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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueRoscoe View Post
    Kim Stanley Robinson, full stop. It's a devil to find any of the Mars books, and every time I bring up The Years of Rice and Salt, even to other sci-fi fans, the reaction tends to be "oh yeah, I think I heard about that once a few years ago..."

    Reviews on Rice and Salt were also rather tepid, and seemed to carry a strain of "yes, yes, Asia and Islam own the world, that's all very nice, could you get back to writing about regular people now?" Which I don't get, as I think it's one of the most audacious alternate histories on the shelves, and definitely a break from the Nazis and/or Confederates and/or CONFEDERATE NAZIS winning Teh War. And Robinson pulls it off, by and large, except for a few author tracts in the latter books.

    Let's not even get into how hard it is to find the California trilogy, which shows three different realities...
    How about The Memory Of Whiteness and Escape From Kathmandu? I found them to be pretty good.

  2. #62
    The Tripods Trilogy - John Christopher : YA trilogy taking place 100 years after aliens have conquered Earth. I may be biased because I read this as a kid, but I still love the hell out of it


    The Ragged Astronauts - Bob Shaw: two planets that orbit each other; people build wooden airships to go between them


    The Forest of Peldain - Barrington J. Bayley: cool little book about a forest and a secret civilization that lives within

  3. #63
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    For that matter . . .

    Pretty much anything by Barrington J. Bayley can be considered an under-rated science-fiction book. The Fall of Chronopolis has its defects, but is quite clever about time travel. The Garments of Caean is nearly unique. All his work is worth a look.

  4. #64
    Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan was amazing.

  5. #65
    Urbis Morpheos Stephen Palmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueRoscoe View Post
    ... and every time I bring up The Years of Rice and Salt, even to other sci-fi fans, the reaction tends to be "oh yeah, I think I heard about that once a few years ago..."
    Not me. I loved it, and often mention it when alternative histories come up. It's an amazing read, even though it's 99% tell and 1% show...

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcessive View Post
    Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan was amazing.
    It is indeed, but not sure that it lacks in the rating dept.

    Cheers
    Lee

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by ebusinesstutor View Post
    My top underrated books are

    1. Grant Callin
    • Saturnalia
    • A Lion on Tharthee

    ....
    I just finished “Saturnalia” although I have not yet checked all the calculations. Thank you for the suggestion. Perhaps an equally obscure read is “Angel at Apogee” by S.N. Lewitt. This contains one scene between rivals that would shock fans of G. R. R. Martin.

    Of the other suggestions, I hadn't thought of Brian Stableford or Kim Stanley Robinson's work as especially underrated but I certainly liked the Asgard Trilogy and the Hooded Swan stories. I also like “Icehenge”, although I seem to have forgotten exactly who built the monument.
    Last edited by Mostlyharmless; April 10th, 2011 at 03:26 AM.

  8. #68
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcessive View Post
    Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan was amazing.
    Yes, but hardly underrated. The book received the 2003 Philip K. Dick award and is discussed quite often here at SFFWorld in the specific threads about it below as well as many genre discussions:
    Altered Carbon - whetting your appetites
    March (2007) BOTM: Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan
    What series to choose from: (Alastair Reynolds, John Scalzi, Richard Morgan)

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by owlcroft View Post
    This includes some lesser-known works by well-known authors, as well as some works once renowned but possibly now lost to memory .

    So--from Lists 'R' Us Central:
    • Ackroyd, Peter: First Light
    • Aldiss, Brian W.: Report on Probability A
    • Arnason, Eleanor: To the Resurrection Station
    • Attanasio, A. A.: the "Radix" tetrad
    • Auster, Paul: In the Country of Last Things
    • Barrett, Neal, Jr.: the "Aldair" tetralogy
    • Billias, Stephen: The American Book of the Dead
    • Bisson, Terry: Wyrldmaker
    • Bryant, Edward: Cinnabar
    • Carr, Terry: Cirque
    • Chapman, Stepan: The Troika
    • Cherryh, C. J.: Wave Without a Shore & Voyager in Night
    • Compton, D. G.: Chronocules
    • Conway, Gerard F.: The Midnight Dancers & Mindship
    • Cook, Glen: The Dragon Never Sleeps
    • Cover, Arthur Byron: Autumn Angels & The Sound of Winter
    • Crowley, John: The Deep
    • Disch, Thomas M.: Camp Concentration
    • Dowling, Terry: Rynosseros
    • Dorsey, Candas Jane: A Paradigm of Earth
    • Effinger, George Alec: What Entropy Means to Me
    • Foster, M. A.: Waves & the "Transformer" trilogy & the "Book of the Ler" trilogy
    • Geston, Mark S.: The Day Star (& maybe others--still re-reading)
    • Grant, Richard: Saraband of Lost Time & Rumors of Spring & Through the Heart
    • Harrison, M. John: The Committed Men & The Centauri Device & the "Viriconium" quartet {some sf, some fantasy} & Signs of Life & Light & Nova Swing
    • Holdstock, Robert: Where Time Winds Blow
    • Jeter, K. W.: Farewell Horizontal
    • Knight, Damon: The World and Thorinn
    • Laumer, Keith: Knight of Delusions
    • Lee, Tanith: Days of Grass
    • Leiber, Fritz: The Big Time
    • Lieberman, Herbert: Sandman, Sleep
    • Lightman, Alan: Einstein's Dreams
    • McDonald, Ian: Desolation Road & Ares Express & Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone
    • McIntyre, Vonda N.: Dreamsnake
    • Millet, Lydia: Oh Pure and Radiant Heart
    • Mills, Magnus: The Scheme For Full Employment
    • Norwood, Warren: the "Windhover Tapes" tetralogy
    • Ore, Rebecca: Becoming Alien
    • Palmer, Thomas: Dream Science
    • Panshin, Alexei: the "Anthony Villiers" books
    • Park, Paul: the "Starbridge Chronicles" trilogy
    • Percy, Walker: Love in the Ruins
    • Piserchia, Doris: any and all of her 10 sf novels
    • Pratchett, Terry: Strata {the sf forerunner of the discworld}
    • Priest, Christopher: Indoctrinaire & The Prestige
    • Read, Herbert: The Green Child
    • Resnick, Mike: Santiago
    • Roberts, Keith: Pavanne & The Chalk Giants {& probably any other sf--still reading}
    • Shepard, Lucius: Kalimantan
    • Shinn, Sharon: the "Samaria" cycle
    • Simak, Clifford: Highway of Eternity & Way Station
    • Smith, Cordwainer: Norstrilia & The Rediscovery of Man {settle for nothing but the NESFA editions}
    • Spinrad, Norman: The Void Captain's Tale & Child of Fortune
    • Stableford, Brian: everything--and it's a lot.
    • Sucharitkul, Somtow: the "Inquestor" tetralogy
    • Tepper, Sheri S.: Northshore & Southshore
    • Vance, Jack: one of the all-time greats, but not all his work is as well-known as it should be
    • Wells, Martha: City of Bones
    • Whitehead, Colson: The Intuitionist
    • Williams, Michael: the "Hawken Family" duology
    • Williams, Tad: the "Otherland" tetralogy
    • Williams, Walter Jon: the "Drake Maijstral" trio
    • Wright, Austin Tappan: Islandia
    • Zindell, David: the "Neverness" tetralogy
    I have read somewhere around 20-25 off this list now (excluding the dragon never sleeps and all of jack vance, which I was previously familiar with), and have been very happy. Half of my reading has been 1970's stableford, who I enjoy a great deal. I wonder how his later work will hold up, authors do change over decades. The rest has been a mixed bag of whatever was close by or whatever at the time.

    The only one I found difficult or that I missed something basic on was Report on Probability A by Aldiss.

    This list has been a godsend in terms of providing good material which can last me a year potentially. Thanks again!

  10. #70
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    A very odd book, indeed.

    The only one I found difficult or that I missed something basic on was Report on Probability A by Aldiss.

    It's a queer duck to be sure. A few snippets from the Wikipedia article on Aldiss:
    Described by Aldiss as an 'anti-novel' . . . . [T]hese observers in their turn are being observed, all of them engaged in futile speculation about the exact nature of Probability A, and the exact meaning of the Victorian painting, The Hireling Shepherd (by Pre-Raphaelite William Holman Hunt . . . . [I]t is suggested that the painting may be a window into a world where time is standing still.
    Indeed. Aldiss seems to have had a fascination for the idea of "time standing still", as the last few paragraphs of his otherwise quite accessible sf/fantasy novel The Malacia Tapestry reveal.

    Or this brief review at Library Thing (one of five there):
    Though the book is a formal experiment in an artificial and formal writing style, it achieves a curious dreamlike quality that slowly builds almost to nightmare. Certainly those who want a clear, clean linear plot with a neatly wound-up ending aren't going to get that here. But those who can relish the slow building of mood and atmosphere have a treat. The best reading approach is to ignore anything and everything you may have heard about the book and take it on its own terms. At first, it seems merely weird: but real people in the real world are often as or more weird. But little by little, a zig here and a zag there, and the otherness builds. In a way, the mid-book break, where things appear to be "explained", is almost a disappointment, though the explanation itself soons dissolves into the bizarre.
    Oh--no wonder I liked that one: turns out I wrote it. OK, from soneone else's review there:
    The book is a difficult read -- page after page of descriptions of, say, the items in the shack that the ex-gardener is living in -- but you can feel Aldiss' intelligence burning through it. It's not merely an SF plot concerning how much we could know about people who seem to look like us but may not be. It's an extended meditation on writing, on the conventions of writing, on how real scenes become literary scenes and what is kept and what is left out, on the reader as observer.
    Another, longer but illuminating review appears here.

    You might want to tackle the book again some day.
    Last edited by owlcroft; May 16th, 2011 at 02:57 AM. Reason: Add one more review link.

  11. #71
    Let me be your gateway Chekhov's Avatar
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    Has anyone here actually read the Mars trilogy?

  12. #72
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chekhov View Post
    Has anyone here actually read the Mars trilogy?
    If you are talking about Red, Green & Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, then yes. In fact I listened to a text to speech conversion of Red Mars recently. When I first read them I didn't have that technology or computer readable versions of the books.

    What about them?

    http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/Us...her_Blood.html

    psik
    Last edited by psikeyhackr; May 17th, 2011 at 11:38 AM. Reason: added link

  13. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by owlcroft View Post
    You might want to tackle the book again some day.
    Agreed, going into this book expecting conventional story elements really doesn't allow one to see what the author is actually doing.

    I have noticed some differences between your web page of underappreciated book and the list you put up here, many on this thread aren't on that page, while a few there aren't here (new additions?), do you have a comprehensive or all-encompassing listing? everything on the list on this thread that was available used at a rational price I picked up, but there are some things on the web list I don't recall seeing before.

  14. #74
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    I'm lazy and inefficient.

    There are several pages on the site listing selected books of a certain kind--overlooked, religious, for children, light-hearted--that are subjective lists and, more to the point, very hard to keep current. For lists posted here, I usually go to my master list of books and pick and choose by eye ad hoc.

    That being the way of it, my opinion on what is "overlooked" will likely vary from day to day, and may also depend on who I think the readership is. I set out once to code the master-list PHP with symbols that would allow auto-extraction of the specialty lists, but--as with so much I undertake nowadays--I ran out of enthusiasm and energy before finishing.

  15. #75
    Let me be your gateway Chekhov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    If you are talking about Red, Green & Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, then yes.
    Do you know of another trilogy called that?
    What about them?
    I'm curious how many people have, and what they thought of them.

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