authors.

But MS -- you must try Nagata! She is the hardest and the newest and the most visionary!

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#141255 - Thu Nov 21 2002 03:15 PM Re: New US Science Fiction Authors?
Tielhard Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Oct 24 2002
Posts: 778
Loc: Blackpool UK
Kim Robinson was one of the exceptions I mentioned in my post. The Mars trilogy is something very special. I have not heard of the three Californias and will seek it out. Octavia Butler I remember well, I still have a copy of "Clay’s Ark" somewhere, I think she began writing in the early 1970s. I have had "The Parable of the Sower" recommended to me by some one else but have not got hold of a copy yet. Greg Egan and Linda Nagata are completely new to me. Off to the bookshop at the weekend

However let me be quite clear about this; if the future does not involve dressing up in a jump suit, it is the wrong future and we are sending it straight back to the shop. A stay clean nylon white one for work, a silver one with big shoulder pads for Sundays and a black fishnet one with silver Deely boppers for best!

Michael Moorcock is not an American now, the man is the quintessential Londoner. He may have taken out US citizenship or moved over but if your born British, you die British, you are British.

This a short list of my favourite British SF authors, it started small but grew a bit:

Ian M.Banks - When he writes mainstream literature he drops the M., His best creation is the Culture a Galaxy spanning post-capitalist high tech. Civilisation. There are several culture novels the best are "Use of weapons" and "The Player of games". Non-culture novels which are still excellent are "Against a dark background" and "Feersum endjinn"
Ken MacLeod - Think of him as the Anti-Heinlein. Communists, Anarchists and Socialists conquer space, brilliant. His best books are probably "The sky road" and "Cosmonaut keep"
Alastair Reynolds - High tech. space opera, very hard, edgy. Three interlocking novels "Revelation space", "Redemption Ark" and "Chasm city"
Paul McAuley - "Fairyland" an exceptional book, is a near future novel where nano-tech. and biotech. have greatly advanced, the story has many strands and part of the action takes place in the ruins of Euro-Disney(Hooray!). Other books include; the Confluence trilogy and "Invisible Country".
Peter Hamilton - Slightly right wing author his largest work is the "Night’s Dawn" trilogy.
Stephen Baxter - Very hard science fiction, lots of extrapolative physics, "Flux" and "Ring". He also does what are best described as NASA surplus stories, "Titan" and "Voyage"
Adam Roberts - Great ideas but poor narrative execution, "On" and "Salt"
Richard Morgan - Hollywood favourite, "Altered Carbon".
Colin Greenland - Space opera, "Take Back Plenty" and others.
Jon Courtenay Grimwood - Alternative universe Arabesques, "Pashazade".
Eugene Bryne - Slightly reminiscent of river world, "Things unborn".
Gwyneth Jones - Strange with rock and roll, "Bold as love".

Regards,

Tielhard
_________________________
Regards, Tielhard

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#141256 - Fri Nov 22 2002 06:14 PM Re: New US Science Fiction Authors?
xaosdog Offline
Explorer

Registered: Thu Dec 27 2001
Posts: 80
Loc: San Diego, USA
Gad, I had no idea there were so many John Bulls out there writing the SF. Thanks for the list, T!

(Now, Moorcock may have written the superb Mother London, and the genre-busting, equally superb Gloriana (as well as various lame London-set juvenilia) -- but the man is a Texican now, no two ways about it. He drinks black coffee for breakfast, and considers it a day wasted should he fail to rope a stray dogie before the sun is over the yardarm. He talks seldom, and slow, but when he speaks, people listen attentively to his twangy drawl. He has spurs that go jingle-jangle-jingle.)

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#141257 - Sat Nov 23 2002 03:56 AM Re: New US Science Fiction Authors?
Tielhard Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Oct 24 2002
Posts: 778
Loc: Blackpool UK
Fine I hope he enjoys the funny boots n' silly hats. Where you live, Tejas, the US, Kenya, Oz, NZ it don't matter were a promiscous people but if your born British you die British, Lizzy does not let go.

Is this not off subject O offensive one?

Regards,

Tielhard
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Regards, Tielhard

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#141258 - Mon Nov 25 2002 08:56 PM Re: New US Science Fiction Authors?
xaosdog Offline
Explorer

Registered: Thu Dec 27 2001
Posts: 80
Loc: San Diego, USA
My da is an English ex-patriot, and I would argue has lost any claim to British status. Not that he has devolved to mere Americanness; he is a Transatlantic person. But I am just kidding about notre cher maitre Moorcock. I think he only lives half the year in Texas anyway.

I should mention that Zod Wallop, by Herbert Browning Spencer (if I remember aright) is a flawed masterpiece well worth reading for sheer marvelous strangeness.

I did a little checking, and I think yr Iain Banks may be the next author I dive into, if the experience lives up to the hype, so much thanks for that; I'll keep the other suggestions up on my radar screen as well.

Pip pip!

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#141259 - Thu Nov 28 2002 01:56 PM Re: New US Science Fiction Authors?
Tielhard Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Oct 24 2002
Posts: 778
Loc: Blackpool UK
There you are Xaosdog, all that fuss and your really British after all!

Zod Wallop, I thought that was a wind up until I found it (unavailable) on UK amazon.

Let me know if you enjoy Banks.

Regards,

Tielhard
_________________________
Regards, Tielhard

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#141260 - Fri Dec 27 2002 11:18 PM Re: New US Science Fiction Authors?
mandelbrotset Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Aug 11 2002
Posts: 230
Loc: Riverside Chicago Illinois USA
Tielhard and Xaosdog, you two really know your SF! Thanks for the excellent recommendations. I just finished The Bohr Maker by Linda Nagata (wow) and and I'm currently reading Flux by Stephen Baxter, and having a great read. This is the type of SF I've been craving. I hope to read all of the recommendations on this string!
_________________________
"Patterns are set in one place and time, to be followed to the end of all years to come". (Andre Norton)

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#141261 - Sat Dec 28 2002 04:37 PM Re: New US Science Fiction Authors?
Tielhard Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Oct 24 2002
Posts: 778
Loc: Blackpool UK
Thanks for the compliment Mandelbrotset. Be warned whilst all of the books and authors in my list are good and in some way original not all are 'hard' SF. I have just started Linda Nagata's Vast as I have had trouble getting hold of her other books suggested by Xaosdog
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Regards, Tielhard

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#141262 - Sun Dec 29 2002 06:20 AM Re: New US Science Fiction Authors?
Polygon Offline
Participant

Registered: Tue Jul 23 2002
Posts: 45
Loc: Belgium
Dan Simmons:

Hyperion
The fall of Hyperion
Endymion
The rise of Endymion

These are absolutely fantastic.

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#141263 - Thu Jan 02 2003 06:45 AM Re: New US Science Fiction Authors?
Tielhard Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Oct 24 2002
Posts: 778
Loc: Blackpool UK
Thank you Polygon,

Yes Dan Simmons’ series is a sustained and magnificent masterpiece. When I first read Hyperion I assumed that he was British as both the style and form of it are so atypical of American writers, more fool me!

The series also contains my all time favourite SF pope of which there have been so many excellent examples: Father Paul Dure, his Holiness Tielhard the first, who bears rather more than a passing resemblance to his (and my) chosen name sake. Jesus was crucified but once, poor Paul.

Reading this series has been one of the few occasions when I have found my knowledge of literature and mythology, which is not inextensive to be completely inadequate to the task of unravelling the allusions, references and symbols which permeate the whole series. Never having read Keats did not help either. There are many characters, locations and plot elements which clearly have some symbolic impact which have completely passed me by even after a third reading. Some allusions are obvious for example the pilgrims motif from Chaucer for instance, others are just confusing. Here are just a couple of things which have been bugging me for years, any answers appreciated:

The Shrike’s tree bears a notable resemblance to the memorial to the Victims of the Concentration and Extermnation Camps at Yad Vashem and Simmon’s is discussing genocides a few chapters before hand, yet it is Martin who ends up on the tree not Sol. Is this resemblance coincidence or deliberate and if it is deliberate why Martin?

The Dyson sphere the Ousters are building is clearly an analogue of Yggdrasill in Norse mythology yet it is the treeship that gets that name, again why?

Who is mad king Billy based on?

What do the androids represent, they are clearly part in the story for a reason (if anyone replies to this post suggesting they are smurfs there will be big trouble).

Polygon may I ask if you read the series in English or translation? I would think the books would do very badly in translation.

Any other suggestions as to newer US authors and books by anyone will be greatly appreciated.

PS: Anyone know how to get an accent into a post? Dure should have one.
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Regards, Tielhard

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#141264 - Thu Mar 20 2003 03:03 AM Re: New US Science Fiction Authors?
damnsuicidalroos Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Mon Feb 10 2003
Posts: 2167
Loc: Sydney
NSW Australia
Anything by Greg Bear,anything by Patrick Tilley[though the Amtrak Wars is a series and slows down abit in later books].
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