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Thread: Recommendations

  1. #61
    Eventhough it is from another trend i post this two links to two major collection for future reference!!

    Millennium SF Masterworks

    Note: The first 10 are Hardbacks!!

    Gollancz SF Collectors' Editions

    P.S.-Both collection have great books but SF Masterworks is more consistent in quality (and besides, it has some of best covers i've seen)!!

  2. #62
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    I'd like to add John WYndham. Author of The day of the Triffids, The Midwich Cuckoos, The Kraken Wakes and more, he was a British SF author from the 50s and 60s who was particularly adept at capturing the sense of unease when familiar, comfortable surroundings are turned upside down by cataclysmic events. His works show how easily the facade of modern civilization can be broken. Filled with exposition and dialogue, they nevertheless also contain engaging plots and are well worth reading. It's a pity that he tends to be ignored as a product of his times, because his works certainly still have a lot to say to us.

  3. #63
    Seeker of Stuff Moderator Kamakhya's Avatar
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    knivesout...you might try using the search feature for John Wyndham. We have discussed this author on numerous occasions on this board. His work is certainly not forgotten!

  4. #64
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    Ah, that's good to know. Just thought I'd add him on to the recommendations thread.

  5. #65
    Registered User Mugwump's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VirtuaGod
    Eventhough it is from another trend i post this two links to two major collection for future reference!!

    Millennium SF Masterworks

    Note: The first 10 are Hardbacks!!

    Gollancz SF Collectors' Editions

    P.S.-Both collection have great books but SF Masterworks is more consistent in quality (and besides, it has some of best covers i've seen)!!
    <fx: Jumps in the air like madman>

    I have them all now!

    <grin>

  6. #66
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    New Reality?

    Lots of great books listed here, but I was wondering if anyone had some recomendations for SciFi books that really predicted or caught the spirit of some of the crazy things that have been going on in the world since 9/11. I don't think most of the authors I've read (many whose books are included in this thread) ever dreamed of just how destructive a small group of people or individuals in a society could become, and how that might impact the future. Maybe it's too soon, and it will be a few years yet before more authors start incorporating this new world reality into their writing.

  7. #67
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    Terrorism in sf? I'm sure it's there. Terrorism wasn't first invented in 2001 after all. The equally terrifying counter-terrorist acts? Don't know if that's been done.

  8. #68
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    Harrison

    I feel compelled to recommend M. John Harrison's The Centauri Device. I stumbled upon this book recently, and was simply blown away. It's not by any means a perfect novel (the ending is rather weak), but all things considered, it was probably the most stylistically coherent SF novel I've read in quite a while. The narrative is simply surreal, and Harrison's style evokes incredibly detailed images.

    I believe this book is currently out of print in the U.S, but it is available through libraries (or used online, I'm sure). By all means, seek this one out, it's worth the effort.

  9. #69
    Registered User Mugwump's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eraymer
    I feel compelled to recommend M. John Harrison's The Centauri Device. I stumbled upon this book recently, and was simply blown away. It's not by any means a perfect novel (the ending is rather weak), but all things considered, it was probably the most stylistically coherent SF novel I've read in quite a while. The narrative is simply surreal, and Harrison's style evokes incredibly detailed images.
    Hmm … this is a tricky one for me. On the one hand Harrison is indeed an author of considerable skill. I certainly cannot think of too many others in the field of SF that are as capable of manipulating the English language with such magical artistry. That said – The Centauri Device stole my life essence with the turn of each page. I cannot think of a more beautifully written yet thoroughly boring book.

    In many ways, Harrison style reminds me of Joseph Conrad. Indeed – there are similarities here with Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.

  10. #70
    Hip, cool, jiggy wit' it emohawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mugwump
    Hmm … this is a tricky one for me. On the one hand Harrison is indeed an author of considerable skill. I certainly cannot think of too many others in the field of SF that are as capable of manipulating the English language with such magical artistry. That said – The Centauri Device stole my life essence with the turn of each page. I cannot think of a more beautifully written yet thoroughly boring book.
    My sentiments more or less exactly. Imho this is without hesitation the single worst edition to Gollancz' SF Masterworks series. Clearly Harrison has few peers when it comes to beautiful prose, but the story itself is pretty horrifically bad. It's almost like it he spent so much time prettying up the words that he almost completely ignored the content of the book. Half the time it's so convoluted you can barely care to wonder what on earth he's going on about. I have a feeling I've made my comments in this forum before about this book, but I guess it won't kill anyone to read them again. I read an interview with Harrison once and he basically was bemoaning the fact that the he has plently of good books that are out of print and one of the few that actually was in print he was embarrassed to have even published, let alone have it touted in a "Masterwork" series, he thought it was that bad. After hearing that I didn't feel as bad about thinking it was terrible. It was obvious in reading it that he was a fine writer, that much mananged to shine through an otherwise awful book.

  11. #71
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    So it's definitely not on a level with his Viriconium tales? What sf has he written that might be better? I really have been wanting to explore the sf side of his writing.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by knivesout
    So it's definitely not on a level with his Viriconium tales? What sf has he written that might be better? I really have been wanting to explore the sf side of his writing.
    I've had Viriconium on the shelf for some time and haven't read it. Suffice to say that if it's as dull as TCD, I shall probably put it down after 40 pages.

    Quote Originally Posted by emohawk
    My sentiments more or less exactly. Imho this is without hesitation the single worst edition to Gollancz' SF Masterworks series. Clearly Harrison has few peers when it comes to beautiful prose, but the story itself is pretty horrifically bad. It's almost like it he spent so much time prettying up the words that he almost completely ignored the content of the book. Half the time it's so convoluted you can barely care to wonder what on earth he's going on about. I have a feeling I've made my comments in this forum before about this book, but I guess it won't kill anyone to read them again. I read an interview with Harrison once and he basically was bemoaning the fact that the he has plently of good books that are out of print and one of the few that actually was in print he was embarrassed to have even published, let alone have it touted in a "Masterwork" series, he thought it was that bad. After hearing that I didn't feel as bad about thinking it was terrible. It was obvious in reading it that he was a fine writer, that much mananged to shine through an otherwise awful book.
    I agree completely.

  13. #73
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    I'd recommend Joan Slonczewski's Brain Plague and A Door Into Ocean , they both have wonderful ideas and are well written. Plus, there isn't alot of techno-jargon in them, so they are very accesible to average reader.

    Julie E Czerneda's A Thousand Words for Stranger and The Beholder's Eye are fantastic space operas with some unique aliens.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by emohawk
    Clearly Harrison has few peers when it comes to beautiful prose, but the story itself is pretty horrifically bad. It's almost like it he spent so much time prettying up the words that he almost completely ignored the content of the book. Half the time it's so convoluted you can barely care to wonder what on earth he's going on about. ...
    I don't know. I'd like to respectfully disagree, I didn't find the plot convoluted in the slightest. While the prose and descriptive elements might have been pushed to the forefront at times, I thought that this added to the novel as a whole. Too often (especially in SF) authors neglect character and style in favor of plot, so I was glad to see something different in this book. Rather than simply telling the reader what was going on, it felt more like Harrison was showing you what happened. Instead of spelling out the plot detail by detail, it was given implicitly through the other elements of the story. Granted, this probably led to a plot that was more obscured than most, but I wouldn't call it horrifically bad.

    As for the Viriconium novels, I actually found them rather bland...while I thought the prose was on par with TCD, I thought that they could have benefitted from a little more in-depth treatment of the characters, world, etc...

  15. #75
    "A Gift to mankind!!
    Reviewer: virtuagodpt from Porto Portugal
    I just can't believe how "underground" and unnotice this novel is!! It is one of the most imaginative and beautifully written books i've ever read and one my favourites now... If you like SF i urge you to read this book!! A true masterpiece... a calm and beautiful read!! Sometimes Mann's imagination is so intense you feel like Pe-Ellia really exists somewhere in the universe and that this man is not writing a novel but telling a story of a specis that he has actually seen!! Most times i feel that the sentence in the cover of a book overreactes to make books sell, sometimes it is the true but i never felt that it understimates how powerfull the novel is... The Sunday Times had the previlege by only saying that this novel is "Marvellous... told with relish, wit and considerable originality"... there is much more to this outstanding novel. A alien society not like any other, the ideas, the imagination so vivid... A must to any SF lover and specially people that tend to like a great world buiding!! I rank this one up there next to Dune (yes, it is that great)!!"


    If you're asking what book is this than i think you should read it... it is "The Eye of the Queen" by Phillip Mann and this was my review over at AmazonUK and yes i really love this book... my second favourite... only surpassed by the intense fellings i had when reading "Flowers for Algernon"... another book i urge everyone to read!!

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