In Search of Good Sci-Fi / Fantasy
June 15, 2006 5:32 PM   Subscribe

FicFilter - Seeking online SciFi/Fantasy books with entertaining, accessible storylines.

I've recently gone and re-read Richard Kadrey's "Blind Shrike", and have greatly enjoyed Cory Doctrow's "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom". I'm seeking similar stories, (preferably online but paper is fine), that have either a Sci-Fi futurist bent ala "Down and Out..." or the religo-spiritual, planar-like fantasy of "Blind Shrike".
posted by bkdelong to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Baen Free Library is a selection of sci-fi novels available online. Varying quality, but at least a few of them are worth reading. I don't know the books you reference, so I can't speak as to similarity.
posted by jacalata at 6:54 PM on June 15, 2006


Sci-Fi futurist bent:

Ken MacLeod's Fall Revolution books -- The Star Fraction, The Stone Canal, The Cassini Division, and sort of The Sky Road.

Or Charlie Stross's stuff.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:19 PM on June 15, 2006


John Scalzi's Hollywood Space Alien novel "Agent to the Stars". I laughed... I didn't cry...
posted by wendell at 7:22 PM on June 15, 2006


I've got to second the recommendation for Ken MacLeod. I'm reading The Star Fraction at the moment and it's brilliant.

Other series I'd recommend: David Brin's "Uplift" series starting with Sundiver and going through Startide Rising, The Uplift War, Infinity's Shore, Brightness Reef, etc. All good books.

And C. J. Cherryh's Chanur series; Chanur's Pride, Chanur's Homecoming, Chanur's Legacy, The Kif Strike Back, etc.

And, as always, Asimov's Foundation series (Foundation, Second Foundation, Foundation and Empire, etc.)
posted by xpermanentx at 1:00 AM on June 16, 2006


This isn't exactly what you are looking for, but its great anyways.
365 Tomorrows publishes a new sci-fi short story everyday. great. They are not very long, but they make for a great 5 minutes of reading.
posted by HoldFast at 4:22 AM on June 16, 2006


Philip Pullman’s "His Dark Materials" trilogy is very very good. It has a "religious" bent--- it is a fantasy series involving magic and other worlds by a committed athiest.

Alastair Reynolds writes hard scifi potboilers with some neat ideas. He gets into posthuman type stuff but doesn't forget to tell a story.
posted by yesno at 5:29 AM on June 16, 2006


There's already bajillions of good scifi recommendation threads around, so I'd point you in that direction (it's easy enough to search...) but the one's that I'd recommend are Iain M. Banks' "Culture" series, and Peter F. Hamilton's "Night's Dawn" trilogy.

Be prepared for a prolonged period of sitting reading and not achieving anything productive if you go for the latter, though! :)
posted by Chunder at 5:41 AM on June 16, 2006


Charles Stross's Accelerando is available for free download if you wanted to try his stuff.
posted by drill_here_fore_seismics at 6:41 AM on June 16, 2006


Thanks, Yesno - I've read Pullman's series. I'm looking for something a tad lighter similar to Gaiman's "American Gods" as well as Kadrey's "Shrike".
posted by bkdelong at 6:45 AM on June 16, 2006


Check out Gaiman's Sandman comics, if you haven't. They're unbelievably good.
posted by yesno at 7:10 AM on June 16, 2006


Yes....those too :) Phenomenal. I've also read the Annotated Guide. Absolutely amazing.
posted by bkdelong at 7:26 AM on June 16, 2006


Asimov. GREAT writer. Lots of books with short stories, most of them very humorous. Some too corny (he admitted that to in his books...). But, he was the BEST.
posted by peglam at 3:58 PM on June 16, 2006


I really liked Peter Watts' Rifters/Behemoth books, available as CC-licensed pdf downloads here. A bit more sciencey than the Neil Gaiman stuff, but well-written and thought-provoking.
posted by sneebler at 7:03 AM on June 17, 2006


The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell, is one of my favorite SF books ever. (Not available online, as far as I know.)
It's more on the religious/spiritual side--the basic premise is that we discover aliens and the Jesuits decide to send an envoy to see what they are like.
I stayed up all night reading it and have been recommending it to anyone who will listen ever since.

As for the techie-futuristic stuff:

I definitely second Accelerando by Charles Stross, and also recommend Snow Crash and The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson if somehow you haven't read them already.

Jennifer Government by Max Barry is also pretty good, and I really liked Pattern Recognition by William Gibson.

Feed by M.T. Anderson is a YA book but don't let that put you off--it's hilarious (and also a bit sad) and has great language.
posted by exceptinsects at 1:40 PM on June 17, 2006


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