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View Diary: And the winner is . . . The Hugo Awards (29 comments)

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  •  thanks for showing me how out of touch I am; (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, 88kathy, Limelite, Oh Mary Oh

    of the books, I love Connie Willis, and know almost nothing beyond her.

    I have long had a practice of buying any novel that won both Hugo and Nebula awards. But I haven't checked recently for double-winners.

    Besides Willis I adore Mieville, Gibson, Gaiman, and most Stephenson (I found Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle mesmerizing, but still haven't finished Anathem).

    So who else, and what books especially, do I need to look at to start catching up with the 21st century?

    "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

    by Brecht on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:51:17 AM PDT

    •  My book list has expanded so much (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht, Limelite

      since I started doing this series.  There is so much out there I don't even have time for Net Flix.  And, I haven't even done the New York Times 100 best books list yet.

      •  I recently compiled a list of 292 authors/novels (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        88kathy, Limelite, Oh Mary Oh

        working from the NYT list, Waterstone's top 100, and three books about books.

        It's fantasy/sci-fi that I'm particularly looking for.

        So if anyone has favorite new authors they'd rank with Willis, Mieville, Gibson and Gaiman, I'd love to hear some names.

        Thanks, 88kathy. If you're that voracious, I'll watch for books you recommend in the future.

        "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

        by Brecht on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:29:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Science Fiction is something I haven't kept up (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brecht, Limelite

          with.  As ashamed as I am to admit it, I haven't read Ursla K. Le Guin.  Maybe someday I will grow up and read her.  Ask around here in other R&BLers.  There are many who know everything about Sci-Fi.

          •  Thanks. I'm sure I'll find answers in time. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            88kathy, Limelite, Oh Mary Oh

            As for LeGuin, The Dispossessed showed up on some of my lists, and The Left Hand of Darkness is highly thought of. But my own pick would be to read at least the first three books of the Earthsea trilogy, with the heart of a youth.

            "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

            by Brecht on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 09:00:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Re: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brecht, Oh Mary Oh, 88kathy

          Iain M. Banks writes some pretty cool and very imaginative stuff. The Culture novels have many interesting ideas - and by far the best starship names of all books. Start with "Consider Phlebas" and "Use of Weapons". They are mostly stand-alone, but sometimes share a few elements here and there.

          Some of this non sci-fi novels are highly acclaimed too:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          If you're into hard sci-fi, then Stephen Baxter is worth a look. But his books are mostly about ideas and thus very thin on characterization or drama.

          Anathem was great. I put it aside for a while too for some reason, though it wasn't really because of the book itself. Not entirely satisfied with the conclusion, but the world he built is just stunning in scope and imagination.

          •  Steve84, thanks for the suggestions (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Steve84, Oh Mary Oh, 88kathy

            You're completely right about Iain M. Banks, I've read about 4 of his, and they were all enjoyable reads and thought-provoking. I'll certainly look for Consider Phlebas and Use of Weapons.

            As Iain Banks, his non-sci-fi name, I was blown away by The Bridge - but I am a sucker for dreams, symbolism, and the shadowy regions between life and death; and those make up much of the book. The one that appears on 'Best Book' lists is The Wasp Factory. From the first few pages it already looks compelling. It also makes Lord of the Flies look like a book for children. I've got a friend who adores his writing but, after suffering The Wasp Factory, only reads his M. books.

            Your verdict on Anathem ("Not entirely satisfied with the conclusion, but the world he built is just stunning in scope and imagination") was my own, on every book Stephenson wrote before Cryptonomicon.

            As for Baxter, I think Asimov and Borges showed that you can write compellingly on pure ideation, but only if your ideas are highly original, and very carefully thought through and articulated. I will certainly look into Baxter.

            "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

            by Brecht on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 05:10:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Another one (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Oh Mary Oh, Brecht, 88kathy

              Dan Simmons's Hyperion cantos. Also an awesome universe and a story that is huge in scope. But with very human characters too. It's described as space opera, which is true, but while it doesn't focus much on real science as such (though I love how relativistic time dilation plays an important role), there is still plenty of technical detail for his own ideas. And lots to think about considering the inspiration and source of the stories.

              The first two books "Hyperion" (a Hugo Award winner btw) and "The Fall of Hyperion" are just great. The followup "Endymion" and "The Rise of Endymion" aren't quite on the same level, but still worth reading

              •  One caveat (0+ / 0-)

                Dan Simmons is anti-Muslim.  However, he's an excellent writer.

                If you're looking for more suggestions, there were a couple of lists in the initial "Boycott Orson Scott Card" thread.  All well worth checking out.

                •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

                  The difference is that Card is much more vocal in public and also lets it shine through in his books. I don't see Simmons's opinions on this influencing his work that much. Yeah, there is a violent jihad in the background story of Col. Kassad. But the Catholic Church is portrayed as just as violent in the Endymion books.

                  But no need to discuss this here. Plenty about it in the thread you referenced.

                •  Sorry, slow reply, only just saw this (0+ / 0-)

                  Yes, I will go back and look in that diary, thanks very much Ellid.

                  "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

                  by Brecht on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 01:21:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

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