I'm looking for a new author. I've been through Reynolds, Hamilton, Bear, McDevitt, Pournell, Niven others. I'm currently on a "space opera" binge, heavey on current current physics theory, although, FTL drives and wormhole travel may apply. Any ideas?
Try Iain M. Banks for some fantastic and far thinking SF also, Gary Gibson is pretty good.
Going backa few years I highly recommend Harry Harrison and Philip K. Dick as well as Robert A. Heinlein
A new author (1st book) is Hannu Rajaniemi - definitely one to watch China Mieville, William Gibson and Neal Stephenson write alternative history/future books that encompass SF elemenst and are definitely worth a look
Vernor Vinge with A Fire Upon the Deep and its prequel (of sorts) A Deepness in the Sky was one of the first to renew and refashion Space Opera - both books are brilliant, though he does postulate things like a galactic 'slow zone' (which we inhabit) as an explanation for our isolation - it's not very plausible if you want hard science. Worth looking at as well is Neal Asher's Hilldiggers about two warring cultures descended from human settlers; also by him and worth a look is a short story collection 'The Gabble' which has some great Space Opera stories but be wary of his Agent Cormac books - they're entertaining but written in very plain, workmanlike manner.
Neal Asher, Polity Series, and Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon. I go back and read "Dune" every 5 years or so. The series by Herbert's son are not bad reads, if you are out of supply. I disagree with Mr Ryan on Neal Asher's books being written in a "plain workmanlike manner." I find his books read a lot deeper on the second go around with very libertarian undertones that get me thinking.