Recommendations

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Kamakhya, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. Kamakhya

    Kamakhya Seeker of Stuff

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    The SF group doesn't currently have a good recommendation thread, so I thought I would start one.

    What books would you recommend to a newcomer to SF? What do you consider must-reads? Any books that make a good cross-over from fantasy to sf?

    Perhaps you would just like to list your favorites, or maybe break them down by genre or date of publication.

    I know, we do have past threads that touched on this topic, but a new current thread, to gain the attention of our new members is, imho, in order.

    Kamakhya
     
  2. fluffy bunny

    fluffy bunny Tasty or your money back! Staff Member

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  3. Kamakhya

    Kamakhya Seeker of Stuff

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    LOL, Fluffy Bunny, that was the thread I was thinking about. It was what drew me into this forum.

    The following is my list from over a year ago, and quite frankly, my tastes haven't changed!
    ====

    Ok...I don't have any idea how I can narrow down my top ten, but the following are books that I found so compelling that I still remember them. :*)

    1) The Dispossessed - Ursula K. LeGuin
    2) The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. LeGuin
    3) The Word for World is Forest - Ursula K. LeGuin
    4) The Snow Queen - Joan Vinge
    5) Night's Dawn Trilogy - Peter F. Hamilton
    6) Startide Rising - David Brin
    7) Gateway - Pohl
    8) Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse 5
    9) Foundation Trilogy - Asimov
    10) The Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson
    11) The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Heinlein
    12) Otherland - Tad Williams (at least the first 3)
    13) Speaker for the Dead, Card
    14) Miles Vorkosigan series, Bujold-McMaster
    15) Earth - David Brin
    16) Bellweather - Connie Willis
    17) Mars Trilogy - Kim Stanley Robinson
    18) A Deepness in the Sky and Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge
    19) Doomsday Book - Connie Willis
    20) A Canticle for Leibowitz - Miller
    21) 1984 - Huxley
    ====


    I would add:

    22) The Sparrow -- Mary Russell
    23) Perdido Street Station -- China Mieville
    24) A Canticle for Liebowitz or Gather, Darkness! -- Fritz Lieber
    25) The Encylcopedia of Science Fiction -- John Clute and Peter Nicholls.

    I might have second thoughts about a few books on that list, but I will stand by what I said. :)

    Kamakhya
     
  4. Gravity's End

    Gravity's End Registered User

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    1984, by Huxley?! Oops, lol ;)

    So is it 1984 by Orwell that you wanted on the list, or something by Huxley?
     
  5. fluffy bunny

    fluffy bunny Tasty or your money back! Staff Member

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    I'm sure I'm going to miss loads, but I'll give it a shot

    - The Stars my Destination (Bester)- A must read Demolished man is also good
    - Foundation (Asimov)- hated the rest of the trilogy
    - Ender's Game (OS Card)- speaker for the dead's also good
    - Day of the Triffids (Wyndam)
    - Forever War (Haldeman)
    - Lord of Light (Zelazny)
    - Gateway (Pohl)
    - Eon (Bear) - though the 2nd half put me off
    - Sundiver (Brin) - for some reason I preferred this to Startide Rising
    - Player of Games (I.M. Banks)
    - Invisible Man (Wells)- most of Well's work is good
    - Lots of short stories by Phillip K Dick
    - Revelation Space- Reynolds


    More to come when I can think of a few more that I liked- Dune and neuromancer are probably not going to get on the list though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2004
  6. Kamakhya

    Kamakhya Seeker of Stuff

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    Doh!!! :eek: Sheesh, I should have caught that! I meant 1984, but, then again, Brave New World was an awesome book too.

    Kamakhya
     
  7. trentdick2882

    trentdick2882 Complete Dickhead

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    I actually think I enjoyed We by Zamyatin more than 1984, has anyone read that?
     
  8. Kamakhya

    Kamakhya Seeker of Stuff

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    I read We when I was a teen, along with 1984 and Brave New World, and loved it. I am actually, currently re-reading it, but just haven't been able to get into it. But, there is no doubt, that it is a classic novel of the same ilk. I think the story of the author and its publishing is amazing.

    I plan on finishing it up soon.

    Kamakhya
     
  9. trentdick2882

    trentdick2882 Complete Dickhead

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    I just thought the writing and all the imagery Zamyatin used was more vivid than 1984. But I haven't read 1984 in a while so I should probably re-read it. The way the character goes from writing like a machine to very poetic when he gets a "soul" and then back to a machine at the end is really great.
     
  10. fluffy bunny

    fluffy bunny Tasty or your money back! Staff Member

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    in addition to above:

    - Farenheit 451 (Bradbury)
    - Chrysalids (Wyndham)
    - Man in the High Casle (PK Dick)
    - Pavane (Roberts)
    - Rogue Moon (Budrys)
    - Stand on Zanzibar (Brunner)
    - Left hand of Darkness (Le Guin)
    - Hyperion (Simmons)
    - Ringworld (Niven)
    - 20,000 leagues under the sea (Verne)
    - Deathbird Stories (Ellison)
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2003
  11. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    As you can all see, I've sticky-ed this here topic. Tomorrow when I come back, I'll post all the related topics.
     
  12. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    Ok some of my recommendations:

    Some Good Recent novels
    Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
    Warchild by Karin Lowachee
    This Alien Shore by C.S. Friedman
    Metaplanetary by Tony Daniel
    The Confluence Trilogy by Paul J. McAuley

    Here's the links to relavent topics
    Please add to the topics below at any time. As with the topic in the Fantasy Section any NEW (as in after this topic is posted) pops up, it will automatically be DELETED
    You can NEVER go wrong with Philip K. Dick:
    Favourite Philip K Dick novel?
    Philp K. Dick
    PKD Print vs. Film

    Miscellaneous Recommendation Threads:
    Favourite short stories
    Science fiction for young readers
    Ten Best Science Fiction Novels
    Authors of Merit
    What do I read
    Required Reading
    New SF Authors?
    What to read in Scifi?
    Favorite Science Fiction Book
    Recommendable authors/books
    SF Recommendations
    Favorite Worlds in SF
    Classic writers vs. the newer generations
    First Sci-Fi novel that you read
    Which of these four authors
    WORST sci-fi ever
    Best book/author in last 5 years...?

    Sub-Genres:
    Military Sci-Fi
    Just what is "cyberpunk" sci-fi? Best "hard" Sci novels?
    Favorite "Big Idea" Stories/Books
    Alternative History??
    Time Travel Books
    Books on Mars
    Post Apocolyptic Books Post-Apocolyptic Authors
    Define "Hard" Scifi?
    Best Space Opera
    If Robots are your thing: AI - A fresh look On Androids, Robots, Cyborgs etc.. artificial intelligence A.I. Killers

    Star Wars:
    Has anyone here experienced Star Wars burn out?
    Star Wars books Star wars

    Here are the past monthly Reading Tallies:
    March Reads February Reads January Reads
    2002
    December Reads! September Reads Reading in Agosto July reads June Reads May Reads April Reads What are you reading in March?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2005
  13. fortytwo

    fortytwo New Member

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    These books, for one reason or another are favourites of mine. I’m afraid there’s loads more as well but too many would probably defeat the object of the exercise.

    1) Non-Stop…Brian Aldiss ( The first “Generation Ship” story I ever read- and still my favourite)
    2) The High Crusade…Poul Anderson (Low tech humans defeating high tech bad aliens. Humerous, and well thought out)
    3) Nightfall…Isaac Asimov ( An original idea that brings a whole new meaning to the word “starstruck”
    4) The Player of Games…Ian M Banks ( My favourite Banks book)
    5) Ender’s Game…Orson Scott Card (for all the usual reasons, but it’s a pity he’s sold out and stopped doing original work.[only my opinion of course] )
    6) Childhood’s End…Arthur C Clarke ( Humans defeating aliens again )
    7) Dune…Frank Herbert (no surprise there, I remember being fascinated by those stillsuits)
    8) Altered Carbon… Richard Morgan ( A book I found hard to put down, new technology galore)
    9) On…Adam Roberts ( Probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but I liked it’s quirky style)
    10) Red/Green/Blue Mars Trilogy… Kim Stanley Robinson (My favourite trilogy of all time, very believable exercise in terraforming – you’ll either love or hate it. No half measures)
    11) Dying Inside…Robert Silverberg (One of my favourite authors, writing one of my favourite books )
    12) Araminta Station… Jack Vance ( One of the best authors for descriptions of people and planets.)
    In view of all the recommendation threads above these look a little meagre but never mind I was sitting here doing nothing anyway :)

    42
     
  14. Kamakhya

    Kamakhya Seeker of Stuff

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    42: That was a very interesting list. A couple books on it are not known to me, and many others I have heard of, but had not considered reading. Obviously, books to look out for! :)

    I have read The High Crusade by Poul Anderson and I was surprised to see it on your list. I bought this book on a whim thinking it was a more obscure Anderson novel and really did enjoy it. I can't say it would ever make my top 10 or 20, but I found it to be a fun and refreshing book.

    Fitz: Thank you so much for your time and effort in creating a comprehensive recommendation thread. I, for one, appreciate having all those great links in one place.

    Kamakhya
     
  15. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    No problem Kamakhya. I didn't realize how many topics could actually were started in the past that would fit the bill. About the only topics I left out were the larger author topics (Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card, etc).

    I'll just add Gene Wolfe to the list of authors to read. Though Book of the New Sun is considered by many as Fantasy, it also works as Science Fiction (and I think that's how Mr. Wolfe intended it). Move on to The Book of the Long Sun after that. The tone and style is different, more difficult, but ultimately (after two attempts) I found it one of the most rewarding multi-volume works in the genre. The Book of the Short Sun is the final(?) series of the Sun books and is more readable than Long Sun and even New Sun (which I will be re-reading soon) and may very well be his best.
     
  16. Lani

    Lani Guarded by the Moon

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    I usually read more fantasy than sci-fi, but I dabbed in it as well and here are the books I enjoyed:

    1. The Last Legion series by Chris Bunch
    2. The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide by Douglas Adams
    3. Infinity Beach by Jack McDevitt
    4. Armor by John Steakley
    5. I liked everything I read by Orson Scott Card, especially Ender's Game
    6. Psycho Shop by Roger Zelazny and Alfred Bester
    7. Technogenesis by Syne Mitchell


    Also, anything else by Roger Zelazny is great as well :)
     
  17. lemming

    lemming New Member

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    I dug this up from my post on the "top 10" thread we had a while back, and added in one recent but exceptional read. I've added in sickeningly short descriptions of what, for the most part, the books are about and/or what field they're in.

    11. Timemaster by Robert L. Forward, an actual physicist with ideas that surge past the sometimes clunky writing (time travel)
    10. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (psychology of battle)
    9. End of Days by Dennis Danvers (cyberspace)
    8. Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (Red and Green should be read first, of course) (geography, nation-building, terraforming)
    7. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson (this is more SF than Cryptonomicon, IMHO, or I'd have listed that) (nanotech)
    6. A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge (aliens, posthuman tech advances, brainwiping)
    5. The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon (autism)
    4. Emergence by David R. Palmer (posthumans, postapocalypse)
    3 . Earth by David Brin (black holes, cyberstuff, environmental issues)
    2. Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress (posthumans, society)

    ...and the obligatory drum roll...

    1. Orbital Resonance by John Barnes (asteroid colonization, psychology, post-Earth-apocalypse)
     
  18. Clarkesworld

    Clarkesworld Publisher & Editor

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    John Shirley's Eclipse books
    Anything by Allen Steele
    Dan Simmon's Hyperion Cantos
    Any short story collection by Paul Di Filippo
    Michael Flynn's In the Country of the Blind
    and I've just started getting into Ken MacLeod's books.

    Oh and I just received some copies of Brin's latest, Tomorrow Happens, at my store and I really like what I've read so far.

    -Neil
     
  19. michiel

    michiel New Member

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    If there´s one book I´d recommend to a newcomer, it´d be Larry Niven´s Ringworld.

    It´s fast-paced, and it has decent characters (the lack of which is often a turn-off in other sci-fi novels).

    On the other hand, it´s pretty straightforward science-fiction.

    I think that it would be a great ´test´.. if the newcomer doesn´t like it, it means he/she will have a hard time finding anything of interest to him/her in the field of sci-fi.
     
  20. Rumfuddle

    Rumfuddle Registered User

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    I picked up an ancient paperback edition of Michael Moorcock's Warlord of the Sky the other day. It was bloody excellent! What's become of (old man) Moorcock these days?
    Highly recommended.