Books: SciFi & Fantasy

Discussion in 'SciFi & Fantasy' started by Porfiry, Oct 3, 2001.

  1. orcot Valued Senior Member

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    3,475
    [qoute] Terry Pratchett's female characters seem generally as convincing and genuine as his male ones[/qoute]
    did Terry ever write a female main character that did not involve inequality between men and women?
    Monsterous regiment had a female lead that pretended to be a man. Their are some abouth the witches but those heavily involved ineaquality and womens rights. I doubt he ever wrote a female character who's gender wasn't part of the plot. Their still good books tough
     
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  3. river

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    The Expanse , scifi novel series

    So far so good .
     
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  5. psikeyhackr Live Long and Suffer Valued Senior Member

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    OMG! I posted to this thread 10 years ago. It's on page 11. Getting old and this thread is growing very slowly.

    I read Ancillary Justice years ago. The ship was destroyed and only one ancillary survived. I did not read any more of the series. Too much like Iain M. Banks Culture series. I have only read two of those, Player of Games and Look to Windward.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culture_(series)

    I have read Charles Stross' Merchant Princes series and am awaiting the next installment.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Merchant_Princes

    Alternate history that comes across as fantasy at the beginning and transitions to sci-fi. That apparent fantasy is explained with quantum physics when studied by US scientists. Rather like H. Beam Piper's Paratime Universe.
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I think I've read all of Banks' Culture novels. Highly recommended.

    In the universe of the Culture, the entire human(ish) society is essentially run by Minds, which are AIs housed either in enormous reconfigurable spaceships or enormous artificial space-based habitats in orbit around star. The Minds can create Avatars that look like humans, and they can also control many semi-autonomous drones. Apart from the Minds, there are also independent drones, which are usually floating robots about the size of a suitcase, or smaller. The independent drones have approximately human-level intelligence. The Minds exist, at least in part, in some of the "hidden" dimensions of spacetime, so although they appear roughly as spheres a couple of metres across, internally they are complex far beyond human understanding.

    Probably the thing that is most striking about the Culture is that it is a post-scarcity society, which means that essentially the civilisation has sufficient control over access to resources to be able to produce just about anything that is desired. Currency is therefore superfluous. The human inhabitants of the Culture do not need to work, and most of them do not. Mostly, the humans spend their time enjoying themselves.

    Humans in the Culture tend to be augmented in various ways, such as having computer-interface implants and almost without exception drug glands that they can use to control and enhance normal bodily functions. Operations to alter the body are routine, so people can change sex if they want to, or even change bodies to something quite different, or modify their bodies (for example to have extra limbs or other organs).

    The novels tend to revolve around some kind of "Special Circumstances" operation, often involving the Culture coming into contact with less advanced civilisations but occasionally also having to deal with near-equivalent level civilisations that pose a threat of one kind or another. There are also various intrigues involving Minds with eccentric goals of their own. The action usually revolves around one or a few human characters who are recruited for special tasks by the Minds.

    If you like space opera on the largest scales, the Culture novels are an excellent read.
     
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I ended up reading all three books in the Ancillary series.

    One interesting idea was that the ruler of the main civilisation essentially cloned herself off many times in order to manage a very large empire. But over time the clones diverged in their opinions and goals, to the point where two factions of the one personality emerged, fighting against each other for control of the empire's resources, but keeping those under them in the dark about the fact that there was any problem. The main character in the novels is the remnant AI of ship that is destroyed as part of the collateral damage of the ongoing covert war between the leader's clones.
     

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