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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #11
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Re: I'm looking for good, well written, contemporary science fiction

I originally tried to think of "contemporary" writers for my earlier post in this thread, but I saw from others' postings that this could include late 20th Century authors too.

So here are three more authors that truly astounded me, each in their own way. While these books below became parts of longer series over time, each could easily be read as a stand-alone, so hopefully will still match the thread starter's original request.

David Zindell's hard scifi "Neverness" has challenging, evocative writing set in a truly cosmic scale ranging through interstellar travel, interspecies communications with the Alien, contemporary (reborn) Neanderthal society and interstellar gods, some of whom are organic and other AI.




A. A. Attanasio's early, controversial "Radix" is a mountain of wordsmithing set in a far-flung, violent, mutated post-apocalypse earth. Something like Robert E. Howard meets Laird Barron by way of Ezra Pound in a scifi setting. Not for everyone, but I found myself rereading it numerous times, a very compelling bit of world-building. I'm also fond of Attanasio's many additions to the english language.




And "astounding" in a completely different fashion, the late Octavia Butler was such a great novelist that she probably deserves her own thread; the grande dame of African-American science fiction. Her many wonderful, sensual and disturbing works explore what is to be Human in the midst of racism, sexism and violence and when faced by encounters with the Alien Other or the supernatural.

I was moved by the trilogy that was eventually published in one book, "Lillith's Brood." A masterpiece of "Othering," it explores the results when a dwindling, post-holocaust humanity is "saved" by a very alien species whose idea of saving our species is to absorb it, both genetically and psychologically. How do the survivors remain "human" and is the struggle even worth it?



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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #12
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Re: I'm looking for good, well written, contemporary science fiction

Attanasio sounds really interesting, never heard of him before. A look around his goodreads page shows that no publisher will have him now and he's been writing straight to ebook now.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #13
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Re: I'm looking for good, well written, contemporary science fiction

Re. "Attanasio sounds really interesting, never heard of him before."

His style of writing has definitely altered since those earlier years and I lost my enthusiasm for his later works. But besides "Radix," I also found his epic (and more mature than Radix) novel, "The Last Legends of Earth" to be rather amazing.

TLLOE is a multi-generational saga beginning billions of years after the destruction of our solar system, in which much of earth's life, including humans from all epochs possessing full memories from their first lives, are recreated from DNA remnants and placed within an artificial solar system as a trap for an alien predator species. Echoes of Valentinian Gnosticsm.

From Amazon:

"A grand and glorious visionary epic."-Robert Silverberg *** Set in the artificial planetary system of Chalco-Doror, which is no more and no less than a vast cosmic machine, The Last Legends of Earth is a love story, a gripping saga of struggle against alien control, and an examination of the machinery of creation and destruction. Above all, it is world-building of the highest and grandest order, on a scale rarely seen in science fiction since the great works of Olaf Stapledon.



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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #14
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Re: I'm looking for good, well written, contemporary science fiction

I've never read Attanasio's sci-fi, but his Cthulhu mythos stories are among my favorites.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #15
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Re: I'm looking for good, well written, contemporary science fiction

Only read the first book so far, but i thoroughly enjoyed Dan Simmons Hyperion. The series is only four books long.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #16
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Re: I'm looking for good, well written, contemporary science fiction

Quote Originally Posted by Patrick G.P View Post
Only read the first book so far, but i thoroughly enjoyed Dan Simmons Hyperion. The series is only four books long.
The first two Hyperion books where are the bookshelf of the last house I lived in. The only Simmons I've read is "Song of Kali", which I've read twice. For some reason I've never bothered to read any of his other books. I guess I should try him and Attanasio as well, someone I had never known anything about until this thread.

Thanks, guys!

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #17
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Re: I'm looking for good, well written, contemporary science fiction

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
Attanasio sounds really interesting, never heard of him before. A look around his goodreads page shows that no publisher will have him now and he's been writing straight to ebook now.
I really enjoyed Radix as a child, and keep meaning to revisit it.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #18
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Re: I'm looking for good, well written, contemporary science fiction

Not a single mention of Peter Watts? You'd be hard pressed to find more overtly "Ligottian" hard SF.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #19
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Re: I'm looking for good, well written, contemporary science fiction

Bakker and Watts I feel sometimes there is a quantum effect to (I feel this about interacting with creators to some extent in general also)...in that recommending them changes the experience of reading them for the reader...both also repay pondering and time - that doesn’t come from the implicit demands of the recommender for acknowledgement of their recommendation ...I have recommended both but won’t again – people may stumble across them though or have a chance to add them to their “to read” pile

"suckers for posterity" aren't we all
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