Book Suggestions

Created by BarnacleBoy on June 24, 2015, 3:02 p.m.
  • I just finished reading The Martian. Do you guys have any suggestions for books that are space related, but also scientifically accurate?


  • Well don't scientifically accurate but I highly recommend the other Tested recommendation "Ready Player One". (Especially if you were born in the 80's)

    PS. You might want to practice your Joust a bit ;)

  • Big +1 for 'Ready Player One'

    I haven't read it, but Chris Hadfield's autobiography 'An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth' is supposed to be pretty good.

    And not space or science related at all, but I never miss an opportunity to highly recommend 'House of Leaves.' Only for those who don't mind sleeping with the lights on for a month or two afterward. ;)

    And, finally, really, anything by Cormac McCarthy...

  • Just finished Seveneves and it is quite similar to the Martian. I wasn't a huge fan of act three but I plan on re-reading it in the same vain as the Martian.

  • Ok I've revently read (in ranking order):

    The Martian
    Ready Player One
    Snow Crash

    What should I read next?

  • Everyone here should read 1984 if they haven't yet. That said, here is my recently read/currently reading list:

    Since I know we all love The Martian, I'd also recommend the very short but good "The Egg" by Andy Weir

    Ready Player One (of course)

    Snow Crash (of course)

    Undeniable by Bill Nye

    An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth - Chris Hadfield - Still working on this one, but it's good so far.

    Seveneves - I also just finished this one. Man, what an epic! but worth the time.

    Nerd do well is Simon Pegg's autobiography. I highly recommend the audiobook (read by the author)

    Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

    Hitch-22 by Christopher Hitchens

    A Universe From Nothing by Lawrence Krauss

    Armada by Ernest Cline - It's very much in the same vein as Ready Player One, but not nearly as good IMO.

    Neuromancer - Just started this one... So much catching up to do...

    Redshirts by John Scalzi

    The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan - This one is nerdy in a different way. Nonfiction that deals with our modern food systems. Might sound boring, but it's well written, very informative, and quite entertaining. But (SPOILER ALERT) there are no space ships in this one.

  • Arthur C. Clarke's oeuvre.

  • @KennyKO:

    If you liked all of those, I'd recommend:

    1. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

    2. Neuromancer by William Gibson

    3. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (just finished it myself... even though it was written way back, it has the feel of a mix between Seveneves and The Martian)

    4. Packing for Mars by Mary Roach (pretty entertaining and informative)

    5. Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyere is a fun, light geeky read.

    6. The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu is quite excellent and "in line" with the others.

    Armada definitely isn't as good as RPO, but still worth the read.

    Neuromancer has sequels that are excellent, as does Ender's Game. I've never read a sequel that is so vastly different from the first book as Speaker for the Dead is to Ender's Game, yet still so entirely excellent. I re-read Neuromancer and Ender/Speaker/Xeno in the past 12 months (first read for each was in the 80s-90s) and they all held up phenomenally well.

    Anyone care to pile on?

  • @BarnacleBoy:

    Red Mars will probably fit your bill. Though there has been surprisingly much Martian science accomplished since its writing in the late 80's/early 90's. It actually makes it pretty interesting, in a way, to note some of the differences. But it's still overall a very well written hard-SF story.

  • @KennyKO: You can go for the Foundation Series by Asimov. Very interesting classic scifi and there are a lot of books. You can also go for Armada by Ernest Cline (the second novel he wrote after "Ready Player One") although I have to say that it is not as good as the first one (IMHO).

  • So update of my list, (not really in order anymore

    The Martian
    Ready Player One
    Snow Crash
    Wool & Dust & Shift by Hugh Howey, Somewhat depressing, but really enjoyed these.
    Redshirts, loved it! Thanks for the recommendation!
    Ancillary Justice & Sword by Ann Leckie, I'm not a fan of the gender thing, but other than that very good.
    Press start to Play, bunch of shorts based on 'if games would be real' (or something).

  • After reading "Seveneves", I've had a hard time reading anything other than Stevenson. I have to say, "Cryptonomicon" is simply wonderful.

  • I'm an old school sci fi reader. Niven and Pournell did quite a few good books. I'm not thinking scientifically accurate here, just shoot-em-up-alien and space travel books. I read all the Clarke and Heinlein I could get my hands on in the 60's. Moat in Gods Eye, Ringworld, Inferno, don't forget Assimov and his robot trilogy. Phillip K. Dick has great books, which were the basis for the movie Blade runner and tv series Man in the High Castle. Mentioned above Neuromancer was another must read!
  • No on has mentioned David Brin yet... David is both a space scientist and author.

    The Postman... Though a controversial movie, was an excellent post apocalyptic read..

    Kiln people examine a society where we are able to produce copies of ourselves every day, uploading their consciences back again every evening.... Imagine being able to literally do a dozen things at the same time every day.

    Existence is a very good study of how life with augmented reality and a very large wireless bandwidth may play out in a near future..

    His uplift novels populate the universe with all manner of aliens, most of them hostile, putting humanity (and intelligent dolphins and chimps) as recent entrants into a very mature and dangerous universe. It's been said that Brin's aliens are the 'deepest' in any world.

    The only problem with Brin is that he's not nearly as prolific as Clarke or Asimov.

  • How about John Scalzi

    I know some of it isn't real science but it is some great sci-fi stuff. Love the old man war trilogy.

  • Across the universe by Beth Revis is good :) I enjoyed reading it.

  • As some one said look up some Arthur C Clarke books. While written a while ago it is scary how accurate his ideas are he tales about hand held tablet devices and he was writting back in the 60 and 70's remember before computers where really any thing.

    Or Isaac Asimov who wrote one book called "the god them selves" Its not accurate in the classical sense of the word, but he created a universe and it obeys the laws he sets out for it.

  • Wool by Hugh Howey was great, but I really didn't like his Beacon 23.

    Seveneves was fantastic. I didn't know the change in act 3, so I had sit back and take a good few minutes to gather myself.

    I read Snowcrash, but wasn't a big fan, still finished it though.
    Ready Player One was awesome though.

    If you want to span out, I am a MASSIVE fan of Alistair Reynolds. He is a former research astronomer with the European Space Agency, and now writes "hard science fiction" and "space opera".
    So no faster than light travel, but it's set in the future, and massive stories spanning hundreds of years.

  • I really enjoyed Ready Player One, but I didn't really get into Armada, it felt like I was ready some kind of The Last Starfigther reboot ! Haha
  • @BarnacleBoy:Chris Hadfield's An Astonaut's Guide To Life On Earth. This is a great insight into what it takes to get into the space program, the dedication, work ethic, going the extra mile and more.

    What struck me was his complete commitment and focus to learning the task no matter how small or insignificant it might appear. Your life depends on knowing exactly how to react when things go wrong and Chris explains how he did this. During his training in Russia he realized very quickly that he needed to become fluent in the language as he would going going up with a Russian crew in a Russian rocket. He did.

    What you might learn from this book is no matter what you are doing make sure you know exactly what is going on around you, where all your tools are and what to do if things go wrong.

    It is all about being prepared, whether you are in Florida or on the Space Station.Also how he transitioned from being number one to being a team player after his astronaut time was over.

    Males for a very good read.

  • I am reading "The Railways Nation, Network and People" by Simon Bradley. A history of British Railways and how they formed the nation. You can buy on line through the Book Depository for around $16 postage free.

    Now are broadcasting a series called Full Steam Ahead which seems to be based on the book. You can watch the previously broadcasted episodes and play catch up.

    Both very worthwhile

  • Replay by Ken Grimwood.

    A time travel /time loop novel that once started was unable to put down. Have reread every 5 years or so since buying.

  • I was a bit surprised that "The Three Body Problem" was only mentioned once because I think the trilogy is among the best Scifi I have ever read. It is quite deep and refined and the ending is very unexpected and interesting.

    I tried "Seveneves" but the very long explanations bored me a bit. Don't get me wrong, I loved "The Martian" but I couldn't get through Seveneves.

    "Ready Player One" is really good and everybody I recommended it too loved it. I also liked the "Old Men's War" series by John Scalzi which is a lot of fun.

    I am currently listening to the Audiobook of "We are Legion, we are Bob" which is very entertaining and contains several interesting ideas. Try it!

  • I love Neil Stephenson, I gobble up anything he writes but some of the technical description he goes in to in Seveneves is just too much and too long in my oppinion. Well worth the read though. I prefer his trilogy The Baroque Cycle more.

    I loved Ready Player One and can't wait for the movie. I had also heard rumors that Armada was going to be made in to a movie. Someone please confirm that for me.

    The scariest books I've ever read and there not even horror novels are Flood & Ark by Stephen Baxter. I mean he nukes my almamater in Gunnison Colorado then permanently floods it under the ocean.

    And may I say bless you to England for Tom Holt that man is one of the funniest writers I've read in a long, long time. I'm currently working on his new book The Management Style of The Supreme Beings and it is so funny.

  • I finished "The Management Style Of The Supreme Beings" and it's so worth it. Basically Santa Claus, God, Hell, Martians and humans all fighting for control of Earth.

    I also just finished Scott Myer's wizard series. There are three books so far no idea if more are planned. "Off To Become The Wizard", "Come Spell Or High Water" and "An Unwelcome Quest" in that order. Basically all of existence is a computer simulation and time travel is possible, but not anything like the Matrix movies.