Originally Posted by Buck
Seems like a lot more fantasy in this thread than Sci-Fi. Great recommendations though. I guess Fantasy is probably a more written about genre, so that makes sense.
People may argue strongly about this, but speaking only for myself, I have to say that I find it very difficult to find good new science fiction. It generally tends to be harder, meaning there's of a focus on science rather than story, and often characterization and plot is the cost. Which can lead to some very dry prose and novels that read too much like textbooks. To me, while the science is important, it is science
faction after all, it should be an ancillary facet; good stories are about people, in the end, and overcoming the problems they face. And I think for that reason - the style of writing - the genre faces an uphill battle when it comes to finding an audience. Which is unfortunate, because it's actually the genre I prefer; the only reason I read so much fantasy these days is because there just seems to be so much more of it at a high level of quality.
If you do want to try some science fiction, you can't really go wrong with names like Neal Stephenson or Dan Simmons or Alastair Reynolds or Robert Charles Wilson (Spin, in particular) or Peter F. Hamilton or even Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan novels.
Oh, and a name I left off previously that I shouldn't have is Gene Wolfe. He sort of walks a line between fantasy and science fiction.