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    • I prefer hard science fiction authors such as Greg Bear, Jack McDevitt and Robert L. Forward. I'm currently reading Stephen Baxter's Time but also want to go get back to Jack McDevitt's Priscilla Hutchins and Alex Benedict Novels. Who are your favourite authors and why?

    • I am a huge fan of Piece Brown's Red Rising trilogy, but I haven't read anything else by him.

      Lately I am getting really into Neil Stephenson. I read Snow Crash a few years ago, and thought it was pretty good. @yaypie recommended Seveneves which blew me away. I don't think I have been more riveted by a novel before. Now I am getting into Cryptonomicon and find myself sucked in again.

    • I just finished Stephone Baxter's book called Time. I see it as an example of extreme hard science fiction as the plot extends to the end of the universe and even beyond. Well worth the time to read it and very thought provoking.

    • I just re-read The Hyperion Cantos quadrilogy for the 5th or 6th time, definitely my favorite sci-fi series ever. The breadth and depth of Dan Simmons' series are amazing. Millions of years, dozens of characters, mythology, science, religion, poetry, artificial intelligence, wars between superhumans and super-AIs, horror and suspense. Every time I read it, I find new things. He doesn't just do 'amazing technology in the future', he pulls in real historical people and events and ties together things from the first book to the last, making the entire story so much richer.

      Other favorite books/authors:

      * Stephen Baxter
      * Arthure C Clarke
      * Isaac Asimov
      * The Three Body Problem (trilogy really, but the 2nd one was 'ok' and the 3rd I hated despited the ideas being amazing)
      * Charles Stross
      * Ilium series (amazing, same author as Hyperion Cantos)
      * The Wind Up Girl
      * The Ender Quartet

    • I have a lot of different favorite science fiction authors, which makes sense because I am one. :)

      Iain M. Banks and C.J. Cherryh are probably the best worldbuilders I know, off the top of my head. Banks comes up with incredibly cool world elements that actually make sense and make great plot. Cherryh writes completely convincing, totally alien mindsets -- her Faded Sun trilogy is really stellar that way, with two different non-human races and humans jockeying for position in the wake of an interstellar war.

      I'm fond of Roger Zelazny, for sheer audacity and variety of ideas.

      Two authors I really admire but who I haven't read enough of yet to call 'favorites' are Ursula Le Guin and Octavia Butler -- the latter's Xenogenesis trilogy is incredibly thought-provoking, about what makes us human, how we respond to the unbelievable, what we will or won't give up for hope and a future. Le Guin I've read more fantasy by than sci fi so far, but Left Hand of Darkness is a classic for a reason: it's one of those books that is interesting, smart, but a slow build, until suddenly it just eats your brain and soul for hours and spits you out somewhere entirely different.

    • The Left Hand of Darkness sits on my shelf waiting to be read. As do books by Benford, OSC, Carver, Hamilton, Silverberg, Thomas, McDevitt, Baxter, Bear and so on and so on and.... There's no end and now you've added a few to the list.

    • I am a huge fan of Piece Brown's Red Rising trilogy

      I read the first book and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you like the Hunger Games, this is a novel worth reading. Golden Son, however, felt like the middle book that you have to get through to enjoy the final book of a trilogy. I couldn’t get into it enough to finish. John Scalzi, by contrast, is hard SF but also can write a comedic SF masterpiece like Redshirts.

    • Iain M Banks' Culture series are my favourites. The humorous names he gives the sentient spacecraft are brilliant.

      "Experiencing a Significant Gravitas Shortfall" and "Just Another Victim of the Ambient Morality", to name but two.

    • Totally agree on the Red Rising Trilogy—the middle book was a bit of a slog. But the third book was excellent. I read these in 2016. When I noticed that Brown had written a sequel of sorts (Iron Gold-2018), I was pretty stoked. I even mentioned it in Cake thread, if I recall.

      To my complete surprise, I couldn’t even get through the first fifty pages of Iron Gold. Blah. Then I felt like a total loser that I had posted about it with so much enthusiasm. Hahaha.

      Live and learn...

    • You probably do know but not sure that everyone here realises that the two SpaceX drone ships that are used to land the reusable first stages of Falcon 9s are named after the Ship Minds from The Culture as well :) - both Of Course I Still Love You and Just Read The Instructions

      All my ships in Elite:Dangerous are also named from the list of those Ship Minds :)

    • On topic, I'll try to list some - because I'm afraid my list could very quickly grow too long.

      Some of the SF authors I am very fond of hark back to the ones I read young, most likely in Russian translations, at least initially. Those would include the Strugatsky brothers, Stanislaw Lem, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut Jr, Robert Sheckley, Clifford Simak and Arthur C. Clarke. Roger Zelazny was also heavily and pretty well translated into Russian, but the only book of his that has really shined for me was Lord of the Light and that one I read lately in English.

      These would later be followed by William Gibson (and Bruce Sterling to a lesser extent - Bruce is a brilliant writer and even more brilliant thinker, but for some reason his books, while excellent, didn't stick with me as deeply, same with Rudy Rucker), Ursula Le Guin, Frank Herbert, and Orson Scott Card (far from loving ALL of his stuff, but I think Ender's Game should be taught in school and the whole Ender series is deeply brilliant). Neal Stephenson I highly value, but more for the technical insight and scrupulous attention to detail than for any emotionally rich remembrances. Iain M. Banks has been a late addition to my repertoire but definitely up in the top 10or maybe 15, for The Culture series. I also highly enjoy China Mieville's works, New Crobuzon series in particular with Perdido Street Station as the peak of it.

    • Remembered another book that is not a favourite per se, but has left a deep lasting impression - Synners by Pat Cadigan.

    • Although @Felicity has already mentioned Cherryh, I wanted to comment on some of her books.

      Cherryh focuses a great deal of her writing on the difficulty which exists in Communication between people who do not share common referents or common cultural assumptions. This theme shows up in the Chanur Space Opera series, the Fortress fantasy series, and the Foreigner series which although technically space opera is more about cross cultural interactions than either of the other two series that I've mentioned.

      If one is primarily interested in hard science, what I've read of Cherryh's work would not be applicable. But if one is interested in why it is so difficult for humans on planet earth to avoid misunderstandings, Cherryh's work is quite interesting.


      If you've ever wondered what your dog or horse would say or do if they could interact with you on an equal level, the Foreigner series deals with the interactions between humans who "like" other people and the Atevi who are "loyal" to other people. The Atevi don't understand and feel the emotion of liking others and the humans don't feel or understand the emotion which bonds Atevis together in loyalty bonds. But there are other differences as well which would not apply to dogs or horses.