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Great Sci-Fi Novels

post #1 of 107
Thread Starter 
So I've never been much into science fiction/fantasy, and the majority of my reading has historic fact/fiction, journalistic, or crime fiction, but I recently picked up an Isaac Asimov collection which included The Foundation Trilogy, which I really enjoyed. When I finished, I visited the local used bookstore (Cranbury Bookworm for those in Jersey, great place. Check it out!) and they have a great selection of sci-fi, so I picked up Rendezvous With Rama by Clark, The Genesis Machine, and Code of the Lifemaker by James Hogan for a buck a piece.

So I decided to read COTL, and wow, this novel is really good. I love the philosophical/theological subtext, and its pretty damn entertaining too.

I know a lot of you out there have a lot more knowledge about the genre, so based on these books I mentioned, what would you recommend?
post #2 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheShadows View Post
I know a lot of you out there have a lot more knowledge about the genre, so based on these books I mentioned, what would you recommend?
Anything from JG Ballard.
post #3 of 107
Thread Starter 
I actually have The Drowned World on a bookshelf somewhere, gotta find that.

Whats his best?
post #4 of 107
JG Ballard: His best is Empire of the Sun: Not SF , it is a semi-memoir of Ballard's experiences as a boy in Shanghi in WW II.

As far as SF goes, Ballard wrote a series of "disaster" novels in the 60's that are really good; Drowned World, Crystal World, and a series of short stories called The Atrocity Exhibition. Also check out Hello America

Others:

Philip K Dick: Man in the High Castle will be of interest if you like historical novles. Ubik and Valis are also must reads

Dune by Frank Herbert is a classic. Just tons of insights into humanity's need for religion and charismatic leaders, ecology, politics and how they all inter-relate. Hellstrom's Hive is also great.

Arthur C Clarke: Fountains of Paradise, Childhood's End

Harlan Ellison: more of a fantasy writer like Borges, but try Strange Wine or Deathbird stories.

Samuel Delany: Babel 17 Great exploration of how language shapes personality and the way we think.

Phil Jose Farmer: To your scattered Bodies go. Great combo of philosophy and action.

That's all I've got off the top of my head
post #5 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post
JG Ballard: His best is Empire of the Sun: Not SF , it is a semi-memoir of Ballard's experiences as a boy in Shanghi in WW II.

As far as SF goes, Ballard wrote a series of "disaster" novels in the 60's that are really good; Drowned World, Crystal World, and a series of short stories called The Atrocity Exhibition. Also check out Hello America
I borrowed Hello America from a local library. It was a blast. Before that I only read The day of creation. This last one isn't sci-fi per se. Give it a try anyway.

Crash
is hardcore sci-fi in the deep sense. Pick an edition with a prologue and there you will find some master class on modern sci-fi.
post #6 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feral Akodon View Post
Crash[/I] is hardcore sci-fi in the deep sense. Pick an edition with a prologue and there you will find some master class on modern sci-fi.
Thats where I've recognized the name from. That totally slipped my mind, and I listened to the Cronenberg commentary not long ago and made a mental note to find the novel. I blame alcohol.

Definitely going to search this one out. I love Cronenberg so thats an added bonus.
post #7 of 107
Vernor Vinge: A Deepness in the Sky and A Fire Upon the Deep.

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle: The Mote in God's Eye. (My favorite sf novel.)

They are harder sf than many of the authors you mentioned (except Clarke), but still worth a look. Also give Heinlein a try. Some people hate his libertarian bent, but he's very readable and rarely boring. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is a particular favorite of mine.
post #8 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by nekkerbee View Post
Vernor Vinge: A Deepness in the Sky and A Fire Upon the Deep.

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle: The Mote in God's Eye. (My favorite sf novel.)
Also give 'The Peace War' and 'Marooned in Real Time' from Vinge a try. They're both much easier reads than 'Fire' and 'Deepness.' And read Fire Upon the Deep before you read Deepness in the Sky.

And 'Mote in God's Eye' has a sequel entitled 'The Gripping Hand' which is quite good. And I haven't read it, but 'Lucifer's Hammer' is supposed to be another great Niven & Pournelle novel.

Also also: 'A Canticle for Leibowitz' by Walter Miller. Really great and interesting take on post-apocalyptic society.
post #9 of 107
I'm not sure someone who enjoyed the Foundation books would also enjoy Philip Dick and Harlan Ellison.

Dune is a wonderful tale of empire and human capabilities and thought and religion and politics, like he said. There's nothing wrong with the whole series, but it's easy enough to stop with God Emperor.

Niven with or without Pournelle is great fun. Anything that happens in Known Space is worth reading, especially Ringworld. 'Neutron Star' makes a good introduction.

David Brin. The Uplift universe is the most clever imagined universe I've read. I'd live there. Dolphins, galactic jihad, wheeled creatures, talking chimps, it's all there.

Ursula K. LeGuin's 'The Left of Darkness' gets reread a lot.

Neuromancer. The only cyberpunk novel you'll ever need to read.

John Varley's Eight Worlds stories have a lot going for them. He's got a whimsical, smart future going in those stories.

And of course, David Gerrold's 'The War Against The Chtorr', a first-person story about an large-scale ecological invasion of Earth, and the hero's a knob. I enjoyed these so much I ponied up to be a (dead) character in the next one. If it ever gets written. One of these years, I'm sure.

I would call all these authors light fare, nothing that would creep me out like Ellison or Donaldson would. Although I'm thinking it's time to read Stephen R. Donaldson's Gap books again after I'm through with A Song of Ice and Fire.
post #10 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fafhrd View Post
Also give 'The Peace War' and 'Marooned in Real Time' from Vinge a try. They're both much easier reads than 'Fire' and 'Deepness.' And read Fire Upon the Deep before you read Deepness in the Sky.

And 'Mote in God's Eye' has a sequel entitled 'The Gripping Hand' which is quite good. And I haven't read it, but 'Lucifer's Hammer' is supposed to be another great Niven & Pournelle novel.
I have Marooned in Real Time on my shelf, but haven't read it yet. And I would actually recommend reading Deepness before Fire (which is how I read it.) Though not written in that order, that's the order in which they take place, but more importantly the shift in scope and scale works better that way. I loved that the galaxy seems like such an empty, enormous place in Deepness, and was a bit taken aback at how busy and populated it is in Fire. But, that's just my opinion. I also liked Deepness more than Fire, though I really liked the group-mind animals in Fire. Great books, I'm smiling just remembering them.

As for Niven/Pournelle, I think there's a 3rd book in the Mote series, but I haven't read it. The Gripping Hand was good, but a bit of a letdown after the pure greatness of Mote. Again, my humble opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabass Inna Bun View Post
Ursula K. LeGuin's 'The Left of Darkness' gets reread a lot.
The Lathe of Heaven is also wonderful.
post #11 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fafhrd View Post
And I haven't read it, but 'Lucifer's Hammer' is supposed to be another great Niven & Pournelle novel.
It's fantastic. A damn shame we already got Armageddon and Deep Impact, because this is just begging for the cinematic treatment. Footfall is another good one by that team, an alien invasion story with genuinely alien aliens. Also, Legacy of Heorot, which is a sort of sci-fi version of Beowulf with colonists on a distant planet replacing Hrothgar and company.

Also, I haven't yet been let down by Alastair Reynolds, although he has a fairly grim view of the universe.

And if you liked the Foundation books, give Asimov's Robot Trilogy (The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, The Robots of Dawn) a try.
post #12 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post

And if you liked the Foundation books, give Asimov's Robot Trilogy (The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, The Robots of Dawn) a try.
The collection I have included along with The Foundation Trilogy, The Stars, Like Dust, The Naked Sun, and I, Robot. I'll definitely check them out soon, should they be read in any particular order?

Lots of great recommendations here. I just got back from raiding the used bookstore, picked up Lucifers Hammer, The Crystal World, 2001 and 2010, and The Lathe of Heaven for a grand total of $5 bucks.

I've read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Man in the High Castle, and A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick. Was always a fan of his, just never explored the genre much beyond that.
post #13 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheShadows View Post
The collection I have included along with The Foundation Trilogy, The Stars, Like Dust, The Naked Sun, and I, Robot. I'll definitely check them out soon, should they be read in any particular order?
The Stars Like Dust is the first part (although written second) of Asimov's Galactic Empire series, which are set in the Empire before the Foundation series. The books in this series aren't really connected, so reading this one on its own without reading the others won't make you miss much. The Naked Sun is the second book in his Robot series, and as such doesn't go into as much depth introducing its protagonsists as The Caves of Steel does. And I, Robot is a self-contained short story, so you can read that in any order.

Later in his career, Asimov started writing novels that connected the Robot, Empire and Foundation series together into one coherent universe. Although I'm not familiar with them, the fact that there are no robots mentioned in the Foundation series means there's probably some creative hoop-jumping.
post #14 of 107
Quote:
Later in his career, Asimov started writing novels that connected the Robot, Empire and Foundation series together into one coherent universe. Although I'm not familiar with them, the fact that there are no robots mentioned in the Foundation series means there's probably some creative hoop-jumping.
There is actually a simple explanation for it. In the Robot series, there were the Earth people and the Spacers, the people who had, hundreds of years before, colonized about 30 or so of the closer viable planets. The Spacers had come to be reliant on robots in their daily lives, and had grown decadent. At one time, Earth and the Spacers fought a war, which ended in a stalemate and resulted in long-standing animosity. The Earth people came to associate robots with the Spacers. Spacers=bad, robots=Spacer, robots=bad. So the people on Earth did not use robots. Now, due to their decadent culture, the Spacers had stopped exploring space and colonizing, AND their population dropped off due to dwindling reproduction rates. The Earth people eventually colonized other worlds, while the Spacers, along with the robots, declined and eventually fell into ruin. Over time, the other people forgot about the Spacers and robots, and thousands of years later, established the Galactic Empire. Over time, the Galactic Empire declined, and the Foundations were created to shorten the interim period between the predicted thousands of years of choas and the rise of the next Empire.
A couple suggestions:
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Leguin. More of a political treatise than a novel, but really, a fascinating examination of how an actual socialist society would work.
The Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson (Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars)
The hardest of hard sci-fi. Probably the most detailed and well-researched bit of speculative fiction on Mars colonization. Recommended only for people who can handle pages and pages of meticulously detailed landform descriptions. Hey, and for the troglydytes, it has a Space Elevator, an Antarctic ice shelf melting and flooding Earth, two revolutions, a constitutional convention, and, of course, sex scenes.
The Uplift Series by David Brin (Sundiver, Startide Rising, The Uplift War, Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore, Heaven's Reach) Space opera doesn't get any better than this.
post #15 of 107
Bradbury is an icon for a reason. Check out The Martian Chronicles. And if you haven't read it in high school, Fahrenheit 451.
post #16 of 107
Wait -- 15 posts and nobody's mentioned Hyperion? We fail.
post #17 of 107
Use Of Weapons by Iain M Banks could blow your mind, but is pretty taxing in places.
post #18 of 107
Yeah, for Banks I recommend starting off with something more space opera in style. "Consider Phlebas" or "Excession" would be perfect, though a case could be made for "The Player of Games" as well. His stuff is being reissued in the US with nice cover art right now too.

Banks is probably my favorite contemporary SF author, but I also dig the following guys:
John Scalzi (think classic era Heinlein tropes refracted through a modern, ironic lens)

Charles Stross (get "Accelerando", then come back and talk to us when you come down. Four words: uploaded, intelligent, space lobsters. Who are defecting from the KGB. It only gets weirder and more awesome from there)

Finally, given your penchant for historical fiction, I would be remiss not to mention Neal Stephenson. "Snow Crash" is almost required reading, but "Cryptonomicon" has a ton of WWII stuff in it, while his "Baroque Trilogy" takes place mostly in the age of Newton. A warning about Stephenson: hope you like chapter long digressions on topics that the author finds interesting and that may bear only tangential significance to the plot! Note: I love this about him. YMMV.
post #19 of 107
I really enjoyed The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein.
post #20 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
Wait -- 15 posts and nobody's mentioned Hyperion? We fail.
Hyperion not bad, but I liked his newer series Ilium and
Olympos. there just something about putting Shakespeare, Homer and Lovecraft together in one story.

I also like the The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson better then Snow Crash.


also Blood Music by Greg Bear. read both the short story and the novel, as they are both different


As far as Dune goes I only like the first book, the rest suck, Frank Herbert got some other books that are good, if you can find it the green brain is good.

Pandora's Star and Fallen Dragon Peter F. Hamilton

West of Eden and Stainless Steel Rat by harry harrison were fun read when I was in high school, but have not read them since so I can't really say how good they really are
post #21 of 107
I'd add that Harry Harrison's "To the Stars" trilogy is a really good read. Not a mind expanding experience but it is a lot of fun

Kudos to those who mentioned Hyperion and Blood Music
post #22 of 107
There's a lot of great recommendations in this thread, but I don't know how accessible many of them are for a newcomer to the Sci-Fi generation.

I'd recommend:

Alfred Bester's "The Stars My Destination" (a quasi-cyberpunk retelling of the Count of Monte Cristo) and The Demolished Man (the ONLY book I can ever recall in which the reader is tricked into becoming emotionally invested in a plot-point, then fooled along with the protagonist).

Jack Vance's "Adventure Planet", the two Cugel books of the Dying
Earth quadrilogy (best sci-fi antihero of all time?), and the Demon Princes quintology (incredible tale of revenge).

Gibson's Neuromancer: still a taut, brisk read.
post #23 of 107
I am glad that someone mentioned Stephenson already. While not traditionally Science Fiction, he is a fantastic author.

True, he does go on tangents, but his tangets are interesting and would appeal to probably just about anyone who reads this board.

Snow Crash is good, and the Baroque Cycle is fantastic, but Cryptonomicon is the essential Stephenson.

Also, I have to recommend Heinlein and Guin, as well as some of Clive Barker's short stories.
post #24 of 107
I reiterate Dune. One of my all-time favorite novels of any kind. It's deep, complex and rewarding.

Early Heinlein is great, but stay away from his later stuff. The early stuff occasionally dabbles in wrongheaded sociopolitical commentary, but it's tolerable. Towards the end of his life, he went completely off his nut.

Larry Niven's Ringworld is easy to recommend. Like a lot of hard SF, it's not heavy on plot or character, but the sheer invention of it is pretty dizzying.

If you can put memories of the Costner film behind you, David Brin's The Postman is an excellent novel. I also really liked Greg Bear's Moving Mars.

And depending on how liberally you apply the term "science fiction", A Clockwork Orange remains one of the greatest novels ever written, in my opinion. Try to find a version with the reinstated final chapter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlord
Gibson's Neuromancer: still a taut, brisk read.
And hugely influential. The effect that one novel had on the film and games industries' approaches to science fiction is impossible to overstate.
post #25 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlord View Post
I'd recommend:

Alfred Bester's "The Stars My Destination" (a quasi-cyberpunk retelling of the Count of Monte Cristo) and The Demolished Man (the ONLY book I can ever recall in which the reader is tricked into becoming emotionally invested in a plot-point, then being fooled along with the protagonist).

Jack Vance's "Adventure Planet", the two Cugel books of the Dying
Earth quadrilogy (best sci-fi antihero of all time?), and the Demon Princes quintology (incredible tale of revenge).
Seconded. Vance in particular is one of my faves, and if you like the Dying Earth books (of which the Cugel stories are the best - Eyes of the Overworld is my favorite fantasy novel) also check out the Lyonesse trilogy. It's fantasy rather than sf, but worth checking out.
post #26 of 107
I'm not a big reader, but I just finished Brave New World. It surprised me because unlike books that I imagined were similar (eg. 1984) it's not clear cut 'bad'. It encourages you to think about the society they have and it's pros and cons. It's also interesting to read writing from the 1930s, especially since many aspects don't feel dated at all.
post #27 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by eenin View Post

also Blood Music by Greg Bear. read both the short story and the novel, as they are both different

I'd also recommend 'Eon' (an 'alien' asteroid parks itself in Earth orbit -it's a bit 'Rama-ish' at the beginning but goes in unexpected directions), 'Forge of God' (my favorite 'destruction of the Earth' novel) and 'Anvil of Stars' (Where the children of Earth's survivors hunt down the planet-destroyers)(a third book is apparantly in the works)...all BRILLIANT science-fiction.
post #28 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mezz View Post
I am glad that someone mentioned Stephenson already. While not traditionally Science Fiction, he is a fantastic author.
His next novel (coming out in a few weeks) will be full blown Space Opera. Here's a sneak preview: http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/image...zonExcerpt.pdf

So glad that everytime a sf/fantasy literature thread is started at CHUD, it doesn't take too long to have Jack Vance mentioned. Makes me feel I move amongst good folk
post #29 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg David View Post
And hugely influential. The effect that one novel had on the film and games industries' approaches to science fiction is impossible to overstate.
Absolutely. Not reading Neuromancer shouldn't be an option for anyone interested in Sci Fi literature. It's among the most influential books of any genre.

I'd also like to add to the love for Dune (I wish I could unread everything post God Emperor though) and Dan Simmons' books. I only recently read Hyperion and I've been kicking myself for not doing it sooner.
post #30 of 107
On the subject of Greg Bear's 'Eon' some of you may be interested in this.
post #31 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham View Post
I'd also recommend 'Eon' (an 'alien' asteroid parks itself in Earth orbit -it's a bit 'Rama-ish' at the beginning but goes in unexpected directions), 'Forge of God' (my favorite 'destruction of the Earth' novel) and 'Anvil of Stars' (Where the children of Earth's survivors hunt down the planet-destroyers)(a third book is apparantly in the works)...all BRILLIANT science-fiction.
I didn't know about Eon, but I can attest that The Forge of God is great. I'll later on into Anvil of Stars.

Dune is by far my favorite book. It's Sci-Fi at it's best, doing so by putting the human element, even more literally in this one, on the forefront.

I heard about Stephenson, but this thread convinced me to go with Cryptonomicon.
post #32 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Savage View Post
I heard about Stephenson, but this thread convinced me to go with Cryptonomicon.
Excellent choice. It's probably my favorite book of the past 10 years. But, for the record, it's only barely sci-fi (and, actually, the elements that do cause many to call it sci-fi are probably closer to fantasy).

A more apt description for Cryptonomicon and the related Baroque Cycle is probably "math-fi."
post #33 of 107
Not a problem at all.
post #34 of 107
The Martian Chronicles is wonderful. I love Bradbury's writing.

Slaughter House Five and The Sirens of Titan are also excellent.
post #35 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
Wait -- 15 posts and nobody's mentioned Hyperion? We fail.
Just came here to say that! Dammit. And The Fall of Hyperion is a fantastic one as well that helps round out one of my favorite dulogies.

And "Lucifer's Hammer" is a good one, eh? Been sitting on my shelf for years now. Bought it on a whim and haven't cracked it.

The Night Watch series by Serge Lukyanenko (or however you spell it) is worth a read, too. Very quick.

Sort of sci-fi, but needs to be read:

Slaughterhouse Five
post #36 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Happenin View Post
The Night Watch series by Serge Lukyanenko (or however you spell it) is worth a read, too. Very quick.

Slaughterhouse Five
Have you read Final Watch? The fourth installment of the Night Watch series?
I've been trying to find a copy everywhere.
post #37 of 107
I've also got to give another shout-out for the Niven/Pournelle novel 'Footfall'.
We're invaded by aliens that look like baby-elephants!

Not 'high' SF by ANY means but an enjoyable ride!

Should also mention Fredrick Pohl's 'Heechee' saga that begins with 'Gateway'; fun late '70s stuff!!

From Wiki:
Gateway is a hollow asteroid, constructed by the Heechee, a long vanished alien race, as a spaceport. It was first discovered by an explorer on Venus, who found a small ship, fiddled with the controls and accidentally triggered its return (with him inside) to its home port, Gateway. Once there, he was unable to figure out how to get back, but before he committed suicide (he would have run out of supplies long before he could be rescued), he was able to signal Gateway's location to other humans.

The asteroid contains an irreplaceable treasure: nearly a thousand small starships abandoned there. Most still work, but using them is a dangerous gamble since the Heechee technology is so advanced, relative to Terran technology that the humans can only, with difficulty, decipher how the controls operate. The ships cannot be reverse engineered to find out how they are designed without destroying the guidance system. The controls for selecting a destination are eventually identified, but nobody knows where a particular setting will take the passengers or how long the trip will take. Once set, they cannot be changed in flight without fatal consequences. Most lead to useless places or into a situation fatal to the human explorers but a few lead to Heechee artifacts and habitable planets, and it is these which can make lucky explorers wealthy. Fortunately, the ships return automatically to Gateway. The vessels come in three standard sizes; Ones, Threes and Fives, of which some are armoured. After adding essential equipment and (hopefully) enough supplies, one, three or five people can cram themselves into the remaining space. Each ship is also equipped with a lander, to visit a planet or other object if one is found.
post #38 of 107
Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun quadrolgy/quintology deserves a shout out. Science fiction masquerading as fantasy, and Wolfe writes with a beautiful style that rivals Vance.

I just read Zelazny's Lord of Light earlier this year, pretty damn good. I know I'd pretend to be a god if I had the technology.
post #39 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix natalya View Post
Have you read Final Watch? The fourth installment of the Night Watch series?
I've been trying to find a copy everywhere.
As far as I know its not out in America. Which completely and utterly blows.

As far as Heinlein goes I consider Stranger in a Strange Land required reading.

Also Orson Scott Card's Ender series (and the Bean series) is amazing. Even though Card's been a bit of a douche recently, he tells a great story.
post #40 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Happenin View Post
And The Fall of Hyperion is a fantastic one as well that helps round out one of my favorite dulogies.
Have you read the 2 Endymion books? For my money they're just as rich and gripping as Hyperion and provide a good payoff.

Has anyone mentioned Clarke yet? The Rama series is definitely one of my favorites. I'd also recommend Card's Ender series. I haven't read the follow ups (Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon) but I heard they were bad.
post #41 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Happenin View Post
Just came here to say that! Dammit. And The Fall of Hyperion is a fantastic one as well that helps round out one of my favorite dulogies.
I think the first Hyperion book is a work of art. Fall of Hyperion is very good and does a bang up job of completing the story, it just isn't as "classic" as the first book. The follow-up Endymion series is very good too but not as good as the two Hyperion books.

I think that Simmons' Ilium/Olympus is just as good as Hyperion. As eenin stated below that two book series is so well layered and complex in its mingling of genres, history and fantasy/sci-fi it boggles the mind. Pick these two up if you haven't.
post #42 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudgeSmails View Post
I think the first Hyperion book is a work of art. Fall of Hyperion is very good and does a bang up job of completing the story, it just isn't as "classic" as the first book. The follow-up Endymion series is very good too but not as good as the two Hyperion books.

I think that Simmons' Ilium/Olympus is just as good as Hyperion. As eenin stated below that two book series is so well layered and complex in its mingling of genres, history and fantasy/sci-fi it boggles the mind. Pick these two up if you haven't.

I think I need to read John Carpenter of Mars book, and I think I may be missing some point in Ilium/Olympus because of it.

Also I liked Red Thunder by John Varley. It is a story of what to do if one day you found away to overcome the laws of thermodynamics.
post #43 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by eenin View Post
I think I need to read John Carpenter of Mars book, and I think I may be missing some point in Ilium/Olympus because of it.
I 'think' you mean John Carter...unless Simmons incorperated 'Ghosts of Mars' into his novel .
post #44 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Witzel View Post
As far as I know its not out in America. Which completely and utterly blows.

As far as Heinlein goes I consider Stranger in a Strange Land required reading.

Also Orson Scott Card's Ender series (and the Bean series) is amazing. Even though Card's been a bit of a douche recently, he tells a great story.
I found Stranger in a Strange Land exceptionally boring and pointless. Also, misogynist and homophobic.
post #45 of 107
Brian Aldiss's Hellicona Trilogy is epic SF at it's best...it tracks a sociaty through a cycle of Ice Ages and "summers" on an alien planet.

Harry Harrison's "Eden" trilogy: dinosaurs don't die off but eveolve into an intelligent species...and so does the Human race!

Stanislaw Lem: Solaris, Fiasco and Memoirs found in a bathtub.
post #46 of 107
Pohl's Gateway is a fantastic read! Check out Robert Charles Wilson's Spin. I'd write up (copy and paste) a synopsis, but I honestly believe that the big ideas and twists in this book pack more of a punch if you don't read anything about it.
post #47 of 107
She may be considered more fantasy then SF but Connie Willis is amazing. Particularly Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog.
post #48 of 107
ten great books most of them already mentioned
Neuromancer William Gibson
The Sword of the Lictor Gene Wolfe
Little, Big John Crowley
The Forever War Joe Haldeman
Dune Frank Herbert
The Dispossessed Ursula K. Le Guin
Ringworld Larry Niven
Stranger in a Strange Land Robert A. Heinlein Gateway Frederik Pohl
The Left Hand of Darkness Ursula K. Le Guin


also i would highly recommend
by Alastair Reynolds
Chasm City
Revelation Space

By Peter Hamiltion
The Nights Dawn Trilogy

by Neal Asher
Line Of Polity
Gridlinked

by Stephen Donaldson
The Gap series

by Ken Macleod
Newtons Wake
(loved the whole idea of combat archeology)


and nearly everything by Iain m Banks
post #49 of 107
I didn't like "The Nights Dawn Trilogy" By Peter Hamiltion, I didn't even finish it, but I like most of his other stuff.
post #50 of 107
Recommendations (including personal top-10)

Of Men & Monsters - William Tenn.
Tik-Tok - John Sladek
Roderik Series - John Sladek
Helliconia Series - Brian Aldiss
Non-Stop - Brian Aldiss
Hothouse - Brian Aldiss
Report on Probability A - Brian Aldiss
Neuromancer (and the rest of the Sprawl series) - William Gibson (1)
Fugue For a Darkening Island - Christopher Priest
The Inverted World - Christopher Priest
The Space Machine - Christopher Priest
A Dream of Wessex - Christopher Priest
The Dream Archipelago - Christopher Priest (6)
The Affirmation - Christopher Priest
The Glamour - Christopher Priest
The Prestige - Christopher Priest
The Extremes - Christopher Priest
The Separation - Christopher Priest
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K. Dick
Martian Time Slip - Philip K. Dick
A Scanner Darkly - Philip K. Dick
Ubik - Philip K. Dick
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - Philip K. Dick (8)
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson
The Shrinking Man - Richard Matheson (7)
Consider Phlebas - Iain M. Banks
Use of Weapons - Iain M. Banks
The Player of Games - Iain M. Banks
Excession - Iain M. Banks
Look to Windward - Iain M. Banks
Ice - Anna Kavan
The Sheep Look Up - John Brunner
Stand on Zanzibar - John Brunner
Roger Zelazny - Lord of Light
Dying Inside - Robert Silverberg
The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg
Man Plus - Fred Pohl
Gateway - Fred Pohl
The Space Merchants - Pohl & Kornbluth
The Book of the New Sun - Gene Wolfe (9)
The Fifth Head of Cerberus - Gene Wolfe (10)
Roadside Picnic - Arkady & Boris Strugatsky (2)
Grass - Sheri S. Tepper
The Invisible Man - H.G. Wells
The Time Machine - H.G. Wells
The War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells
The Island of Dr. Moreau - H.G. Wells (3)
Earth Abides - George R. Stewart
Tiger! Tiger! (or The Stars My Destination) - Alfred Bester
The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester
The Dispossessed - Ursula Le Guin
The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula Le Guin (4)
What Mad Universe? - Fredric Brown
Crash - J.G. Ballard
High Rise - J.G. Ballard (5)
The Drowned World - J.G. Ballard
The Crystal World - J.G. Ballard
The Drought - J.G. Ballard
The City & The Stars - Arthur C. Clarke
Rendezvous With Rama - Arthur C. Clarke
The Fountains of Paradise - Arthur C. Clarke
2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke & Stanley Kubrick
The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham
Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
Timescape - Greg Benford
A Case of Conscience - James Blish
Cities in Flight - James Blish
Emphyrio - Jack Vance
Star Maker - Olaf Stapledon
Light - M. John Harrison
Nova Swing - M. John Harrison
A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller
The Forever War - Joe Haldeman
The Rediscovery of Man - Cordwainer Smith
Mockingbird - Walter Tevis
Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace
The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy (series) - Douglas Adams
Life During Wartime - Lucius Shephard
The Nights Dawn Trilogy - Peter F. Hamilton
Flatland - Edwin A. Abbott
I, Robot - Isaac Asimov
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Solaris - Stanislaw Lem
The Cyberiad - Stanislaw Lem
Fiasco - Stanislaw Lem
The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury
Pavane - Keith Roberts
Vurt - Geoff Noon (could be classified as Fantasy)
Pollen - Geoff Noon (ditto).

Books I've struggled to get into:

Babel 17 by Sam Delany (too stodgy)
Dhalgren by Sam Delany (unreadable)
Rollback by Robert Sawyer (writing)
The Child Garden - Geoff Ryman (too stodgy).
The Foundation Series - Asimov (writing)
The Centauri Device - M. John Harrison (verbose).
Valis - Philip K. Dick (Dick at his nuttiest)
The World of Null-A - A.E. van Vogt (impenetrable)
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