Future Reading

I was thinking (and avoiding doing other work) that it would be interesting, is nothing else, to get a thread going on SF books that people enjoyed and would like to recommend, or, books you hated and think others should avoid. Novels, novellas, short stories, comics, interesting and futuristic looking lines on a page, whatever, anything at all. I suppose I’ll start off with some good one’s I’ve read:

Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin. I picked it up when I thought I’d try to be clever and guess what might be required reading for this class before I got a hold of the actual reading list. It’s mostly a social commentary on a hypothetical society with one shifting and fluid sex, from the perspective of a mostly human, male, protagonist. Discussions of politics, religion, mental health. It’s hard to even explain the plot without recanting the entire story, but the world Le Guin builds is so concise and detailed, it’s easy to get lost in, much like a glacial, snowy wasteland.

Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clark. It may as well be the dictionary definition of Hard SF. No real focus on characters, just a utilization of them as a vehicle in which to explore and attempt to understand a massive space craft that comes hurtling into our solar system. I recently found out that it’s actually the first book in a series, so the ending is just a little less frusterating.

The Avery Cates Series by Jeff Somers. I read all of these in a span of under two, very lazy weeks. It reads as close to an action movie as anything I’ve ever read before. The anti-hero lead is a basically a gun slinging thug that gets luckier than he should, and then incredibly unlucky, constantly. It’s mainly an action focused, argueably cyberpunk narrative, though focused more on the grit and grime than the technology. Guns blazing and questionable decisions, cults, crime, apocalypse, it’s got a touch of everything, yet never comes across as forced.

What else out there is worth reading? The one’s I’ve posted for the most part are pretty well known. Anyone find a gem at a thrift store or your uncle’s garage that was totally awesome? Here an interesting story about republican reptile aliens on the bus? Throw ’em out there.

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