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Favourite SF series/future history?

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  • Favourite SF series/future history?

    Starting about 30 years ago (about the age of 10) I started reading nothing but SF and this lasted for about ten or 15 years. During this time many books have passed through my hands. The ones I've kept have mainly been by a few favourite authors, and a few series and/or future histories I rate highly.

    So the point of this thread is to ask: What are your favourite series/future histories?

    I greatly enjoyed Brian Aldiss's 'Helliconia' series. It is a seemingly faultless creation, with every aspect of the millenia long course of the great seasons played out behind the struggles of its inhabitants. I was lucky enough to meet the author and get one of the volumes signed.

    A future history I have most of the stories from, is Larry Niven's 'Known Space.' Has some interesting aliens amd settings and a sense of the shambolic about the discovery and settlement of new colony worlds, something that mirrors somewhat, the way in which western European nations spread throughout the world.

    I'm also a great admirer of the 'Dune' series. I've read them all, including the 'House...' prequels by Herbert/Anderson (though admittedly those weren't so good.)

    Those are the ones that spring to mind, I'm sure I'll think of some more.
    You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

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    "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

  • #2
    Whatever you think of Heinlein, his future hstoryis a good one ......

    And Poul Anderson so ........

    They are less systematic than the hitories you are refering but they are good and enjoyable ones.

    In another thread we wrote about the Dorsai serie .

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    • #3
      During the period I mentioned, I read most of Heinleins work, the majority of it numerous times (I was a prolific reader.) I foolishly got rid of all off my Heinlein collection, an action I regretted almost immediately. I wish I could reacquaint myself with them, but they are proving hard to track down.

      I read some of Poul Anderson's FH (Future History.) Didn't they feature a character called Nicholas van Rijn? I definitely remember reading a trilogy collecting together short (and longer) stories. I recall they heavily featured birdlike aliens. I vaguely remember reading a few related novels.

      These stories bring to mind the 'Flandry' stories (until I googled them I'd forgotten they were by the same author.) Didn't read more than a couple of them but they were rip-roaring adventure stories, as I recall.

      Another series that I remembered as I clicked the submit button on my previous post was 'The Stainless Steel Rat' series by Harry Harrison. I think I have them all up to 'TSSR gets Drafted.' Great series, I do enjoy an author who can write his hero into the tightest of corners, then get him out.

      Another great love of mine is anything by Philip José Farmer. There are so many series by him I don't know where to start. I love them all.

      For some reason I never got around to reading the 'Dorsai' books. I always picked them up and never bought them. Not sure why.
      Last edited by Governor of Rowe Island; 09-15-2006, 01:58 PM.
      You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

      -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

      Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

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      "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

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      • #4
        I am thinking that I would have to choose Dune. Although I must confess having had many hours of (guilty?) pleasure from Anne McCaffrey's Pern series in my younger years...
        The name that can be named is not the true name.

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        • #5
          I read the book 'Decision at Doona' by Anne MacCaffrey, but never got round to reading the follow-up(s?). I did read her 'Dinosaur Planet' series (was it 2 books?) but never read much else by her. Pretty much enjoyed what I read but wasn't really grabbed by the premises of her other books. I read 'The Ship Who Sang' though I don't remember too much about it. I believe there were follow-ups to that, too?
          You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

          -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

          Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

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          "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Governor of Rowe Island
            I read the book 'Decision at Doona' by Anne MacCaffrey, but never got round to reading the follow-up(s?). I did read her 'Dinosaur Planet' series (was it 2 books?) but never read much else by her. Pretty much enjoyed what I read but wasn't really grabbed by the premises of her other books. I read 'The Ship Who Sang' though I don't remember too much about it. I believe there were follow-ups to that, too?
            Decision at Doona was pretty interesting, as I recall - some nice treatment of two different species intermingling. I never read the follow-ups. I also remember reading Dinosaur Planet but not liking it very much. Ship Who Sang was a really great idea, imho. I read a short story that was a follow-up to that, but I don't think I read any of the other sequels. In fact, apart from two of the Crystal Singer books, the only series I followed were the Pern books (of which I read every single one until finally running out of steam with All the Weyrs of Pern, if I am recalling it correctly). There was something romantically heroic about the dragon books that really appealed to me. In fact, the "harder" her sf got with those books, and the more the characters discovered of their Terran ancestry, the less interested I became. Quite the opposite of the Dune series, where the nuggets of old-Earth history that cropped up from time to time were really thrilling and enjoyable to read. I'd guess that they were more effective due to their rarity and lack of immediate impact on the narrative. Fragments of a faith forgotten, rather than gods waiting to emerge from the machine.
            The name that can be named is not the true name.

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            • #7
              Another series just came to mind - 'The Heechee Saga' by Fred Pohl. Great sense of fumbling in the dark in these stories. One that reflects the advance of western science. Also emphasizes the impact of space travel on the human condition, both personal and culture-wide. No small commentary on the impact of wealth on one's personal choices and advantages, either. Another one I would highly recommend.
              You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

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              Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

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              "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

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              • #8
                The ones thatleap to mind are:

                Dune
                up to God Emperor. After that I felt it fell apart somewhat.

                I like Asimov's whole interlinked Robot/Empire/Foundation stuff, although I prefer the earlier books to some of the later ones where I think he lost it somewhat.

                Gibson's Sprawl trilogy.

                Jack Vance's Star King series.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Alan Dean Foster was another author who's FH I greatly enjoyed. The 'Commonwealth' series contained quite a few books, (I think I must have owned about ten or so) of which my favourite is 'Midworld' about a world which is so lush it is completely clothed in a world spanning tropical jungle-like proliferation of vegetation. I no longer have the books of this series, but the the first one I came across and the only one I kept was 'Midworld'. The Iceworld stories of this future (I forget their titles), featuring Ethan Frome Fortune were also rather enjoyable, seeming in hindsight to be a cross between Mike's 'The Ice Schooner' and a Philip José Farmer story.
                  You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

                  -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

                  Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

                  :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


                  "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm a huge fan of C. J. Cherryh's Alliance/Union future history, which for me is one of the most believable (albeit optomistic) one's out there. I also really like David Brin's Uplift series a lot, though it's not as convincingly realistic to me.
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                    • #11
                      Foster future history ( Huamn Thranx commonwealth ) is realistic and optimistic ....... I like it

                      C. J. Cherryh's Alliance/Union future history yes and no .....

                      Chanur serie is boring and repetitive .........

                      The fading sun serie is very good

                      I would add Vance :

                      - the alastor cycle ...... for instance

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Future Histories

                        I agree with most of the above, particularly Vance, Niven, Cherryh and Foster. My guilty pleasures are the Man-Kzin Wars stuff set in Known Space and Flinx and Pip in Foster's.

                        A particular favourite from times gone by was Cordwainer Smith's 'Instrumentality of Mankind' which was full of interesting ideas.

                        Another ongoing future history is Stephen Baxter's Xeelee sequence - which to me is a bleak-British version of Pohl's Heechee stories. Both sequences have an alien species hiding in black holes from another alien threat - but Baxter takes his to the death of the Universe and is very much down beat.
                        Statistically 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy.

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                        • #13
                          I very much enjoyed Cherryh's Chronicles of Morgaine. I'm not sure how much it qualifies as a future history, given that one of the central concepts of the series is that Time itself has been broken, but it seemed to play out in some possible future. Very eerie.
                          The name that can be named is not the true name.

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                          • #14
                            I've read a few of the 'Uplift' series, D-A. I think it suffers from it's aliens having too-human motives, but they're quite good tales none-the-less.

                            I'm becoming quite a fan of Baxter myself, Elwher. I've read all the 'Manifold' books. Quite enjoyable spotting all the riffs on different themes that appear through the stories. Only read two or three of the 'Xeelee' sequence but he certainly seems to know what he's on about when it comes to science!

                            Another of Nivens linked stories I enjoyed were the 'Smoke Ring' books. Quite a high concept, to say the least.

                            Joe Haldeman is another writer with a few minor series. 'The Forever War' is a book that deserves all the plaudits it gets, but 'Forever Peace' seemed to go all high concept just for the sake of it.

                            The 'Worlds' series is a near-future doom-mongering series but at least they ended on a high note. I'm sure some of his other books share the same future in which the predominant languages are Spanish & Swahili. Can't remember which ones without checking though.

                            My favourite near-future doom-mongering series, though, is the three books that make up the 'Trauma 2020' series by Peter Beere. If he'd swapped the I*R*A for Isl*mic f*nd*mentalists, he'd have probably been spot on. Probably a bit overdone, but they don't half rip along.
                            You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

                            -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

                            Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

                            :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


                            "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kamelion
                              Although I must confess having had many hours of (guilty?) pleasure from Anne McCaffrey's Pern series in my younger years...
                              Same here...i would wake up from dreams crying because i did not have my own dragon

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