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Old 04-02-2013, 11:19   #46
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Re: free SCI-FI ebooks

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I liked it-sort of. I think it marked the decline of his work, everything after that was different, and not for the better IMO. Still much better than the average author, but just not as good as his revolutionary early work. Can't even put Pattern Recognition and Neuromancer in the same realm. Have you read Spook Country and Zero History as well?

Anybody else a China Mieville fan? His work is stunningly good, particularly the Bas-Lag series. Much more current than most sci-fi authors, he churns them out regularly. Bacigalupi is also a newer up and comer. Mievilles "The Scar" ought to appeal to the cruiser set, as much of the action takes place on the water (though one must really start with "Perdido Street Station"). Bacigalupi's "The Windup Girl" is an extremely modern take on the dystopian future. It is set in Thailand and has some boatiness that multi hullers would really appreciate, as would anyone who has spent time in Thailand. His "Ship Breaker" is also fairly nautical. These two are serious contenders for the best sci-fi around right now IMHO.


Richard Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs series has finally moved past just being optioned and is actually being made into a series of movies by Hollywood. I'm sure they'll find a way to ruin it. "Market Forces" was awesome too, especially for anyone who operates in the business world.


And Neal Stephenson would have to be my favorite SF author ever, for countless reasons. From his early classics (Snow Crash, Diamond Age, Zodiac, etc. ) to his most recent work (Reamde), he is consistently just freakin awesome. I'm pretty sure he wrote all 3000 pages of the Baroque Cycle just for me...
Winter is long here in New England and I spend a lot of time in the car killing time listening to audiobooks. I figured anyone who was such a Stephenson fan wouldn't steer me wrong with Mieville. I just finished listening to Perdido Street Station. WOW!! Dickens meets the characters in the original Star Wars bar except it's an urban sewer with the weirdness amped up 100 fold. Take all the literary flourishes that typically are used to describe grace and beauty and turn them around to describe post-apocalyptic degradation. Most books described as "dystopian" need to go back for a new blurb. This one nailed it. What a great book! I'm heading back for more. Many thanks, Minaret.
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Old 04-02-2013, 13:00   #47
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Re: free SCI-FI ebooks

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Winter is long here in New England and I spend a lot of time in the car killing time listening to audiobooks. I figured anyone who was such a Stephenson fan wouldn't steer me wrong with Mieville. I just finished listening to Perdido Street Station. WOW!! Dickens meets the characters in the original Star Wars bar except it's an urban sewer with the weirdness amped up 100 fold. Take all the literary flourishes that typically are used to describe grace and beauty and turn them around to describe post-apocalyptic degradation. Most books described as "dystopian" need to go back for a new blurb. This one nailed it. What a great book! I'm heading back for more. Many thanks, Minaret.

Excellent. Truly amazing work isn't it? I'm quite pleased anytime I can turn someone on to Mieville. Although it does make me jealous, as with all truly first rate authors I kinda wish I hadn't read it yet, just so I could do so for the first time again. First two chapters hooked you hardcore didn't they? Wait till you read "The Scar" and "Iron Council". I think the latter is one of those rare cases of a sequel surpassing the original, although only in some ways. Read all his other work, he set out to intentionally write a book in each recognized genre. Fascinating author. Congrats on discovering him.
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Old 04-02-2013, 14:36   #48
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Re: free SCI-FI ebooks

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Excellent. Truly amazing work isn't it? I'm quite pleased anytime I can turn someone on to Mieville. Although it does make me jealous, as with all truly first rate authors I kinda wish I hadn't read it yet, just so I could do so for the first time again. First two chapters hooked you hardcore didn't they? Wait till you read "The Scar" and "Iron Council". I think the latter is one of those rare cases of a sequel surpassing the original, although only in some ways. Read all his other work, he set out to intentionally write a book in each recognized genre. Fascinating author. Congrats on discovering him.
I have to admit that the descriptions were so exquisitely horrendous that I was tempted to set the book aside in the first chapter or two. However, I was so entranced by how he described everything, I kept on. After a bit, I was trapped and couldn't crawl out.
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Old 04-02-2013, 18:04   #49
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Re: free SCI-FI ebooks

My last good find was the books from Brian Herbert (yes, son of Frank) and Kevin Anderson around the original Dune series. Most of it was better than most of Frank imho, but still below the level of Dune itself of-course.

I hate to admit this but I like it all, even the Star Trek pocket books.
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Old 04-02-2013, 20:52   #50
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Re: free SCI-FI ebooks

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My last good find was the books from Brian Herbert (yes, son of Frank) and Kevin Anderson around the original Dune series. Most of it was better than most of Frank imho, but still below the level of Dune itself of-course.

I hate to admit this but I like it all, even the Star Trek pocket books.

If you like old school hard sci-fi you should try anything by Ian M. Banks, particularly the Culture series. "Consider Phlebas" and "Use of Weapons" are still my faves from him. Very good hard sci-fi.
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Old 04-02-2013, 20:56   #51
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Re: free SCI-FI ebooks

Seeing all the Stephenson fans here, anyone else read "The Mongoliad" yet? It's more fantasy/alt history than sci-fi, but its a combined effort of many authors, headed by Stephenson and Greg Bear. Interesting writing method, they wrote it on an open Internet forum and allowed public input. Basically they wrote it, released it for discussion on the forum, and then re-wrote it. Several times. The third volume is about to be released. Very swashbuckling...
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Old 05-02-2013, 17:04   #52
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Re: free SCI-FI ebooks

There has been some sort of major change at Baen Free Library since the new year. I used to have half a dozen of his books bookmarked for reading on a slow night at work. ALL those links are dead now and when you go to the Free Library, there are a lot fewer books for free.

As for the question of Sci Fi vs Fantasy, I once spent an entire year in college where we tried to settle which was which. Even Lord of the Rings was called Sci Fi by some. Never did settle it. So, they merge. I'm into hard core sci fi. Space, Aliens, disasters, you name it, if it is done in scientific terms I'll give it a go.

The 1632 series is addictive. I have about half of the paperbacks but am switching to electronic media for the balance of them. Ditto The Aldenata series. I only wish Ringo would hurry up and write another one.

One author you might find interesting is David Gerrold. He wrote the Chtorr series, Which is outstanding. Again, I'm hoping he'll put out more but he appears to be stuck on book 5 of 7. It was originally to be a trilogy. Get A Matter for Men and have a nice read.

As an aside, I did a bit of writing in high school, and then didn't do it for a long time. Last fall the bug bit again, and I am currently 24 chapters into a sci fi novel, about EMP and getting a bunch of people out of Lake Ontario and out to sea before winter sets in. I figure another 5-6 chapters and it will be done, then I'll rework some of it, and see about publishing it on Amazon or perhaps some other site. So far I'm having a hoot writing it but sometimes run into road blocks for a few weeks while I try to figure things out.
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Old 05-02-2013, 17:59   #53
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Re: free SCI-FI ebooks

Yes Baen is doing a major revamp of the free book section and lots of the books that were available arn't now. Basically they are allowing Ebooks to be sold on Amazon and other locations. They are adding more books back to the free site but its not really there yet. I'm guessing it will be a month or more before its really back up.

I seem to have download all the good stuff (well to me anyway) from Baen's free library, right before it all went away. So I'm just waiting for more books I've not read yet.
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Old 19-02-2014, 15:08   #54
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free SCI-FI ebooks

Love Stephenson and Anathem blew my mind. The Baroque series was good history and still need to read Cryptonomicon

My classic first read was the Hyperion Cantos. A friend just recently suggested The Reality Dysfuntion by Peter Hamilton. I need a Kindle stat!
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Old 19-02-2014, 15:55   #55
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Re: free SCI-FI ebooks

Another good source of Baen Books is BaenCD at the Fifth Imperium
24 full CDs from Baen (authorized and legal) most containing 25-30 novels each in a variety of formats including epub, and html format (no reader needed) on the same CD. Some CDs are a single author, some multiple authors, all grouped by series.


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Old 20-02-2014, 06:37   #56
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Re: free SCI-FI ebooks

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Love Stephenson and Anathem blew my mind. The Baroque series was good history and still need to read Cryptonomicon
You need to get on that - better than Anathema. Have you read Snow Crash? That one blew my mind.

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Old 20-02-2014, 07:30   #57
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Re: free SCI-FI ebooks

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You need to get on that - better than Anathema. Have you read Snow Crash? That one blew my mind.

Mark
I agree with Mark about both Cryptonomicon and Snow Crash. When you read Snow Crash, remember that when it was written the Internet was still an academic/DOD tool and the world wide web didn't exist. He was extraordinarily prescient.

I enjoyed the Hyperion Cantos, but with a caveat. The first two are excellent and really one (very long) book. The fourth book seems to have been mainly written to tie up loose ends from its three predecessors. It didn't have the same awesomeness of the earlier ones and somehow didn't read like Simmons gave it the same attention. I was trapped by the need to see how the loose ends resolved and irritated at myself for needing to keep going.

Like Stephenson, Simmons wrote some interesting non-scifi. I just finished The Crook Factory which is a fictionalized version of Hemingway's team of irregulars in Cuba in WWII. It's not in the same league as the Baroque Cycle, but it's an interesting look at a part of the war that doesn't get much attention.
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Old 20-02-2014, 09:54   #58
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You need to get on that - better than Anathema. Have you read Snow Crash? That one blew my mind.



Mark


Yes, I read Snow Crash first and yes, it blew my mind so I knew this guy was something unusual. Anathem was just so big in scope and ideas. I had to re-read chapters to follow along sometimes.

I also turned my daughter onto Snow Crash and she is forever ruined for a lesser style of book.

The Forever War was a fun fast read and the Titan-Wizard-Demon series was strange but oddly enticing.
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Old 20-02-2014, 10:19   #59
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Re: free SCI-FI ebooks

I really enjoyed Cryptonomicon (discovered through this post). Now I need to check out Snow Crash.
Dan Simmons is one of my favorite authors. I like that he writes convincingly in many genres. Have read most everything he's written. Finished The Crook Factory last summer. Then read Drood which is a fictionalized account of Charles Dickens. This lead me to read Dickens Bleak House. A little more difficult to get into than Simmons but well worth the effort.
Margaret Atwood also writes interesting SiFi.
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Old 20-02-2014, 11:30   #60
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Re: free SCI-FI ebooks

One of the best things about Baen's site (and the reason you should give them your trade, rather than Amazon) is they pioneered DRM free books. Tor has recently followed suit and now I can feel much more morally at peace since I don't have to go around breaking the DRM... or at least not much.

The free library changes are a real pity, but it was a brilliant ploy on their part (sucked me into buy a whole lot of new series) and hopefully will rebound to its previous highs.

And OMG I totally lover the eARCS (Advance Readers Copies). Not having to wait a year or more until book 4 comes out in softcover is a sci-fi addict's dream...
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