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BookGround >> Best or favourite sci-fi books?


8/22/11 10:57 AM
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antoniomontana
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Edited: 08/22/11 10:57 AM
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Any recommendations?



I haven't read Dune yet, so I will start with that. Any others you feel are not to be missed?
8/28/11 11:51 AM
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Ali
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Neuromancer by William Gibson (and the other books in that series, if you dig it).

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

Semiotext(e) SF (Compilation of short stories).
8/28/11 12:39 PM
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antoniomontana
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cheers
8/29/11 10:11 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 08/29/11 10:12 PM
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You're welcome, but don't stalk and kill me if you read and hate them.

Actually I don't know if Semiotext(e) SF is find-able any more. But maybe.

The "other books" -- there are a couple of short stories in Gibson's "Burning Chrome" that are related to (and kind of pre-quels to) the trilogy. The trilogy itself is Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive. (I like them all, but Neuromancer is really where it's at).

I feel like I should be able to list another dozen or so... but these are what's sticking with me at the moment. I used to read A LOT of SF, haven't for the past 10 or 15 years much.

I don't like what other Gibson I've read. I like some other Stephenson (Diamond Age would be another recommendation).

George Alec Effinger is great, too -- sort of some of the same themes as Gibson's trilogy, but in SUCH a different setting.
8/29/11 10:13 PM
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HardyJenns
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I like fantasy more than scifi, but have been trying to catch up on some classics myself lately

Just read "Ender's Game", I loved it

"Forever War" was interesting, not a bad read
9/1/11 10:47 PM
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PKH
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 Enders Game is a must read.  As for the aforementioned Necromance -- it's good, but doesn't stand the test of time.  When it first came out though, goddam! Snow Crash was awesome, and you'll learn a lot about ancient history as it makes a fuck load of references to it. 
9/3/11 6:14 AM
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Ali
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Edited: 09/03/11 6:40 AM
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PKH -  Enders Game is a must read.  As for the aforementioned Necromance -- it's good, but doesn't stand the test of time.  When it first came out though, goddam! Snow Crash was awesome, and you'll learn a lot about ancient history as it makes a fuck load of references to it. 


About taste there can be no dispute, I suppose. I think Neuromancer holds up. Dude who invented the word "cyberspace" wrote it on a typewriter. Didn't own a computer. (Not that that's evidence it holds up, just a suprising bit of trivia). I don't think Ender's Game held up at all. But I'm in the minority -- I didn't think it was that good in the first place.
9/3/11 2:43 PM
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PKH
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Ali - 
PKH -  Enders Game is a must read.  As for the aforementioned Necromance -- it's good, but doesn't stand the test of time.  When it first came out though, goddam! Snow Crash was awesome, and you'll learn a lot about ancient history as it makes a fuck load of references to it. 


About taste there can be no dispute, I suppose. I think Neuromancer holds up. Dude who invented the word "cyberspace" wrote it on a typewriter. Didn't own a computer. (Not that that's evidence it holds up, just a suprising bit of trivia). I don't think Ender's Game held up at all. But I'm in the minority -- I didn't think it was that good in the first place.
Really?  Why no like Ender?
 
9/3/11 2:55 PM
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Ali
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I really don't want to even try to talk someone out of liking "Ender's Game" so I'm loath to go into it much. To my ear, the writing is not very good, not very consistent in terms of character's voice. 6 year old sometimes talks like a 6 year old, sometimes talks like he's Spartacus.

But that's just one technical aspect of what is to me a real lack of characterization across the board. If you're all about plot-driven writing (and it can be exciting, for sure), this is less a concern. To me, his characters are not developed at all, very wooden, very prop-.

I think he's ok with world-building, even though it's not all *that* SF a world, either! That's not really a complaint. Except if you want a post-apocalyptic world with a well-developed main character, with a super smart child's voice, I'd recommend Russell Hoban's "Riddley Walker". That's what I think Ender's Game wishes it was. (That's a less "breezy" read, though, and maybe not a good substitute).

All that said, Ender's Game is entertaining enough... I just don't think it holds up as well as other favorites -- or don't think it's on that list.

I am happy to be wrong, in this as in all things purely opinion!
9/11/11 4:54 PM
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rorymcd
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"A Canticle for Leibowitz" was very different but I enjoyed it. I'm speculating, but this book seems like it could have influenced The Dark Tower, particularly The Gunslinger.

The Foundation series by Asimov was great.

I'll second "Forever War" really enjoyed that book.

"Beggars in Spain" was interesting as well. The premise is that in the future some humans have been genetically engineered so they don't sleep. This gives them huge advantages over the rest of mankind. It won't change your life, but its entertaining.
9/15/11 1:08 PM
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Willybone
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Dune
Diamond Age
Snowcrash
Dhalgren
Neuromancer
Count Zero


9/28/11 7:04 AM
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Darth_Vladar
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Forever war was a great book to read, so third that from me!

Are there any books of similar nature to that that are a decent read anyone?
9/28/11 10:28 PM
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rorymcd
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Darth, if you enjoyed Forever War, you should check out Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein (very different from the film). The tone of the novels are very different, but they were a fan of each others work and you'll recognize the similarities. Great read in its own right.

Outside the sci-fi genre, you might enjoy "Dispatches" by Michael Herr. Its a memoir of the Vietnam war (so is "Forever War" dressed up in sci-fi), and it has the same dark ironic tone.
9/28/11 11:58 PM
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MMA Translations
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I like William Gibson first and foremost.

Then, Harry Harrison, Douglas Adams,  Rudy Rucker...

But the two recent books that blew me away the most were from Daniel Suarez - Daemon and Freedom TM, though some call them technothrillers rather than SF, but he's an ex-hacker and computer consultant so he brings the tech the way it should be. I haven't been that happy with an SF novel since I read Neuromancer when it came out.

9/29/11 6:39 AM
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Dbulletproof
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The End of Eternity
Mockingbird
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
Ubik
I am Legend
Forever War

Check out the Gollancz (sp?) collection, they have a huge list of books which are all good reads.
9/29/11 9:10 AM
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Darth_Vladar
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rorymcd - Darth, if you enjoyed Forever War, you should check out Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein (very different from the film). The tone of the novels are very different, but they were a fan of each others work and you'll recognize the similarities. Great read in its own right.

Outside the sci-fi genre, you might enjoy "Dispatches" by Michael Herr. Its a memoir of the Vietnam war (so is "Forever War" dressed up in sci-fi), and it has the same dark ironic tone.


Brilliant, thanks Rory I will check them both out!
10/2/11 6:13 PM
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unfilter
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phillip k dick, stanislaw lem, jack vance, ursula k le guin; anything they ever wrote.

lesser extent: clifford simak, theodore sturgeon, harlan ellison; again pretty much whatever you can find.

heinlein: stranger in a strange land
10/2/11 9:46 PM
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Willybone
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unfilter - stanislaw lem
Dude is hilarious.
You would probably also enjoy Italo Calvino, who's got a similarly surreal, comic style.
10/2/11 9:51 PM
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Soup and Beer
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 There used to be a 30 page thread here on the subject.  The OP must have gotten banned though because it disappeared from my favorites.
10/2/11 11:45 PM
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unfilter
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Willybone - 
unfilter - stanislaw lem
Dude is hilarious.
You would probably also enjoy Italo Calvino, who's got a similarly surreal, comic style.


thanks man- i'm on it like a bonnet.
11/25/11 7:25 AM
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Pustak
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My current favorite SF author is Peter Watts. He writes hard sci fi with a pretty depressing angle, but he is so incredibly thought-provoking about it that it doesn't hurt as much as it otherwise might. He has a phd in marine biology, and bioscience really informs his work in very interesting ways. I am so used to reading SF by physicists and computer scientists that it's really refreshing to get a different slant on things.

One great thing about recommending Watts to people is that he makes all of his stuff, even published work, available for free on his website:

http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts.htm

Also from his website: "Watts' latest book, Blindsight (Tor 2006) might be best described as a literary first-contact novel exploring the nature and evolutionary significance of consciousness, with space vampires. Astonishingly, and against all expectations, it did not tank."

Another great writer not yet mentioned here is Vernor Vinge. Start off with "A Fire Upon The Deep" or "Stranded in Realtime".
1/15/12 6:32 PM
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Easytarget
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Neal Asher is quite good.

A few novels were more misses than hits, but they are heavy on action and short on over long names.

Start with Prador Moon.
1/16/12 11:24 PM
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Dbulletproof
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If you are into Sci-Fi, you need to check out Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein.

Those 3 are viewed as the trinity of Sci-Fi, sort of like the Bruce, Pryor and Carlin of comedy. Everyone since cites them as an influence.
10/5/12 11:53 AM
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comeacrossclean
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Richard K. Morgan-his sci-fi writing is good stuff. Altered Carbon, Thirteen, Market Forces et al. The fantasy writing is ok except for featuring a gay hero. Nothing wrong with dude being gay but I don't want to read about him fucking. Ignorance is bliss.

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