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    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2011
    Talesin, you, sir, are a freakishly gifted genius who should have the gender/species of your choice proffering themselves at your feet. That sounds almost exactly like what I've been looking for. One of the covers definitely triggered some decades-old feeling of begrudging recollection. (Jesus, I was a pre-teen when I originally read this.)

    I'd been Googling, in one form or another, to try and find this book since before Warren landed and soiled the fresh and shiny tubes, to no avail. Even (too superficially, obviously) glanced through B Stableford's back catalogue a couple of times but never spotted it.

    Now comes the easy bit: finding a copy.

    Cheers fella.
  1.  (1268.102)
    Shit, this is going to be an expensive thread to follow - Amazon one click buy + Kindle is a tad bit too easy.

    I'll have to second the vote to Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy. As someone said earlier, the characterizations are not that good, but the books are just bursting with ideas and I had to keep my iPhone with the WikiPedia open on my nightstand when reading it, there were so many interesting concepts to check.

    Some stuff that hasn't been mentioned as far as I can tell:

    Larry Niven: Protector
    Poul Anderson: Tau Zero
    Hal Clement: Mission of Gravity

    I have a huge soft spot for the kind of early scifi where the writer took a scientific idea and wove a story around it, to explain it.
  2.  (1268.103)
    George O Smith's 'Venus Equilateral' stories from the 1940's. Smith was a radar technician who wrote SF during his downtime in WW2, and about a dozen of his short stories were published in Astounding.
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2011
    Although it wasn't the book The Mighty Foamhead was looking for, I need to take a moment to add some volume to the Internet's own David Lejeune's recommendation of Verner Vinge's Marooned in Realtime. It is essentially a murder mystery in which the murder weapon is eonic time.
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2011
    THE FOREVER WAR could definitely be put under the hard sf rubric.

    Really? That seemed to me to be more of a romance: a love story.
    In fact, 'hard' is dubious in two ways:
    It's fiction
    It's for (and often by) non-scientists
    It's written in the past (three: it's dubious in *three* ways)
    It typically has some kind of human or social interest (four: four ways... let me start again).
    No, really, Boss: what's your (partial) list of best or good SF; hard, or otherwise?
    [And I'm not sure I agree with "Yeah, I'm of the age where "sci-fi" is anathema" - when we were young we had Heinlein, Clarke, Dickson, Van Vogt, ...].
    I suggest: Neal Stephenson.
    • CommentAuthorTalesin
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2011
    Genius enough to have posted the main characters name rather then the authors ;) I'm going too blame it on Daddy brain from the lack of sleep
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2011 edited
    (this space reserved for future ideas - posted something here that should've been in a different thread)
  3.  (1268.108)
    Going by Warren Ellis' Hard/Soft Sci Fi Rules

    Old School:

    Anything Robert Heinlein Pre Stranger In A Strange Land. Particular Favorites of mine include "Puppet Masters", "Starship Troopers", "Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" and "Double Star".

    More Current:

    Edge by Thomas Blackstone
    CJ Cheryhl
    Infoquake by David Lous Edelman
    Greg Egan is genius. Read Diaspora.
    The Reality Dysfunction Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton
    M. John Harrison still writes some amazing Hard Sci Fi stuff. Anything from him in ANY era is good for that matter.
    Rogue Harvest by Danita Maslan
    Kim Stanley Robinson Mars has been Mentioned.
    Melinda N. Snodgrass is quite good as well.
    Any of the Charles Stross Supreme Intelligence verse books (Accelerando, Iron Sunrise etc)
    Titan, Wizard and Demon by John Varley
    Vernor Vinge

    I think that's a good start.
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2011
    I just re-read the opening chapters of Charlie Stross' "Iron Sunrise." Definitely hard science.
  4.  (1268.110)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    i find the distinction spurious, science itself is an imaginative process, unproven theories about dark matter or energy may be made by people far more qualified than the average 'hard' sci fi
    author but they are works of speculative fiction all the same. <a href="">Phlogiston</a> anyone?

    for me the Dragons of Pern books of Anne McCaffrey are 'harder' than Asimov s Foundation in that the vision of a colonial future offered seems more plausible , i.e. a long forgotten outpost that has forgotten its own origins rather than Galaxy spanning Empires modeled on a Medieval world view. The social aspect of Foundation is absolutely risible. Female characters in Foundation? There is one. Female characters of any consequence? Zero. Surely in the 1950s it was becoming evident that women would occupy prominent roles in the future? The cigar chomping male technocrats of Foundation seem to belong to the staff rooms of 1940s academia rather than the corridors of power in our Imperial Galactic destiny. To ignore the societal in this way invalidates any claim the author makes for the science. Foundation is all about the ascendancy of science, the moral and intellectual superiority of the scientists I find offensive. the people that gave us Chernobyl, Fukishima , and Three Mile Island are going to shape the destiny humanity?
    As to the scientific content, Asimov seems all Flash Gordon to me.

    what i'm saying is Asimovs Foundation totally sucks teh donkeys balz

    Well anyhow, I digress. . . read Philip K Dick J G Ballard Iain M Banks
  5.  (1268.111)
    not sure if these are considered hard sci-fi, or if anyone else has already stated them if they are, but Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's Prisoners of Power is a real good one. And also Clifford Simak's Time and Again is wonderful too.
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2011
    Have to chip in –

    Going by Warren's rules, EMBASSYTOWN is soft sci fi in as much as it deals with language, conceptual thought, social anthropology and [SPOILERS] –

    – a huge addiction epidemic. He also has his own version of FTL (Immersing or the Immer) which roots it in space opera territory to my mind. Frankly you should just bloody read it because it's beautiful.

    I wish I liked Hard SF, but I've always been more fascinated by people and relationships than machines and physics.

    Last thing: Richard Morgan's ALTERED CARBON is great. Super violent, neo noir, hard boiled hard core. Not Hard SF I'm afraid, but loads of fun.