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Old 14-12-2019, 20:54   #1
jockosjungle
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Positive Future Sci Fi Books

My Dad has been asking and it has got me thinking, in the times we live in he's getting a bit tired of reading dystopian future books. Bit close to home, etc. Personally I often find these to be a little far fetched,

OK it's the future, I don't really see that means we would enjoy watching 100 boys walk and get shot if they slow down, something they volunteered for, until one survives with no other explanation than this is the future.

I'm struggling to think of many books with a more positive outlook, I thought of Star Trek stuff, but not sure he's interested in books of TV shows.

All I could really think of is stuff that is a little more straight sci-fi, stuff like The Martian, where such things don't really come into it.

Any recommendations?
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Old 14-12-2019, 21:10   #2
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The Culture books by Iain Banks (except the first, that has a downer ending), Dune by Frank Herbert, and Hyperion/Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons?
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Old 16-12-2019, 00:00   #3
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How about the Bobiverse trilogy by Dennis E Taylor? First is "We are Legion, We are Bob".

I didn't get on with the Hyperion ones, found them a bit dull.
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Old 16-12-2019, 13:34   #4
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http://sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/utopias

I was wondering about Asimov's Foundation novels however the above article states
"utopian Trantor, which is already in terminal decline as the Foundation series begins"

Thing is you are always going to need conflict to make a good story, therefore I think the best way of tellnig a utopian story is an outsider who is not part of their ways, like indeed Thomas Moore's original novel.

I love the short story the streets of ashkelon by Harry Harrison, Enders Game sequel, Speaker for the Dead and Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin, although these sort of stories often start with a peaceful society which is then destroyed by the intrusion of an outsider, is that still utopian enough for you?
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Old 16-12-2019, 14:04   #5
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The Long Earth (series) by Terry Pratchett* and Stephen Baxter?

*It's about as far from classic Terry Pratchett as you could get.

Last edited by Boink!; 16-12-2019 at 14:05.
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Old 16-12-2019, 17:58   #6
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Keeping with the late great Harry Harrison, how about his "To the Stars" Trilogy? Maybe a little dystopian but not enough to be unbelievable. Also the Stainless Steel Rat books, though just stick with the first five.

Also, The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
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Old 16-12-2019, 19:52   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by General Zod View Post
The Culture books by Iain Banks (except the first, that has a downer ending), Dune by Frank Herbert, and Hyperion/Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons?
Yes, the Culture is probably the best example of a utopia outside of Star Trek (though it is not technically our future). But Dune? That whole universe is created as a cautionary tale (or as Silicon Valley put it in its last episode, "apocalyptic desert-planet sci-fi ********").

Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed is presented as "an ambiguous utopia" — personally I didn't find it utopian at all. (Among other things, the society depicted faces a major famine from which many die.)

The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner is mostly dystopian, but features a utopian society at one point.
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Old 16-12-2019, 20:31   #8
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Thanks, good suggestions so far.

As for Dune, I think the Universe is pretty dystopian, but hidden a little by the more focused story on Arakis. Gets a little more into it later on, I remember a conversation between Paul and Stilgar admiring what Hitler did.
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Old 16-12-2019, 21:43   #9
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They're not so much admiring Hitler as using him for a "Are we the baddies?" moment of reflection.
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Old 23-12-2019, 23:53   #10
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If one is a fan of 1950s (mainly) sci-fi, almost all short stories by Robert Sheckley have a positive, often optimistic note. They might come across as far-fetched, but are usually witty and imaginative. My favorite sci-fi short story writer, along with Judith Merrill.
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Old 06-01-2020, 14:55   #11
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If you want old school SF I recommend the Adventures in space and time anthology.
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Old 09-01-2020, 14:58   #12
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Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky was a good read. A bit different to normal future/sci-fi fare
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Old 10-01-2020, 17:44   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliff homewood View Post
If you want old school SF I recommend the Adventures in space and time anthology.
I love them. The best 'old school' sci-fi anthologies are those edited by Groff Conklin, with Hans Stefan Santesson and John Carnell rather distant second and third. Judith Merrill was good too. I have a huge collection of such paperbacks, almost all of them bought used while browsing dusty shelves in Hay-on-Wye bookshops. Unfortunately, the village is now a shadow of what it once was.
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Old 10-01-2020, 18:18   #14
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I'm currently on the best of new school sf. Best of the Best SF edited by Gardner Dozois. Good book, some great stories in there.
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Old 11-01-2020, 08:04   #15
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Quote:
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I'm currently on the best of new school sf.
The reason I prefer the 'old school' SF is because they let their imagination spread without worrying about political correctness and that sort of nonsense.
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Old 11-01-2020, 14:53   #16
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Science Fiction was born out of political commentary, the opposite of political correctness.
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Old 12-01-2020, 08:49   #17
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In a similar vein to this, does anyone know of any non-fiction books that describe how good and fair the whole of mankind could be, if only we had pulled together in a completely different way ? (It's already way too late).

I'm thinking of a 10,000 year rewind, where one of the ancient civilisations could have gone on a different path to globally spread some kind of humanist way of living. Everyone is pretty much equal, and we are not exploiting each other or the environment, and we highly value the important things like food, health, housing and education.

I've not seen or read anything like this. Recommendations please, for books/tv/film.
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Old 12-01-2020, 16:07   #18
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The Bible?
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Old 12-01-2020, 19:55   #19
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Old 13-01-2020, 14:54   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyN85 View Post
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky was a good read. A bit different to normal future/sci-fi fare
The sequel is good too!

You could give him some Peter F Hamilton too. A bit of a Star Trek-y future in some ways. Probably better off with "Pandora's Star" followed by "Judas Unchained", his other series (Night's Dawn trilogy) is a bit horror/sci-fi.
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