I’m looking for good sci-fi recommendations

I’ve been wandering around the Internet looking for good, new sci-fi shows, and I have to say I’m a bit underwhelmed with what’s out there. Canadians seems to be making some, with Continuum and Orphan Black, but I’m a bit disappointed with the storyline1 of the former, and not exactly convinced by the latter. I haven’t seen Fringe before and someone recommended it to me, so I watched one episode, but probably won’t watch any more – too much X-Files-like, except without Anderson or Duchovny. Where are proper sci-fi shows like BSG or Babylon-5?2

And how about books? Some time ago someone recommended “The Windup Girl” (was that you, @tTikitu?) and I enjoyed it, as well as “The City & The City”, but I didn’t find anything else that would resemble science-fiction.

Could you please recommend something, Internet? Just no military sci-fi, please.

  1. Once you watch Primer, any other sci-fi that involves time travel looks just silly.
  2. Which I never really liked, but respect nevertheless.

Published by Piotr Kaźmierczak

I like jazz and cycling.

3 replies on “I’m looking for good sci-fi recommendations”

  1. I might have recommended Bacigalupi’s excellent short story collection (*Pump Six*), haven’t read the *Windup Girl*. (I’m not sure I could bear him at novel length — which I mean as praise.)

    If you want spaceships, Vernor Vinge is good (*A Fire Upon the Deep*, *A Deepness in the Sky*). I recently enjoyed Charlie Stross’s *Neptune’s Brood*. Iain M. Banks. These are all somewhat easy: good reads, relaxing, comfortable.

    M. John Harrison (*Light*) is not easy, but worth trying. Samuel R. Delaney’s *Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand* is spectacularly good but is the first half of a duology that will never be completed. I enjoyed *Blindsight* by Peter Watts, but he goes in the “not easy” category too.

    If you can enjoy shorts: James Tiptree Jr. (pseudonym of Alice Sheldon), most definitely.

    Philip K Dick, of course: *The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch* is fabulous. (Some of his stuff is fairly inaccessible because he was completely off his head, and some is hastily and poorly written; *Palmer Eldritch* I think avoids both issues, although narrowly at times.) *A Scanner Darkly* is a masterpiece, and extremely funny in parts.

    *Roadside Picnic* by the Strugatsky brothers.

    That should keep you going for a while :-) Interested to hear what you think of any of these.

    1. *Scanner* is the only time I’ve seen Keanu Reeves animated (hur hur hur). As I recall, though, it’s a very faithful adaptation — lots of original dialogue preserved. (I recall a discussion of whether they’ve been ripped off after the purchase of a ten-speed bicycle which turns out, on closer inspection, to have only seven gears: two front, five back.) The most amazing thing about that book, though, is the dedication, where he lists a bunch of friends who’ve died or ended up with permanent psychosis through drug abuse. Puts the laughs in a whole new perspective.

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