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Comment author: ciphergoth 17 January 2010 05:30:29PM 0 points [-]

I mentioned "Player of Games" above.

Comment author: daos 17 January 2010 06:29:27PM *  0 points [-]

duly noted. i missed it before amongst all the BSG and ST dicussions.. good choice btw - i've always considered it to be one of his best.

Comment author: komponisto 05 January 2010 12:03:25PM 8 points [-]

Okay, so....a confession.

In a fairly recent little-noticed comment, I let slip that I differ from many folks here in what some may regard as an important way: I was not raised on science fiction.

I'll be more specific here: I think I've seen one of the Star Wars films (the one about the kid who apparently grows up to become the villain in the other films). I have enough cursory familiarity with the Star Trek franchise to be able to use phrases like "Spock bias" and make the occasional reference to the Starship Enterprise (except I later found out that the reference in that post was wrong, since the Enterprise is actually supposed to travel faster than light -- oops), but little more. I recall having enjoyed the "Tripod" series, and maybe one or two other, similar books, when they were read aloud to me in elementary school. And of course I like Yudkowsky's parables, including "Three Worlds Collide", as much as the next LW reader.

But that's about the extent of my personal acquaintance with the genre.

Now, people keep telling me that I should read more science fiction; in fact, they're often quite surprised that I haven't. So maybe, while we're doing these New Year's Resolutions, I can "resolve" to perhaps, maybe, some time, actually do that (if I can ever manage to squeeze it in between actually doing work and procrastinating on the Internet).

Problem is, there seems to be a lot of it out there. How would a newcomer know where to start?

Well, what better place to ask than here, a place where many would cite this type of literature as formative with respect to developing their saner-and-more-interesting-than-average worldviews?

Alicorn recommended John Scalzi (thanks). What say others?

Comment author: daos 17 January 2010 05:01:01PM 2 points [-]

many good recommendations so far but unbelievably nobody has yet mentioned Iain M. Banks' series of 'Culture' novels based on a humanoid society (the 'Culture') run by incredibly powerful AI's known as 'Minds'.

highly engaging books which deal with much of what a possible highly technologically advanced post singularity society might be like in terms of morality, politics, philosophy etc. they are far fetched and a lot of fun. here's the list to date:

  • Consider Phlebas (1987)
  • The Player of Games (1988)
  • Use of Weapons (1990)
  • Excession (1996)
  • Inversions (1998)
  • Look to Windward (2000)
  • Matter (2008)

they are not consecutive so reading order isn't that important though it is nice to follow their evolution from the perspective of the writing.