1. ARDD
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    ARDD Member

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    Any recommendations for good sci fi books?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by ARDD, Apr 24, 2013.

    I'm an avid fan of sci fi books and have read a good few, some good some bad, far too many to list here. Anyway I'm always looking for more, so I would be very interested in any ideas.
     
  2. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    I'm about to read Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief - apparently it's meant to be pretty brilliant. If you don't mind a long-running series and a bit of fantasy in your sci-fi, then Anne McCaffrey's Pern series would be good for you: it slowly develops over time and you get to know how all these events came to be. If you're after an epic, then Arthur C. Clarke's Rama series, beginning with Rendezvous with Rama, would be a good choice for you.

    Hope I helped. :)
     
  3. Quille
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    Quille Senior Member

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    If you're looking for more of scientific background, as opposed to fantasy:

    Iain M. Banks Culture series (all stand alones but set in the same universe)
    Tad Williams VR series Otherworld (4 books)
    Alastair Reynolds' books set in Revelation Space
    China Mieville is always intriguing
    Robert J Sawyer Triggers
    Randolph Lalonde's Spinward Fringe series (Smashwords)
    Hugh Howey's Wool series (Kindle)
     
  4. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    Anything by Iain M Banks. Inversions is my favourite, but I've yet to read one I didn't like.
     
  5. Anthony Martin
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    Anthony Martin Active Member

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    Kurt Vonnegut
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

    Frank Herbert's Dune. (Go ahead and utter the word "sci-fi" even if you haven't read it. Bother with the sequels only if you must.)

    Almost anything by Arthur C. Clarke.

    Somebody should mention Olaf Stapledon.

    Somebody should also mention E.E. "Doc" Smith, for those who like space opera. Check out the Lensman series.

    Somebody else should mention David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus. Weird but cool early science-fantasy.
     
  7. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    And it would be really cool if some awesome dude would post a few links to some great SF works that we all could read for free...! Now that'd be pretty bitchin.

    War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells
    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/36


    1984, by George Orwell
    http://www.george-orwell.org/1984


    A few from Philup K. Dick
    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/33399


    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson
    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/42


    Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/84


    Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne
    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/164


    Two from Kurt Vonnegut
    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/9812


    Two by Samuel R. Delany.
    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/41419


    Five by Frederik Pohl.
    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/25413

    .
     
  8. Quille
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    Quille Senior Member

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    Thanks Nee - there's some great stuff there.
     
  9. Ian J.
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    Ian J. Active Member

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    +1 for Iain M. Banks (I particularly like Feersum Endjinn, but it's not a Culture novel)

    +1 for Alastair Reynolds

    +1 for Herbert's Dune (and its five sequels written by him, but I can't comment and personally wouldn't bother with the recent stuff by his son(?) and co-authors)

    Also if you like robots anything by Asimov, but don't forget his Foundation books either.

    While McCaffrey's Pern books are arguably sci-fi, they have a leaning that feels more like fantasy at times, so may not suit. I liked them, in the main. If you do ever read them stop after 'All the Weyrs of Pern' though, then only bother with 'Masterharper of Pern' after that. The rest just show that McCaffrey was being asked by her publisher to keep going, her heart clearly wasn't in them.
     
  10. -NM-
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    -NM- Active Member

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    + 2 for Alastair Reynolds

    - 1 for Iain M Banks - Can't get into his books; find them very difficult to read and just not gripping at all. I've read CONsider Phelebas all the way through, but that's the only one I've managed.

    Recently I read Childhood's End by Arthur C Clarke. It was pretty good. Not too difficult to read, quite light sci-fi (not full of technical terms and confusing jargon), so you could try that.
     
  11. squishytheduck
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    squishytheduck Senior Member

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    Ender's Game, yo!
     
  12. g_man526
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    g_man526 Member

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    If you haven't already sucked all the marrow out of Isaac Asimov's sci-fi catalogue, I suggest you do so immediately, for the sake of your own health and well-being.
     
  13. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Ow! You've named the one so-called "classic" of science fiction that I cannot abide!
     
  14. squishytheduck
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    squishytheduck Senior Member

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    Really? How come? I was surprised how much I liked it. The sequels are another story...
     
  15. jeepea
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    jeepea Member

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    I recently read David Brin's Earth and Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. Both are very well written and have engaging storylines. The technology references are a little dated, but actually hold up quite well considering they are 20+ years old.
     
  16. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think the premise is preposterous. I don't buy it for a minute. I know I'm supposed to suspend my disbelief, but I couldn't in this case. Maybe the writing was bad. Maybe the premise actually was preposterous.

    The Battle School is idiotic. You don't train small children by dumping them in a madhouse and making them fend for themselves. Card didn't describe a single instance in which a battle was led by an experienced adult instructor - it was always just kids against kids. Is that how you'd teach a kid to play chess? Sure, a kid could learn to play chess by playing against other inexperienced kids, but it would take about 100 times as long as proper adult instruction would.

    Another thing is, why why WHY is poor little Ender picked on so much? Everybody he's ever met bullies him except his sister. As I recall, not one of the so-called geniuses of the battle school, the older students, ever stood up for him. These sadistic cowards are supposed to save humanity?

    There's a lot more. I had a lot of problems with that story. Some of them involve spoilers, so I won't mention them here. But the ending left me angry - angry at Card for pulling such a cheap twist that pretty much nullifies everything that came before, and angry at the general science fiction fandom for celebrating this book so much.

    Arrgh.

    /threadjack
     
  17. cr8tivewriter
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    cr8tivewriter New Member

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    I was thinking the exact same book when I saw this thread. I think the movie is coming out the end of this year. Can't wait to see how it will play out.
     
  18. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Ignoring what L Ron Hubbard became, and don't ruin the experience by watching John Travolta's slaughtering the story in a movie, (or put the movie out of your mind if it's too late), "Battlefield Earth" is epic sci-fi, one of my favorite all time books.
     
  19. squishytheduck
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    squishytheduck Senior Member

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    Haha, ok fair enough, Minstrel. I hope you're not too upset though. Card's not worth your while:)
     
  20. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks, squishy!

    Okay, everybody! Back to normal!
     
  21. Jared Carter
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    Jared Carter Member

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    The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
    Dune
    Ender's game
    Jurassic Park
    The War of the Worlds
    Brave New World
    The Hunger Games (if that counts)
     
  22. Caramello Koala
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    Caramello Koala Member

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    I really enjoyed Ender's Game. I can see how it would be hard to like the book if you have been reading hard science fiction before it, as you would be too used to a meticulous degree of detail and credibility to plot. You do have to suspend belief... I didn't expect anything from the book and I just had a lot of fun reading it.

    Some suggestions:

    Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
    Ender's Game / Ender's Shadow - Orson Scott Card
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K. Dick
    Neuromancer - William Gibson
    Stranger in a Strange Land / The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A. Heinlein
    Brave New World / Island - Aldous Huxley
    Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
    Foundation series - Isaac Asimov
    The Last Question - Isaac Asimov (GREAT short story! Google it, you can read it for free)
    Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C. Clarke
    Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
     
  23. TWErvin2
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    Armor by John Steakley
    The Posleen War Series by John Ringo
    The World War Series by Harry Turtledove
    Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny

    Those would top my list of SF recommendations.
     
  24. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. In five years, if you're single, call me. ;)

    ***

    Light by M. John Harrison
     
  25. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    Anything by Peter F. Hamilton and Jack McDevitt. Great stuff.

    Michael Crichton also counts a lot, even though his stuff is always just around the corner (which is still science fiction). He had a lot of success selling that form of science fiction to readers, and his books are enjoyable reads. Jurassic Park is obviously the winner for me in that realm.
     

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