Friday, January 18, 2013

What sci fi books do you recommend?

There are times as an author that I don't fee very well read. It's kind of embarrassing the number of books, both classic and otherwise, that I haven't read. I'm thinking more about the science fiction genre here rather than crime, but it really applies to both.

I want to be better read. I want to be able to have conversations about classic works with other readers and writers, but I don't feel like I can.

It was this article at io9 that made me think of this. If they were to ask me what great sci fi novel I wished I'd written I wouldn't really have an answer for them.

So, I'm turning to you, my loyal readers (You are there, aren't you? I'm not just shouting into the darkness here, am I?).  What science fiction books would you recommend? I'm thinking classics here, but they don't have to be. Just recommend something you liked.

Productivity Update
This isn't the best week to ask about this. I don't have an exact figure, because that would probably depress me. But I know I missed my goal. I did get some writing done one night, but not enough. So, let's just move on, shall we?

More help with Reunion and Scouts
Even though I didn't get a lot of writing done, I did do a lot of thinking about Reunion and Scouts. They just aren't selling. I've changed the covers. I've changed the blurbs. I don't know what to do with them, honestly. Right now -- and this may be the best idea -- I am thinking that I should pull them down, give them some rewrites, new titles, and then post them again when I have the other episodes in the serial story written and ready to publish. There are four other stories to tell in this "season." That's how I've always thought about these. And since serials are becoming kind of a thing right now, I'd like to get these fixed and back out there.

As for edits, I think the stories need to be a little bit crazier. I think more may need to happen in Reunion. I think it does a good job of setting up the characters and the world, but it may need to have the crazy turned up some. Honestly, it may need more dead bodies. Same thing can be said for Scouts.

I'm also playing with new titles. Reunion may become Lincoln Lady. And Scouts may become Three Dog Night. The one word titles obviously aren't working even if I liked them.

To help me figure out if I'm on the right track, I'd like your help. If you'd be willing to read either or both Reunion and Scouts and let me know what you think, I'd be glad to give you a free copy. These stories went through several drafts and multiple beta readers, but maybe they all missed something. I'd love to know what others think. So, if you'd want a free copy of either story, leave a comment letting me know that. Or email me and let me know. My email address is under the Contact Me tab at the top. I'll send you whatever electronic format plays nicest with whatever equipment you have. And my thanks in advance.


  1. Can't go wrong with Michael Hicks' military scifi/fantasy stuff. Take a peek at The first trilogy (In Her Name) is excellent.


  2. If you like folklore/mythology tied in with modern fantasy, try Neil Gaiman's American Gods - great, hilarious read!

  3. Quick read I just went through was the Icarus Hunt by Timothy Zahn. Cool whodunnit on a spaceship.

  4. I'd recommend 'The Complete Atopia Chronicles' by Mathew Matthers - a fantastic look at neoliberalism and the impact of virtual worlds. For harder scifi there's Kim Stanley Robinson's 'Red Mars' (and its two sequels) - an excellent examination of different political movements on a new planet.

  5. Wow. Didn't expect so many responses so soon. Thanks everyone.

  6. I've not read much on Gollancz I didn't like, especially Alastair Reynolds - Chasm City, Revelation Space. Also Ian McDonald's the Dervish House or River of Gods. For cyberpunk go for Neuromancer - William Gibson is excellent. For classics try Vernor Vinge - A Fire Upon The Deep. Also Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, Larry Niven's Ringworld, and Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. You also generally won't go wrong with any Hugo or Nebula award winners.

  7. For classic you can't go wrong with the whole foundation series from Asimov

  8. I also love Iain m Banks - Player of Games, Use of Weapons, & Against a Dark Background particularly