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pretenditscherrylube t1_j1vws0n wrote

Broken Earth Trilogy has an amazing magic system with more adult sensibilities. Written by a black woman, so the nonwhite and non male characters are more fleshed out than trad fantasy. She’s also more concerned with rooting her story in the issues of today.

I also really like Memory Called Empire and it’s sequel. The author is a queer woman with a PhD in Medieval History, so her books have interesting meditations on the purpose of art, surveillance state, diplomacy, colonialism.

Sanderson is a really genuinely good guy, I hear. But he’s also a Mormon and lives in Utah. That doesn’t at all negate his ability to write compelling books, but Mormonism is patriarchal and white and all about maintaining the status quo. It makes sense to me that his books seek to exist completely beyond our current world.

That’s what a lot of more traditional sci-fi readers want - an escape from the current world. I dislike totally escapist sci-fi. To me, it feels insulting to create a world in the future and to replicate the inequalities in our current society as part of the default.

However, as different authors and readers enter the genre, we’re starting to see more sci-fi that’s seeking to be more than escapist and seeks to comment on the society we live in. You might like those books more.


Dostojevskij1205 OP t1_j1w872x wrote

No, I'd like the complete opposite of that. Veiled sociopolitical commentary is the last thing I want. Give me philosophy, something that resonates deeply. I don't want escape, but I sort of view politics as an escape also. Better a book that makes you confront yourself.


Hammunition t1_j1xx0w6 wrote

I'd recommend The Shadow of What was Lost, then (Licanius Trilogy). It's similar to Sanderson in the worldbuilding area, but not so overexplained. And plenty of reflection/philosophy along the way. I have some issues with it, but one thing it does better than almost any other series I've read is showing the motivations of the characters and grounding them and making them logical to the characters as opposed to the plot. Also something I enjoyed was a lot of the history was woven into the dialogue. Well, I should say I enjoyed how well it was done. Because judging by the average book or tv show, that approach is almost always completely hamfisted and awful. But the author here does it very fittingly.


Dostojevskij1205 OP t1_j1yfukk wrote

I did start that book a couple of days ago actually! But several people have described the trilogy as "Sanderson Lite", with the same issues in the writing style. Is that accurate at all?


Hammunition t1_j1ze5n8 wrote

It's been a while since I read them, but no I didn't get that impression. I read the first few Mistborn books a couple years ago and had some of the same issues as you. Some people really enjoy how every little detail of how the magic works is explained in different ways more than once. And in that way Licanius is Sanderson-lite I guess. It's not overexplained at all. And not everything is explained in detail because the focus is on other aspects of the story and characters.

Personally, I prefer books that go even further away from the hard magic. Like Earthsea and Lord of the Rings. But Licanius is a good middle ground that I still enjoyed. Same for Name of the Wind and The Fifth Season, both of those have a detailed magic system that is understandable, but the pages of the book don't revolve around it.


mwidup41 t1_j1z4glc wrote

If you’re into Sci-fi maybe give the Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu a try. Deeply philosophical and very intelligent.