I read all of Foundation and the Robots series a while back. Since then I've been trying and failing to find a space opera book series on that level of quality, with that amount of depth and ideas. /lit/ is useless. Is there anything like Foundation?
Perhaps the Ender series and perhaps Dune.
They both have the galaxy spanning plots, though I admit I've only read about hlafway through each of the three series (Foundation, Ender, and Dune).
Also, of course, those are the easy answers.
I, Robot is a great anthology, but I doubt you haven't read it.
The Bolo series is... less good than Asimov, but it explores a lot of the same themes of artificial intelligence through a different lens.
Starship Troopers. Read it.
One important thing when reading Robert Heinlein is to not jump to conclusions too quickly about what his personal politics are. He's a guy who APPEARS to be very open about them, but he's really not, as you will notice when you read more than one of his books.
Sometimes he appears to be a hippy, other times a die-hard libertarian, or maybe he's a fascistic militarist!
What he ACTUALLY is is a guy who is willing to write mental experiments about how different societies could work, and he isn't willing to go "Well, this doesn't fit perfectly with my ideal society, so they're EVIL!"
No. Instead, when he's writing about the idea that the privileges of citizenship should be earned, he puts himself fully in the mindframe of that culture. Then he publishes another book and suddenly he's a 70's counterculture hero. And so on and so forth.
The only consistent string through it all is that he is science fiction's coolest Dirty Old Man.
Well there's Cordwrainer Smith. People always forget about him even though his writing includes such colourful characters as cat-girl waifus, ancient depressed Nazi killer robots and dudes who rock out by opening portals through which they channel the songs of sentinent solar systems.
Try the Uplift series by David Brin.
The basic premise is that every single spacefaring race only makes it into space because some other spacefaring race comes along when they are still basically just animals and fucks with their genetics until they become intelligent. Every race begins a slave race to the 'Investor' race that uplifted them into sentience until they eventually earn their freedom under the doctrines of galactic law, and your lineage and holdings (both what systems you control, what races you have uplifted, and what species you currently hold a stake in that have potential for uplift) are your worth in the galactic consortium.
The only race that ever made it into space under their own power is the fabled Progenitors, who invented much of the technology that the galaxy still uses and first started the tradition of uplifting lesser races. No one else has ever matched their achievements.
Until, suddenly and without warning, a really shitty space ship bumps into a cruise ship and makes first contact with a race called humanity, who no one seems to be able to take credit for.
The books all tell wildly different stories spaced out throughout the years about mankind's growth in the galaxy, but with a focus on Uplift based politics and the fact that every other race doesn't really believe that we made it as far as we did entirely without help, going to far as to claim that our religions are proof that we used to get visited by more advanced beings before for some reason they stopped.
Because we have no lineage protecting us, we very nearly end up being "adopted" against our will by our closest neighbors just because we are such an exception to the rules that the normal set of laws don't account for our existence.
>that tfw when didnt read dune or hyperion or foundation
anyone ever did those audiobook things? are those a scam, or is it as good as reading? also how hard are these things to find on the internet?
Oh shit nignog, you did not just dis the great read that is Dune did you?
dis the sequels all you want.
Heinlein suffers massively from Kojima syndrome. That being whatever political topic was on his mind at the time becomes the focus of the book. So if you read his books in chronological order you can actually see his political beliefs changing.
That's not entirely true. He has certain very consistent threads through the mess, and his stuff is very much influenced by the pet peeves of his two main lovers.
so guys, about audiobooks, are they as understandable and enjoyable as reading? I mean will I be able to listen to an audiobook and have the same experience as reading? and what if english isnt my first language?
never did audiobooks, wondering if its as legit as reading
It depends entirely on the quality of the narrator. Some are great, and can improve the experience by adding to it. Others are shit pushed out as fast as possible.
So check reviews to get a sense.
Miles Vorkosigan books, by Lois McMaster Bujold. Start with Young Miles.
She has won as many Hugos as Heinlein, if you discount the retro-Hugos.
seconding the Uplift books
If you're really impatient you can start with the second book (Startide Rising). Sundiver is good but not quite as good, and the plots aren't dependent on one another.
Seconding the Vorkosigan series, still read them occasionally.
I am a die-hard fan of audiobooks, but as others have said it's largely dependent on the narrator, and only books that have a significant following get an audio-version.
If you want some really good examples of well done audiobooks, I'd recommend the Dresden Files, Discworld, Hitchhikers Guide, and Harry Potter.
If you want some bad examples, check out the early Vorksoigan audiobooks, and cringe as an eighty year old man and wife with no vocal range try to do dialogue for teens.
Glenn Cook has some great sci-fi, but he seems to get tired of writing it quickly. Notably, The Dragon Never Sleeps is a great book that I wish had more. Starfishers is pretty good, too.
The Bolo stories have a good universe but it's done by dozens of authors so the quality is...diverse.
I'm going through my second lap around the Culture books now and they're very hit-or-miss, each for very different reasons.
Dune has a couple really, really good books in it and the rest is an insufferable slog.
No. There is not.
I mean after the obvious Dune, which you can quit after God Emperor.
I am partial to M. Banks, but it isn't one unfolding story, more of a universe illuminated from many angles (all at the fringes of The Culture).
I got halfway through the first Foundation book and stopped. I couldn't stand the super cheesy futurey space names that every character had. Should I just suck it up and try again? Is it really that good?
It depends, largely, upon the quality of the narrator. Personally speaking, I prefer them especially for Star Wars books, as the audio can really enhance the feel you get.
The problem is, if you have a really shit novel like Aftermath, the only thing it does is improve the listenability of the piece -- the novel is still trash, but hey, it's got cool effects...
Dune is a great example of an excellent audiobook with a well-done narrator. Tim Curry also does excellent with the Sabriel series, Dracula, and The Christmas Carol. You won't always get good quality stuff, though, so just be wary.
There's also plenty of unabridged versions available. I can't speak for whether they're edited or not,, but considering many of them run into 23 hours or more, I tend to believe the editing is not something i'll miss terribly or is integral to the story as a whole.
I'd avoid all of John Scalzi's books, though, and everything narrated by Wil Wheaton. They're shit.
The Dune audiobook is decent.
Read the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. It is about the terraforming of Mars, and takes place over generations. Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars.
Watching The Expanse with great interest.
But I hear the novels aren't that great?
Going to jump on the wagon and mention Dune again.
Also, for more recent stuff, just finished reading A Fire Upon the Deep. Now THAT's a space opera. Great sci-fi concepts too in the "Zones of Thought" and man-made gods. Fascinating stuff
Asimov, Clark, Heinlein...
Science-fiction is fading but I am glad that there is people who still reading the classics and to see fa/tg/uys have such good taste.
Foundation has GOAT cover art. You can see Trantor change from cover to cover.
Shame books don't get covers like these anymore, they have charm
Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained (and then the void trilogy if you're feeling it).
Wouldn't put it on the same level as Foundation, but it's still a riot.
>suffers massively from Kojima syndrome.
Is he also a massive westaboo and needs to shove references to 80's post-punk and pop into everything?
/lit/ hates reading and people who like to read for fun. To them, reading for fun is completely missing the point, which is to be known as Someone Who Reads, and living the literary lifestyle.
writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays.
the entire body of writings of a specific language, period, people, etc.:
the literature of England.
the writings dealing with a particular subject:
the literature of ornithology.
the profession of a writer or author.
literary work or production.
any kind of printed material, as circulars, leaflets, or handbills:
literature describing company products.
Archaic. polite learning; literary culture; appreciation of letters and books.
I am at a physics university, and most people in my class have some sort of awards and prizes won and so on, definitely clever people. And most of their hobbies are.. ping pong, riding bicycles, football (the one with a foot and a ball, not hand egg) and so on, things generally considered dumb.
There's a clear gap between what /lit/ thinks literature is, and what people actually read.
Sci-Fi and Fantasy authors like Asimov and George Martin are the flicks to Nabokov's Films.
>Sci-Fi and Fantasy authors like Asimov and George Martin are the flicks to Nabokov's Films.
Please don't spread /tv/ memes. The last one that spread was baneposting, and everyone saw how that worked out.
Dude, the illuminatus trilogy is brilliant but he asked for Well-Written. Illuminatus has so many plotlines going on it's very hard to follow and impossible to put down for more than a few days lest you lose your line on the plot forever.
>/lit/ hates reading and people who like to read for fun. To them, reading for fun is completely missing the point, which is to be known as Someone Who Reads, and living the literary lifestyle.
This elitist bullshit sounds exactly like I would expect from a 4chan board. All boards are a bit like that.
Honestly, in dark parts of my heart, i want a board for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Ghetto part of the bookstore, where we can argue about the merits of Martin while they're wanking to the latest piece by Murakami.
The thing is, when I first read Murakami I classed him as a soft sci-fi/ modern fantasy author. All of his novels I've read have strong fantastic elements and honestly I'd recommend Murakami to anyone who likes Dune or any of the Container Smith stories.
More or less back on topic: none of these are Space Opera, but if you're looking for authors who have some depth to them they're probably worth checking out. These writers are idea heavy and based around the psychological and social end of things:
Samuel Delany. Pretty much anything, but Dhalgren may be offputting if it's the first thing of his you read.
Ursula K. Leguin- The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed in particular.
Theodore Sturgeon - "To Marry Medusa" and "More Than Human" are great.
Alfred Bester - "The Stars My Destination" and "The Demolished Man"
Philip K Dick - Again, pretty much anything, Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said and A Scanner Darkly are probably good books to start off with.
Flipping to the other side of the idea heavy sci-fi coin, if you like your sci-fi to basically be thought experiments about the nature of reality and the nature of consciousness, that happen to have plots:
Greg Egan, anything.
Stanislaw Lem, anything.
I've also heard good things about Ted Chiang but haven't read enough to judge.