Skip to comments.Who are today's Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein?
Posted on 02/09/2013 4:41:00 PM PST by narses
TechRepublic member lcallander asked me for some suggested reading material, with a rather intriguing sci-fi stipulation:
I was rereading an old post, where guys were reminiscing about reading Heinlein, Asimov, and Clark, my personal favorites. I got out of reading SF in the 80s and am bewildered by the variety today. What do guys who liked H, A, and C read today?
Well, thats a really interesting question. Im really only able to answer the Heinlein part of it, since Ive read very, very little Clarke or Asimov (blasphemy, I know). John Scalzis Old Mans War, The Ghost Brigades, and The Last Colony are openly admitted Heinlein pastiches, the first of which won the Campbell Award and was nominated for the Hugo.
Scalzis style is breezy and easy to pick up, so Id start there. Im also told (though havent read) that John Varleys Red Thunder and Red Lightning ably pick up the Rocket Ship Galileo torch. Thats about the extent of my advice.
Thankfully, Amazon.com can actually help some here. (Shocking, I know.) See, Amazon has a nice bit of collaborative filtering that lets you view items that Amazon customers bought before and after buying a product that youre interested in. Thats a fancy way of saying: These people bought X and also bought Y, so if you like X, odds are youll also like Y.
So, lets take Stranger in a Strange Land (my favorite Heinlein novel) and check out its extended list of Customers Also Bought items, scrolling until we find some modern stuff not written by Uncle Bob himself. Filtering out the usual suspects of Hugo winners who get bought out of sheer notoriety, we find: Hyperion by Dan Simmons. Now, lets do the same thing with Clarkes Rendezvous with Rama, and we get: Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. For Asimovs Foundation we get: Enders Game by Orson Scott Card.
Do this for a number of books by Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein, and youll begin to get a picture of where adherents of the Old Masters go to sate their sci-fi thirst today. Do the same for Hyperion, Red Mars, and Enders Game, and youll link into a web of recommendations that open whole new doors of possibility.
Of course, for all of Amazons tech, theres nothing like a good old-fashioned reader recommendation. So, how about it Geekenders what modern writer (published since 1990) would most satisfy a fan of Asimov, Clarke, and/or Heinlein? Post your recommendations in the comments sections. With any luck, we can help a fellow member out (and maybe even attract some SFSignal attention).
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Side note but as great modern writers go, Graham Masterton. In Horror/strangeness, no one compares to this man. Diverse, prolific and always a good read.
Not Sci/Fi per se, but he goes there in fits and spurts in many of his works.
The first two Night Warriors books, The Pariah and his most famous, The Manatu (70s movie/book) are all great reads.
Is Kevin on your ping list? :p
"Asimov, Bester, Clarke."
FR has a few writers onboard.
Though they tend to keep to the shadows mostly.
It was a FReeper who turned me on to Harry Turtledove who definitely goes out of his way to find unique ways of thinking of things.
His short story “The Road Not Taken” can be found here (I just downloaded it to my kindle for a more in depth read)
They’re hanging out with the Sinclair Lewis, Charles Dickens, and Balzac of today. In other words nonexistent. Can you imagine what a Dickens would be writing about current day America? What a paradox, in an age of plenty and material bounty our culture and arts are intellectually impoverished. A clown in the white house who invites rappers for drop in visits. Disgusting!
Our Freeper member “Travis McGee” is author Matthew Bracken. His “Enemies” trilogy is great. A future distopian trilogy where government is taking over all power. His books were written before Fast and Furious, but predict such type manipulative events. The first novel even has a Free Republic like system where people are figuring out what is going on. His website is www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com Just go to Amazon.com to read excerpts and read reviews. You can order from his site or Amazon, but he probably does better if you order from his site due to the Amazon fees.
Turtledove is awesome.
Iain M. Banks
For the Culture series and for the Algebraist.
You know, out of the walls of books I have and of the many times people recommend him to me, I still haven’t read him. I don’t know why. I never hear word one but praise for him.
I gotta fix that.
I love these threads, I get to hear about new authors
I think I will.
I’ve read 3 David Gemmel. Alan Dean Foster’s “Carnivores of Light and Darkness”. Just finished Greg Bear’s “Eon”. Worked in Brooks’ “Sword of Shannara”. The first book of The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, and am working on Bear’s prequel to Eon—Legacy.
That is this year. My goal is to read 100 books this year.
Jeff Head and Travis Mcgee
These two have written excellent books.
I know there are others too!
If you want an epic sci fi series, get thee to the used book bins/ebay and get the Battletech series. Galaxy spanning space opera in jumpships and Mechs.
Several writers, all of them good. Political intrigue, warring cultures, combat...all there.
And about 30 books to get through. And not the ‘dumb fun’ it first appears to be. Quite philosophically deep actually.
Thanks for that!
Turtledove seems to specialize in the what ifs of history. He’s got a whole series of “Southern Victory” books about if the south had won the civil war.
If you never read it, “The Last of the Breed” by Louis L’Amour is one of the best adventure fiction novels I have read. It was supposed to be a two-part novel, but the author died before writing the second half. Still a great read.
Matt Bracken is a new one, L. Neil Smith is one you may have missed if you left in the ‘80s:
I wrote the off-road section of David Phillips “American Motorsports” ;)
Reality today is so bizarre that science fiction pales by comparison. The present political scene is as wild as any SF story that I have read. Americas drones flying worldwide killing Americans. The US can’t afford to refuel its ships, while the US government gives away cell phones, medical cost approaching the GNP of a country........
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