More smart thrillers like Brilliance and Lexicon
March 6, 2014 1:08 PM   Subscribe

I've recently finished Marcus Sakey's Brilliance and Max Barry's Lexicon and I'd like more thrillers like them. By "like them", I mean: fast paced, lots of twists and action, an intelligent, speculative, science-fictiony central idea, but the book is not marketed as genre science fiction, but rather as a thriller. Some literary aspiration is a plus, as is a good Bechdel test score (both of the above books kind of failed on that latter criterion). Already read: Atwood, Gibson, Stephenson. I read a lot of "literary mysteries" like Tana French and the like, but here I'm more interested in action/thrillers and not so much mysteries or procedurals.
posted by matildaben to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 71 users marked this as a favorite
I've read Brilliance (but not Lexicon) and think you might enjoy Shovel Ready. Also, not as fast-paced but might fit what you're looking for is Odds Against Tomorrow.
posted by FreezBoy at 1:32 PM on March 6, 2014

I've enjoyed the books of Daniel Suarez. All of his novels are fast-paced techno-thrillers (haven't read his latest, but it seems to be more of the same). They don't really do so great Bechdel-wise, but they are very easy and fun to read and take some semi-plausible ideas to pretty wild places.
posted by Durhey at 1:45 PM on March 6, 2014

Not quite a thriller, but an amazing police procedural with great sci-fi premise - The Last Policeman by Ben Winters.
posted by brookeb at 1:59 PM on March 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

China MiƩville's The City & the City. Kind of a detective story with a bit of a magical realism bent to it.
posted by Pfardentrott at 2:46 PM on March 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

Try Duane Swierczynski, particularly The Blonde and his Charlie Hardie trilogy: Fun and Games, Hell and Gone, and Point and Shoot. You might also check out Skinner and Sleepless by Charlie Huston.
posted by dortmunder at 3:41 PM on March 6, 2014

Try The Rook by Daniel O'Malley. A bit lighter on the action, but tons of twists and turns and an absolutely killer premise. (A high-ranking official in a supernatural spy agency wakes up with amnesia, finds letters written to her from her former self, and tries to find the agency mole.) A delightful mishmash of genres that feels refreshing and above all, fun.
posted by sirvinegar at 5:37 PM on March 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

You might like Last Call By Tim Powers. Fantasy rather than sci-fi, but engrossing and smart.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:24 PM on March 6, 2014

Ramez Naam's Nexus, Daniel Wilson's Robopocalypse, and Andy Weir's The Martian are all pretty good page-turners.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 7:32 PM on March 6, 2014

Max Barry's earlier novel, Jennifer Government, is excellent. Thanks for reminding me about him!
posted by Jubey at 7:30 PM on March 8, 2014

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