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  1. #31
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitmouse View Post
    An excellent opening line in my opinion. What is your objection to it?
    I am not OBJECTING to it as an opening line I just don't see what is so great about it that it deserves so many hits on the net and the entire book isn't that good anyway. Gibbson admitted that he didn't know squat about computers when he wrote it and it shows.

    psik

  2. #32
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    Hard to take seriously.

    A list that includes M. John Harrison's Centauri Device, the author's own least-favorite work, and omits Signs of Life, Light, and Nova Swing (not to mention The Committed Men) is hard to take seriously.

    So is the lack of anything by Jack Vance or Brian Stableford or Cordwainer Smith.

    There are also quite a few books there by popular authors that don't belong on any "Best" list, though "Top" is a category a deal more flexible. But if it is, as stated, "Books You Must Read", Holy moly, what a joke.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by The Master™ View Post
    I was reading the Forbidden Planet website today, and came across this curiosity... The Top 50 Sci-Fi books, you should read, according to them...

    Some interesting choices and some obvious ones...

    Personally, I have only read the ones in red:

    50. Embassytown
    49. Zoo City
    48. The Windup Girl
    47. Uplift: Book 1: Sundiver
    46. The Reality Dysfunction
    45. Cat's Cradle
    44. SF Masterworks: The Difference Engine
    43. SF Masterworks: Centauri Device
    42. The Drowned World
    41. SF Masterworks: Pavane
    40. Make Room! Make Room!
    39. The Player Of Games
    38. Altered Carbon (GOT THE BOOK IN MY PILE STILL TO READ)
    37. SF Masterworks: Dying Inside
    36. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Trilogy Of Four
    35. SF Masterworks: Blood Music
    34. S.F. Masterworks: Lord Of Light
    33. SF Masterworks: Rendezvous With Rama
    32. Zones Of Thought: A Fire Upon The Deep & A Deepness In The Sky
    31. Mars: Book 1: Red Mars
    30. SF Masterworks: Ubik
    29. Fahrenheit 451
    28. The Death Of Grass
    27. SF Masterworks: Inverted World
    26. SF Masterworks: The Female Man
    25. SF Masterworks: Helliconia: Hellonica Spring, Helliconia Summer, & Helliconia Winter
    24. S.F. Masterworks: I Am Legend
    23. Day Of The Triffids
    22. War Of The Worlds
    21. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
    20. A Canticle For Leibowitz
    19. Ender's Game
    18. Snow Crash
    17. Foundation
    16. S.F. Masterworks: The Stars My Destination
    15. SF Masterworks: Flowers For Algernon
    14. SF Masterworks: Stand On Zanzibar
    13. Left Hand Of Darkness
    12. S.F. Masterworks: Babel 17
    11. Ringworld
    10. SF Masterworks: Timescape
    9. Childhood's End
    8. The Man In The High Castle
    7. S.F. Masterworks: Gateway
    6. SF Masterworks: Dispossed
    5. SF Masterworks: The Demolished Man
    4. Neuromancer
    3. Fantasy Masterworks: Book Of The New Sun Book 1 & Shadow & Claw Book 1
    2. S.F. Masterworks: The Forever War
    1. Dune


    Shame that BrAVE NEW WORLD is missing from the list...
    I feel a little like KatG saying this, but apparently they are focusing on catagory s.f., and so no Brave New World or 1984 or War of the Newts, etc. (Cat's Cradle is sorta, kinda an exception. Maybe.)

    That aside, it interests me that from this list you could claim that relatively little noteworthy s.f. has been published since about 1990. The last three entries seem like a stab at correcting that, but their positioning makes them look very much like a stab at balancing the list.

    I know most of these by reputation and while I'd argue that Ender's Game is not as good as its reputation, it has an enormous reputation and has been an influence on subsequent writers as well as drawing in scads of young readers to s.f. Ditto Neuromancer: whatever its quality as s.f., it had a huge impact on readers who did not normally read s.f. and so brought readers into the genre. And the list includes a few titles that probably deserve discussion -- Pavane, Inverted World -- but would ordinarily be overlooked by most listers.

    It's an interesting list and I bet we've all seen far worse.


    Randy M.

  4. #34
    Wow, I just noticed they picked Brin's Sundiver instead of Startide Rising. I have never met anyone who preferred Sundiver - it is universally considered his weak first novel and the debate is usually whether you should bother to read it or not before starting the award-winning Startide Rising. That is a big slip up.

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by phil_geo View Post
    Wow, I just noticed they picked Brin's Sundiver instead of Startide Rising. I have never met anyone who preferred Sundiver - it is universally considered his weak first novel and the debate is usually whether you should bother to read it or not before starting the award-winning Startide Rising. That is a big slip up.
    I prefer Sundiver. Of course it helps to know enough optics to be able to guess how a one eyed individual might be able to estimate distance and how that might relate to holograms.

  6. #36
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    I'm always quite amused by the outrage such lists generate: whilst there are books I'd choose to replace some of those chosen, and some authors I'd put higher/lower on the list, can't say I'm personally passionate enough about it to throw my things up in the air, metaphorically speaking.

    We're not sure of the reasons for the choices: personal preference, popularity, award winning status, reputation, influence on the genre or whatever: which is why I tend to see these things as a list. Ultimately they're a list based on some sort of choice.

    Yes: I prefer Startide Rising to Sundiver, but Sundiver is an introduction to the author. Cat's Cradle I've read but wasn't too impressed with it. Others love it, same as Slaughterhouse-Five.

    Pavane was OK, but in my opinion not fantastic. Just because I say so, doesn't make it so.

    They're a list for discussion, not definitive, IMO. As Randy said, not the best but not the worst.

    Mark
    Mark

  7. #37
    And yes, I knew when I posted that that several people would post their preference for Sundiver, just like it has taken every ounce of control I have to not defend Neuromancer for the 100th time to the same people using the same arguments.

  8. #38
    I enjoyed Cat's Cradle sir, therefore I demand satisfaction.

    *searches for slappin' glove*

  9. #39
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    I enjoyed Cat's Cradle sir, therefore I demand satisfaction.
    LOL. Apologies, heretic: see what I mean?

    Totally accept that others may like what I do not, and vice versa: our tastes sometimes will therefore differ.

    But I'm sure we can agree to disagree, on this at least. Clearly you have the better (though clearly misguided) taste.

    Perhaps, instead, we can have a think about what has been published since the 1990's that's worthy of inclusion. Randy feels that the list is rather thin on such books.

    Mark
    Mark

  10. #40
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    Perhaps, instead, we can have a think about what has been published since the 1990's that's worthy of inclusion. Randy feels that the list is rather thin on such books.
    On Basilisk Station. Definitely. It's not a great book as such, but I think it needs to be on there. I'd also commit heresy (pun intended) and go for the first Horus Heresy book by Dan Abnett (Horus Rising? I've forgotten the name) as that series has seen a *lot* of success and praise.

  11. #41
    Man of Ways and Means kennychaffin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    ...

    Perhaps, instead, we can have a think about what has been published since the 1990's that's worthy of inclusion. Randy feels that the list is rather thin on such books.

    Mark
    Yes. Why the heck isn't John Love's FAITH http://www.amazon.com/Faith-John-Love/dp/1597803901 on that list, it's certainly one of the better SF books I've read in the last decade! Sheesh! I am serious, it's a very good book IMHO.

  12. #42
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    See: I'd quite like to see a John Scalzi there: takes Heinlein's style and gives it a contemporary twist.

    Though perhaps it is that similarity to Heinlein that makes it less likely to be on the list.

    Similarly: Is Embassytown the best of Mieville? I'm sure a lot will go for Perdido Street Station....

    And instead of The Windup Girl, why not an Ian McDonald instead?

    Got to say, though, that as it is from the Forbidden Planet shop's website, the choices will be UK-centric. Faith isn't here, sadly, unless it's on import from Night Shade. (Though the author is British.)

    Mark
    Mark

  13. #43
    I did a thread called Instant Classics about 3 years ago, and this is what people came up with:

    Old Man's War
    Hyperion
    Snow Crash
    Revelation Space
    Spin
    Altered Carbon
    Blood Music
    Night's Dawn

  14. #44
    Man of Ways and Means kennychaffin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    ...
    Faith isn't here, sadly, unless it's on import from Night Shade. (Though the author is British.)

    Mark
    That's just not right!

  15. #45
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    It happens, Kenny.

    Faith's on my 'list-to-buy' through one of those internationally based Internet bookstores... will get to it eventually, just got a lot of other stuff first.

    See.... get free books and STILL buy....

    Mark
    Mark

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