SF novels for adults not yet fully proficient in English

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Pennarin, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. Pennarin

    Pennarin Registered User

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    A buddy of mine has English as his second language - just like me. He's not quite at ease at reading at a level other than office reports.

    He also wants to start up on SF.

    The only two books I could think of that are good and interesting yet somehow easy to read were Asimov's The End of Eternity and Card's Ender's Game.

    Any ideas? No young adult stuff, mind you; he's currently reading a translation of Simmon's The Terror...
     
  2. odo

    odo Registered User

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    English is also my second language and I've been reading novels in English for about 9 years now. I remember that one of the first books I read was Ender's Game and I found it very accesible. Then I went on to Alastair Reynolds and Peter F. Hamilton, who were more challenging but not insurmountable.

    I think that John Scalzi is a good choice for a beginner. Fun and easy to read. Oh, and Greg Egan is quite easy to read too, provided you are not afraid of scientific jargon.
     
  3. Omphalos

    Omphalos Orthodox Herbertian

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    Greg Egan? Easy read? Hmmmm.

    I had a Turkish friend who read a lot of Asimov when he was learning English.
     
  4. odo

    odo Registered User

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    The English level is easy, especially if you are used to reading technical stuff.
     
  5. Pennarin

    Pennarin Registered User

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    I'm seeking works with minimal lyricism (not Gene Wolfe), technical jargon (unlike most recent, technically-accurate hard SF), or unusual words. Plain language, with mostly simple everyday words, will do the trick.
     
  6. odo

    odo Registered User

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    Old Man's War by John Scalzi might be a good choice. I recommended it to a friend who was beginning to read in English and he found it fun and not difficult to read.
     
  7. Pennarin

    Pennarin Registered User

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    So we've got...Ender's Game, The End of Eternity, and Old Man's War.

    Any last minute additions?
     
  8. Mostlyharmless

    Mostlyharmless Registered User

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    Although rather surprisingly Psikeyhackr hasn't mentioned them, Bujold's Vorkosigan stories might be suitable. You can look at http://www.baen.com/chapters/W200307/0743436164.htm?blurb to get a good idea of the level of difficulty. Bujold uses quite a wide vocabulary but almost all of it is in common use without, for example, deliberate archaisms.