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Looking for some ehm..epic universe scifi... to read, description in thread

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
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so here is my list:
House of Suns - Alastair Reynolds
Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky
The Quantum Thief - Hannu Rajaniemi . Should i get all three boks? Sequels are even better rated than first one.
Exultant - Stephen Baxter
The Dragon Never Sleeps - Glen Cook
A Fire Upon the Deep / A Deepness in the Sky - Vernor Vinge
Bolos 1 Honor of the Regiment - not sure about this one, super-tank sounds...dummy... and hard to imagine space exploration there..., but reviews are good... have to think about it
The Praxis - Walter Jon Williams - Its a trilogy, but looks very good. Is it necessary to read all books, or can i try just first one.. does it have finished plot? I suppose it does not, since its trilogy :D

Would like to read something from Iain M. Banks. But i'm afraid of series, i know its almost neccesary for some epic story, but thats it... i'm always too curious how story goes on, but what if i don't like it, i would have a great dilemma :D. Also quality of books can vary, for example I loved first Space oddyssey, second was OK, third was bad, and i just found out there is even fourth part which i 've never read (please don't stone me :D). Maybe i should try sugested The Algebraist, but i wasn't convinced much by desctiption and reviews about that one. Well and same concerns goes to Neal Asher Polity series.
As @Rodders says the Banks Culture books are not really a series but simply stories set in the same universe. There are one or two books where a character from a previous books appears where reading them in order helps but it is my no means necessary each book does stand on its own. Which is actually one of the joys of this 'series.' The Asher, Hamilton and Reynolds do tend towards linked series. though Reynolds has done more stand alone books and thinking about it another Reynolds book that would, I think, perfectly fit your spec is Pushing Ice.

Re Bolos, I've not read them myself, and whilst I believe they're not too pulpy I do believe they are very much heroic military SF that I don't think really fits your epic space exploration themes too well.
 

Helios21cz

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Hi, Helios. Although there are a few Culture books, they're not really a series as each of them is stand alone. I'd recommend Use of Weapons, although my absolute favourite is The Player of Games.
ok, i will buy both :).

One more important question... english is not my native language, and i want to improve my bad vocabulary. Are all these books written in "normal english? :D I hope all these autors are normal, not like Tolkien etc... :D
 

Vertigo

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Hannu Rajaniemi is Finnish but I didn't find that noticeable in his writing. I'd say they are all pretty straight forward English. The more elaborate stuff you might have come across with, say, Tolkien would appear mostly in fantasy works.
 

williamjm

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ok, i will buy both :).

One more important question... english is not my native language, and i want to improve my bad vocabulary. Are all these books written in "normal english? :D I hope all these autors are normal, not like Tolkien etc... :D
Those two Banks books should be fine, but if you're looking for normal English you might want to avoid his Feersum Enjinn.
 

Helios21cz

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Ok, this is my probably final list:
House of Suns - Alastair Reynolds
Pushing Ice - Alastair Reynolds
Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky
The Quantum Thief, The Fractal Prince, The Causal Angel - Hannu Rajaniemi
Exultant - Stephen Baxter
The Dragon Never Sleeps - Glen Cook
A Fire Upon the Deep / A Deepness in the Sky - Vernor Vinge
Use of weapons, The player of games - Iain M Banks
Prador Moon - Neal Asher

Only question reamins should i add The Praxis - Walter Jon Williams? I'm inclined to not to do it, since it looks like it requires to buy all three books from Dread Empire's Fall, and it seems to be too focused on military,. But you can still change my mind :D.
 

Tanith

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From the modern era I can recommend John Scalzi's "Collapsing Empire" books. They contain all the elements you listed, and also feature some great characterization and humor.
 

Rodders

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You have quite a good list of books to start with, so maybe leave the Praxis for a later time.

I look forward to reading how you get on with each of these titles.
 

Vertigo

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Indeed, there's some good reading there. Incidentally although Children of Time is pretty complete in itself there is a sequel Children of Ruin and, as of the 2nd June Tchaikovsky says of a third that... "There may well be one – a few ideas have occurred."
 

Helios21cz

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Ordered books today, unfortunately Exultant was unavailable, will become later maybe..i hope... Its a shame, i was very curious about that one. And couldn't find The Dragon Never Sleeps anywhere at my country classic eshops. I would be able to get it with some hard effort from foreign country maybe, but i have 10 books anyway, so i'm skipping that one for now.
Shame everything is paperback. I know its very common at sci-fi, but managed to get my latest sci-fi books with binding....so i've got a little bit spoiled i guess :D.
 

tachyon

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House of Suns is excellent.

The Culture books don't have to be read as a series, they are each basically stand-alone in a shared universe, though some people will argue that reading order is important.

The Quantum Thief has a satisfying conclusion and can be read stand-alone. I also enjoyed the sequel, but haven't finished the trilogy yet.

I'd like to add:

The Quantum Magician, by Derek Kunsken. Not to be confused with The Quantum Thief! I haven't finished reading this one yet but it fits your requirements and it's really good so far.

Crashing Heaven, by Al Robertson. Also part of a series (2 books... duology?) but can be read stand-alone.
 
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