Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

52 posts / 0 new
Last post
Grabula Grabula's picture
Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

Anyone have any solid suggestions for scifi books that might provide some inspiration for EP?

I've got a solid library of non fiction related to the SIngluarity concept, nano-tech and all the other stuff involved in EP. I'm primarily looking for some suggestions on science fiction reading that might be apropriate.

I've got to say, it's been a long time since I was this excited about an RPG, and I haven't even picked up the core rules yet lol.

Sealab2020 Sealab2020's picture
Re: Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

See if you can get a look at the core rules from someone. One of the pages in the back is an *enormous* list of RPGs, movies, and books that lend itself to this setting. It's a great resource.

As for what I have personal experience from (also from the list in the RPG), I can recommend "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom," as a great novel for a rep-based economy, Dan Simmons "Hyperion" books are decent transhumanity stuff, and Neal Stephenson's "Diamond Age" is a great book about a nanotech being integrated into society.

Grabula Grabula's picture
Re: Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

Actually, they have the references page posted as a PDF in the Resources section of the website! I literally just found it about 10 minutes ago.

Speaking of Dan Simmons, I've wanted to read Ilium for some time so I think I might start there.

puke puke's picture
Re: Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

edit: oops, looks like you already found this while i was posting:

http://eclipsephase.com/downloads/eclipsephase_references.pdf

I'd strike out Peter Hamalton as a sad mary-sue, and add Chris Moriarty to the list. but if you're looking for the primary sources, I think the most noticeable inspirations in EP are Brin and Morgan with other popular themes splashed in here and there. the ETI/TITAN/Exurgent thing seems like something right from Verner Vinge, but its just as easily any singularity/lovecraftian horror crossbreed you could imagine.

It would be pretty easy to substitute Vinge's name for Reynolds or Banks or Stross or some other author. Im sure they all had their influences, which is why theyre on that list. but I dont think theres anything you can do to replace Richard K Morgan and David Brin as the major shapers of the technology and flavor behind the setting. it would be hard to argue that uplifts, coronal lifeforms, forking, cortical stacks, cheap synth-morphs, and mesh inserts came from anywhere else.

Grabula Grabula's picture
Re: Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

Vinge was good, I enjoyed a couple of his books. I wouldn't totally rule out Hamilton BUT he did lose me when his Reality Dysfunction took a sort of supernatural swing.

I think anything 'cyberpunk' would make for solid "historical" reading. I think it runs with the same concepts of transhumanism on a basic level and certainly deal swith new technologies and AI. I'd put Gibson in there along with Neal Stephenson

imperialus imperialus's picture
Re: Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

I'd keep Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained as contenders just because of the way that Hamilton explores the various aspects of digitized intelligence and the effect that such a form of immortality would have on human civilization. Just gloss over the chapters about Ozzie and they're pretty damn good books. Even the Dreaming Void has some value by exploring how a transhumanist society might begin to define itself by lifestyle choices. (advancer, multiples, dreamers, ect.) Sure Hamilton's characters are pretty lousy but the way that he actually structures his society is nothing short of brilliant, and very internally consistent.

Another one I'd add is Downbelow Station by C. J. Cherryh. What the characters went through on that station is probably a hell of a lot like what most survivors went through during The Fall.

browwiw browwiw's picture
Re: Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

I can't recommend Karen Traviss' "Wess'har" books enough. I was surprised to see "City of Pearl" in the reading list. Not because it's not a good book (it's great), but that I don't remember there being any Singularity or transhuman tropes in it. She does adhere to realistic space travel times and has a lot practical nano-tech in the book, so maybe that's it.

Off the top of my head, I can think of any related sci-fi that I've read lately except Cory Doctorow, and he's already been mentioned. If you're into the Halo novelizations, there is a distinction made between 'smart' and 'dumb' AI and if you think about, Cortana does act as John's 'Muse' when she inhabits his suit. The Spartans themselves could be considered transhuman in regards to all the god-awful super-soldier upgrades afflicted up their bodies.

No, wait, wait, I seriously just pull an old Poul Anderson novel out of my closet titled "Genesis". If I remember correctly, it deals with uploading human intelligence and digital immortality. The protagonist, over the course of millenia, seeds copies ('forks') of his mind all over the galaxy as a form of space exploration. The copies diverge so greatly from the prime template over the years they become wholly different identities. I'll have to re-read it, now.

"Let’s face it: Most of us are just here to shoot stormtroopers." - Gary M. Sarli

imperialus imperialus's picture
Re: Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

Oh, one other to add to the list.

Mindscan by Robert J. Sawyer. It's about a guy with a genetic condition that will eventually kill him copying his brain into an android.

Interesting twist is that the process doesn't 'move' his consciousness from his meat body to his metal one it copies it so while the android version of the main character assumes his former life the meat version gets shipped off to a retirement home on the moon to wait until a stroke kills him.

Another woman who undergoes the same process has her son sue her for bilking him out of his inheritance by not dying when she was supposed to.

Grabula Grabula's picture
Re: Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

Quote:
Interesting twist is that the process doesn't 'move' his consciousness from his meat body to his metal one it copies it so while the android version of the main character assumes his former life the meat version gets shipped off to a retirement home on the moon to wait until a stroke kills him.

Yeah, that's a common topic on the idea of transferring conciousness, or even say teleportation. It's an interesting challenge really. If the copy was perfect but the original is 'deleted' by the process you'd never be able to tell the difference really, so asking the copy if it's the original or a copy wouldnt' get you anywhere. I think that's partially why I find the setting so fascinating. The idea of transferring "me" to data to reach immortality is sweet, but I think the ultimate joke is that you really will only ever be able to copy someone. Those on the outside would never know the difference (besides 'lack' to use game terminology) but you'd be dead and only your next copy would continue on.

To stay on topic though, Padnora's Star was good read, but it wasn't good enough to drive me to pick up the follow up.

There's a book I read I can't remember the name of but maybe some of you can help me figure it out. In the book they deal wit the idea of near immortality. I don't think it's virtual copies so much as life extension technology. All I can recall at the moment is that there's a belief that there is an alien conspiracy, and at the end of the book (which is most likely part of a series) an alien ship is discovered on a planet that provides evidence for teh conspiracy theory.

I wish I could remember the title or author offhand because I think it's a good read for this sort of subject. hey deal with thinsg like how marriages would work for immortal humans. You basically sign a contract for so many years and have the option to extend or move on and the end of it, that sort of thing.

Murdoch Murdoch's picture
Re: Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

In the "Mirrorshades: a cyberpunk anthology" by Bruce Sterling,
there are two novels:
"Snake-Eyes" by Tom Maddox
& "Stone Lives" by Paul Di Filippo (author mentionned in inspirations for EP),
which fit some tropes of EP to the T.

In the first, a guy equiped with some pieces of neural control cyber during the war is fighting against madness and being reeducated by an AI.
In the second; Corps rule over ghettos; fighting for ownership of these, the most impoverished people being offered nice contracts like "test this combat toxin and if you survive we will offer complete regeneration in our healing vats" (so that you can get rid of other affliction you got from your condition. Kind, isn't it?)

What piece of work is a Man, How noble in Reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving
how express and admirable, In action how like an Angel! In apprehension how like a god, the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals. and yet to me, what i

fourthson fourthson's picture
Re: Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

I'm a little shocked and amazed that no one has mentioned 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson on this thread...so i'll do it. Reading through it now. Good Stuff, very good stuff.

Prior Prior's picture
Re: Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

Grabula wrote:
Anyone have any solid suggestions for scifi books that might provide some inspiration for EP?

I've got a solid library of non fiction related to the SIngluarity concept, nano-tech and all the other stuff involved in EP. I'm primarily looking for some suggestions on science fiction reading that might be apropriate.

I've got to say, it's been a long time since I was this excited about an RPG, and I haven't even picked up the core rules yet lol.

Altered Carbon, Broken Angels and Woken Furies by Richard Morgan are a must, especially with regard to the impact of re-sleeving on the human mind and relationships etc.

"I do seem to remember a process where you people ask me questions and I give you answers, and then I ask you questions and you give me answers, and that's the way we find out things. I think I read that in a manual somewhere."

Ashen Victor Ashen Victor's picture
Re: Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

I would recommend "The Wreck of the River of Stars" by Michael F. Flynn, a story about an once sailing luxury liner, now an obsolete, run down tramp freighter converted to fusion that totally wrecks thanks to the pitiful decisions made by each one of the crew.
The fun part is the variety of origins and motivations of the crew and the sole passenger, how each one has it´s own priority and condemns all to a slow motion train wreck, including a somewhat confused IA.
Hard Sci-Fi to please both those who love character development and technical plausibility.
I'm reading it right now for the 3rd time.

Airlock14 Airlock14's picture
Re: Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

Agree with the 2312 suggestion, as always Kim Stanley Robinson excels in describing habitats and societies. In this he tackles several of the space habitat types found in EP. Brilliant stuff and very relevant. Haven't finished it yet so no spoilers please.

Airlock14 Airlock14's picture
Re: Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

Another one is Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds. Plenty of EP tropes in this and a great version of malevolent and feral AI wildlife inhabiting the dusts of Mars which seems very appropriate. A great story too and first part of a trilogy.

fourthson fourthson's picture
Re: Scifi reading apropriate to the setting?

Im working on (nearly finished with) 2312. Next is Reynolds' new one or Existence by Brin, not sure which. Beyond that lies Leviathan Wakes and Throne of the Crescent Moon-- a Mideastern style epic fantasy. Gotta mix it up a little, right?

Chevre Chevre's picture
Definitely the Takeshi Kovacs

Definitely the Takeshi Kovacs novels. Also Ghost in the Shell (in pretty much any format, but particularly the Stand Alone Complex series), Accelerando by Charles Stross, and Bruce Sterling's Schismatrix series.

I'd also recommend John Scalzi's Old Man's War, although less for the setting (more aliens and FTL travel) and more for the main character's reaction to sharing his brain with a muse.

Seekerofshadowlight Seekerofshadowlight's picture
Chevre wrote:Definitely the

Chevre wrote:
Definitely the Takeshi Kovacs novels. Also Ghost in the Shell (in pretty much any format, but particularly the Stand Alone Complex series), Accelerando by Charles Stross, and Bruce Sterling's Schismatrix series.

I'd also recommend John Scalzi's Old Man's War, although less for the setting (more aliens and FTL travel) and more for the main character's reaction to sharing his brain with a muse.

I just finished reading those(Old man war), I have to agree they do give you a good idea about Muses and uses of those. It also has limited uploading as well. I also agree that Kovacs novels are a must read and yes Stand alone complex is near enough to a must as well.

Revelation space are also a good read as they tackle some of the issues of ep, uploading minds and hostile ETI's. I am sad to say I can't add anything that has not been spoken of already in this thread, but some of the things listed are on my to read list.

Chevre Chevre's picture
Actually, now that I'm

Also Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy. Utterly fantastic series.

And now that I'm thinking about it, the sequel to Old Man's War has a main character who's effectively a biological AGI built around somebody's Beta fork, sleeved into...actually I'm not sure what the CDF soldier bodies would be in EP terms. Fury? Remade? High-end Pod?

Seekerofshadowlight Seekerofshadowlight's picture
They would be Furies, but

They would be Furies, but better the smartblood alone makes them better. The CDF specie forces would be past those really as they are strong and faster then even normal CDF Morphs. I do not think Jared was a beta, he was an alpha that suffered corruption due to them never having done a stored upload before.

The Gumdains(Sp?) however would make a niffty morph, space adapted humans and well within EP's techno limits

Chevre Chevre's picture
Seekerofshadowlight wrote

Seekerofshadowlight wrote:
They would be Furies, but better the smartblood alone makes them better.The CDF specie forces would be past those really as they are strong and faster then even normal CDF Morphs.

Smartblood could be viewed as the military-grade (re: weaponized) version of respirocytes. I didn't look at the Ghost Brigades as having stronger or faster morphs, they just had a better grasp of exactly how far they could push the design.

Seekerofshadowlight wrote:

The Gumdains(Sp?) however would make a niffty morph, space adapted humans and well within EP's techno limits

I think they were called Gameras, but that could just be my childhood love of kaiju movies talking. As far as space-adapted morphs go, I'm also a huge fan of some of the ideas for the Ousters from Dan Simmons' Endymion. Dyson spheres made of trees, flying on solar winds with hundred-meter wings...very poetic.

athanasius athanasius's picture
I suggest my favorite source

I suggest my favorite source for atrifacts and other stuff:
http://www.orionsarm.com/
The encyclopedia is useful an the novel are ok, i consider EP the prequel of this setting.

Seekerofshadowlight Seekerofshadowlight's picture
Chevre wrote

Chevre wrote:
Seekerofshadowlight wrote:
They would be Furies, but better the smartblood alone makes them better.The CDF specie forces would be past those really as they are strong and faster then even normal CDF Morphs.

Smartblood could be viewed as the military-grade (re: weaponized) version of respirocytes. I didn't look at the Ghost Brigades as having stronger or faster morphs, they just had a better grasp of exactly how far they could push the design.

I think they were called Gameras, but that could just be my childhood love of kaiju movies talking. As far as space-adapted morphs go, I'm also a huge fan of some of the ideas for the Ousters from Dan Simmons' Endymion. Dyson spheres made of trees, flying on solar winds with hundred-meter wings...very poetic.

It was indeed Gamera, and named after the very thing you recall. I finished that book, like 4 days ago. I finished the 3rd last night. what what i recall, the Ghost brigade are Ginni pigs. They get Morphs normal humans frankly could not handle. They are even more upgraded and faster. They had upgrades not in the norm units.

Some of that speed did have to do with them never having been human, but not all of it. If you recall the ritual with the crab-like race Perry knew he could never move that fast, nor with that much power.

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Jane was not a fork, but an

Jane was not a fork, but an original personality born in the body developed used the ADN of a deceased woman (it can be understood that it was the deceased wife of the protagonist in the first novel, but as far as I know it was never even suggested). The Ghost Brigades would be more akin to Lost generation characters into high-end fury morphs, without async powers.

I would like to suggest you to have a look at Bruce Sterling's Schismatrix, since in Rimward there is a mention to one of its habitats (that with one men and his lots of wifes!)

Seekerofshadowlight Seekerofshadowlight's picture
Xagroth wrote:Jane was not a

Xagroth wrote:
Jane was not a fork, but an original personality born in the body developed used the ADN of a deceased woman (it can be understood that it was the deceased wife of the protagonist in the first novel, but as far as I know it was never even suggested). The Ghost Brigades would be more akin to Lost generation characters into high-end fury morphs, without async powers.

We are talking of Jared, the solder in the second book. He was created to house the mind of someone else, at first it did not take, then later it kinda mixed both minds. Although Jane is in that book as well. The way Spec forces in those books work would be more akin to an AGI. They have blank minds, with a muse to guide them and are force feed info. They are born as blank slats, per programed with knowledge they will need.

The Morphs themselves are based off the DNA of dead folks. Jane was indeed based off Perry's wife Kathy's DNA. But she did not have her mind, she was in many ways her twin. She looked like her and had a few mannerisms the same, but was not the same woman.

All in all, not a bad read.

Bruce Sterling's Schismatrix is on my reading list, a few books from the top currently. I have gotten many good reads from folks on here and the list out of the Back of the EP book. I do not recall who brought up the Mar's books, but damned those are good. I really need to reread em as it has been a long while.

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Schismatrix is almost

Schismatrix is almost required reading for EP. Loads of relevant ideas and quirky societies.

I like "The Quantum Thief" by Rajaniemi - loads of good ideas, from simspace prisons to mass-mind superintelligences to anti-panopticon societies.

Extropian

Seekerofshadowlight Seekerofshadowlight's picture
Humm I shall add that one to

Humm I shall add that one to the list as well.

OpsCon OpsCon's picture
Heinlein's 'Friday' has some

Heinlein's 'Friday' has some parts that could relate to EP and Pods/Futras/Custom Grown People.

KT
Alex 'Iceshade' Andrade


Xagroth Xagroth's picture
OpsCon wrote:Heinlein's

OpsCon wrote:
Heinlein's 'Friday' has some parts that could relate to EP and Pods/Futras/Custom Grown People.

Heinlein is a must, not because of its relation to EP but because of himself. John Varley is also very, very good, with a very interesting "short" story called The Ophiuchi Hotline (much more sugerent in spanish: "Y mañana serán clones") centered around... well, too much alpha forks of a geningeneer ^^.
Steel Beach is also very good and interesting, since it depicts an habitat with a central computer using its resident's unused processing capability for himself, and the Golden Globe shows the whole solar system (I love the Charonian mafia) and how a shakespearean actor flees across it.

valen valen's picture
I'm here to suggest Voice of

I'm here to suggest Voice of the Whirlwind by Walter Jon Williams. Its about a soldier re-lifed on his backup insurance after somebody kills him and he has to figure out why.

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
2312

Although the style and social optimism of Kim Stanley Robinson can be annoying to read sometimes, this novel would be a really good inspiration for EP

Also David Brin has a new book released, Existence, I'm currently reading Accelerando by Charles Stross. I could see this one making a good sorce for an adventure on Extropia

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!

piotrus piotrus's picture
Some suggestions

Some lesser known items:
* Polish writer Jacek Dukaj (you can find a few things by him in English at http://dukaj.pl/English/ReadingRoom)
* more anime, for those who would like to watch something EP-themed: Akira (classic on the coming of singularity), Dennou Coil (great treatment of AR), EVE No Jikan (AI story), Ergo Proxy and Blassreiter (nano-fuelled apocalypse, with some AIs and associated stuff), Bubblegum Crisis 2040 (for a more classic treatment of it), Cowboy Bebop (has a very good feeling for "solar system space opera"), Kiddy Grade (can be seen as a post-singularity space opera universe, some silliness nonwithstanding), UN-GO (detective stories in a GitS-like universe), Appleseed -verse stuff (more GitS like universe, if not as good story wise), Moonlight Mile, Planetes and Space Brothers (all deal with quite realistic near future settings focusing on first steps in serious solar system exploration), Serial Experiments Lain (cyberpunk), Starship Operators (good treatment of space combat)

Baalbamoth Baalbamoth's picture
No love for Asher?

Had a bunch of people tell me "Gridlinked" by Asher is a must read for EP, anybody checked that out yet?

"what do I want? The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, complete dominion over the known worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
I read Gridlinked. One of

I read Gridlinked. One of Asher's best books, which isn't really saying that much though. If you like a cool and violent protagonist it is certainly a good enough read, but if you haven't read a lot of scifi there are certainly better books out there.

Baalbamoth Baalbamoth's picture
This gun fires 21 flavors of $hit, pick a color. (Marshal Law)

I love cool and violent anti-heros, I'm a true product of the iron age comics of the 80's and 90's... big guns, grit, angst, and cybernetics. any other suggestions?

"what do I want? The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, complete dominion over the known worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."

nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
I just wrapped up Existence.

I just wrapped up Existence. Imagine it as a philosophy text about 80% of the issues building up to EP, with a story wrapped around it. Great if you're looking for a history lesson and a good think. Story was so-so.

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
Baalbamoth wrote:I love cool

Baalbamoth wrote:
I love cool and violent anti-heros, I'm a true product of the iron age comics of the 80's and 90's... big guns, grit, angst, and cybernetics. any other suggestions?

I assume you've read Richard Morgan's Kovacs novels and Iain Banks' Use of Weapons?

Ilmarinen Ilmarinen's picture
The HeeChee saga by Frederik

The HeeChee saga by Frederik Pohl makes a good case for why the infomorphs should be the most desirable state instead of the least desirable.

[------------/Nation States/-----------]
[-----/Representative Democracy/-----]
[--------/Regulated Capitalism/--------]

Baalbamoth Baalbamoth's picture
Just finished old man's war

took me about 8 hrs, fast read. was ok but pretty derivative of starship troopers. loved the idea of an alien race that dumbed down its tech to present a challenge in combat, liked the special forces.

Read all the Kovacs novels, haven't seen Iain banks, book title?

"what do I want? The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, complete dominion over the known worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
Use of Weapons. For the anti

Use of Weapons. For the anti-hero thing, but really you should just go through all his Culture novels (maybe skip Inversions), plus Against a Dark Background.

Unfortunately Iain Banks is dying, he has terminal stage bladder cancer and has only months to live :( He's the 2nd best writer imo, a big loss

Baalbamoth Baalbamoth's picture
.

Felt the same way about Robert Anton Willson when he passed a few years ago, worse because he lived not far away from me (less than an hour away) and I had always planned to go to a signing or speaking event. sigh...

"what do I want? The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, complete dominion over the known worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."

jackgraham jackgraham's picture
_Slow Engines of Time_ by

_Slow Engines of Time_ by Elisabeth Vonarburg (not sure what the original French title is). It's all about artificial people, and the consequences of being one.

J A C K   G R A H A M :: Hooray for Earth!
  http://eclipsephase.com :: twitter @jackgraham @faketsr :: Google+Jack Graham

nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Smokeskin wrote:He's the 2nd

Smokeskin wrote:
He's the 2nd best writer imo, a big loss

Who is first best?

boomzilla boomzilla's picture
books

It's not sci-fi, but the depiction of anarchist societies in Eclipse Phase inspired me to pick up Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell. Homage to Catalonia featuring Orwell's experience in an anarchist army, of all things.

Presently reading Vacuum Flowers by Michael Swanwick, which features, among other EP-esque tropes, zerg-g slums, reprogrammable personalities, asteroid/comet herding, and Earth taken over by a collective mind (a la the Borg).

Neuromancer by Gibson is one of my favorite works, and the second half of the novel somehow feels particularly appropriate to EP: inhuman hyper-elite immortals living in an orbital casino!


Baalbamoth Baalbamoth's picture
Orwell ugg...

read all of Orwell's majors but sheesh talk about depressing, only thing worse is Huxley, you ever read "Island"? global dominance by westerners and megacorps= unavoidable total planetary collapse. a nice easy to go to sleep to sort of book....

Neuromancer was great, his earlier sci-fi stuff was pretty awesome, tried to read pattern recognition and got so bored I took the book back... what happened to Gibson?

"what do I want? The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, complete dominion over the known worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."

boomzilla boomzilla's picture
Orwell, Gibson

Indeed, re: Orwell: oh god, the ending of 1984!

Baalbamoth wrote:
tried to read pattern recognition and got so bored I took the book back... what happened to Gibson?

I've been "meh" about the latest Gibson trilogy myself. A friend described it as "high hipness to weirdness ratio". His latest book is being made now, different than the Bigend trilogy. From the snipets being released of the book, my friend concluded that the hipness:weirdness ratio is being reversed. We shall see.


Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
nezumi.hebereke wrote

nezumi.hebereke wrote:
Smokeskin wrote:
He's the 2nd best writer imo, a big loss

Who is first best?

Charles Stross

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
John C Wright's The Golden

John C Wright's The Golden Age is great for taking the implications of rep ecconomy, AR, and Muse interactions to their logical conclusion. He's really writing more in a posthuman genre but he has extreme depth in the way he imagines and details the world and much of it is applicable to EP

He also has impressive facility with creating and inserting future-jargon and techno-babel thickly into the text in a way that few authors are able to achieve. (Stross, Morgan, Vinge, Rodenburry and Lucas not withstanding.) His terminology seems grounded in real science and natural to the setting and characters without being self-referential in a way that that is jarring or requires explanation outside of the narrative flow. It's a tight bit of craftsmanship around a writing problem that plagues me.

Having very little action or violence it's not my typical flavor of fiction. But it's an excellent example of setting-as-character equal to Eclipse Phase. There's a sweet juxtoposition that, in such a grand setting, the story seems to revolve around a twisted little personal mystery and there's a novelty in nearly every paragraph. Over all it's a joy to read.

Read Joe Haldeman I don't see him mentioned enough on these forums. Forever War is remarkable and worth while simply for being the hard sci-fy counterpoint to Starshiptroopers. Forever Peace is even more important from a transhuman standpoint for its exploration of the coming effects nanotechnic post scarcity and what might happen in society if neural technology like XP allowed us to truly know each other.

I'd also encourage you, if you're at all interested in military fiction, to look at Ian Douglas. He's not great at making characters and he's certainly annoyingly gungho about the USA and Marines but he does the math and does an honest job of looking at future warfare, alien physiology, the fermi paradox, and astrophysics from a hard science perspective that takes its cues from current science. His single departures from provable science are his use of zero-point energy and space warping through control of gravitational singularities. He's more interesting and uses less handwavium than John Scalsi in my opinion.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

codechemist codechemist's picture
Really enjoyed "The Quantum

I really enjoyed "The Quantum Thief" by Hannu Rajaniemi. It goes pretty far down the road of what a post-human existence might look like, while still maintaining internal consistency and developing an intriguing narrative.

codechemist codechemist's picture
OneTrikPony wrote:Read Joe

OneTrikPony wrote:
Read Joe Haldeman I don't see him mentioned enough on these forums. Forever War is remarkable and worth while simply for being the hard sci-fy counterpoint to Starshiptroopers. Forever Peace is even more important from a transhuman standpoint for its exploration of the coming effects nanotechnic post scarcity and what might happen in society if neural technology like XP allowed us to truly know each other.

+1 for Joe Haldeman. I really enjoyed both of those books. I found Forever Peace to be an interesting spiritual successor to the first book.

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Without being super spoilery, it has a pretty grim view of human nature, which when combined with an increased capacity for destruction leads to the central tension of the book. Very cool stuff.

*edited to put some not that spoilery (but potentially?) stuff in between spoiler tags*

Revinor Revinor's picture
Gamedec

Unfortunately only for people who can read Polish - Gamedec series, http://www.goodreads.com/series/47548-gamedec
Explores ideas of resleeving, plus all the combinations of real people going virtual only, AIs getting resleeved into bio bodies and children being conceived in virtual reality and growing there without ever visiting real world. Some info in english is here
http://www.gamedecverse.com/en/

Pages