The Sword and Laser discussion

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Suggestions for the July book?

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message 1: by Tom, Supreme Laser (new)

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 1151 comments Mod
Yes, I know, we haven't even formally kicked off Tigana yet, but we're starting to think about July. Should be a laser book, I guess, though we could go with a 'neither' book like Year Zero by Rob Reid or even Red Shirts by Joh Scalzi, which is lasery, but über lasery.

What do you think?


message 2: by Gordon (new)

Gordon McLeod (mcleodg) | 347 comments I'd love to do Red Shirts. I'll also bring up Old Man's War again, which I just listened to on Audible. It really is fantastic.


message 3: by Bernardo (new)

Bernardo | 28 comments Surface Details by Ian M. Banks


message 4: by Nimrod (new)

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments I have an interest in Year Zero myself... Not sure if the Laser only folk would be ok with that though...


message 5: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin Stamper (stamps) | 5 comments I want it to be redshirts. I'm going to read it anyway because I love everything that Scalzi writes.


message 6: by Nick (last edited Jun 03, 2012 02:08AM) (new)


message 8: by Atomatic (new)

Atomatic | 2 comments I would like to suggest Inversions. It is technically sci-fi, but reads like fantasy.


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Roberts | 143 comments On the basis that the group read a scalzi less than a year ago it seems a bit unbalanced to have another one no matter how good it is?

I would go back to the last laser poll and have a vote on the runners up from that

I think something by Iain banks or Alastair Reynolds would be good


message 10: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 919 comments I nominate Altered Carbon.


message 11: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Kidd | 22 comments Cell by stephen King? That's kind of in between.


message 12: by Seawood (new)

Seawood NOT Redshirts, please, please, please - anything but that at the moment. It's not due out in the UK til November and even later in other parts of the world. It's bloody annoying because I sincerely want to throw money at Mr Scalzi AND I want to read it with this group and I can't do both entirely legitimately if it's July (as he points out on his blog the release dates are more likely to synch up in future if there's enough non-US interest shown by preordering). So can we make it the Christmas laser instead? Pretty please? And then the "we read Scalzi recently" crowd get to put some extra time between authors too. Unless of course Old Man's War happens. :D


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1862 comments Surface Detail sounds great, and I've been meaning to read something by Iain M Banks for years, so that would get my vote.


message 14: by Mike (last edited Jun 03, 2012 04:10AM) (new)

Mike (mcgoose) | 9 comments What about Chung Kuo by David WIngrove. A future history of the world where China dominates. A fascinating read.

Chung Kuo: The Middle Kingdom

And the The Many-Coloured Land by Juilan May is also wonderful.


message 15: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 919 comments I can also go for Chung Kuo.


message 16: by Kevin (last edited Jun 03, 2012 05:18AM) (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 1081 comments Anything, but John Scalzi please. I just can't stand him. I refuse to read anything he has ever written.


message 17: by Kevin (last edited Jun 03, 2012 05:21AM) (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 1081 comments I think the votes are most likely going toward something by either John Scalzi or Iain M. Banks.


message 18: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4142 comments I'm fine with John Scalzi but would prefer Old Man's War to Redshirts out of deference to our members across the Atlantic.

Based on the other thread we mentioned it in, I'm in agreement with aloha on putting Altered Carbon up for reconsideration.

But I'm equally happy with T&V ignoring all of this and picking something completely different without a vote. Sometimes democracy sucks.


message 19: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 919 comments Where's Anne? Has she given up on whether a book is SciFi or not? This is the time to make your case before it's chosen. OTOH, I think most people don't mind whether it's hard SciFi or not but that it's enjoyable and easily accessible.


message 20: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6261 comments I think we're doing well with proven older books. Old Man's War or Altered Carbon.


message 21: by Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth (last edited Jun 03, 2012 06:57AM) (new)

Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1862 comments terpkristin wrote: "I'm fine with John Scalzi but would prefer Old Man's War to Redshirts out of deference to our members across the Atlantic."

Oh yes, good point! It seems Redshirts isn't released in the UK till November, so that would be a shame. Thank you for noticing.

Caroline wrote: "NOT Redshirts, please, please, please - anything but that at the moment. It's not due out in the UK til November and even later in other parts of the world. "

Only just noticed you'd commented about this first. Thank you also! :)

I also liked the sound of Chung Kuo, Mike. Decisions decisions!


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

ld be fine with anything Iain Banks I have read alot of his stuff and really would like to catch up on some other reading without missing out on anything.


message 23: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6261 comments What's Iain Banks's best Culture book? Don't say Use of Weapons.


message 24: by Space (new)

Space Council (spacecouncil) | 109 comments I'm down with Year Zero: A Novel, its already on my 'to-reads'


message 25: by Atomatic (new)

Atomatic | 2 comments Excession is the best non-Use of Weapons Culture book in my opinion.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1862 comments Zach wrote: "I'm down with Year Zero: A Novel, its already on my 'to-reads'"

Released in July itself, I see. For me, I'd prefer older, thus cheaper books.


message 27: by Tom, Supreme Laser (new)

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 1151 comments Mod
Sadly I think Red Shirts is out. didn't realize an the late UK launch. That sucks. Unless y hate him, like Kevin. Then it's great.

Banks would be cool as would Chung Kuo and Altered Carbon. keep 'me coming.


message 28: by Joseph (new)

Joseph How about Nation by Terry Pratchett?

I would also like to throw in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

Neither are really strictly sci-fi or fantasy but kinda both at the same time, and I've always wanted to read them. Might be something different to for a middle of the year read.


message 29: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 52 comments I would love to see The Sparrow up for consideration. It's one of my favorite sci-fi books and it's got a ton of really interesting discussions to be had, especially in the SciFi vs. Faith department.


message 30: by Nick (new)

Nick (whyzen) | 1295 comments I've read Leviathan Wakes but I think the group would enjoy it. And for the sake of consistency I'll say add Old Man's War to the list of potentials.


message 31: by Nick (new)

Nick (whyzen) | 1295 comments Joseph wrote: "How about Nation by Terry Pratchett?"
That is a fantasy book. July is a laser month.


message 32: by Space (new)

Space Council (spacecouncil) | 109 comments Ruth wrote: "Zach wrote: "I'm down with Year Zero: A Novel, its already on my 'to-reads'"

Released in July itself, I see. For me, I'd prefer older, thus cheaper books."


Indeed, I certainly don't disagree. Then I propose Gridlinked by Neal Asher. Certainly a laser book and not a neither however. I've been meaning to re-read this one.


message 33: by Casey (new)


message 34: by Casey (new)


message 35: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6261 comments Alistair Reynolds is a good idea, but I'm not sure which book is a classic like Old Man's War or Altered Carbon. I read The Prefect first, so I always recommend that as the gateway book. The first Revelation Space was good but didn't bowl me over. Blue Remembered Earth doesn't sound like a representative book of his.


message 36: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6261 comments Zach wrote: "Indeed, I certainly don't disagree. Then I propose Gridlinked by Neal Asher. Certainly a laser book and not a neither however. I've been meaning to re-read this one.
..."


I liked the little intros on the future technology more than anything else.


message 37: by Tamahome (last edited Jun 03, 2012 10:15AM) (new)

Tamahome | 6261 comments Nick wrote: "I've read Leviathan Wakes but I think the group would enjoy it..."

I don't know. I've read like half of it, and Leviathan Wakes seemed more like The Rockford Files in space more than science fiction. But maybe that means a lot of people would like it (Felicia Day did).

On the other hand, Stan Robinson's (that's what Coode St calls him) 2312 is great science fiction, but not so exciting a novel (which could appeal to some people).


message 38: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Tamahome wrote: "Alistair Reynolds is a good idea, but I'm not sure which book is a classic like Old Man's War or Altered Carbon. I read The Prefect first, so I always recommend that as the gateway book. The firs..."

House of Suns is his most space-operay book and should satisfy people who felt Hyperion wasn't science fiction enough. You've got a galaxy spanning civilization, a story extending over millions of years, and robots that look like something out of Buck Rogers.


message 39: by Space (last edited Jun 03, 2012 10:20AM) (new)

Space Council (spacecouncil) | 109 comments Gridlinked
Singularity Sky

I also just did a wee bit of Wikipedia reading on Iain Banks Culture Series and um..... I need to read this. So I'll throw book 1 up here as well for a suggestion

Consider Phlebas

edit : I've just realized they are all stand alone but any of them sound good to me.


message 40: by Nick (last edited Jun 03, 2012 10:18AM) (new)

Nick (whyzen) | 1295 comments Tamahome wrote: "Leviathan Wakes seemed more like The Rockford Files in space"

Last half really gets good. Keep plugging away at it. I guarantee you won't see the end coming.


message 41: by Tamahome (last edited Jun 03, 2012 10:23AM) (new)

Tamahome | 6261 comments The Stars My Destination would be perfect, except there's a rape. It's not very detailed, but it's there. Otherwise, the book is fantastic. I read it in one day as a kid. It's short too.

For something more obscure, Delany's Nova. But I liked the beginning more than the end. It has some beginnings of cyberpunk


message 42: by Kevin (last edited Jun 03, 2012 12:14PM) (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 1081 comments Zach wrote: "Gridlinked
Singularity Sky

I also just did a wee bit of Wikipedia reading on Iain Banks Culture Series and um..... I need to read this. So I'll throw book 1 up here as well for a suggestion

Consi..."


I agree, if we are going to read Iain Banks, we should read the first book he wrote.


message 43: by Felina (new)

Felina Tamahome wrote: "The Stars My Destination would be perfect, except there's a rape. It's not very detailed, but it's there. Otherwise, the book is fantastic. I read it in one day as a kid. It's short too.

For s..."


I literally just finished the book about 15 minutes ago and there is no detail on the rape. (view spoiler) So that really shouldn't be an issue.


message 44: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (FoxhoundTCF) | 37 comments How about Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn

In my opinion it's the best place to start reading the Star Wars Expanded Universe


message 45: by Ryan (new)

Ryan (datarez) | 8 comments I've also read Leviathan Wakes but think it'd be a good pick because the next book is coming out soon.
I'm also for Altered Carbon or Chung Kuo: The Middle Kingdom because I'd started both of those years ago but never got around to finishing them even though I enjoyed them and it'd be fun to pick them back up.


message 46: by Tamahome (last edited Jun 03, 2012 11:11AM) (new)

Tamahome | 6261 comments Robert wrote: "I'd like to suggest Flowers for Algernon. (I'd link but you can't seem to when using the iPhone app)"

Just type [ book:Flowers for Algernon ] in square brackets (without the spaces).


message 47: by Tamahome (last edited Jun 03, 2012 11:55AM) (new)

Tamahome | 6261 comments Felina wrote: "I literally just finished the book about 15 minutes ago and there is no detail on the rape. (view spoiler) So that really shouldn't be an issue..."

Felicia Day (no that's Felina!) just reviewed Stars My Destination with some strong objections: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Felina's reviews -- followed.


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Tamahome wrote: "What's Iain Banks's best Culture book? Don't say Use of Weapons."

The ones that stick out in my mind are The player of games and consider phlebas.


message 49: by Scott (new)

Scott | 45 comments Any interest in Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312? I've never read the author before, but I gather he is well-known, and tacks more toward the hard-scifi category. The book is brand-new, thus a risk, but with all the genre hairsplitting that went on over Hyperion, it seems that 2312 might scratch the itch some seem to be experiencing.


message 50: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6261 comments I've read the beginning of both. Player Of Games seemed more interesting.


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