Leviathan Wakes - James S. A. Corey (TV show The Expanse is loosely based on this, but IMO doesn't even come close)
Revelation Space - Alastair Reynolds
Three Body Problem (all 3 books) - Liu Cixin
Consider Phlebas - Iain M. Banks (your gateway drug into the Culture universe)
Genuinely wish I could experience all the above for the first time again. And looking forward to checking out some of the others mentioned here.
These are great and helped me re-discover my love of sci-fi from when I was a kid, they are often recommended in these HN book threads. I just ordered the other 3 books that you mentioned so thanks for the recommendations!
I do understand how some people might find the dialogue somewhat strange, especially if they haven't had much exposure to foreign media before. The translator always has a choice as to how much they "westernize" the dialogue. This translator did indeed try to keep as much of the Chinese "tone" in there as he could, and as such if you were expecting totally normal English, I can see how you'd be disappointed.
So yes, anyone thinking about picking this up should be aware - it doesn't read like a Tom Clancy novel. If that doesn't scare you off, though, I think you'll find it most rewarding.
I could forgive this (even Arthur C. Clarke wasn't much interested in characters) if it wasn't for some of the laughably absurd plot points the novel hinges on.
I’d start Alistair Reynold’s stuff off with ‘House of Suns’ though. It’s a standalone, but it’s one of his best works IMO. Then go ahead and devour the ‘Revelation Space’ series.
Couple chapters into ‘Use of Weapons’ but haven’t been reading much lately due to life.