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August 22nd, 2013, 04:45 PM #1
Sci-fi books with the best mind bending plot twists and endings
Hello everyone, I'm new here and have just recently gotten more into reading actual books. I know it sounds silly, but I've been an avid video gamer most of my life, so I've put book on the back burner. I'm sure most of you have heard of the Mass Effect series, and it's still my favorite piece of sci-fi ever conceived...until the very end. I'm looking for books with the kind of great storytelling, good plot twists, and memorable characters that Mass Effect had, but with a cohesive, great ending. I just finished the Commonwealth Saga by Peter Hamilton, and while it was a very good series, it lacked the great ending and mind bending plot curves I was hoping for. Can anyone help fulfill my desire for the criteria mentioned? Thanks very much!
August 23rd, 2013, 12:55 PM #2
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- Oct 2011
Use of Weapons by Ian M. Banks.
Totally blew me away. I think I was shaking after the ending.
August 23rd, 2013, 02:50 PM #3
August 24th, 2013, 02:31 AM #4
I'm not sure if it will be your cup of tea, but there are many shorter SF books with plot twists.
For example, most of the work of Philip K Dick. These books are not SF in the grand space opera sense, but smaller in scale. Try Ubik.
Or, for example, Richard Morgan's Altered Carbon. This is a SF hardboiled thriller. It is simultaneously science fiction and murder mystery. Very violent, many plot twists as the main character tries to unravel the mystery.
August 24th, 2013, 08:06 AM #5
Alastair Reynolds's Chasm City has a brilliantly twisty ending. Terminal World, another book of his, has a straightforward ending, but there's a very clever bit of detail to the world the book takes place on that, if you know your SF and real science, is very clever but not spelled out.
All of Christopher Priest's novels have twisty elements to them. The most straightforward one is The Prestige, but the most overtly SF ones are A Dream of Wessex and maybe The Affirmation. No-one writes mind-blowing, pull-the-rug-out-from-under-your-feet finales like Priest.
George R.R. Martin's Dying of the Light has an ambiguous - but highly satisfying - ending as well. It's not really twisty or clever, but it is quite effective.
August 24th, 2013, 11:00 AM #6
August 24th, 2013, 07:12 PM #7
I'm sure many other posters have read it already, but Ender's Game has a real whammy of a twist ending. Actually, now's a really good time to read it before the movie comes out and everybody spoils the crap out of it. It's very short but intense and well worth the read.
Also, there's a short story collection by Octavia Butler, Bloodchild. It's got a creepy title for a reason. "Bloodchild" is the short story the collection is named after. Don't look up what it's about, just read it.
Last edited by Troophead; August 24th, 2013 at 07:17 PM.
August 25th, 2013, 09:19 AM #8
So nobody to confirm on Armor having an insane ending???
August 25th, 2013, 01:06 PM #9
I can confirm Christopher Priest has a way of twisting a plot in a way that can really mess with your head - it even has a name: the Priest effect!
I find twist endings tend to work better in short stories as the build up is more intense and doesn't have to be sustained over hundreds of pages: The Tunnel Under the World by Frederik Pohl and The Last Question by Isaac Asimov are two of the best.
August 25th, 2013, 09:30 PM #10
Peter F. Hamilton's Fallen Dragon uses the "last 5 pages" twist ending. I love that one.
August 25th, 2013, 11:40 PM #11
August 27th, 2013, 05:12 PM #12
Has anyone read Glasshouse by Charles Stross? I've heard really good things about that one.
August 30th, 2013, 12:29 AM #13
Here it is for free on Project Gutenberg. Share the love.
And yeah, "The Last Question" is a masterpiece. It's ... mindblowing, in a completely different way. Not in a freaky way like "Tunnel," but like the way that a thunderstorm or a perfect symphony has you go, "Whoa."
I'd also add Arthur C Clarke's "The Star," which is absolutely chilling, is on the same level as "The Last Question." Unfortunately I can't find a free copy online right now.
August 30th, 2013, 01:08 AM #14
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- Mar 2012
I'd also say he doesn't usually have major, mind bending plot twists in the way most people think of twists. it's just that his plots are pretty twisted from the get go.
I think Dick is something he should put on the back burner, until his tastes have settled a little. he was one of the most unique writers out there, but probably not what the OP needs right now.
August 30th, 2013, 01:17 AM #15
- Join Date
- Mar 2012
check out "The Stars My Destination" by Alfred Bester.
It starts off with an interesting enough premise, then delves through change after change as you dig through plot layers. the ending is left slightly open ended, but in a good way, IMO.