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Pioneering SFF Book Suggestions

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message 1: by Darren (last edited Jan 22, 2017 12:44AM) (new)

Darren Not sure if this is the right folder, but it seems to be where people often ask S&L members for book suggestions.

I'm looking for SFF books I haven't read which are about or heavily feature pioneers establishing frontier cities or civilizations. Think Red Mars, rather than Green, or Zoe's Tale. I read Allen Steele's Coyote Trilogy last year, and that's probably what kicked off my interest.

All of those are sf, and I hope to be reading more like them, but I'd really love to see this in fantasy, if it's out there. I don't really consider Red Country a good example; stories where the frontier is a backdrop for a tale of revenge, mystery, or whatever aren't what I'm after. The frontier itself should be the focus.


message 2: by Phil (new)

Phil | 1152 comments Tunnel in the Sky, Farmer in the Sky, and Time Enough for Love, all by Heinlein, feature pioneering.
I'm having trouble thinking of pioneer fantasy although part of the Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card might fit the bill.

message 3: by William (last edited Jan 22, 2017 03:18AM) (new)

William | 429 comments I'm currently reading Horn Crown by Andre Norton it's full-on fantasy involving settlers fleeing a great evil by travelling to a new world through magic portals. So far the story is revolving around the settlers scouting the land, finding resources and figuring out which native life forms are safe or deadly. In case you are wondering the writing style is completely different to The Time Traders, it feels much more mature and mythical.

I'm only a quarter of the way in but I was actually thinking to myself that this felt like the fantasy version of Coyote (which I really enjoyed btw).

You might also consider Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey, a favourite of mine, it opens as a vast ship, carrying colonists weary from an interstellar war arrives in orbit around a planet designated only as "Parallels Earth, Resources Negligible" or P.E.R.N. for short. The colonists were intending to form a low tech agrarian society, so when faced with numerous natural challenges they have to respond with ingenuity using whatever is to hand.

On a much darker note, there is Stephen Baxter's Proxima which primarily focuses on a group of convicts dropped off on a planet, essentially as guinea pigs to see if they can survive, before a real colonising effort is made.

I feel like I'm forgetting some obvious examples, so I look forward to reading further posts here :-)

message 4: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments The Seedling Stars by James Blish. Genegineering humans for life on other planets.

Planetfall by Emma Newman.

The Legacy of Heorot by Niven and... Barnes? Pournelle? I hated it, so you'll probably love it. :p

The Empress of Mars by Kage Baker. This is in my TBR pile, but I keep putting it off since KSR's Mars books soured me on "Mars colony" stories.

Beyond The Sun is also on my bookshelf, as yet unread, a collection of short stories about pioneers.

Then there are the Fuzzy Sapiens books, which double as First Contact stories. Scalzi's newest version, Fuzzy Nation, is the best written, but you should also read the originals by H. Beam Piper: Little Fuzzy and Fuzzy Sapiens. There are a couple others.

message 5: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 2294 comments Forty Thousand in Gehenna by C.J. Cherryh (also available in the Alliance Space (Company Wars #2) omnibus) has a fascinating take on establishing a colony on a new planet.

message 6: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1154 comments It's YA level reading, but Patricia C Wrede's Thirteenth Child trilogy is excellent.

I think OSC's Alvin Maker series would fit also.

The Native Star by M.K. Hobson

I suppose the Dark Tower series by Stephen King might fit.

I found this list -

And, this is a little outside the box but, Dies the Fire by SM Stirling, starts his series about a sort-of-apocalypse and people rebuilding some various types of societies afterwards.

message 7: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4075 comments The Long Earth (five books) has extended parts on pioneering in unpopulated Earths.

message 8: by Darren (last edited Jan 23, 2017 01:38AM) (new)

Darren Thanks everyone!
@ Michele Totally fine with YA.

Also I know I mentioned the frontier, but I didn't really mean the American West. What I'm after is first settlers to a completely unexplored frontier, unknown either to the characters or to this reader. I know: Picky, picky!

Thirteenth Child looks like exactly what I'm after, though!

@Trike I've read the Fuzzys, and you're right, of course: I think Piper's was better written than Scalzi's. ^^ Thanks for the suggestions though. Planetfall looks exactly right.

message 9: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Weidner | 5 comments And don't forget Andy Weir's "Martian". The main character gets credit for colonizing Mars and he's also a space pirate ;-)

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