👽🚀 pew pew let's have a sci-fi thread pew pew 👽🚀


Look to Windward is a lot better than I remembered and Excession is not as good as I remembered.

Bought the new Becky Chambers - record of a spaceborn few. Anyone read it yet?


ah right, I think I agree with you, in that I’m not really sure getting hung up on the extremely specific allegorical meaning is going to add a huge amount of enjoyment to reading it, but who knows


I have. It’s a funny one, I grew to like it more thinking about it afterwards than I did while I was reading it. The plot is low key to the point of non-existence, and it’s more like a kind of reportage account about everyday life in the Exodus Fleet. It’s a very quiet, very human story, full of compassion. It’s good.


Player Of Games is 99p on Kindle today if anyone’s looking to take a punt on Iain M Banks


Pew pew still one of my faves this


Just finished Banks’ Inversions, which I loved to pieces. Not really sci fi at all, other than guessing/knowing the likely backstory, which added to it. I zoomed through it.
Look To Windward is next


Look to Windward is so good, poignant as well as his usual humour, scope and ideas. “tonight you dance by the light of ancient mistakes”, wonderful stuff.


that is lovely :heart_eyes:


Read Ice after you fine folks’ recommendation and it was excellent, especially from a technical point of view - some brilliant lines, and so effortless for being so disjointed. Any other ‘slipstream’ novels that people would recommend?


Sorry for creepy thread necroing but I was searching through for other opinions on this and I’m glad I’ve found other people who didn’t get on with this. I’m nearly finished the first book and have been thoroughly ambivalent about it the whole way through. Don’t think I’ll bother with the other two.

I’ve been struggling to put a finger on why I don’t like it, but I think it’s because the central conceit feels very contrived, and the plot so far is just a series of events to make use of it. It’s not very compelling.

Might be talking shite, though.


not creepy at all! I can’t really remember why I didn’t get into Ancillary Justice (to be honest I can’t remember much about it at all, which may be rather telling) but I’m just left with an overall impression of beigeness and no engagement.


I liked AJ, but the other two are a significant step down. If you’re at all unsure about the first I wouldn’t bother.


I got lost objects by marian womack, a short story collection. It kind of blends sci fi, fantasy, magic realism. Only tucked into the first so far. it seems bleak yet maddeningly readable.


I actually run a ‘female voices in sci fi’ extension seminar course and I was really excited by the premise but I haven’t ended up using it at all. For those who are interested, these are the authors I’ve been focusing on:

-Ursula Le Guinn (obviously)
-Becky Chambers (cannot say enough good things about the Wayfarers universe)
-James Tiptree Jr (Alice Sheldon) -best sci fi short stories ever
-Nicola Griffiths (Slow River, Ammonite etc)

Charlotte Perkins Gimore’s ‘Herland’ got a fairly muted reception from the students so I may ditch that this year.


Gave up 25% of the way through. Just didn’t click at all.


Gf said it got better after they stopped “twatting around” on the first planet. It got maybe 5% better.


I kinda liked the worldbuilding in Ancillary Justice as much as the plot. “I can’t go on, I don’t have the proper tea set, no-one will respect me!” sort of thing.

Just read Connie Willis’ Domesday Book - decent, but way overlong and I bounce off the way some characters constantly, constantly repeat their annoying ticks. (Also kinda funny that a book written in 1991, and set in 2050, has time travel and video phones, but not mobile phones, so the characters are constantly unable to find each other…(also seemed very Tory).


Exposing young minds to Tiptree? Eeek! Which stories do you use? I remember ‘Cold Hill’s Side’ blowing my teenage mind, and ‘Screwfly Solution’ my adult one…


Think I ended up using a chunk of ‘love is the plan, the plan is death’ last time. I encourage some of the braver ones to read ‘Her smoke rose up forever’ independently. They have things like Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’ on the syllabus so they can’t be too squeamish about sex and death in English Lit A level!


I’m set on finishing ‘Pandora’s Star’ by Peter F Hamilton but it’s through gritted teeth. When I’ve read stuff by him before I’ve thought ‘this is cool but the way he writes about women is icky’. He absolutely doubles down on this in ‘Pandora’s Star’ though JFC. The world-building is immense; the story itself is great fun but oh my God whenever he mentions a female character he feels the need to describe them physically and throw around a lot of “silken thighs” and “moist sensual lips” and ARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH! What is wrong with you? Why do you revert to being a 14 year old boy in the middle of writing a decent space opera? I don’t get it. How come no-one, his editor, his nearest and dearest, no-one has come up to him and said “Peter, mate, we need to talk. Your sex scenes are ludicrous and make an advert for lynx Africa look mature, sensitive and retrained”?

Compare and contrast with ‘Pushing Ice’ by Alistair Reynolds. A male sci fi author writing a brilliant sci-fi story with female antagonist and protagonist that are never objectified and leered over. It can be done Peter, it really can.