New Poll: What scifi novel should I read next?

There are plenty of science fiction yarns lying around various shelves, sadly unread as of yet. And yes, to my shame, from top scifi authors to boot. Too many, if I'm honest. . .

With this latest survey, you guys will help me select which of these popular and critically acclaimed author I should read next. Here are the nominees:



- In Conquest Born by C. S. Friedman (Canada, USA, Europe)



- Prador Moon by Neal Asher (Canada, USA, Europe)



- The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton (Canada, USA, Europe)



- Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds (Canada, USA, Europe)



- Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks (Canada, USA, Europe)

Each novel is part of a vaster, more ambitious saga. I figure I can't go wrong with any of these selections, but feel free to chime in on what I should go for and why. For those who, like me, have yet to give these scifi/space opera series, you know what to do!;-)

31 commentaires:

Anonymous said...

Bot Chasm City and Consider Phlebas are good. I don't like Peter Hamilton, am usually disappointed in Neal Asher, and haven't read any C S Friedman. So there.

Ian M. said...

I've read all except the Asher book - I liked them all, though the Hamilton series didn't really live up to the promise of the first book IMO.

Eric said...

Hamilton has amazing ideas, and his characterization is definitely full. My only problem is that he does jump between different POVs too much. CS Friedman has too much inertia behind it; you know what's going to happen from the beginning.

Todd said...

The Iain M. Banks one looks interesting. But I'm not real up on any of these guys to be honest. So if you want a total random opinion based on nothing more than jacket covers, Consider Phlebas seems like a fun read.

Jacob Da Jew said...

Hamilton's Commonwealth series wasn't too bad but Alistair's fiction is just so rad. I really liked his "Diamond Dogs" short story.

Nick said...

I've not read anything on there except the Banks, which is fantastic but not part of a wider series as such even if other Banks books are set in the same setting.

I've read a different Reynolds and didn't love it, started the Hamilton and didn't finish (I got a misprinted edition but wasn't loving it so swapped it for something else) and never gone near Asher of Friedman.

Interestingly, my vote (Banks) was in the lead when I voted. I never seem to choose the most popular book!

Deborah said...

In Conquest Born is Friedman's first. There are parts that definitely reads as her first, but there are parts that are pure genius. With each new novel she gets better. In Conquest Born is on my shelf as one of my favorite first books.

I vote for Friedman.

Anonymous said...

C.S. Friedman! She's one of my all time favorite authors and totally underrated. This is a great little epic story to read.

PS Though choice for a sec since Consider Phlebas is another great book.

Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

'In Conquest Born', because Friedman just rocks. I've never been able to get too into the other authors on your list. However, I haven't given Asher a try. My two cents.

Tripp said...

I've read most of those authors (not Friedman though)and they are all great. It depends on what you are looking to get really:

The Hamilton series is great with one of the best plots I've yet seen. The ending is quite weak, but it is only the last 20 or so pages.

The Banks Culture books are not really connected other than sharing a universe. I liked Consider Phlebas quite a bit as it shows his adventure plot writing chops. Use of Weapons is great for complicated structure and Player of Games is great for Banks' dark take on politics.

The Reynolds books are solid but they greatly weaken over time.

I wouldn't start with that Asher. Try the Skinner or Gridlinked instead.

Anonymous said...

CS Friedman, it's a great book even though a tad predictable. As a second choice, I'd probably go for Phlebas.

On a sidenote: it's SF, not SciFi...

Anonymous said...

Prador Moon is considered to be Asher's worst book. Try The Skinner first. Now that's a great book.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm with the Friedman crew - I just finished reading her latest book, WINGS OF WRATH, which was quite good. But I always look favorably on IN CONQUEST BORN for its unusual narrative approach.

After her, I'm with the Banks suggestions, too. I am eager to crack open CONSIDER PLEBAS.

Anonymous said...

I have all of Reynolds books, but to be honest, the only two I liked are Century Rain and Chasm City. However, Chasm City has a really weird, abrupt ending. Consider Phlebas is one of my favorite Banks books. Bot of these are in my permanent, to-be-read-again library.

Prador Moon is supposed to be Asher's worst book; however, I find his characters in any of his books cardboard. Kind of like going to see Transformers just for the action and stuff blowing up.

Hamilton's books started all being the same in every book. It got very boring after the first one.

I've not read Friedman.

So if you've never Read Banks, do Consider Phlebas. If you've read Banks and already know his style, Phlebas won't be that different. If you've never read Reynolds, Chasm City is good. So one of these would be my first choice for you.

OnlyTheBestSciFi/Fantasy said...

I would go with the Friedman , since I loved his Coldfire triology. Speaking of which, might be time to reread it...

If not, none of those picks are going to be bad. Given what you like in the fantasy genre, I might go with Chasm City.

Adam Whitehead said...

THE REALITY DYSFUNCTION is one of the very best single space opera novels published since DUNE. Given your tastes run to big, massive and epic stories like GRRM and Erikson, I'd go with that over the other books present. That said, it is a tough field.

CHASM CITY is excellent, Reynolds' best book, with a nicely twisting and turning story that doesn't lose the plot at the end.

CONSIDER PHLEBAS is solid and entertaining, but it's not Banks' best novel. As the first CULTURE book it's a good place to start, but PLAYER OF GAMES, USE OF WEAPONS and EXCESSION are stronger novels.

That's a really weird place to start with Asher. The first book set in that universe, GRIDLINKED, or his stand-alone COWL, are much more logical choices.

Anonymous said...

Consider Phlebas
it's not even close, go hurry ;)

Anonymous said...

I voted for Hamilton, simply because I couldn't read it. Too big, too stretched out. Maybe it's "just the first few hundred pages", but it was too long of an introduction for me.
Maybe I have more stamina now, and if you really like it, I'll give it another try. I found that our reading preferences match pretty well.
Branimir

Anonymous said...

dust of dreams

Anonymous said...

To OnlyTheBestSciFi/Fantasy: C.S Friedman is female

Droidprogrammer said...

I have read C.S. Friedman, this Alien Shore is one of my favorite Sci-fi novels. I am curious to Peter Hamilton, as I have never read him. Neal Asher and Iain M Banks are ok..

Liviu said...

Reality Dysfunction has my vote because it represents new space opera at its best; Consider Phlebas is outstanding too, though the weaker last fourth makes it less than the masterpiece it could have been, but it would be as a strong a choice as PFH.

Chasm City may be Reynolds best single novel but it is a side one in his main series so it is less representative.

Prador Moon is a very weird choice for Asher; Gridlinked or The Skinner are the logical choices, this one is a novella that's good but far from those two and their novel arcs.

I loved ICB when I read it 15 years ago but it's dated and the sequel The Wilding is under-average and spoiled even more the setting for me; for CSF the Coldfire trilogy or the new Magister ones are much better places to go, while the standalone This Alien Shore is a pretty good cyberpunk space opera with a horror component if this description makes sense :)

Anonymous said...

Hamilton 1st out of that list. Prador isn't Asher at his best. Gridlinked would be where I would start.

GP said...

I vote for Prador Moon by Neal Asher because I don't know anything about the book or the author.

RobB said...

When I read Consider Phlebas earlier in the year, I was reminded a bit of Serenity/Firefly and enjoyed it.

Though I haven't read Chasm City, I did just finish Reynolds's Pushing Ice which I loved and have CC on the pile at home, so I might lean towards that.

Gregory said...

Conside Phlebas is an excellent read. Highly recommended

.e. Jim Shannon said...

I'm currently reading "In Conquest Born" with about 100 pages left to go. no doubt about it C.S. Friedman's first novel is ok, and the writing is really deep. She's got a sequel to "In Conquest Born" called "The Wilding," so if you like the first book, there is a 2nd one you can get right into.

Just a heads up about the sequel though.

Anonymous said...

I'd go for the Friedman or the Banks.

Wilding was not the greatest sequel, you might just want to leave off at In Conquest Born.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I've only read Neal Asher and Iain M. Banks.

Asher's book is slightly b-movie hokey fun. Consider Phlebas is nothing short of awesome, and will pave the way for more of Bank's excellent Culture novels.

GL said...

Of those posted I have read all but the CS Friedman and I say its a toss up between Consider Phlebas and Chasm City - Banks' book has got the mega disaster down with really memorable spectacular scenes and Reynolds puts forth a great sf tale wit lots of big ideas - three or four plot lines that come together in a great finish... I'd lean towards Chasm City myself for the characters but they are both excellent ...

Adam Whitehead said...

An honourable victory for the Banks, although I hope you consider the Hamilton to be read later on ;-)