I'm starting to believe that there's no such thing as the standalone sci-fi novel anymore. Every time I see something that looks worth checking out, there's always some fine print describing it as "Volume 12 of the [fill in your favorite] Series." But I'm not interested in tracking down however many other books just so I can appreciate this one. I want a book that tells a whole story, beginning, middle and end. Grr, as they say. I understand why it's necessary for writers to create such series in order to create a steadier living for themselves, and i know there are tons of readers who eagerly latch onto each new volume or sequel. But if anyone could recommend some good recent some standalone science fiction books for lazier folks like me to investigate, I'd be grateful.