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


After struggling with book 1 (nearly bailed) I am now fully obsessed with the Malazan universe, I’ve just recently finished Toll The Hounds (book 8) and before diving into book 9 I am now half way through The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers after the recommendations further up.

Looking forward to books 9 and 10. I can see that I will reread them almost immediately as the first few books will make far more sense now!

Recently heavily got into this Malazan inspired album (non fans of black metal need not investigate!)


Never read a Malazan book. Never heard of them before this thread but I am intrigued. The reviews on goodreads are hugely divise though, people seem to love 'em or hate 'em… should I take the plunge? If so what’s the one to start with? I generally do prefer sci-fi to fantasy but I love The Dark Tower (and Tolkein obvs).

Thoughts welcome.


Love it, big colourful space opera. Definitely worth reading


I’m one of the people who bounced off the first book. I know they’re supposed to get better, but not sure I want to invest any more time.


I read them all about four years ago and loved them. Stunning series of books. Nearly all of the characters and scenes are still vivid in my memory as you really have to engage your brain with these which may have created stronger memories or something.
I heard about them via AVClub comments back when it was good. I miss those good book threads :sob:

I’d be very surprised if you didn’t like them. Start at the start with Gardens of the Moon. Have you got a kindle? You might need a kindle. They are absolutely massive books.
Also, prepare to read little else for about a year although I had a little break between books 5 and 6 I think.

i'm not going to do this but...

i figure it will be set during the time of the great old ones, as they’re on the cusp of finally destroying their civilisation. they’re bloated, they’re corrupt, magic is almost dead, resources are almost depleted. picture a world that’s a cross between blade runner and final fantasy 8. tensions are running high across the dying world, divides emerging between people everywhere. i figure it’d be like a noir detective story, a person who becomes obsessed with solving a series of murders in the city of Lud, just as a dangerous politician is running for mayor. perhaps his name is Richard Friars. with the backing of North Central Positronics, he’s promising to complete the replacement of the beam guardians with cyborg equivalents, and ultimately to replace the tower with a man made structure, so they can use the portals to steal what they need from different worlds without having to gain the permission of the guardians or Gan. other people want to ban the use of the doors and try to bring magic back (the good guys). and here is our hero, she’s trying to solve this series of grisly murders as Friars is on the verge of election and a global war looms.

definitely haven’t been looking at wordpress themes. i’m not gonna do it.


oooh summoning-y


I found it tough going initially, it drops you right into the thick of things with no exposition or explanation of terms, you just have to accept them and push your way through until things get clearer as you progress.

I am very glad I didn’t bail on book 1 (Gardens of the Moon) and stuck at it as I’m now slightly obsessed! I’ve deliberately taken a break to read something else between books as they are so huge but I’m really keen to get back to finish off the series (just two 1200+ page books left!)

I’ve also used the Malazan Wiki quite a bit, but be very careful as it’s easy to glimpse a spoiler or two on there.


If you’re happy to break up the reading of them over a long period (ie intermixed with other books), then I’d recommend taking a look at the first one, and seeing if it appeals, especially when you know that a lot of the background and richness of the world get filled in at a later date, and it gets very epic. Worst case is you leave it halfway through/at the end of book 1, and you don’t go back - at least you’ve got an opinion on the series!
The wikia summaries (on the malazan wikia, not normal wikipedia) are really good for each book - I forget a lot if I don’t read a series more than a year, and these summaries are plenty to refresh my memory and get my straight back into the characters etc.

If you feel like you’d want to chain-read the books (see what I did there), then I’d think a bit more carefully, as there’s a lot of pages to get through. One of those wiki pages that actually lists page and word count (just over 11,000 pages).



fuck yeah!


Read Mercades Lackey’s first book seeing as she’s Guest of Honour at Worldcon in a couple of years. It was…kinda mediocre. Does she get better?


Finished Long Journey to a Small Angry Planet at the weekend, pretty good, some very likeable characters but at times it all seemed a bit too ‘nice’, idk maybe I’m just used to reading grittier stuff. I enjoyed it though and will no doubt read the other two ‘Wayfarer’ novels at some stage but right now it’s back to the Malazan empire and book 9!


I’ve finally finished all of Iain M Banks’ Culture novels, after starting near the beginning of the year, having a bit of a break and then reading the last five novels over the last couple of months. Really enjoyed them all, and it feels quite sad knowing that there won’t be any more, especially after reading the interview at the end of The Hydrogen Sonata where he was talking about other ideas for future novels. I think I maybe have one or two more of his non-Culture SF to read, and then maybe I’ll try his non-SF sometime.


You didn’t ask for it, but here’s how Banks’ non-SF shape up for me:

Completely wonderful: Crow Road, Espedair Street
Good: Whit, Complicity, Steep Approach to Garbadale, Stonemouth.
Worth a read: The Business, Wasp Factory.
Hard work, but some people love them: Walking on Glass, The Bridge, Canal dreams, A Song of Stone, The Quarry (due to his circumstances at the time, as much as anything)

As for his non-Culture SF, the Algebraist is probably his best. The Dwellers take a bit of getting used to (10 billion year old species has for some reason evolved into braying rugger bugger types) but once you get over that it’s great. Got a lot of love for Against a Dark Background too, although it’s more of a crazy-set-piece after crazy-set-piece book than any hugely coherent story.


Good work, and largely correct. I’d bump Complicity and The Wasp Factory up a rung each and Garbadale down one, plus The Bridge is definitely a different league to Song Of Stone or Canal Dreams. Tempted to push The Business up as well, just because of the sort code thing.

You’ve also either not read or forgotten about Dead Air and Transition (unless you are one of them Americans, where Transition was an M book). They probably both go in the hard work bin, tbh.


Actually had a list in front of me too, to make sure I didn’t forget any and look like an idiot. Sure dodged that bullet.

Dead Air can go in Worth A Read, I quite like it. Transition… can go over in SF, can’t work out where I’d put it in my arbitrary tiers. It’s a bit all over the place, that one.


That’s great, thanks!
I read A Song Of Stone ages ago, and found it okay. I’ve browsed some of his other non-SF whilst in charity book stores, although the only one I’ve purchased so far is Whit, so I’m glad it’s in the good pile!
I also have The Algebraist, Against A Dark Background, and Transition (without an M), so there’s plenty to go through still.

I’m now reading a collection of stories/speeches/articles from Vonnegut: Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons. So it’s not really sci fi, although the current chapter I’m reading is about science fiction.


Finished reading The Passage the other day. It was a definite page-turner but probably didn’t need to be anywhere near as long as it was.

World falling apart bit was my favourite. Not so keen on the superhuman stuff and there was no real sense of jeopardy for the core characters for most of it.

Still, have gone straight into the 2nd book because 2 and 3 were 99p on kindle on Amazon.

Also just started playing The Last of Us so fully immersed in a post-apocalyptic fix right now.


Largely agree with your post, except for this. I thought Dead Air was great and a real return to form after The Business which I found very weak, and I loved Transition but it does seem to fit more with the ‘M’ books.

Also I really didn’t enjoy Whit at the time, it’s one I’ve never re-read, maybe I should give it a re-appraisal.