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Old 02-05-2017, 02:30 AM
 
1,299 posts, read 637,085 times
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I saw Arrival while visiting my Dad over Christmas and it reminded me how much I enjoy the more metaphysical SF and fantasy that explores big ideas and asks some pretty big questions.

Despite growing up on Doctor Who (the original series), HG Wells, John Wyndham and the Dune books, I took a left turn into crime fiction twenty odd years ago and remain largely unread in contemporary SF. I'd like to correct this with a spot of Dan Simmons for openers, and would welcome other author recommendations. Post apocalyptic settings and future dystopias as socio-political allegories encouraged.
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,576 posts, read 7,838,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scribbles76 View Post
I saw Arrival while visiting my Dad over Christmas and it reminded me how much I enjoy the more metaphysical SF and fantasy that explores big ideas and asks some pretty big questions.

Despite growing up on Doctor Who (the original series), HG Wells, John Wyndham and the Dune books, I took a left turn into crime fiction twenty odd years ago and remain largely unread in contemporary SF. I'd like to correct this with a spot of Dan Simmons for openers, and would welcome other author recommendations. Post apocalyptic settings and future dystopias as socio-political allegories encouraged.
First, I'd just like to say that I think post-apocalyptic fiction often gets shoehorned into the label 'science fiction' when most of it really contains no real futuristic science as part of its fiction. Anyway, that said...

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
Years after an apocalyptic event (the novel doesn't spell it out, but in an interview the author says he imagined it was a comet hitting the Earth) a man and his boy travel through what was once the American South struggling to survive. Between all the dust kicked up into the atmosphere by the impact, and the smoke from the massive fires which followed, the planet is perpetually shrouded in thick clouds that block sunlight. No plants grow and the biological cycle has broken down. All that remains to eat are increasingly rare stores of canned goods from 'before'. And other humans.

To say that this book is searing understates it. Parts of it are a gut-punch, but never gratuitously so. McCarthy's prose is aching beautiful even when it concerns a wasted land, and the tale is gripping even as it is at its heart about love and innocence and hope over despair. The book transcends the post-apocalyptic genre. Highly, highly recommended.

The Road - By Cormac McCarthy - Books - Review - The New York Times

The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller
A decade after a pandemic kills almost everyone, the protagonist and his dog and his dour survivalist-type companion live at a rural airport north of Denver. He flies a Cessna, scouting nearby areas for game and intruders. And for years he ponders a brief message that came over his aircraft's radio one day, a snippet from the control tower at Grand Junction, across the state and beyond the there-and-back range of his small plane.

Eventually, yearning with the hope of some sort of order or semi-civilization, he decides to go to Grand Junction and search for the source of that message. Entertaining and thoughtful. Highly recommended.

'Dog Stars' Dwells On The Upside Of Apocalypse : NPR
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Western U.S.
375 posts, read 205,916 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scribbles76 View Post
I saw Arrival while visiting my Dad over Christmas and it reminded me how much I enjoy the more metaphysical SF and fantasy that explores big ideas and asks some pretty big questions.

Despite growing up on Doctor Who (the original series), HG Wells, John Wyndham and the Dune books, I took a left turn into crime fiction twenty odd years ago and remain largely unread in contemporary SF. I'd like to correct this with a spot of Dan Simmons for openers, and would welcome other author recommendations. Post apocalyptic settings and future dystopias as socio-political allegories encouraged.
Well you gotta read Format McCarthys The Road if you're into post apocalyptic stuff. Though I'm not sure that book falls into the category of sci Fi.

But one of the old school masters for dystopian sci Fi is the great Phillip k Dick. He was pretty prolific so if you get into him that will keep you busy for awhile.

Ursula LaGuinne has some good cerebral sci Fi novels that might also be right up your alley. She can create some very believable and in depth characters and always offered great insights into the various peccodillos of society.
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Aloverton
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My favorite is C.J. Cherryh. Depth, texture, and breadth in SF writing.
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Old 02-06-2017, 06:55 PM
 
12,270 posts, read 10,004,947 times
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Intelligent SF can also be highly entertaining.

Neal Asher writes thoughtful and exciting SF. Dark Intelligence followed by War Factory is a great introduction.

Charles Stross is a fiercely intelligent English SF author who has written numerous books including the wonderfully entertaining Laundry Files series starting with the Atrocity Archives
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:27 AM
 
Location: USA
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Octavia Butler's The Xenogenesis Trilogy


You mentioned Dan Simmons -- I am assuming you're referring to the Hyperion series?






Right now I'm reading a trilogy, Pure, Fused (and I can't remember the third one) by Julianna Baggott. Not sure if it would be "thinking" enough for you, but she has some new ideas and a new take on the "end of the world" genre
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Old 02-07-2017, 12:14 PM
 
42,982 posts, read 4,048,830 times
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Peter F. Hamilton has written some good science fiction books. I enjoyed "Pandora's Star" and it's look at the rejuvenation process in which people 300-plus years old can appear younger than their grandchildren.

It also combines some elements of crime fiction and is one in a series.

https://www.amazon.com/Pandoras-Star.../dp/0345479211
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Old 02-07-2017, 12:41 PM
 
54 posts, read 40,218 times
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,A few that I have enjoyed are Cantanle for Leibowitz by Miller in my opinion one of the best; Alas Babylon-P. Frank, Lucifer Hammer, Earth Abides, and recently on a different note The Martian by Weir
H
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:11 PM
 
1,299 posts, read 637,085 times
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Many thanks, everyone. To the library I go with all your suggestions in hand.
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Lakewood NJ/Murrells Inlet SC/ N. Naples FL/Swainton NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red On The Noodle View Post

You mentioned Dan Simmons -- I am assuming you're referring to the Hyperion series?
I love SF and have read most of the classics. Some I consider great but the ones I consider greatest are the ones that stick with me and I think about from time to time even though many years have past since I read them. The Hyperion series falls into that category. I really should read the series again!
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