If you like Vernor Vinge you might like

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Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space, Chasm City, Redemption Gap, Absolution Gap These four are a series and should be read in that order. Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days is in the same universe, but is really two novellas and to my mind is significantly weaker.

You're not going to like the answer to the Fermi paradox.

Chris Moriarty Spin State.

We've got teleportation, but it kind of sucks. First, it's not perfect so you tend to lose more and more of your memory the more you teleport. To make matters worse, it depends on entangled Bose-Einstein condensates which can only be mined on one planet by people working under near-slave conditions.

Dan Simmons Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion,Endymion,The Rise of Endymion.

Technology has finally given us a golden age. Unfortunately, it's all run by a group of AIs called the TechnoCore, and they're not really on our side. Hyperion is excellent. Quality sort of decays from there on in, with Endymion being distinctly iffy.

Ilium is interesting, though runs a little long.

Simmons is incredibly prolific. A lot of his work is in horror, which I'm not a big fan of, but he's also done three extremely hard-edged detective novels in the spirit of Richard Stark's Parker novels: Hardcase, Hard Freeze, and Hard as nails. I've read the first two and they're solid. The reviews on Hard as nails are bad, though. Darwin's Dlade is another mystery but is pretty generic.

Greg Egan Quarantine, Distress, Axiomatic (short stories), Diaspora.

These books aren't really connected, but they're all based on pretty amazing speculations. Diaspora's probably the most impressive: the nature of humanity has been totally changed and most people live as uploads in computers. What exactly would life be like in this environment? These are all older. I haven't read any of his newer stuff and so can't offer much of an opinion.

Iain M. Banks Consider Phlebas, The Player of Games, Use of Weapons, Look to Windward.

These are all set in the same "Culture" universe where life is utopian because technology has advanced to the point where everything is basically free. The major civilization in this universe is a mostly human civilization called The Culture which is really run by super-advanced AIs called Minds. These novels focus on the Culture's Contact section which seems to spend most of its time trying to reform more primitive civilizations.

Also see: Against a Dark Background and The Bridge, which is only sort of SF.

Richard Morgan Altered Carbon, Broken Angels.

We've got easy mind uploading. Everyone is fitted with a "cortical stack", which stores your memories, personality, etc. Bodies are disposable because you can simply upload your personality into another body or into a computer. This tends to affect your perspective a bit. These books should be read in this order.

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SF Reading Material from The PF Hyper Blog on April 10, 2005 7:47 PM

Eric Rescorla at Educated Guesswork lists a few books he likes and that you might like if you like Vernor Vinge (and science/speculative fiction). Vinge deals with various types of artificial intelligence and an event he calls the Singularity. He's b... Read More

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3 Comments

Also, Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others. As smart as Greg Egan, but slightly more humane.

Thanks for the links!


I really enjoyed Dan Simmons' Crook Factory, which is a hardboiled detective novel about Hemmingway hunting Nazi submarines off Cuba.


Also, I'd argue that Dark Background is a culture novel: The lazy guns are "clearly" culture technology. His latest, The Algebraist, doesn't seem to be set in the same universe at all. (Eg, wormhole travel).

Obviously the lazy guns are high tech, but they didn't really seem like Culture tech. That said, I should mention that while Inversions isn't really a Culture novel, the characters in Inversions seem to come from the Culture. Actually, a knife missile plays a small role in The Bridge, too.

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