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Thread: Recommendations

  1. #31
    Anitaverse Refugee FicusFan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by trentdick2882
    I actually think I enjoyed We by Zamyatin more than 1984, has anyone read that?
    Yes I have. I also liked it better.

  2. #32
    Yay, someone shares my opinion, this is indeed an occasion to rejoice .

  3. #33
    Anitaverse Refugee FicusFan's Avatar
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    Here are my 'Best SF' books, in no particular order.

    1. Halfway Human, Carolyn Ives Gilman
    2. He, She, and It, Marge Piercy
    3.The Gate to Woman's Country, Sheri Tepper
    4. The Faded Sun Trilogy (omnibus), CJ Cherryh
    5. The Foreigner Trilogy (First trilogy 1-3), CJ Cherryh
    6. The Chanur Saga (1-4), CJ Cherryh
    7. Cuckoo's Egg, CJ Cherryh
    8. Lilith's Brood (Omnibus Xenogensis Trilogy), Octavia Butler
    9. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
    10. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
    11. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein
    12. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert Heinlein
    13. Ringworld, Larry Niven
    14. Clipjoint, Crashcourse, Psykosis, (no series name) Wilhelmina Baird
    15. Memory (#9 Miles Vorkosigan) Lois McMaster Bujold
    16. Lest Darkness Fall, L. Sprague De Camp
    17. Becoming Human, Testament, Imposter, Valerie Freireich
    18. Flesh and Gold, Phyliss Gotlieb
    19. Dune Series (1-3), Frank Herbert
    20. Noir, K.W. Jeter
    21. Aleutian Trilogy, Gwyneth Jones
    22. Warchild, Karin Lowachee
    23. Sardonyx Net, Elizabeth Lynn
    24. Windhaven, George R.R. Martin & Lisa Tuttle
    25. Sandkings, George R.R. Martin
    26. Jurisdiction Series, Susan R. Matthews
    27. Perdido Street Station, China Mieville
    28. Salt, Adam Roberts
    29. The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell
    30. The Lensman Series, E.E. 'Doc' Smith
    31. In The Drift, Michael Swanwick
    32. Red Genesis, S.C. Sykes
    33. Snow Queen & Summer Queen, Joan D. Vinge
    34. Starfish, Peter Watts
    35. To Say Nothing of The Dog, Connie Willis
    36. Dooms Day Book, Connie Willis
    37. We, Yevgeny Zamyatin
    38. Seafort Saga, David Feintuch

  4. #34
    No Philip K. Dick?!

  5. #35
    Anitaverse Refugee FicusFan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by trentdick2882
    No Philip K. Dick?!
    What a loaded question: Do I like Dick

    Honestly I don't care for PKD. I have read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and Ubik. DADoES was one of the few books where the movie was actually better than the book. The book seemed more like an outline than an actual completed work.

    Ubik was more fleshed out, but was very dated, and more psychedelic than I was. Perhaps a few decades earlier I would have matched terminal velocity with the book, but not now.

    I know PKD influenced a lot of the writers I like, and their styles, but I just don't enjoy him directly.

    I tend to prefer meaty stories with depth to them regarding characters both externally and internally. I am not real fond of Asimov, or Clarke or PKD, or others who are what I call writers with a spare style.

  6. #36
    What did you like about Salt, FicusFan?
    I am considering buying it would like an opinion.

  7. #37
    Anitaverse Refugee FicusFan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by chocky
    What did you like about Salt, FicusFan?
    I am considering buying it would like an opinion.
    I have to say first off that the writing style is very staid, and almost reminded me of 19th century in terms of stiffness. It is his first SF book.

    What I liked was that the story is told by two main characters for most of the book. They alternate chapters and they are both 'unreliable narrators'. Which means that you can't trust or believe what they say, the way you can in a normal book. The reason is that each tells a part of the story from his own POV and often it is the same incident, and both can't be right ! Sometimes they lie to you, and sometimes they lie to themselves too. As the reader or the neutral party you can see where they went wrong, but you can also sometimes see the rightness of each side as well.

    It makes you think about perception and reality, and how much your agenda is loaded into what you see as the truth. It also deal with preconcieved notions and prejudice and how they destroy any attempt at communication.

    The story is about this group of religious (very little actual religion is in the story) pilgrims who are going to colonize a far-away planet. There are 5 or 6 space ships that are hooked onto a comet to power them along. They sleep for most of the journey. The captain of the most rigid and heriarchical ship is one narrator. The other narrator is the Engineer who can operate the comet hook, he is on a space ship of anarchists. They lied about having a religious orientation to get into the fleet. They completely reject any form of government.

    The conflict is that the planet which from afar seemed fine, is really made of Salt, and so air and water and arable land are a problem. Because of their totally opposite viewpoints they are unable to cooperate. The personal interaction between the two crews during the flight also lead to disasterous consequences.


    The Rigid society builds a cult of personality, and the anarchists act only for the individual.

    It is a story of extremes. There are parts that show each leader and lifestyle in both good and bad lights, so you can't really just pick the one you feel is right or that you like the most.

    It was a very thought provoking and interesting book. It made me think about it long after I finished it. I was also reading it during the height of the Isrealli/Palestinian crises and it seemed in many ways to mirror their conflict - thought the details are not exactly the same.

    It is Adam Roberts best book so far. He has written Salt, On, Stone which I have read. Jupiter Magnified a novella, and Polystom his latest novel, which I have, but have not yet read.

    Your id doesn't say where you are, so I don't know if you will have to pay more for the book (US) or not. You might want to test read before taking it home, if you can. Good luck and enjoy.
    Last edited by FicusFan; July 7th, 2003 at 10:42 PM.

  8. #38
    Seeker of Stuff Moderator Kamakhya's Avatar
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    The conflict is that the planet which from afar seemed fine, is really made of Salt, and so air and water and arable land are a problem. Because of their totally opposite viewpoints they are unable to cooperate.
    This is what I didn't like about Salt. It seemed absurd that two completely polar opposite groups would be placed on the same planet. It also seemed so rigid in its approach that it was unrealistic. In an all out war, even anarchists work together, but not in Salt.

    Yet, the book was good enough to finish. I would say it is a worthwhile book to read.

    Kamakhya

  9. #39
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    Originally posted by Kamakhya


    This is what I didn't like about Salt. It seemed absurd that two completely polar opposite groups would be placed on the same planet. It also seemed so rigid in its approach that it was unrealistic. In an all out war, even anarchists work together, but not in Salt.

    Yet, the book was good enough to finish. I would say it is a worthwhile book to read.

    Kamakhya
    The two groups ended up on the same planet because there was only one planet, so there was no way to spread them out, and because the anarchists lied to get into the exodus.

    But you do raise a point that has always bothered me. AR never explains why these groups are going out to colonize - is it a religious duty, or a bid for a better life, fleeing from a dying earth.

    It was rigid, and extreme, but ideologies in conflict are often that way. Try to get the Gang of Four in DC to see the merits of Iran, or Syria or some other Axis of Evil country.

    In terms of working together during war, I would suggest that many of those who lose do so because they are unable to present a united front to the enemy. Divide and Conquer is an age old practice, and for the other side a danger. Just look at the conflicts in Africa, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia -- all places where we think they are the same and should unite, and yet they will not.

  10. #40
    Registered User lemming's Avatar
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    Please guys... this is supposed to be a recs thread.
    Over and out.

  11. #41
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    Alan Dean Foster

    I finished The Service of the Sword: Worlds of Honor 4 by David Weber. It's the fourth World of Honor series and pretty good reading. I recommend it (and the series) to anyone that likes Weber and hasn't read it.

    Any Alan Dean Foster readers here? I'm thinking about reading Diuturnity's Dawn. Thumbs up?

  12. #42
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    Alan Dean Foster

    I don't know that book, but the Spellsinger series was excellent ! It's magical fantasy stuff, and really well done. A sanitation engineer gets brought to another world of talking animals, where he can do magic by singing. It should be awful, but Foster gets away with it with his sense of self-irony. What's the standard civic role of skunks ? Riot control, duh !
    The series degrades over time (what series doesn't), but I really enjoyed the first 2-3.

  13. #43
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    Can't add too much more to the list of good choices above, but one author worth checking out is John Sladek (Roderick at Random, Roderick and Tik-Tok).

    Now sadly deceased, he stands as one of the funniest SF writers I have ever read.

    Cordwainer Smithís Norstrilia, as well his other Instrumentality short stories (who could forget the grisly A Planet Named Shayol?).

    Greg Benfordís Timescape

    Any Stanislaw Lem novel really (I guess Solaris is the starting point).

  14. #44
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    I will add a few recent books to my list:


    Ilium by Dan Simmons
    The Golden Age by John Wright

    I will also say that I have read Sladek's Tik-Tok, and enjoyed it. I found the social satire a bit dated though and so not as funny as I was expecting.

  15. #45

    Books to recommend

    Anything by Octavia Butler for a newcomer.

    The Einstein Intersection, by Samuel R. Delany.

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