Science Fiction.

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Yes, Shikari was good too. It'd be great to see a US Civil War Flashman.
The attempts so far to resurrect Flashman that I've read have fallen flat, the authors failing to get historical backdrops as vibrant and accurate, whilst showing inability to keep Flashy as horribly engaging as GMF always did. Not to mention the lack of a romping plot....

Best leave Harry Paget Flashman and his heirs to rest, IMHO.
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
The attempts so far to resurrect Flashman that I've read have fallen flat, the authors failing to get historical backdrops as vibrant and accurate, whilst showing inability to keep Flashy as horribly engaging as GMF always did. Not to mention the lack of a romping plot....

Best leave Harry Paget Flashman and his heirs to rest, IMHO.
Agree, nothing has come close.
 

Chef

LE
The attempts so far to resurrect Flashman that I've read have fallen flat, the authors failing to get historical backdrops as vibrant and accurate, whilst showing inability to keep Flashy as horribly engaging as GMF always did. Not to mention the lack of a romping plot....

Best leave Harry Paget Flashman and his heirs to rest, IMHO.
One attempt was James Delingpole's Coward series, I think there are three, they try very hard to emulate Flashman and fail.

GMF was a one off.

'Bunter Sahib' by Daniel Green wasn't bad, a stand alone novel about Billy's great grand father.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
One attempt was James Delingpole's Coward series, I think there are three, they try very hard to emulate Flashman and fail.

GMF was a one off.

'Bunter Sahib' by Daniel Green wasn't bad, a stand alone novel about Billy's great grand father.
"Flashman in the Great War" was one I squandered pennies on unwisely; turgid, unbelievable, unamusing dross from beginning to end.

Delingpole's Coward series was more of an homage IMHO, and the first two were readable and relatively amusing, if a little OTT (I'd never heard of the third volume "Coward in the Woods" until you mentioned it which appears not to have been in print anywhere, probably with good reason).

Back to SF, Toby Frost's "Space Captain Smith" series started off well but lost momentum by the fourth book.

When it comes to genuinely funny SF comedies, there's not a great deal I can think of; Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series and the one off "Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers", Spider Robinson's "Callahan's Bar" stories, some of Scalzi's stuff, and that's about it off the top of my head.

Mention of Harry Harrison has reminded me of the Deathworld trilogy, a blinding series which I'm surprised Netflix hasn't snapped up the TV rights for and thrown millions at.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Mention of Harry Harrison has reminded me of the Deathworld trilogy, a blinding series which I'm surprised Netflix hasn't snapped up the TV rights for and thrown millions at.
Other than "Make Room! Make Room!" (filmed as Soylent Green) Harrison's work doesn't seem to have made it to the screen.

Which is a shame - the Stainless Steel Rat books would make a great story arc for a miniseries, and as you say Deathworld would be brilliant (I thought Avatar missed a trick there - if you really want a 'living planet' then have the miners confused as to why insect bites that didn't even raise a welt when they first landed, now kill you in screaming agony... because the planet sees you as an infection and is trying to get rid of you)
 

kimmi851

War Hero
Back to SF, Toby Frost's "Space Captain Smith" series started off well but lost momentum by the fourth book.

When it comes to genuinely funny SF comedies, there's not a great deal I can think of; Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series and the one off "Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers", Spider Robinson's "Callahan's Bar" stories, some of Scalzi's stuff, and that's about it off the top of my head.

Mention of Harry Harrison has reminded me of the Deathworld trilogy, a blinding series which I'm surprised Netflix hasn't snapped up the TV rights for and thrown millions at.
Phule's Company by Robert Aspirin started well with the first book but faded after that, and Eric Frank Russell has had many mentions in this thread. Pratchett did a couple of sci fi books early on (though I put those more with Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and the Red Dwarf books in the so extreme it is fantasy realm really).
 
They should do one offs - Flashman time-machined into a Bristol Council Committee meeting for instance.

That said, 'Look Who's Back' was superb and scary in equal measure.
 
Dennis Taylor has a new Bobiverse novel out, "Heaven's River".
Not bad, but clearly a part of a series, with dangling plotlines.
I recently finished the Poor Man's Fight series by Elliott Kay. Space Opera, but with a "hero" who becomes a reluctant figurehead in a civil war against a hyper capitalist corporate empire that dominates by.... Student debt!
 
Looks like the sequel to A Memory of Empire is out, although it's not hit my doormat yet. Quite enjoyed the first book although I'm not sure it deserved a Hugo. That said the "non-traditional" genders and the fact that the author is very much a lipstick lesbian probably annoy the sad puppy type traditionalists as much as Ann Leckie's books did.
 
Isn't it A Memory Called Empire?

The sequel is A Desolation Called Peace. Out now.
 
Nearly a whole page on SF in today's Times review section.

Following on from a review of Kazuo Ishiguro's Klara And The Sun it lists 10 SF novels that help "make sense of the world".

The novels are:
  1. The Method - Juki Zeh
  2. The Ministry For The Future - Kim Stanley Robinson
  3. Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie
  4. The Day Of Creation - J G Ballard
  5. I Am Legend - Richard Matheson
  6. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
  7. On The Beach - Nevil Shute
  8. Beggars In Spain - Nancy Kress
  9. The Simulacra - Philip K Dick
  10. Solaris - Stanislaw Lem
Plenty of scope for argument there.
 
Nearly a whole page on SF in today's Times review section.

Following on from a review of Kazuo Ishiguro's Klara And The Sun it lists 10 SF novels that help "make sense of the world".

The novels are:
  1. The Method - Juki Zeh
  2. The Ministry For The Future - Kim Stanley Robinson
  3. Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie
  4. The Day Of Creation - J G Ballard
  5. I Am Legend - Richard Matheson
  6. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
  7. On The Beach - Nevil Shute
  8. Beggars In Spain - Nancy Kress
  9. The Simulacra - Philip K Dick
  10. Solaris - Stanislaw Lem
Plenty of scope for argument there.
They help you understand a very hopeless world. I'll stick with the Disc if it's all the same to Ishiguro.

And you were right of course, Martine's first novel was A Memory Called Empire. The Amazon teaser for the sequel seems quite interesting with an entertainingly icky alien.
I gather than Martine is a linguist by trade (oi, no tittering at the back) and it looks like what alien languages might be like will be part of the book.
 
Indeed, love a bit of that sort of genre, (despite the dickishness of some people on sites devoted to it), JB takes the Final Countdown scenario and runs with it. I particularly enjoy the culture shock aspects of it as the WW2 generation struggle to come to grips with the somewhat right on 21st century task force.
Anyway, good bloke, funny and not worth your time.
He has a blog: CheeseburgerGothic
Well, started it again the other night and I actually laughed out loud at one point - you can tell it's proper made up shit, not just the time travelling etc... it's got Prince Harry as 'The Warrior Prince', a Captain in the SAS.

HA!
 
Sunday Times attempting to champion SF which is a bit worthy, woke and, of course, boring. Not that I disagree with everything there.
Tried a couple of the Ancillary Justice books... the whole approach to gender did not engage me the Iain M. Banks did for example. Plot completely escapes me too.
Never really got the point of the The Handmaid's Tale, okay Atwood wanted to explore what it would be like if an Iranian style sexist revolution took place. Well why not write about Iran then? Or Afghanistan, or Saudi or any other of these benighted places? Persepolis seems a better book on the subject really.
 
Well, started it again the other night and I actually laughed out loud at one point - you can tell it's proper made up shit, not just the time travelling etc... it's got Prince Harry as 'The Warrior Prince', a Captain in the SAS.

HA!
Yeah that has dated rather hasn't it. Likewise the USS Hillary Clinton.
Nothing dates like predictions of the future.
 
Yeah that has dated rather hasn't it. Likewise the USS Hillary Clinton.
Nothing dates like predictions of the future.

Some hold up, but so do thrillers. No one reads Tom Clancy or Ted Allbeury much nowadays.
SF injects concepts into people's minds and allows them to start processing it before the technology is ripe to deliver it. I think "social" SF survives better than "tech" driven.
Much as I loved the Golden Age stuff of Asimov, Doc Smith and Heinlein, the technology dated it.
But Asimov's Laws of Robotics, Heinlein's political tract of Starship Troopers, Orwell's totalitarianism, Huxley's genetically modified future, Gibson's pre Internet Cyberpunk culture, these have all seeped into modern culture even if people have never read the books.
 
The Cyberpunk dude was the most accurate prophet of doom yet - made Nostradamus look like a rank amateur.

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