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Favorite SciFi/Space Opera BOOK Series?

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1. Pre-Dark Age Battletech/Mechwarrior     Some authors are better than others, personal favorites are James D. Long, Michael A. Stackpole (Warrior and blood of Kerensky trilogies are must reads of the whole series) 

2. Robotech series by Jack McKinney   first 6 books (macross saga) are the best, and end of the circle, the grand finale.   the rest gets abit preachy.

3. Halo- Yes based on the video games, but I admit freely I hate the games, but love the world and story. I don't bring the books to work simply because I find them extremely hard to put down if I've not read them before.

 

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I've read very few SciFi or Space Opera Series, but there are two I can think of, besides the Honor Harrington series which I know you've read.

There is the Night's Dawn Trilogy, by Peter F. Hamilton. A sprawling Space Opera in the far future where humanity wages war against souls returning to reality via possession. Humanity faces the trouble that killing one of these hostile souls also kills the host body and potentially just gives the other side another recruit. There is a charming ship's captain tasked with helping a scientist find a doom's day weapon. Sentient habitats and sentient ships. Humanity has diverged into two main branches - Adamists, who are more traditional humans, and Edenists, who use biotechnology so now have a sort of telepathy among their kind, allowing them to form a group consensus among themselves and connect with their ships and habitats.

Some of the characters are a satanist who ends up with power among the souls and thinks he is going to summon Lucifer, Al Capone, who doesn't actually agree with most of the other returned souls, Christian Fletcher from Mutiny on the Bounty, who is one of the very few 'good' returned souls, and a group of shadowy politicians who are the ones who really control a vastly overpopulated and climately damaged Earth.

The other is the Galactic Milieu Series by Julian May (And the sequel/prequel series the Saga of the Pliocene Exile that takes a lot from classic Celtic Myth). It has many religious and philosophical themes and deals with humans developing insanely powerful psychic powers and growing socially mature enough to gain entrance into a greater confederation of galactic cultures/races. Fair bit of focus on the Omega Point and Noosphere.

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Oh, and there is the Well World series, by Jack L. Chalker. The Well World is a planet size super computer built by an ancient and vanished (mostly) race. It is composed of 1560 hexes, that each has its own climate/ecosystem/race. When people find their way to the Well World via a gate from the ruins of the ancient race, they get assigned to one of the hexes and get transformed into the native race of that hex. As the rest of the world is human (IIRC), this generally results in some severe adjustment to the formerly human travellers. And it's hard to get off the Well World, generally, you have to make it to the heart of the super computer, and it sort of rewrites reality to get you off planet and essentially, give you a wish (again, IIRC). There's all sorts of stories in that setting.

Chalker also had two other sci fi series I've read that I enjoyed. The Four Lords of the Diamond series - four books that happen roughly at the same time. A government agent is duplicated (or at least his mind is) and sent to four planets in the same system that function as prison planets IIRC, to unravel a conspiracy to the rest of the galactic society.

The other is the Wonderland Gambit. Matrix-ish, reincarnation series. A group of people stuck in a sort of virtual reality indistinguishable true reality and trying to figure out how to get out, and who they really are.

Most of Chalker's stuff deals with the protagonists (and antagonists) getting physically, and more rarely, mentally, transformed. Not the best writer, but does have some different ideas that I haven't really seen elsewhere.

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Oh, just remembered another one - the Northworld Trilogy by David Drake. Government agent sent to find a planet gone missing and the team that had been sent into to organize its colonization. Takes a lot of influence from Norse mythology, and as I love Norse Mythology, I rather enjoyed the series.

A friend rather enjoyed the Hammer's Slammers series, also by David Drake, that followers a future mercenary tank regiment, but I haven't read it myself.

One more series that I recall is the War Against the Cthorr, by David Gerrold. An alien ecology is taking over Earth, though IIRC, there hasn't by any sign of the actual intelligence behind the invasion. Deals a lot how humanity is coping with the massive lost of life and potentially losing their planet. Unfortunately, after 4 books, the 5th hasn't been written yet after something like 23 years, though the fucking author claims he is still going to write it. Still, even without a conclusion, it's a very interesting read. If you can find them, make sure you get copies that have the limericks and Solomon Shorts at the beginning of chapters/sections.

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You're looking for inspirational science fiction? I've got a few favorites I'm willing to share.

1- Spider Robinson's Callahan's Crosstime Saloon series. This is about as inspirational as it gets, and it's got quality humor, too.

2- Joel Shepherd's Cassandra Kresnov series. It's excellent science fiction, though the inspirational parts are understated they're good & solid. Lots of politics, galactic conflict & alien encounters, though that last one happens in the latter three books.

3- Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos series. I personally think it's some of the best space opera I've ever read. Overtly humanistic inspiration is what Simmons offers.

4- Larry Niven's Draco Tavern short story series. Dated he might be, Niven is still excellent in his portrayal of human-alien interactions. The insprational parts are understated here too, but they're there if you keep an eye out for them.

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