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Futuretimeline Future Fiction Book Thread

Science Fiction Sci-Fi SF Future

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#1
Ru1138

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Suggest and talk about print fiction that takes place in and/or talks about the future. Heavy emphasis on science-fiction, though any form of print fiction is welcome.

 

The First Immortal by James L. Halperin is probably among the quintessential print SF about future technology and events. It starts with one man's life beginning and abrupt interruption in which he has to be cryopreserved. After that, a look at the events and technologies that unfold over time takes place until the day he is able to be revived.

 

It's a good book, though the science is spotty in places (most egregious is the "iron allergy" part). I think a lot of the people here would enjoy it.


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#2
IzzyIngleby

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Oddly enough, one of my friends has a iron "allergy", I don't really get how, but he reacts badly to large amounts of the stuff, writing rude symbols on him when we're out in town is an even worse idea than usual...



#3
Ru1138

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Oddly enough, one of my friends has a iron "allergy", I don't really get how, but he reacts badly to large amounts of the stuff, writing rude symbols on him when we're out in town is an even worse idea than usual...

 

Interesting. Though the human body already contains some iron. Maybe it's an allergy to excess iron?

 

And the book is free to download. Go to this page and click on the link in the image caption of the book cover.


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#4
Ru1138

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I think I can recommend Stephen Baxter here.

 

Manifold Trilogy: fiction regarding the Fermi Paradox. Manifold: Time has a very long timescale and (along with Phase Space) suggestions about the future evolution of humanity. Skip Origin, it's not that good.

 

Xeelee Sequence: fiction that takes place in a universe chock full of weird species, some of them not so nice. One race (called the Xeelee) are so powerful as to be almost godlike.

 

Destiny's Children: same universe as Xeelee Sequence, but focuses on the evolution of mankind within that universe.

 

Evolution: a book with a timescale that extends from our past to our future. It shows the evolution of some species over that time, including us.


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#5
Ru1138

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Made this post on Reddit. I'll probably look into some of those suggestions and report back in this thread.


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#6
Yuli Ban

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Not really print fiction as of yet, but I've finally finished the rough drafts of the first 6 chapters  of Mother Meki 1. If that counts. So hoorah, you get to view science fiction in the making on these very boards.


Edited by The Young Homo Maximus, 04 September 2013 - 02:06 PM.

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#7
Ru1138

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Not really print fiction as of yet, but I've finally finished the rough drafts of the first 6 chapters  of Mother Meki 1. If that counts. So hoorah, you get to view science fiction in the making on these very boards.

 

That's good to hear HM!

 

Another recommendation, the Revelation Space novels. First novel (which gave the series its name) is a bit sparse as far as worldbuilding goes, but later novels rectify that problem.


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#8
IzzyIngleby

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I'd recommend The Quiet war and it's sequel Gardens of the Sun by Paul McAuley, it's set about 200 years in the future. It's a setting roughly analogous to the 2312 novel.

 

Setting summary (altered slightly from Wikipedia):

 

Much of Earth's population has fled the Earth due to war and catastrophic climate change. In the aftermath of climatic disaster and massive loss of life, on earth humanity has consolidated into three superpowers (Greater Brazil, European Union, and the Pacific Alliance).

 

The population that fled Earth initially colonized the Moon and Mars, but these colonies were destroyed by hostile forces from Earth. The pioneers—or "Outers" as they came to be known—eventually settled among the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. The Outers have survived by using radical technologies, including highly advanced genetic engineering coupled with their determination for a free life. They've formed a loose form of Democracy which over the course of centuries has been dominated by long-lived humans who still remember the events which caused them to flee Earth.

 

The Earthly superpowers have struggled to rebuild the planet. The most powerful and aggressive superpower is Greater Brazil, a nation controlling both South and the remains of North America. North America has been devastated by climate change, which caused the destruction of civilization there, with few cities left populated. Greater Brazil has taken over this desert continent and forced the population to live by their "green" politics whereby the population lives in cities while the open land is being restored to a pristine natural state. Greater Brazil is a corrupt state run by a handful of powerful families;with anti-democratic and culturally conservative values. A semi-feudal society, Greater Brazil is highly socially stratified, with most living lives akin to medieval serfs. The rigidity of GB society is juxtaposed against the democratic and technologically dynamic Outer colonies, nonetheless the ruling families remain lustful towards the benefits of Outer technology.  Greater Brazil hatches a plan to subdue the Outers and bring them under its control, and begins moving its pieces into place.


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#9
Ru1138

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I tried reading The Quiet War once, was a bit too slow for me. But maybe my tastes have changed since then.

 

I found out about the Ware Tetralogy by Rudy Rucker. It's said to go into depth about body modifications. I just got it from the library. I'll let you guys know if it's any good.


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#10
Riftmaker

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I've read a number of outstanding science-fiction stories, including a few that aren't focused on technological changes, but societal changes in the future.

 

Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

The rest of the books by him are excellent as well.

All of them are set in a dystopian, cyberpunk future, but unlike more cyberpunk, is more distant in the future. 

 

From Wikipedia:

"Altered Carbon[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:sans-serif;font-size:13px;background-color:rgb(255,255,255);] (2002) is a [/color]hardboiled[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:sans-serif;font-size:13px;background-color:rgb(255,255,255);] [/color]cyberpunk[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:sans-serif;font-size:13px;background-color:rgb(255,255,255);] science fiction novel by [/color]Richard K. Morgan[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:sans-serif;font-size:13px;background-color:rgb(255,255,255);]. Set some five hundred years in the future in a universe in which the United Nations Protectorate oversees a number of [/color]extrasolar planets[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:sans-serif;font-size:13px;background-color:rgb(255,255,255);] settled by human beings, it features protagonist [/color]Takeshi Kovacs[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:sans-serif;font-size:13px;background-color:rgb(255,255,255);]. Kovacs is a former United Nations Envoy and a native of Harlan's World, a planet settled by a Japanese [/color]keiretsu[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:sans-serif;font-size:13px;background-color:rgb(255,255,255);] with Eastern European labour. ...[/color][color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:sans-serif;font-size:13px;background-color:rgb(255,255,255);]In the novel's somewhat [/color]dystopian[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:sans-serif;font-size:13px;background-color:rgb(255,255,255);] world, human personalities can be stored digitally and downloaded into new bodies, called sleeves. Most people have cortical stacks in their spinal columns that store their memories. If their body dies, their stack can be stored indefinitely. "[/color]

 The premise behind his book is extremely interesting and makes for a great read.

Also, check out the Xenogenesis series of books by Octavia E. Butler. They are books involving extraterrestrials, which I'm not normally interested. But Butlers version of aliens and what they might be like is the most unique thing I've ever read. Her other books are also definitely worth reading.

 

The works of Isaac Asimov are also extremely interesting for those who enjoy hard sci-fi, and his premises are always extremely believable and realistic. Of course there is the classic work I, Robot, as well as a book called Nine Tomorrows which I STRONGLY recommend.

 

 The work The Sleeper Awakes by H. G. Wells is also very good, and his view of the world of the future is not dissimilar from much later scifi. The thing I didn't like about the book was that it is written in a rather archaic late Victorian style. That's the unique thing about Wells' writing. I didn't like the style, just the ideas he presented, so if that sort of archaic writing style doesn't bother you, then you'll enjoy the story.


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#11
Ru1138

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Rucker's work didn't really capture me.

 

On the plus side, both Proxima (Stephen Baxter) and On the Steel Breeze (Alastair Reynolds) come out soon. I hope I'll be able to get both. :)


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#12
Ru1138

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Got Proxima, but On the Steel Breeze hasn't come yet.

 

Got two futuristic novels from the library, Spin State and Spin Control. I'll try delving into those next.


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#13
IzzyIngleby

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Is proxima any good, I'm a huge fan of Stephen Baxter, have you read Flood and Ark?



#14
Ru1138

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Is proxima any good, I'm a huge fan of Stephen Baxter, have you read Flood and Ark?

 

I've read Flood and Ark but not Proxima. The Flood/Ark duology weren't his best works to be honest.


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#15
Ru1138

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How could I have forgotten Diaspora by Greg Egan? Lots of ideas in that one.


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#16
Lily

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Do you think you could give a really short summary (of course, withouth spoiling anything important, just the gist of the story) of these books? It would help people trying to decide if they want to read one of your recommendations :)


"All scientific advancement due to intellegence overcoming, compensating, for limitations. Can't carry a load, so invent wheel. Can't catch food, so invent spear. Limitations. No limitations, no advancement. No advancement, culture stagnates. Works other way too. Advancement before culture is ready. Disastrous."

There's definitely truth in that...


#17
Ru1138

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Do you think you could give a really short summary (of course, withouth spoiling anything important, just the gist of the story) of these books? It would help people trying to decide if they want to read one of your recommendations :)

 

For Diaspora: humanity has speciated into many forms, but a cataclysm that was originally due in 7 million years time happens early and has the survivors scrambling for answers.

 

Revelation Space: a man tries to discover what led to the extinction of an alien race, things go south for him rather badly (one person describes the series as "bad things happening to good people", just to warn you).


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#18
Lily

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Thanks :) I might take a closer look at the last one when I have a bit more time on my hands.


"All scientific advancement due to intellegence overcoming, compensating, for limitations. Can't carry a load, so invent wheel. Can't catch food, so invent spear. Limitations. No limitations, no advancement. No advancement, culture stagnates. Works other way too. Advancement before culture is ready. Disastrous."

There's definitely truth in that...


#19
Ru1138

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I've checked out a Bruce Sterling collection which contains all of the shaper/mechanist short stories.


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#20
Origin Country

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Revelation Space: a man tries to discover what led to the extinction of an alien race, things go south for him rather badly (one person describes the series as "bad things happening to good people", just to warn you).

 

 

The Revelation Space books are some of my favorite, and are what really got me into sci-fi as a kid. I would suggest checking out two of Alastair Reynold's other novels, Pushing Ice, and House of the Sun. Both are beautifully crafted and entertaining, Reynold's really is a master of Space-Opera type novels. 

 

I also highly recommend Counting Heads, and Mind Over Ship both by David Marusek. They are the first two novels of a trilogy, with the third coming out sometime soon. In my mind, they represent a very possible future, neither dystopian or utopian.


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