Re: Recommendations for fantasy/sci-fi?

#1
Hi everyone

'Dive right in!' I told myself. 'Just grab at random!' I told myself. But there's so damn much going on in this wonderful site, it's making me dizzy, and since there's a recommendation section in the forums... I'll see if I can narrow down to 2-3 titles that I can wedge into my precious spare time.

Feel free to self-promote. Preference to under-the-radar titles if possible, but heck, I'll take anything if it fits my criteria.

Requirements:
. Fantasy or sci-fi, but no urban fantasy or LitRPG. No isekai if it's 'hero falls into anime/known story world', but I'm okay with protags who wander into strange places otherwise. However, only if you sort out problems such as 'technically the protag shouldn't be able to speak the language'. 
. Well written, I cannot stress this enough. I spot typos like a hawk spots a mouse running around a football stadium, and I have a hard time reading once I hit 3 on the same page. Same with syntax, please no excess punctuation, murdered commas, run-on sentences etc.
. On the flip side, not too purple or flowery, I tend to like sharp and to the point prose with good pacing. I can only take so much navel-gazing...
. To narrow it down, I like magic or sci-fi that 'works', where there's logic and you can feel the power but also the limitations behind them. Think The Expanse rather than Star Trek. Think The Magicians rather than... I can't think of a counter-example just now, but any book where you pause halfway through (after a wizard clicks their fingers and fireballs a hundred men without breaking a sweat) to think 'wait, why don't guys like this rule the world already...?'
. Preference to gritty and violent over fluffy and humorous (I'll make another thread one day for when I'm looking for humor/parody recs), morbid humor is adored though.
. No harems. Romance is fine, LGBTQ+ or other, ace and aro too, anything goes as long as characters are well written and believable.  

Looking at my criteria, I'm not sure if I'll get a lot of recs or only a few tentative ones, but either way: Hit me!

Re: Recommendations for fantasy/sci-fi?

#3
Flow
(fantastic hard magic system, mc is put through the wringer)
"Jessica is a young peasant who has worked in her family’s fields for her entire life. Recent events have increased the burden resting on her family’s shoulders, but she retains her free and unbridled personality. That day, however, her path crosses with circumstances beyond the control of most beings. Will the trials she faces grind her down, or will she emerge out of the whirlwind stronger than ever?"

Path of the Whisper Woman
(really fantastic setting, hard magic system)
"For as long as she can remember Gimlea's mother has trained her to become a whisper woman--to do what she never could. When her mother takes her to see the goddess's procession Gimlea makes a vow to see that path through. But not for her mother's reasons of vicarious power and accomplishment. Gimlea will become one of the goddess's chosen so that she no longer has to be under anyone's thumb.

And she will do whatever it takes to make that happen."

The Sphere
(really neat mix of sci-fi and fantasy, lots of being chased around different worlds)
"Amelia Grayheart is an ordinary human in an ordinary human world. That is, until a terrible thing happens: from one second to the other, every single other human disappears from existence, as if they had never been there in the first place. Having nothing left back home, she journeys into an empty world in search of answers. Who knows if she will like them?"

Onward To Privodence
(stunningly well realized sci-fi universe with complex hard rules that are juuust slightly to the left of our own)
"Pylo was a woman of trade and travel!

She had set out for a life of adventure and exchange with strange new life. She would make deals and exchanges with new fools and new civilizations. She would boldly swindle like no one had swindled before."

Hope you find something you enjoy :D

Re: Recommendations for fantasy/sci-fi?

#9
Hey!

You might wanna check out this sci-fi war novel: The Last Woman on Earth

In an alternate timeline, a military officer and the self-proclaimed ‘last woman on Earth’ embark on a journey to uncover the truth behind a world without women.



Alexei Vronsky is having a hard time coping with reality after his comrade was killed in battle and his army stuck in a prolonged siege, but that’s the least of his problems. He finds an intruder in his room, who claims to be ‘the last woman on Earth’. She doesn’t seem to have the slightest clue about the world, the ongoing war, and keeps referring to Russia as ‘the land above the snow’. As they get to know each other, Alexei Vronsky has to face a difficult choice: either abandon his secret mission to join the woman on an adventure to face the unknown, or turn her in to fulfill his loyalty towards the State.

Re: Recommendations for fantasy/sci-fi?

#10
I read your requirement twice. I will copy-paste the post in other sites looking for recommendations, close to perfect to describe my preference. My recommendations might not be spot-on but I felt they get close to what I assumed you are looking for. Most of these are completed with a good follower of readers who made sure to nitpick the author for mistakes. Points 3 and 4 drive home, F to all great plot's wasted.

Post Human
This is the only book that I thought covered all the aspects, the pacing seemed a bit slow but that was because I was dying to know what happens next. Skipped work and completed reading it in a day on caffeine overdrive. 

Lament of the fallen
The world the author built is one of the best I have read. He has multiple books with different vibe but the same style of writing, worth recommending. 

Coeus
The author is one of the most well-known on the site with almost a dozen books. Different genres but similar and sometimes the same main character. This particular book being Sci-Fi is a personal favorite but I recommend other books by the author.

Mother of learning
This has been on top of top-rated for the last two years I have been on RR, I did start reading it a year ago but dropped 10 chapters in as it was very descriptive about its magic system with long chapters and still ongoing, I didn't want to commit to an great but not completed book to not feel disappointed if it gets dropped, A year later it was finished and I picked it up again. Towards the end of most books I feel an urge to read faster, get to the happy ending soon, knowing that obviously the MC is gonna win but still rush. But not this, this was a journey, it was a slow drive and I enjoyed every moment of it.

Tree of aeons
This is a gamble, it's ongoing, why is that a problem? Cause everything about it is interesting and potential plot holes out there that don't even exist yet and might not ever. 



Re: Recommendations for fantasy/sci-fi?

#13

Mal Wrote: Hi everyone

'Dive right in!' I told myself. 'Just grab at random!' I told myself. But there's so damn much going on in this wonderful site, it's making me dizzy, and since there's a recommendation section in the forums... I'll see if I can narrow down to 2-3 titles that I can wedge into my precious spare time.

Feel free to self-promote. Preference to under-the-radar titles if possible, but heck, I'll take anything if it fits my criteria.

Requirements:
. Fantasy or sci-fi, but no urban fantasy or LitRPG. No isekai if it's 'hero falls into anime/known story world', but I'm okay with protags who wander into strange places otherwise. However, only if you sort out problems such as 'technically the protag shouldn't be able to speak the language'. 
. Well written, I cannot stress this enough. I spot typos like a hawk spots a mouse running around a football stadium, and I have a hard time reading once I hit 3 on the same page. Same with syntax, please no excess punctuation, murdered commas, run-on sentences etc.
. On the flip side, not too purple or flowery, I tend to like sharp and to the point prose with good pacing. I can only take so much navel-gazing...
. To narrow it down, I like magic or sci-fi that 'works', where there's logic and you can feel the power but also the limitations behind them. Think The Expanse rather than Star Trek. Think The Magicians rather than... I can't think of a counter-example just now, but any book where you pause halfway through (after a wizard clicks their fingers and fireballs a hundred men without breaking a sweat) to think 'wait, why don't guys like this rule the world already...?'
. Preference to gritty and violent over fluffy and humorous (I'll make another thread one day for when I'm looking for humor/parody recs), morbid humor is adored though.
. No harems. Romance is fine, LGBTQ+ or other, ace and aro too, anything goes as long as characters are well written and believable.  

Looking at my criteria, I'm not sure if I'll get a lot of recs or only a few tentative ones, but either way: Hit me!




For a more normal fantasy work, try out Nomads of the Sea. It's got an actual, semi-developed magic system and a lot of excellent worldbuilding with interesting cultures. The pace might be a little slower than you like, though, but if you can tolerate taking aside time for worldbuilding, you should have no problems with it.

Urban Wolf, my own work, technically fails your criteria on account of being somewhere between urban fantasy and supernatural in theme, but the actual fantasy elements are limited to exactly two things:
-The main character isn't strictly human, but she's the only one in the story who didn't at least start as a human and she doesn't have a lot of supernatural abilities.
-There's an organized crime network that sells eldritch drugs that make people very violent, and in some cases, causes them to mutate in disturbing ways.
In short, it's not like real urban fantasy where everyone and their dog knows a mage or there's orcs and elves running around having conference calls together. I also wrote it keeping good pacing in mind. I'd recommend you give chapters Lament-Batter Up a try as a first impressions dip.

Re: Recommendations for fantasy/sci-fi?

#15
https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/32027/earths-eulogy

Story about two men sent back in time because an asteroid apocalypse destroys the world. They are sent back from a seed vault and thus they are extremely well stocked. It is very very violent at times. There is a political harem. Simply put for most of world history a treaty involved marriage and thus one of the characters is more or less forced into marrying several women, and its not all sunshine and rainbows. Granted that doesn't happen for a long time.

Re: Recommendations for fantasy/sci-fi?

#16
Both of my stories on RR are traditional fantasy that fit your criteria, I believe.

The Eagle's Flight has an expansive cast with multiple plot threads, heavy on world-building and strong historical inspirations; it focuses on politics, war, intrigues etc. interspersed with stories of ordinary people.

The Prince of Cats is a fast-paced caper, focused on a master thief in a Middle Eastern setting. Quick and easy to read.

Since I work as a professional editor and proofreader, you don't have to worry about typos or the like.

Re: Recommendations for fantasy/sci-fi?

#17

Quill Wrote: Both of my stories on RR are traditional fantasy that fit your criteria, I believe.

The Eagle's Flight has an expansive cast with multiple plot threads, heavy on world-building and strong historical inspirations; it focuses on politics, war, intrigues etc. interspersed with stories of ordinary people.

The Prince of Cats is a fast-paced caper, focused on a master thief in a Middle Eastern setting. Quick and easy to read.

Since I work as a professional editor and proofreader, you don't have to worry about typos or the like.

I second the eagles flight, one of the more traditional stories here and a great read.

Re: Recommendations for fantasy/sci-fi?

#20
 I'll flex my story, Synth!  I just finished the first volume, so there's lots to binge!

I should have posted here before, but I thought for sure that  someone else had  mentioned Synth here  :/

Adorable space bats ( synths) living in a bleak dystopia where they have been bred, and are being trained to function as living tools for King Decon, the King of the Galaxy. However, our main synths end up discovering friendship... and maybe love?  Surprised 

Lots of Drama, fluff, angst, and some really dramatic, tense action moments. Though it all though, we get the reminders that  our synths live in this horrible,  bleak dystopia  with no rights to personhood; all the good bits are moments of  joy found in this awful existence.