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Book Recommendations

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Book Recommendations

Post by BobJSE »

Hi everyone! It's an easy assumption to make that most of the people drawn to Consortium are probably fans of the written word. To get some conversation started, here's a list of some of my favorite recent books, and why I liked them and how they influenced me.

You may notice that I'm a big fan of historical fiction and alternate realities. One of my most favorite things to work on as part of Consortium was fleshing out their world's version of the 20th century (which can be seen in some pretty intense detail at http://steamcommunity.com/app/264240/discussions/3/).

The Expanse - (Leviathan Wakes - James SA Corey)
One of the strongest speculative/action science-fiction I've read in a while, and it totally changed how I plan to design Consortium space technology. A great mixture hard sci-fi with some elements of horror, and some really memorable figures. Sci-Fi has turned about 70% of the first book into a 10 episode season of TV, and it's great.

Dresden Files (Stormfront - Jim Butcher)
He's a private eye in modern Chicago... and he's also a wizard. 15 books now, and they just keep getting better. This taught me a lot about expanding worldbuilding, and how to do it slowly, but with great depth.

Temeraire (His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik)
An alternate history of the Napoleonic Wars, but with a flying arial core... of dragons. Not magical beasts, but large, intelligent reptiles who evolved parallel to humanity. This taught me about interpersonal relationships between characters, even if one outweighs the other by a few tonnes.

On Writing - Stephen King
His memoir on the craft of writing, the simple rules he follows are a must-know for anyone who wants to write. While following them to the letter won't work for everyone (he writes over 2,000 words a day, every day), his other pieces of advice are amazing. It's also a really interesting story on how he got to where he is.

Red Rising (Pierce Brown)
Sort of a mix of Hunger Games, space-faring Romans with an elaborate caste system, and some really good sci-fi. These books have just grabbed me. These books to me were about plot, and how to keep it moving at all costs, and letting the worldbuilding and characters be pulled along by it.

There are a few others, but I don't want to steal them all. So, let's hear it!
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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by Fallaner »

Book recommendations huh? Well, personally i'm a fan of well... stuff from Japan... Also stuff involving science. ...Lots of things, and that's not even getting into my game selection!

One of my constant recommended reads, partly for learning more while also learning absurdity is called "What If: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions." ( http://www.amazon.com/What-If-Scientifi ... B00IYUYF4A )

While most of the questions are absolutely absurd, and some of them are online (It's a compilation book of refined versions of some the author previously answered online on http://what-if.xkcd.com/ ), there were some new ones and they maintain their absurdity and (at least i'm pretty sure) scientific accuracy. Like what would happen if you had a cube made of each element on the periodic table, all put together the way they are on the periodic table. (Hint: It goes badly, namely by destroying things. Lots of things. In an explosion.) while also explaining (to the best of his ability and the ability of scientists he asks) what happens as it goes along.

Uhhhh... in terms of more fictional things yet entertaining (that don't totally involve the destruction of cities, absurd questions that are taken seriously, etc), I would always recommended The Haruhi Suzumiya Series (And as a result the first book, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya), though if you prefer not to read there's a pretty good adaptation of the first couple books (in the form on an anime), called the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (and a movie sequel adaptation of the first proper sequel to the book, by the same name as the movie [book came first though] called The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya). While the Anime was discontinued a while ago, and the series is currently on indefinite hiatus (The author started getting tired of it I believe, kind of like they got burnt out and couldn't keep working on it, so they are taking a several year break so far), the books released so far (really Light Novels, which are books with some pictures in them) are all fairly entertaining and are a mix of fantasy (like having an esper), science fiction (A time traveler and an Alien Robot that looks like a high school girl and seems emotionless), and reality (The protagonist, Kyon [Not his real name, it's his nickname. Despite the books being written in his perspective, you never learn his actual name.], is a normal person who just somehow gets wrapped up with a crazy person who attracted an Esper, AlienBot and Time Traveler).

I'll shoot out one more suggestion, and one that's actually continued (Slowly. Maybe. ...As a WIP. For a while.)! That being the Dragonriders of Pern series. A science-fiction series set on another planet, it, as you may of guessed, has sentient dragons. In the original set of books, the planet they live on has a a thing called the Red Star in their sky that sends (or at least seemed too, at the start of the series it seems to be gone) things called Thread down to the planet... that eats organic material. Grass, trees, people, their cow-equivalent, etc. The thing about thread is that you can kill it with fire. ...Which is where the dragons come in and their riders. The Dragons are fed a sort of rock, that allows them to breath fire (They can't just do it) and kill thread (though thread also dies in water I believe) and kill thread. The Dragons can also teleport and use telepathy to speak (No verbal speech [unless you count dragon noises as speech], only telepathy) to each other and their riders. There is also a caste system due to how things are not a modern sort of time-period. This is also a fairly old series from the start, as the original trilogy's first book was released in 1968, and the last of the original trilogy (though not the last using that set of characters [Most of the other novels are spin-offs of the series or things taking place in the past, etc etc, I don't think there's anything after the book "The Skies of Pern", though the original author {Anne McCaffrey, currently deceased} was originally working on a sequel to it "After the Fall is Over", which is now being worked on by her children {One of her children, Todd McCaffrey, wrote several of the prequel books with her and several on his own}] was released 1978, with the last (released) story with those characters was released in 2001 (That being "The Skies of Pern")

So those are my suggestions for fun stuff to read! They are all written fairly well

Note: I've tried to keep all spoilers to be a minimum in my suggestions.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by FordGT90Concept »

If you want to read an interactive book, try Shadowrun: Dragonfall and Shadowrun: Hong Kong. So much dialog and you don't even realize how much there is because you only see a few paragraphs at a time but, wow, that "book" is thick. XD
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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by David_Schelter »

Red/Green/Blue Mars by Kim Robinson tops my list as recommended reading for sci fi. Personally I use this series to measure other mars colonization books, most copy things from it.

Issac Asimov I feel is cheating when you answer sci fi book recommendations, but there is a reason he is always brought up. Speaking of other classics Dune is probably my favorite sci fi book.

I'm not huge into warring but I did a study on On War by Clausewitz and anyone writing about wars I feel should at least read someone who read Clausewitz.
Other non fiction I'd recommend Super Intelligence: paths, dangers, and strategies. This book gave lots of insights to what the rise of ai could look like.

If you like comics I would check out Unknown Soldier, it isn't sci fi or relevant really, it's just really good, also short.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by mattig89ch »

The lost Fleet series, my favorite book series of all time right there. Btw, I also put the lost stars in that series (same universe, different characters). Nobody, but nobody does spaceship combat like this series.

Another solid set of books is the Vince Lombard series. Its a little cutsie, but I rather enjoyed it. Nice scifi setting, interesting plot, and some rather funny humor.

I saw mention of the Dresden files, I would heartily recommend that series.

And the allow of law series, is a solid read. If your into the whole, steampunk aesthetic, then this is a series you should checkout.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by Psychophobe »

A very good recent book I read was the LEXICON by Max Barry. He does some very good stuff, curiously Lexicon is about powerful words, Also his Jennifer Government is pretty good. Sometimes his name has several X's, maxx Barry. hah.

RE: Issac Asimov I was reading about him last night, and his story The Naked Sun which (back in 1959) apparently made a very good stab at human connections and relationships over very long distances with what would be identified now as an Internet. I have not read this book but sounds interesting.

John Wyndham is an excellent science fiction writer, noted for Day Of The Triffids but has written many very good stories.

P.s> FordGT90 sorry, I gotta ask, but did you ever race that car on on of the Need For Speed Games (2 I think)? I've never seen it referenced anywhere else (aside from my own researching it)!

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by MosquitoSenorito »

I enjoy Pratchett books. They're not Sci-Fi but nontheless: Men at Arms and Going Postal are masterpieces.
Recent sc-fi nocel I enjoyed is Redshirts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redshirts_%28novel%29 a satiric take on "behind the action" of Sci-Fi movies

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by Vennir »

My favourite genre is actually literature-fiction, but it's rarely recognised. Crime & Punishment is my all time favourite book.

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Re: Book Recommendations

Post by OldFashioned »

I, uh, I like Harry Potter quite a bit, especially upto and including the fifth one, the Silmarillion has quite nice way of telling the lore, if a little one-dimensionally frustrating characters... Uhmm, can't really think of anything right now, will come back once my brain reboots...

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