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message 1: by James (last edited May 02, 2012 08:18PM) (new)

James | 8 comments Hello all!

With my upcoming goal to finally, really "get into" Phillip K. Dick (I haven't read anything since A Scanner Darkly in high school), I thought it would be worthwhile to look into good science fiction in general at the same time. While I'm more interested in the "literary" stylings of Ballard/Pynchon/Steve Erickson and the like, I'm definitely not opposed to more genre-dependent or "hard" examples. Philosophical is good. Key points of fascination include conspiracies, secret societies, superintelligence/AI/singularity, alternate realities. I'm not so hot on Borges, but his concepts are a good starting point.

Difficulty is no deterrent; I recently finished Joseph McElroy's PLUS, which is, pound for pound, the most difficult book I have ever read, and I couldn't have loved it more. I'm quite particular to the kind of prose often branded "dense", "impenetrable", "demanding", etc., so an abundance of style is most welcome.

Any guidance is appreciated!


message 2: by Jimmy (last edited May 03, 2012 02:02AM) (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 8 comments DEFINITELY definitely try Mount Analogue. It might not even be science fiction, but it has many elements of it... it blew my mind. Very philosophical, mythic, spiritual, humorous, scientific, great ideas but more importantly, great execution. Also, just so you know before you start, this is one of those unfinished novels (the author died mid sentence), so don't go in expecting a tidy ending, or any ending at all haha.

Also try out The Invention of Morel, which is sci-fi in the Borges vein, but probably more palatable than Borges.


message 3: by Jimmy (last edited May 03, 2012 02:01AM) (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 8 comments Also, this is one I haven't read, but I know it is sci fi and supposedly difficult and modern/postmodern/whatnot: Dhalgren


Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 8 comments Also, this 1000+ page book won't be available in translation until later this year, but it looks right down your alley: Lód. More info can be found on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_%28D...

Sounds pretty amazing actually.


Christy (christymtidwell) | 149 comments Sounds like you might really like China Miéville. His Perdido Street Station is brilliant; The City and the City is a really clever fantasy/magical realist detective novel; Kraken features conspiracies and secret societies and is fun; and although I haven't read Embassytown yet, it's supposed to be really good and to have interesting things to say about language. He also has a new book coming out soon that is a re-telling of Moby Dick.


message 6: by James (last edited May 03, 2012 07:53AM) (new)

James | 8 comments Jimmy wrote: "DEFINITELY definitely try Mount Analogue. It might not even be science fiction, but it has many elements of it... it blew my mind. Very philosophical, mythic, spiritual, humorous, scientific, great..."

Yeah! I've had my eye on Mount Analogue since Barry raved about it. Definitely going on my next interlibrary loan request. Delany is also a priority; I actually started Dhalgren a couple of years ago and was digging it, but that was back when I could barely finish anything I started. Think I'll go with Nova first this time out.


James | 8 comments Christy wrote: "Sounds like you might really like China Miéville. His Perdido Street Station is brilliant; The City and the City is a really clever fantasy/magical realist detective novel; Kraken features conspira..."

The City & the City sounds like what I'm looking for. Thanks!


Carlos (steelyhead) | 3 comments Christy wrote: "Sounds like you might really like China Miéville. His Perdido Street Station is brilliant; The City and the City is a really clever fantasy/magical realist detective novel; Kraken features conspira..."

I heart what You wrote in here, but The Scar is pretty dissapointing


Christy (christymtidwell) | 149 comments Carlos wrote: "The Scar is pretty dissapointing"

I haven't read The Scar yet. Not as good as the others? Its an earlier work, I believe, so maybe he was still working some things out. :-)


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I have not read, but lots of people I know love Tim Powers for his weird secret histories. Adam Roberts, specifically Yellow Blue Tibia has a really nice genre-specific meta fictional sensibility, in a way that is cooler than I have put it here.


Miriam | 130 comments I second Yellow Blue Tibia, and also recommend Blueprints Of The Afterlife.


Greg | 113 comments I second Blueprints of the Afterlife!


message 13: by Kay (last edited May 22, 2012 08:31AM) (new)

Kay (rekindling) | 27 comments Sounds like you might like Solaris. At some moments, tt reads almost like a dissertation on extraterrestrial psychology and philosophy, BUT the writing is fantastic and the story is chilling and creepy.

Also, one of the best sci-fi novels (in my limited experience, mind) is Hyperion. That book is stunningly well written and crafted. The story is engaging and the prose superb. It's hard to get into at first because the author just drops you into the world, but once you get a few chapters in, you won't be able to put it down.


Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 8 comments Woah, at first I thought you were talking about Friedrich Hölderlin's Hyperion. Haha! That would be weird.


Miriam | 130 comments Have you read any Tim Powers? Maybe Three Days to Never.

And for Philosophical is good. Key points of fascination include conspiracies, secret societies may I recommend Freedom and Necessity even though it is not science fiction?


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Books mentioned in this topic

Plus (other topics)
Mount Analogue (other topics)
The Invention of Morel (other topics)
Dhalgren (other topics)
Lód (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

China Miéville (other topics)
Tim Powers (other topics)
Adam Roberts (other topics)
Friedrich Hölderlin (other topics)