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Looking for suggestions for Sci-Fi novels (look inside for specifications!)

Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
edited November 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Actually, this is really a 2-part request.

First, I recently developed an interested on the topic of generation ships and was wondering if any PAers could recommend me some (good) novels that describe the life on board of such vessels. I found quite a few of these books through some internet research, but a lot of these are early 70's Sci-Fi works and I'm unsure of their quality, so I'd like to hear some personal suggestions from you.

I'd also like to know if there are any sience-fiction & space-themed graphical novel/comic book series out there worth my time and money, that are preferably not about superheroes. Thanks!

Alfred J. Kwak on


  • SaammielSaammiel Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Anvil of Stars by Greg Bear is an examination of life on a ship that isn't quite a generation ship, but is similar and it has interesting philosopical questions in it.

    The Book of the Long Sun (which is actually 4 books) by Gene Wolfe may also fit your bill, though it is sort of different. Gene Wolfe is extremely talented, but his books are far from easy to read. It certainly isn't hard science based.

    Saammiel on
  • see317see317 Taco Count 2018: 2 Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    The Dark Beyond the Stars is an entertaining story about a mutiny on a slowly failing generation ship.
    Written by Frank M. Robinson.

    It's been a while since I've read it though, so don't have much more in the way of details.

    see317 on
    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • LykouraghLykouragh Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Orphans of the Sky by Heinlein is a good generation ship sci-fi novella, though it is older.

    A long time ago I read a good one involving an amnesiac and a plot twist about a generation ship, but I cannot for the life of me remember the title or the author.

    Lykouragh on
  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited November 2010
    Some good suggestion

    The Dark Beyond the Stars and Anvil of Star definitely look interesting, I'll be getting those two.

    Orphans of the Sky I read the wiki plot synopsis from and, I don't know, I guess I just find it a little too .. odd for my taste. Maybe what I'm looking for is a more 'realistic' approach.

    I'd like to hear more about The Book of the Long Sun - I'm quite curious about that one.

    In any case, thanks so far, and keep them coming.

    Alfred J. Kwak on
  • see317see317 Taco Count 2018: 2 Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    While not focusing on true generation ships a couple of books that focus on cold sleep ships might be of interest to you...

    I highly recommend Vernor Vinge's "A Deepness in the Sky". If you haven't read it, you should definitely add it to your list. Also, House of Suns by Alistair Reynolds is a great read. Granted, not true generation ships but some nifty stuff with time dilation/suspended animation at slower then light speeds.

    see317 on
    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2010
    You really ought to read Forge of God before Anvil of the Stars, but yeah they are pretty great.

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • InvictusInvictus Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Gene Wolfe is my favorite science fiction author, and one of my favorite authors, all things considered. He does quite a bit of stuff related to questions about truly far-future settings, intermediated by civilizational collapses.

    He is quite hard to read. The Book of the Long Sun is a piece where the most important parts of the narrative occur 'off-camera,' so to speak, and their details have to be deduced from the perspectives we do get. It is clear (to the readers) relatively early on that the setting is a generational starship, but the characters don't know that; that is knowledge that has been lost in the thousands of years the ship has been traveling.

    I would recommend this piece and also his Book of the New Sun most highly, but be prepared to work at it. I was pretty unsatisfied with both of those pieces the first time I read them, but the texts hide answers to many of the most important questions if you are looking hard enough.

    That reminds me, I need to re-read Long Sun again....

    Invictus on
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  • TehSpectreTehSpectre @PixelateJake on TwitterRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    As far as general sci-fi, I would recommend The Solar Lottery by Philip K. Dick.

    Also, check out The Hunger Games and see if you like it.

    I was surprised.

    TehSpectre on
  • KetarKetar Lacks the basic intelligence required for pretty much everythingRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Look into Heart of the Comet by Gregory Benford and David Brin. Not exactly a generation ship novel, but it might be close enough for you.

    Ketar on
    Sometimes our strengths lie beneath the surface - far beneath, in some cases - but I'm sure there's more to Ketar than meets the eye!
  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited November 2010
    TehSpectre wrote: »
    Also, check out The Hunger Games and see if you like it.

    I was surprised.

    Looks good, I'll have to see if I can find it. :^:

    Also, after some more extensive internet research, I now know probably every generation-/sleeper-ship novel in existence, of which there are not so many. On to the difficult process of picking the most interesting ones of the bunch.

    Alfred J. Kwak on
  • Metal Gear Solid 2 DemoMetal Gear Solid 2 Demo Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Red Mars

    Not so much generation ship but pretty close, deals closely with the interactions between the first 100 people to arrive to colonize Mars. Just plain good ol' science fiction too.

    Metal Gear Solid 2 Demo on
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  • ThemindtakerThemindtaker Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    It's a spoiler to even include it in this thread, but the book rocked my world, so I'm going to say it anyway.
    Fair warning, as per the "spoiler" part, the generation ship stuff is all toward the last fifth of the book.
    Anathem by Neal Stephenson

    Themindtaker on
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  • mere_immortalmere_immortal So tasty!Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Pick up any of the Culture series by Iain M Banks.

    They don't feature generation ships, but are fantastic works and have plenty of other (sentient) ships which are both settings and characters.

    mere_immortal on
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  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited November 2010
    Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds isn't set entirely on a generation ship, but does have a good section of it set on one.
    Ring by Stephen Baxter is another one to check out that spends a good chunk of the story on a generation ship.

    Bionic Monkey on
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