The Orion's Arm Universe Project Forums

A Failure of Imagination?
What commercial SF authors are still coming up with new, cool technology ideas?

I’ve largely stopped reading newer SF because, subjective impression, it’s only rehashing the same ideas from twenty-five to sixty years ago.
What do you define as newer scifi? A lot of very good science fiction of the past 5 years has focused more on social and personal stories. I've seen the term "social SF" thrown around with regards to highly claimed works like the Ancillary Justice series, Terra Ingocnita, Semiosis etc. Rather than authors having a failure of imagination maybe it's just that the particular science fiction subgenres you like aren't prominent anymore? Transhumanist hard science fiction has been in a steady decline from the mid-00s peak period, possibly because all the interesting ideas were already tapped out or maybe just because all trends pass.

What kind of stories are you interested in reading?
OA Wish list:
  1. DNI
  2. Internal medical system
  3. A dormbot, because domestic chores suck!
How broadly are we defining 'new and cool' in this context?

In my experience, it's now more common for a book to present a mix of new and old(er) ideas rather than the entire story being built around some new concept or technology and its implications. It's also not uncommon to have a book present an idea that I happen to know isn't totally new (given my age and interests) but which I also know is very rarely explored or hasn't been (AFAIK) for decades.

Also, are you only talking about hard SF or the entire range?

If you're looking for new stuff to read, I might be able to suggest some things although it would help to have some parameters to work with so I don't point you at stuff you definitely wouldn't be into.

Social and personal stories can be appealing, but without some new (or novelly used) STEM ideas mixed in, I probably won’t be interested—I could just save money by rereading the original older SF.

A mixture of new and old ideas is ideal, IMO, it’s more like real life. 

I’m looking for fairly hard SF. There’s plenty of softer SF available on TV.
'Ancillary justice' , 'Ancillary sword', 'Ancillary Mercy' by Ann leckie
A Memory Called Empire - by Arkady Martine (there's a human-run galactic empire with wormholes with an emperor but aside from that it's hard sf?)
'walkaway', 'Makers', and 'down and out in the magic kingdom' and a few others by cory doctorow
Neptune's brood by charles stross
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
The handmaiden's Tale by Margaret Atwood (not much STEM but apparently every horror in it has happened at some point in history)

the MIT technology review's '12 tomorrows has some really good short stories
Luna: Wolf Moon & Luna: moon rising by Ian McDonald

Solarpunk: Ecological and Fantastical Stories in a Sustainable World - a Brazilian anthology of science fiction imagining a more eco friendly future

Ecopunk!: speculative tales of radical futures by Liz Grzyb (Author), Janeen Webb (Author)

And Shall Machines Surrender by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
Then will the sun rise alabaster by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

I just found Benjanun's books on amazon and her books are really great so far. She's definitely created a universe similar to orion's arm and the more i read the more i'd recommend these to anyone on these forums

edit: also

Shangri- La (graphic novel)
Writer/Artist/Colorist: Mathieu Bablet
Published by: Ankara Editions
Ok - here's some suggestions. Since I don't know what you may or may not have read, just going to throw out what seem like titles that I think you might like. If you've already read some (or all) of these, no harm no foul.

More Recent Single Works:

Spider Star - Mike Brotherton
Star Dragon - Mike Brotherton

Reality 36 - Guy Haley
Omega Point (sequel to Reality 36) - Guy Haley

Saturn Run - John Sandford and Ctein

Existence - David Brin

The Prefect - Alastair Reynolds
Elysium Fire (sequel to The Prefect) - Alastair Reynolds
Aurrora Rising - Alastair Reynolds (actually not coming out until later this month - but just saw this and really like the Prefect Dreyfus stories)

The Jean le Flambeur Trilogy - Hannu Rajaniemi
The Quantum Thief - 1
The Fractal Prince - 2
The Causal Angel - 3

The Freeze-Frame Revolution - Peter Watts

The Stars are Legion - Kameron Hurley

Collections of Stories

Engineering Infinity
Godlike Machines
The Greatship- Robert Reed

Older Works You Might Enjoy (and may be new to you)

Schismatrix Plus - Bruce Sterling

Vacuum Flowers - Michael Swanwick

Bloom - Wil McCarthy

Marrow - Robert Reed
The Well of Stars - (sequel to Marrow) - Robert Reed

Cusp - Robert A. Metzger

Permanence - Karl Schroeder

Implied Spaces - Walter Jon Williams

The Quiet War - Paul Mcauley

Blood Music - Greg Bear

Moving Mars - Greg Bear

The Algebraist - Iain M. Banks

Heart of the Comet - Gregory Benford and David Brin

Hope this helps,

Thank you, those lists will last me for years, probably. 


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