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Books & Discussions > Recommended Smart Action/Sci-Fi Novels

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message 1: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Naughton | 3 comments After discovering the Vorkosigan Saga, Snow Crash, Old Man's War The Culture Series, A Song Called Youth, The Expanse Trilogy, The Hyperion books and rereading The Forever War I'm trying to find more Science Fiction novels that combine exciting action with smart/smartly executed story telling. Now to clear things up, by "action" I don't necessarily mean Military Sci-Fi(although those shouldn't be excluded) I'd like more variety like cyberpunk or present based science fiction.


message 2: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Bad Girls Deadlift (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 5312 comments I've heard that Rachel Bach's Fortune's Pawn is pretty good.


ally  ¯\(ツ)/¯ (allykennedy) | 168 comments I'm reading Old Man's War right now. I've laughed out loud at least a dozen times.


message 4: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Love that series! Also enjoyed the Rachel Bach series. However, in interest of full disclosure, it may be a bit romancey for some dudes. Just sayin'! Although the heroine is kick @ss!


message 5: by Ian (new)

Ian Welke (mewelke) | 11 comments A Song Called Youth rescued me when it came out. It was like a revelation. "Someone else sees these scary theocrats for what they are!"

I loved Snow Crash, though when it came out I was working a crappy delivery job which because of the opening chapters of Snow Crash I started romanticizing and then stuck with it for at least a year longer than any sane person would have.

I dug Old Man's War. Still need to get to the others in that series. And I'll have to check out the other series here based on the strength of the company you've put them in. Thanks for posting this, Ryan!


message 6: by Scott (last edited May 06, 2014 10:26AM) (new)

Scott | 5 comments Yes, as a dude, Fortune's Pawn was a bit too romancey. I very much enjoyed the story and the world that the author built, but did not read further novels for the reason mentioned above.

I just finished Leviathan Wakes and loved it, but it sounds like that is already on your radar.

Look into Gateway by Frederik Pohl if you haven't already. Not too action packed (militarily speaking) but it's mysterious and great storytelling.


message 7: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 125 comments Let's see.

Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet series

Richard Ellis Preston Jr.'s Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders and Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War -- action and adventure in a post-apocalyptic, steampunk California.

Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief and The Fractal Prince. Capers in a very high-tech solar system. A very immersive world, to be sure.

Michael Flynn's The January Dancer, Up Jim River, In the Lion's Mouth, and On the Razor's Edge. Espionage, intrigue, capers, and action in a very far future galaxy. Also, very immersive.

Wen Spencer's A Brother's Price. A low-tech -- future? Alternate world? There's action, though.

Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium and Ciaphas Cain: Defender of the Imperium. Yes they are tie-ins, but the whole structure of the books is very well done, for those who want smart story-tellnig.


message 8: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments The Martian. I guess it's technically considered "hard sci-fi" (not that I know what that is) but it was excellent. Exciting, nerve-wracking, and funny at the same time. I would say it would meet your criteria for "present sci-fi"... and it's our group read this month for SF. :D


message 9: by Paul (new)

Paul | 0 comments Couple of suggestions from me:

All You Need Is Kill. Really interesting premise and some brilliant action (from what I've seen of the trailers for the movie adaptation with Tom Cruise, I would read this first)

The Rookie. Space Football! Football player raised in a human centric culture has to adapt to playing football with aliens (also has three others in the series).

Tuf Voyaging. This one doesn't really have action but for smart, clever writing, it's tough to beat.

Pandora's Star. Proper space opera with massive battles, a huge cast of characters and a galaxy-spanning plot.


message 10: by Mark Cheverton (new)

Mark Cheverton Anyone read the last book in the Wheel of Time series? WOW, that was incredible. I wonder when hollywood is going to take notice and make this series into a movie, it could be incredible.


message 11: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Bad Girls Deadlift (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 5312 comments Ashleigh wrote: "I recently read Three (Legends of the Duskwalker #1) by Jay Posey https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... and I really enjoyed it. Lots of action and great characters."

Welcome Ashleigh!


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