^Speaking of jumping into new universes, I recently read Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space
, and liked it enough to track down the other two books in that trilogy, Redemption Ark
(which I'm currently reading) and Absolution Gap
. There are other tales in the same universe, but apparently those three are the main trilogy, so I'm starting with them (even though Chasm City
came out between the first two). Apparently it's regarded as a somewhat dark or "noir" hard-SF series, but I actually find it more upbeat than some; there are dark situations, to be sure, but the main characters tend to be relatively decent and sympathetic people, which to me gives it an optimistic flavor. It's not a dystopia where everybody's awful, just a world where both good and bad things happen and where most people are acting for what they believe is the greater good even when they disagree profoundly about what that is.