The Orion's Arm Universe Project Forums

What do you do after OA?
Hey All,

This seems to be the most relevant place to post, apologies if it isn't, but what exactly do you do after you've read all the articles on here? What I mean is you've toyed with the idea of various technological innovations that should be possible in the coming millennia if anything like a Singularity event happens and you've more or less read any fiction involving A.I. like the Culture and Polity novels? I've hit a point where all other sci-fi just comes across as boring. Don't mean to be condescending but I just find most other fiction that has battles involving flesh and blood crew, romances, etc and the like just silly. 

I'm not sure if you guys have recommendations for other projects to read into, or if I should just take a break but yea, any suggestions are welcome. 

I've been in rather a similar place for some years now. A lot of SF I used to enjoy (such as Analog magazine) now seems a bit trite or predictable or boring. In the case of Analog, I've come to feel that they've moved away from their focus on science and tech based stories to 'humanist' stories in which it's often more about the characters feelings and relationships than about the science. Which is funny given that in OA, we've often discussed the need to have more focus on those things within the parameters of a hard SF story :p

Anyway, regarding your question. I've found three ways of dealing with this:

a) Find additional hard/semi-hard SF stories and series with Singularity/Transhumanist elements to read, and keep an eye out for new ones as I go along. There are actually quite a number of books and series beyond those you've mentioned. Some of them are quite old by this point, others are much more recent.

These include:

The Revelation Space universe by Alastair Reynolds
The Xeelee Sequence universe by Stephen Baxter
Vacuum Flowers by Michael Swanwick
The Marooned in Realtime universe of Vernor Vinge
A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge
Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
The Hyperion Cantos series by Dan Simmons
The Confluence Trilogy (Child of the River, Ancients of Days, Shrine of Stars) by Paul J. McCauley
Implied Spaces by Walter Jon Williams
The Algebraist by Ian Banks
Signal to Noise and A Signal Shattered by Eric S. Nylund
Lady of Mazes by Karl Schroeder
Ventus by Karl Schroeder
Permanence by Karl Schroeder
The Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson
Spider Star by Mike Brotherton
Blood Music by Greg Bear
The Manifold Trilogy by Stephen Baxter
The Galactic Center series by Gregory Benford
The New Space Opera vol 1 & 2
Transhuman, a collection of short stories
Heart of the Comet by Gregory Benford and David Brin
Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds
Marrow and The Well of Stars by Robert Reed + his collection of short stories in the same universe - The Greatship
The Leeshore by Robert Reed
Accelerando by Charles Stross
Glasshouse by Charles Stross
Singularity Sky by Charles Stross
The Rapture of the Nerds by Charles Stross
Reality 36 and Omega Point by Guy Haley
Diaspora by Greg Egan
Transcension by Damien Broderick
Cusp by Robert Metzger
The Harvest by Robert Charles Wilson
Eater by Gregory Benford
The McAndrew Chronicles by Charles Sheffield
Godlike Machines - A collection of short stories
Engineering Infinity - A collection of short stories
Bridging Infinity - A collection of short stories (part of the same project that produced Engineering Infinity -there are others)
Existence by David Brin
Revenger by Alastair Reynolds
The Quantum Thief, The Fractal Prince, and The Causal Angel by Hannu Rajaniemi (a trilogy, can't remember the order)
Blindsight by Peter Watts
Echopraxia by Peter Watts (sequel to Blindsight)
The Quiet War by Paul McAuley
Schismatrix Plus by Bruce Sterling
The Ophiuchi Hotline by John Varley (main book of his first Eight Worlds series, there are other short stories in the same universe)
The Golden Globe by John Varley - one of two books written in his other Eight Words series which is sort of set in a parallel universe from the first series
The Ring of Charon and The Shattered Sphere both by Roger McBride Allen
The Draco Tavern short stories by Larry Niven
Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle - a bit dated by current standards and somewhat set in an alternate universe, but not so you'd really notice unless you look very closely.

It should also be noted that the Polity universe keeps expanding and generating new books. I'm waiting for the next one to come out now.

b) Reread some of my favorites I've already read.

c) Find other types of books and genres that I enjoy. I actually have gotten into some types of fantasy such as the Dresden files by Jim Butcher and the Nightside books by Simon Green. Also softer SF that is nevertheless well done such as the Miles Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold and The Laundry Files books by Charles Stross.

Hope this helps,

Many thanks Todd. I'm excited again with a long reading list to work through.
Personally I don't care about the hard/soft classification (especially as it seems more used as a stick to beat other people with rather than a sub genre classification). I'll read anything so long as it's good and has a sprinkling of interesting ideas and characters. I can give examples to add to Todd's list but really the answer is after I'm done reading I write. Usually for OA but often just for private worlds. I like to think about and try to explore the more mundane consequences of technology. Why don't you try the same Smile if you're not finding anything new or interesting because you've read everything then write up something that you do.
OA Wish list:
  1. DNI
  2. Internal medical system
  3. A dormbot, because domestic chores suck!
Neal Asher's most recent Polity book, Infinity Engine, has a publication date of March 21st and is available in hardback and several e-book formats now.

As Rynn mentions, if you can't find the story you want to read, write it yourself. Smile
(03-26-2017, 04:12 PM)folasm87 Wrote: Many thanks Todd. I'm excited again with a long reading list to work through.

Glad to helpSmile

If you have any questions about any of these, please feel free to contact me.


Oh, and to add to the list, here's another recommendation:

Mother of Storms by John Barnes

We know for certain that Asher reads (or has read) OA, because he wrote a comment on the Voices:Future Tense e:zine one time. I'm always on the lookout for ways in which OA has influenced SF as a whole; the recent use of BioGeoComputing by Stephen Baxter seems to be one possible example, although my daughter isn't really convinced.
RE Asher I feel like he's been trying to reinvent the wheel with his last several polity books. Bar the first book the original series was fantastic, introducing a host of cool technologies and people's. But aside from some of the spinoffs most of them have felt blandly the same, relying on the same technology, enemies, periods of history and character types.
OA Wish list:
  1. DNI
  2. Internal medical system
  3. A dormbot, because domestic chores suck!

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)