1. Flanders
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    Flanders Member

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    Sci-Fi book recommendations

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Flanders, Dec 21, 2011.

    Hi folks :)


    I would like you to tell me which Sci-Fi or fantasy novel is worth reading.

    I'm expanding my small library soon, and would love to have more SF novels/series,I only have 30 books at the moment..

    Thanks,Frank
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Get Joe Haldeman's classic, The Forever War.
     
  3. Allan Paas
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    Allan Paas Contributing Member

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    Coldfire Trilogy. It's sci-fi/fantasy, and it's very original.
     
  4. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    What do you want? SF is as diverse a field as there is in literature.

    If you want recent SF, look no further than The Windup Girl by Paulo Bacigalupi, and The City And The City by China Mieville. They shared the Hugo award for best novel in 2010. There are also novels by Lavie Tidhar such as Osama and The Bookman.

    Looking back a little, you could try reading some Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. I've personally never taken to Robert A. Heinlein, but you may find his work to your tastes. Essential reading includes Dune by Frank Herbert, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick and The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin.

    Going right back, you should read some of Jules Verne's work, and from there move on to Wells' work in bringing SF into the English language. The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds in particular are absolute classics, which were the original works of English SF.
     
  5. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    What do you want? SF is as diverse a field as there is in literature.

    If you want recent SF, look no further than The Windup Girl by Paulo Bacigalupi, and The City And The City by China Mieville. They shared the Hugo award for best novel in 2010. There are also novels by Lavie Tidhar such as Osama and The Bookman.

    Looking back a little, you could try reading some Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. I've personally never taken to Robert A. Heinlein, but you may find his work to your tastes. Essential reading includes Dune by Frank Herbert, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick and The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin.

    Going right back, you should read some of Jules Verne's work, and from there move on to Wells' work in bringing SF into the English language. The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds in particular are absolute classics, which were the original works of English SF.
     
  6. RW James
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    RW James New Member

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    I was also going to suggest Forever War, but really you can't go wrong with just about any Hugo award winner.

    I'll probably lose my Sci Fi card for saying this, but I really think Dune is over-rated. I started it twice, finally finished it, and while I don't regret the time spent on it, I wouldn't do it again.

    Clarke and Asimov are must reads if you want a solid foundation of Sci Fi. (Reminds me - the Foundation Trilogy is another long piece I would rate higher than Dune, but wouldn't read again.)

    And Heinlein, another classic writer. Forever War was written in response to his Starship Troopers. And if you like that genre - Enemy Mine.

    Fantasy - The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If you're not too familiar with science fiction, I agree that the "Big Three", meaning Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and Robert A. Heinlein, is the place to start. Especially Heinlein's "Future History" stories. If you can find a copy of "The Past Through Tomorrow", it's a great place to start. Also, Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress".

    Asimov is very intellectual. His Foundation Trilogy is important, but there isn't much action in it.

    Clarke was probably the finest writer of the three, and he tended to dreamy visions of the future. "Childhood's End" is a classic of his.

    Read those guys. Then read everybody else.
     
  8. Makeshift
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    Makeshift Active Member

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    You can't go wrong with Arthur C. Clarke: Childhood's End, The Songs of Distand Earth, 2001: Space Odyssey. From Heinlein I would recommend The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. There's also a Finnish writer named Risto Isomäki, whom I've lately grown fond of. He writes sort of sci-fi thrillers, usually with some sort of environmental theme. Not sure if he's been translated to English though. For a sort of proto-scifi, read Voltaire's Micromegas(published in 1752). Really short, also fascinating, intelligent and satirical, not really suitable if you seek hard realism, but I guess it sort of counts as it does contain aliens and space travel.
     
  9. adrenaline7
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    adrenaline7 Member

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    Most of Joe Haldeman's are fantastic. Forever Peace and Camoflage are also great stories, alongside The Forever War. I'd also suggest Neuromancer by William Gibson, which is the definitive cyberpunk novel. Orson Scott Card also has some decent stories, but I find him a little preachy at time.

    On a side note, I've been looking through Heinlein's Stranger In A Strange Land, about up to the fifth chapter, and I'm still reading it. What's everyone else's view on this book? Mind you, I have the republished unedited version, the one with like ~240,000 words or so.
     
  10. Pea
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    Pea super pea!

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    Anything by Peter F. Hamilton. The Night's Dawn Trilogy, The Commonwealth Saga, and the The Void Trilogy.
     
  11. Kazinsal
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    George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is a great one to have in the collection, as is Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, as mentioned above. If you're feeling particularly lighthearted, check out some of Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. Always good for a laugh.
     
  12. Flanders
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    Flanders Member

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    I actually just finished The Commonwealth saga....


    Thanks for all your suggestions :cool:
     
  13. Masterforger
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    Masterforger Member

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    Well, A Fire Upon the Deep is good, Hunger Games a must, that's all I can think of
     
  14. RW James
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    I read it many, many years ago - probably the edited version - and I loved it. I remember thinking that it was hard to believe it was written by a career soldier.
     
  15. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    I forgot to mention the Culture series by Iain M. Banks. That's always worth a read if you like your space opera.
     
  16. Slappydappy
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    The best science fiction books I've ever read are:

    Hyperion
    Starship Troopers
    The Forever War
    Foundation
    Lord of Light
    Snow Crash

    And to a lesser extent:

    Dune
    Sirens of Titan
    Childhood's End
    Rendezvous with Rama
    The Demolished Man
    A Canticle for Leibowitz
    The Stars My Destination
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
     
  17. ClusterChuck
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    ClusterChuck Senior Member

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    If you go down the Asimov road, let me suggest:

    The Gods Themselves
    Foundation Trilogy
    Gold
    Magic
    Nightfall
    Lucky Starr series

    That'll cover the spectrum on Asimov.

    Also, Douglas Adams belongs in every scifi collection.
     
  18. Lightman
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    Lightman Active Member

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    Anything by Phillip K. Dick.

    Asimov is enjoyable and was a great storyteller, but technically as a writer he was pretty lacking.
     
  19. adrenaline7
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    adrenaline7 Member

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    I found that Asimov wrote more like a scientist because that's what he was. Don't get me wrong, I love his work too, and I don't think he was writing for art's sake; it was his ideas that people wanted to read, not so much his style.
     
  20. ClusterChuck
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    ClusterChuck Senior Member

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    Agreed.

    The same could be said for Vernes. Wooden static characters, yes, but they went to the center of the earth and the moon!
     
  21. seratone
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    seratone New Member

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    Ender series and also the Shadow series (both Orson Scott Card)

    also Terry Goodkind's Sword of truth series
     
  22. astroannie
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    astroannie Member

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    Anything by Lois McMaster Bujold. My favorite is "Cordelia's Honor" but among my friends I'm in a minority.

    "Warrior's Apprentice" is where they usually tell people to start.
     
  23. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was never really interested in science fiction until I read The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. So I recommend that.
     
  24. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Sword of Truth books are not very good, imo.

    There's a lot better on this list I'd go with before that (including the Ender books, which are good).
     
  25. adrenaline7
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    adrenaline7 Member

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    As much as I love Ender's Gameand Speaker of the Dead, I've been struggling through Xenocide. I feel it's so preachy and filled with banality. I believe Card could have reduced the word count by half and still have the same amount of story. He repeats himself too often and seems to take the longest way around to explain something. At least I'm almost finished with it, and I hope Children of the Mind fairs a bit better than this. And a side note: how would you compare the Shadow seires with the Ender series? Haven't read the Shadow series yet, but will try when time and money are available.

    I have a few more other books in my stash I've been wanting to read for ages, like Blood Music by Greg Bear, Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke (I can't believe I still haven't read anything by him yet) and some short stories by Ray Bradbury.

    Also, if you're a hard enough reader and can take translations from European writers, try some Stanislaw Lem. I have to admit, I struggled with reading some stories. The Cyberiad tales are an awesome twist on robot stories, and other works like Return From the Stars and Peace on Earth have some really interesting things, some good food-for-though.
     

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