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Thread: Recommendations

  1. #46
    Junior Member Ambidangerous's Avatar
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    I wish there were a combined sf/fantasy good books thread. To me, the most important thing is that someone has taken the time to create a believable world or system of ideas. But just so I don't rock the boat too much, I'm splitting my post between the two respective universes.

    Favorite sf books / authors of all time:

    1. Iain M. Banks (anything in the culture series, The Player of Games and Use of Weapons being my favorites);

    2. Octavia Butler (specifically the Wild Seed / PatternMaster foursome);

    3. Dan Simmons (Hyperion);

    4. Frank Herbert -- Dune, the original, not the knockoffs; and

    5. Poul Anderson -- The Boat of a Million Years.

    Those come to mind immediately.

  2. #47
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    I'll use this thread to promote one of my favourite contemporary authors:

    Ian MacDonald

    My personal recommendations would be:

    Speaking in Tongues: Short Story collection.

    Sacrifice of Fools: Alien refugees in contemporary London

    Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone: Inventor of "Kabuki Man" comics goes on a spiritual quest, to come to terms with the ultimately suggestive signs he tattoed to his hands (one can heal, the other kill - instantly).

    He's one of SF's best stylists, so be prepared for beautiful language.

    I hope some of you will buy his books, so he makes some more money and goes on writing.

  3. #48
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    As far as crossing over between sci-fi and fantasy, I would recommend one book that takes it to a new level. Shaturanga is the title. I can't really compare it to anything out there, but whether you want to explore deep human conflicts or just read a quick, intriguing, power-packed adventure, Shaturanga is the novel.

  4. #49
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    I have removed the last post, as this was a FANTASY book in the SF Forum. As your link shows, it is a Fantasy novel, and not a 'crossover'. You have already mentioned your liking of the book in the Fantasy Forum, Siren.

    Hobbit
    Mark

  5. #50
    Re-Animator
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    Hello, this is my first post on this message board.

    My two favourite Science Fiction books are:

    Earth Abides by George R. Stewart and The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner.

    They are absolutely brilliant and well worth reading.

  6. #51
    Registered User Mugwump's Avatar
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    Originally posted by The One
    Earth Abides by George R. Stewart and The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner.

    They are absolutely brilliant and well worth reading.
    They are also two of the most wrist-cuttingly depressing books ever conceived by SF.

    <grin>

  7. #52
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    Originally posted by Mugwump


    They are also two of the most wrist-cuttingly depressing books ever conceived by SF.

    <grin>
    What about James Morrow's This is the Way the World Ends? I mean, as a
    wrist-cuttingly depressing book

  8. #53
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    hmm, interesting. Anybody notice some significant absences from all this ?
    Although a lot of people are plumping for the 'old' on the 'old vs new' thread, the grand masters aren't getting much of a look-in. Bradbury got 1 vote for the Martian Chronicles, Asimov got a couple for the Foundation Series, Clarke got one or two (and didn't get 2001 or the Fountains of Paradise (a personal fave)). Oddly (and based on a very quick run-through), Heinlein seems to have aged the best. He's probably the least self-important of this group, which might explain it (that would also explain why Asimov hasn't aged particularly well).

    oh, and yes, John Brunner is incredibly depressing. His 'Stand on Zanzibar' had me convinced that the world was going to hell (he might be right, of course). Jem, by F. Pohl is a close runner-up, though.
    Last edited by confused; February 5th, 2004 at 06:10 AM.

  9. #54
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    Here are a few books that SF reader would like.

    Dragons Eye-Ann McCaffrey
    The Ship Who Sang-Ann McCaffrey
    The Morpheus Maneuver-Nadine Hendricks

    I think these would be a good place to start for those new to SF.

  10. #55
    Registered User Mugwump's Avatar
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    Originally posted by confused
    oh, and yes, John Brunner is incredibly depressing. His 'Stand on Zanzibar' had me convinced that the world was going to hell (he might be right, of course). Jem, by F. Pohl is a close runner-up, though.
    Yes, Jem really is soul-destroying stuff. I can only assume that Pohl was suffering from acute depression when he wrote it.

  11. #56
    unconditional roach love
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    Wow, what a great vareity of reccomendations!

    I would like to add two old authors and one new author:

    Cordwainer Smith: His stories are quite unique in science fiction. They deal with a far-future humanity coming to terms with re-discovering their own human nature. The stories range from the nightmarish to the whimsical and are always an arresting read.

    Eric Frank Russell: He wrote swashbuckling tales of bold earthmen in sspace, laced with lots of humor and a grip on deeper notions than the 'conquest of space'.

    Ken MacLeod: Bright, shiny, up to date! Among other thngs, he depicts a future based on different kinds of political systems, including socialism and anarchism. The tech-spec ranges from nanotech, cloning and virtual reality to good old standards like FTL and so on. Again, there is a lot of humour in his books,

    I haven't mentioned specific books because I wanted to give more of a heads-up on the author's overall body of work.
    Last edited by knivesout; March 3rd, 2004 at 05:39 AM.

  12. #57
    BookWyrm Archren's Avatar
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    Knives, I'll heartily second Cordwainer Smith. I know he's obscure and all, but everyone here should read his stuff. He was a master. His stuff still stands out as some of the most unique and amazing that I've ever read. All Hail!

    (He's also a total sentimental favorite of mine. My Dad introduced me to this author when I was a pretty young teenager just starting in SF. Thus he was the first really "deep" character SF guy who also had the big ideas that I read. Previously I'd been into Asimov and Clarke and that ilk; always good, but Smith was quite different from that.)

  13. #58
    unconditional roach love
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    Glad to see another Cordwainer Smith fan.

    Smith was a big leap for me, in SF.

    Like many others, I'd read some Asimov, Clarke and Bradbury as a child, and bit of the better known authors like Herbert, Gibson, Zelazny and so on later, but had drifted away from the genre for quite a while. A couple of years back,Istarted hanging around the SF shelves again, looking for something interesting. One of the books I picked at this time was a collection of stories by Cordwainer Smith. Not only did they introduce me to a writer who has emerged as a prennial favourite, they also helped get me back into regualrly reading SF - a genre that can attract a writer like him surely is worth reading?!

  14. #59
    Registered User Mugwump's Avatar
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    Yes, chalk me up as another fan of Cordwainer Smith.

    His work might well detail the stomach-churningly gruesome, but he was without doubt fiercely original, and his stories remain prominent in memory whilst others from more ‘luminous’ authors fade into obscurity,

  15. #60
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    Cordwainer Smith! Now we're talking. Not hard to read all of his SF stuff though. I'm pretty sure he only wrote two in the genre before he died. Here's some others I haven't heard get a mention so far:

    Luficer's Hammer - Niven/Pournelle
    The Helliconia series - Brian Aldiss
    A Scanner Darkly - Phillip K Dick

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