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Near Future Science Fiction Epics

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Humble extra, Oct 1, 2002.

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  1. Humble extra

    Humble extra Jedi Youngling star 5

    Jun 12, 1999
    This thread relates to the work specifically of two authors who have written science fiction trilogies based in the reasonably near future.
    THe first author is Kim S. Robinson, who authored the REd Mars trilogy, and several short stories since. This trilogy is based around the colonisation of Mars from the mid 21st century till the 23rd century if my memory serves me correctly.
    The second is Peter Hamilton, author of the Reality Disfunction trilogy, and several short stories based in the same timeline. His trilogy is based around the 27th century, and relates to a war between the current human societies and what are effectively "returned" souls possessing bodies....but with a new twist on what is an old storyline the possessors are not inherently evil, just people who died and want a 2nd chance at life.....

    Now the reason why i like both of these trilogies, apart from being a scifi geek is that they both create coherent 3 dimensional "universes" that are based on current scientific knowledge and political trends, there are no radical jumps, dislocations, collapses or changes in human civilzation like say in Dune, or Star trek .....

    storylines like what if the catholic church banned all types of genetic engineering, or sectarian religious conflict on mars are included...
  2. Shadoloo

    Shadoloo Jedi Youngling star 2

    Jul 4, 2002
    I havn't read either of those author's works, but I feel that another could be included in this discussion...Orson Scott Card.

    More specificly, some of the books from the Ender and Shadow series'. Not all the books are in chronological order, and currently just over half take place 150-200 years in the future (dates are never used in the books)

    It is very interesting how Card can move first from a semi-futuristic space station setting, to the distant (and not to different) future, then back to Earth a couple hundred years ahead, and make it a seamless and perfect transition. And they are realistic stories, too. One could confuse them with a current fiction novel, if it wasn't for the occasional reference to the dramatically altered political situation (Israel and the Mid-east are each others greatest allies, Brazil and China are the greatest of the superpowers...) and to human cloning and genetic engineering...oh, and the occasional car without a driver.

    I won't distract from your original topic, but I thought that Card could also be included in the great near-future authors.
  3. ivylore2

    ivylore2 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Nov 5, 2001

    I'm halfway through Red Mars

    (I found the book of short stories that accomanpanies the trilogy this summer and got hooked)

    I don't think you have to be a hard-core sci-fi geek to be awed by Robinson. His book is a crash course in Martian geology, a 'how to' establish a base (I think sometimes, haha)... I'm in awe much of the time. Aside from the painstaking research he employed to write the trilogy (didn't he live in Antarctica for 6 months before writing his book about it?), he's an incredible writer.
    I think I love his writing style above all else....

    OH... and a side note to Stanislaw Lem. I read Solaris this week and thought it was excellent.

  4. MariahJade2

    MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor star 5 VIP

    Mar 18, 2001
    Never read the other books but I have read the Mars trilogy. Reading that series is sort of like swimming through honey. The texture is thick and slow, but it sure tastes sweet. You do begin to wonder if the man secretly lived there when you see the attention to detail in his descriptions.

  5. Humble extra

    Humble extra Jedi Youngling star 5

    Jun 12, 1999
    shadalo, i have read that series, pretty good stuff, but then Orson is pretty good usually when it comes to scifi.........however his stuff is just a little too far removed from current trends for me, what with the Bugger invasion.......however that is just me
  6. Jon_Snow

    Jon_Snow Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 4, 2001
    I read Red Mars, but didn?t like it. It was too heavy on the science for my tastes, and I just didn?t like the story. Essentially, it broke down being about people setting up a base on Mars. It seems like it might happen somewhat like he describes, but he somehow managed to make the colonization of a new world into something boring.

    Orson Scott Card writes like he?s stuck in the so-called ?Golden Age? of science fiction, and I don?t mean that in a bad way. Ender?s Game is great on any level, as is Speaker, though I didn?t like the last two books of Ender?s story. But the Bean books? he?s just writing fun stories with strong moral elements in them. Nothing that will change the genre, but stuff that?s a lot of fun to read.
  7. DVader316

    DVader316 Jedi Knight star 7

    Feb 18, 2000
    Ive read both Card's Ender books and Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy. IMO, Card's books are good but kind of lose steam after the first two novels, although the Shadow books are entertaining in their own right. As far as the Night's Dawn trilogy goes, I highly recommend this series. Its British sci fi so it may seem a bit different at first but it is a very well written and exciting series. Very provocative, intellectual and thought provoking.

    I also highly recommend The Seafort Saga by David Feintuch. These are quite possibly the best sci fi books that Ive ever read, with easily the greatest, most noble hero that Ive ever encountered since Ive started reading. Nicholas Seafort is like Han Solo and Captain Kirk all rolled into one, a true maverick who is also one of the most moral, humble and honest characters that you'll ever read about. You cant help but root for Nick as he leads the U.N.N.S. Navy to new colonies in deepest space and as he battles demons both physical and mental. The series can be very heartbreaking at times but it is truly powerful writing centering on the iron will of one amazing Naval captain. Highly, highly recommended.

    If anyone is interested the first book (so far there are seven, all available in ppbk) is called Midshipman's Hope. If anyone is curious and would like to know more about these great novels please feel free to PM me anytime.
  8. JediTrilobite

    JediTrilobite Jedi Master star 7

    Nov 17, 1999
    I think that Issac Asimov comes pretty close to the mark with his robot books.
  9. McNerf-Burger

    McNerf-Burger Jedi Youngling star 5

    Nov 13, 2000
    I have read the Mars trilogy two complete times. It's a really awesome story. The thing should come with an appendix at the end or something though, there are so many characters and locations. I think my favorite of the trilogy might be Blue Mars, where he starts getting into the colonization of the rest of the solar system and the first interstellar ships. Great stuff!

    I've also read the first four original Enders games books, but I havent had the chance to start his new series with Bean. Enders game is one of my all time favorite books. The second one is fantastic as well. The third one is good, and the fourth one I dont like so much. I cant stand the character that he marries, she is greatly annoying.

    Here is another series that hasnt been mentioned yet. The Space Odyssey series b Arthur C Clarke! 2001, 2010, 2061, and 3001. 2001 is a fantastic story, as is 2010. 2061 is pretty good as well, and I think 3001 is definetely the worst of the series. The technology part of it is cool with the spaceships of the day and so forth, but the story is just bleh. I mean, infecting the monolith with a virus? What?
  10. DarthYama

    DarthYama Jedi Master star 4

    May 16, 2001
    What time-scale do you consider Near Future?
  11. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Apr 3, 2002
    I think "Near Future" means not just a near date, but the tech tends to be relistic.

    Larry Niven's 'Protector' fits this well. It takes place a little after 2100. An alien from near the center of the galaxy uses a Bussard ramjet to get to Earth. At light speed this would take 28,000 years, and in real time does. The alien was going fast enough for time dialation to occur and his journey is experianced as 2,000 years.

    The asteroid belt is a civilization and 'belters' use fusion powered single-ships to flit about the solar gravity generators,instead using things like 1g acceleration, lasers for communications, space suits etc. The belters go looking for radioactive materials, magnetic mono-poles, and one finds some old booster rocket from a Pluto flyby probe. He keeps it to smuggle to the Moon to be sold as a relic.

    Its a fast, smooth, fun read with a cool idea on our origins on Earth.

    Edit:For clarity and to add something :)

  12. Humble extra

    Humble extra Jedi Youngling star 5

    Jun 12, 1999
    near future is more of a state of mind than anything else, the tech is realistic, the political developments are understandable, and there is a clear , non broken link between the world of today, and the world that exists in the book.
  13. DVader316

    DVader316 Jedi Knight star 7

    Feb 18, 2000
    I really did not like ACC's Odyssey series. I found 2001 to be fairly entertaining but I found the rest of the series to be extremely boring, easily the most ponderous books Ive ever read. Its amazing that I even finished the series at all considering what a waste of trees 3001 was.
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