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Author Topic: [BOOKS] SF Recommendation?  (Read 1093 times)
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Eco-Logic
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« on: October 28, 2011, 11:09:32 PM »

I started reading Fantasy/SF about 3 years ago I guess (original thread from 2008 here: http://gamingtrend.com/forums/off-topic/(books)-fantasy-recommendation/), and since then I've been hooked.  I just finished Robin Hobb's Farseer's Trilogy and plan on reading her other 2 trilogies around the same world, but would like to read something else before jumping back into another trilogy

For the most part I've stuck with Fantasy and now I'd like to read a true SF book, as in Space Opera (I guess that is what they're called).   

The SF Books I've read so far are below:

Perdido Street Station
Altered Carbon
Enders Game

I haven't even read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (I will eventually I guess). 

Thoughts? 

*rshetts2 recommended A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge, so that one is on my list to check out.  I also have a copy of the Dune and a copy of Lain Banks Culture series, the first one at least.
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2011, 01:42:36 AM »

Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2011, 02:00:54 AM »

Some of my favorites...

Mistborn trilogy - Brandon Sanderson (anything by him is great)
Hitchhikers...
Harry Dresden series - Jim Bitcher (Codex Elara series is good too)
Dune - (1st 3 or so books are best, then it gets weirder)
The Belgariad - David Eddings
Saga of the Seven Suns series - Kevin J Anderson
Drizzt series - RA Salvatore
Other good authors... Terry Brooks, Terry Pratchet, Raymond Feist, Robert Heinlein
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2011, 02:29:14 AM »

The ultimate in space opera is ee "doc" Smith's Lensmen series.

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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2011, 03:07:58 AM »

For classic SF, seek out anything by Ben Bova, Greg Bear, or Gregory Benford.
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2011, 03:20:33 AM »

Timothy Zahn

Conquerors Trilogy

Conquerors' Pride
Conquerors' Heritage
Conquerors' Legacy

In a space opera setting, a failed first contact leads to an interstellar war between humanity and an alien race, the Zhirrzh.
Meanwhile, other alien races try to take advantage of the conflict between the two powers.
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2011, 03:48:49 AM »

Armor - John Steakley (one of the absolute best SF books ever written IMHO a must read for any SF/Fantasy fan)
Neuromancer - William Gibson (Gibson basically created Cyberspace and Cyberpunk with Neuromancer, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overddrive)
Foundation Trilogy +1 - Isaac Asimov (Great piece of classic literature)
Saga of Pliocene Exile -Julian May
The Galactic Millieu Series -Julian May
Soothsayer/Oracle/Prophet - Mike Resnick (a light trilogy based in a universe Resnick created, he has some other books centered there as well)
Dreampark Trilogy -Larry Nivens/Steven Barnes

These are a few off the top of my head I will add more as I think of them.

As a side note if you've got a year or so to kill you can start reading the Erikson stuff, its fantasy not SF but excellent story telling. with all the books think its about 10,000 or so pages but there is no waiting.

Oh and Tawny Man is the follow up to Hobbs Farseer and is very good but avoid Soldiers Son Trilogy like the plague, very very bad.
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2011, 04:46:13 AM »

Since the OP liked Ender's Game he might want to check out "Old Man's War" to see it from the other end of the age spectrum. And its sequel "The Ghost Brigades".
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2011, 05:27:31 AM »

Just started reading the quarter share series and it's pretty good so far...

For some light Sci-Fi... I REALLY like Robert Asprin's Phule's Company series!!

Also, have you heard of Star Wars? i hear there are some good books about that.....

Oh, and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy... ninja
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2011, 06:44:12 AM »

Stainless Steel Rat
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2011, 07:32:52 AM »

Fantasy

the malazan series by Steven Erikson starting with Gardens of the Moon. Its a ten book series of totall awesomeness

Joe Abercrombe - The first law series starting with The Blade itself, then Before They are Hanged and lastly Last Arguments of Kings (Which is such an awesome title)

Science Fiction
Isaac Asimov, both his Robots and Empire series are pretty damn good, as is the Foundation series.

edit: armor, by John Steakly as mentioned up, is an awesome read as well.
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2011, 07:34:12 AM »

Quote from: Shinjin on October 29, 2011, 03:07:58 AM

For classic SF, seek out anything by Ben Bova, Greg Bear, or Gregory Benford.

Personally, I'd say those are an aquired taste - They are pretty hardcore scifi writers.
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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2011, 08:39:57 AM »

Another vote for Armor, a great book.

For "hard" SF I like Vernor Vinge's books  "A Fire upon the Deep" and "A Deepness in the Sky"

Peter Hamilton has some space opera series out there you may want to check out.

Dan Simmons Edymon (bad spelling but it will get you close) books are great as well.
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« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2011, 08:46:53 AM »

Starship Troopers by Heinlein was a fun, quick read.  I'll also recommend Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson;  it is cyberpunk but might be a good one off book between sereis.
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« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2011, 01:46:02 PM »

     Alastair Reynolds. His stuff can be a little dense, but I've always enjoyed him. "Chasm City" is a really good intro to him, as is The Prefect.

     Peter Hamilton take a really long while to get going on and his endings need work, but it's pretty enjoyable. His book "Fallen Dragon" is a nice stand-alone novel to start with.

Pohl's "Gateway" series is excellent. "Earth" by David Brin was super good. "The Alien Years" by Silverberg. "Dune" by Herbert. "The Forever War" by Haldeman was the first novel I read where the consequences of faster than light travel was treated accordingly."Stranger in a Strange Land" by Heinlein. It's a little hippy-ish, but really good. "Old Man's War" by Scalzi - he's the new Heinlein. "Altered Carbon" by Morgan was a really nice blend of hardboiled and sci-fi. "Hardwired" by Williams is one of the first cyberpunk novels I ever read and "Voice of the Whirlwind" by him was excellent as well. "Snow Crash" and "Cryptonomicon" by Stephenson are top reads. "The Stainless Steel Rat" by Harrison is a really fun read, a little bit of Ocean's Eleven in space. "Stand on Zanzibar" by Brunner is good, but I've always had a soft spot for "The Sheep Look Up" by him - it's particularly appropriate now and in the coming years. And read Alfred Bester - his stuff is a real gold standard for sci-fi.
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« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2011, 03:21:02 PM »

Dune - Single best novel of all time

Armor - While I did like this book, I did not love it like many here do

Old Man's War

Anything by Isac Asimov

Two of the books you have read have popular sequels:

The Scar - Like Armor I am not quite as much in love with China Mieville as many others, but most consider The Scar to be superior to Perdido, so if you liked Perdido give it a try.

Ender's Shadow - I love all the books in the Ender's series.  There are two lines of books that deal with the Ender universe, both different in tone.  The "Shadow" series deal with things that happen around the time of Ender's Game from the perspective of Bean.  The first one, Ender's Shadow, is especially good and a must read for fans of Ender IMO.  Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide take place in the future with Ender as a main character
Spoiler for Hiden:
(far in the future with time travel due to relativity and traveling near the speed of light)
and while still very good (at least the first two - not everyone loves them after that) they are quite different in tone and feel from the "Ender" books. (As you can see from my handle I obviously like them)

I am trying to catch up on a few "must reads" in SF now myself.  I have not read Hitchhikers but it is on my self now and will be one of the next books I read.  I am currently reading Brave New World.  I need a small break from fantasy right now. I just finished reading the Malazon series, and in not too much longer I plan to read the entire Wheel of Time series (have not read any of the Sanderson Wheel of Time books yet - when you are in the mood for more fantasy, anything by Brandon Sanderson is great, I still think Elantris is his best)

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« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2011, 04:42:03 PM »

Forgot to mention another Orson Scott Card book I really like that I do not hear mentioned often:

Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus - In the future there is an orginization that can watch the past and record history.  Probably my 3rd favorite Card book behind Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow. My brother who is not really into SF really liked this book as well.
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« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2011, 06:43:37 PM »

A couple of recommendations:

Fantasy: the Thomas Covenant books (surprised it hasn't come up yet).

SciFi: the Hyperion/Endymion series.
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« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2011, 07:59:04 PM »

Brin's first uplift series is really good.  Starts with Sundiver, then Startide Rising, and concludes with The Uplift War.

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« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2011, 05:06:16 AM »

Quote from: Pyperkub on October 29, 2011, 07:59:04 PM

Brin's first uplift series is really good.  Starts with Sundiver, then Startide Rising, and concludes with The Uplift War.

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I really liked Brins Uplift series, very good reading.  Another one of Brins excellent works was The Postman.  Dont judge it by the movie, the book was quite good.

Someone recommended Donaldson's Thomas Covenant series.  It is a very good read.  It is also quite polarizing and definitely not for everyone.

Another recommendation Ill agree with,  if you like something a bit lighter in vein,  The Stainless Steel Rat series is a lot of fun. 
  I can always wholehearted recommend the original Foundation Trilogy by Asimov 
Another master not mentioned here ( unless I missed it ) is Arthur C. Clark.  Rendevous with Rama is fantastic, as is Childhoods End.
If you want the grandaddy of all space opera, read The Lensmen series by E.E. "Doc" Smith. 
I could go on forever with sci fi Ive read tons of it but Ill stop with one more author who deserves mention.   I am a huge fan of Roger Zelazny.  His Amber series is a lot of fun.  Also, Lord of Light is one of my all time favorites. 
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« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2011, 02:57:20 PM »

For sci-fi, one of my favorites is the Chanur Saga by C.J. Cherryh.

Many of the recommendations I'd make are already mentioned, so I'll second Sage of the Pliocene Exiles by Julian May, and for a much lighter read, The Stainless Steel Rat series by Harry Harrison.


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« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2011, 03:16:15 PM »

I'd like to second Donaldson, that's a good recommendation! I always forget him for some reason. His sci-fi series is really good as well (I think it's called The Gap. The first book is "The Real Story")

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« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2011, 03:59:41 PM »

Quote from: rshetts2 on October 30, 2011, 05:06:16 AM

Someone recommended Donaldson's Thomas Covenant series.  It is a very good read.  It is also quite polarizing and definitely not for everyone.

I got about halfway through the first Thomas Covenant book and absolutely hated it.  I'm all for a good anti-hero, but that main character is one of the most distasteful characters I've ever read.  Definitely a huge, massive  thumbsdown thumbsdown from me.
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« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2011, 05:43:32 PM »

Quote from: WorkingMike on October 30, 2011, 03:16:15 PM

I'd like to second Donaldson, that's a good recommendation! I always forget him for some reason. His sci-fi series is really good as well (I think it's called The Gap. The first book is "The Real Story")



Those are some of my favorite books - Although, if you like Gratch comments, cant take it when people behave very very badly, don't read them. The main characters are one and all capable of the most henious acts...kinda like real human beings.
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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2011, 07:32:37 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on October 30, 2011, 05:43:32 PM

Quote from: WorkingMike on October 30, 2011, 03:16:15 PM

I'd like to second Donaldson, that's a good recommendation! I always forget him for some reason. His sci-fi series is really good as well (I think it's called The Gap. The first book is "The Real Story")



Those are some of my favorite books - Although, if you like Gratch comments, cant take it when people behave very very badly, don't read them. The main characters are one and all capable of the most henious acts...kinda like real human beings.
Yeah, there are almost no straight-up "good" characters in the Thomas Covenant series. I liked the middle trilogy less than the first trilogy. The final books, "Last Chronicles", after such a long hiatus, I've really enjoyed so far.
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« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2011, 12:33:30 AM »

lol  as I said,  the Thomas Covenant series is very polarizing.
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« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2011, 08:24:19 PM »

A thread on sci-fi book reccomendations and no one has mentioned Phillip K. Dick yet?  icon_surprised

Anything by Phillip K Dick. That's my pick for you!  nod
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« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2011, 12:46:03 AM »

Quote from: PR_GMR on October 31, 2011, 08:24:19 PM

A thread on sci-fi book reccomendations and no one has mentioned Phillip K. Dick yet?  icon_surprised

Anything by Phillip K Dick. That's my pick for you!  nod

Strongly second this.  Many of the past 20 years best sci-fi movies are based on Philip K. Dick novels and short stories.
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« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2011, 01:54:15 AM »

Also want to mention David Weber...can't believe no one has brought him up considering the way Space Opera has been thrown around smile  The Honor Harrington series is up to 12 books with the 13th coming soon (along with 5+ anthologies).  This is the series that pretty much defined the modern space opera.  Also, the Safehold series is excellent if you like your sci-fi mixed with revolution and massive book spanning non-space naval battles.

Also, any of the books by Harry Turtledove...lots of sci-fi series mixed with the best alternative histories series out.
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« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2011, 02:21:03 AM »

Quote from: ericb on November 01, 2011, 01:54:15 AM

Also want to mention David Weber...can't believe no one has brought him up considering the way Space Opera has been thrown around smile  The Honor Harrington series is up to 12 books with the 13th coming soon (along with 5+ anthologies).  This is the series that pretty much defined the modern space opera.  Also, the Safehold series is excellent if you like your sci-fi mixed with revolution and massive book spanning non-space naval battles.

Also, any of the books by Harry Turtledove...lots of sci-fi series mixed with the best alternative histories series out.

+1

I have a subscription with Audible.com and I'm currently listening to the series.  Great recommendation
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« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2011, 03:50:12 AM »

Yeah, on Turtledove I particularly enjoyed the Worldwar books, but others such as the great war series are good too. Just got overdose of him eventually...
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« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2011, 04:10:59 AM »

Quote from: Azhag on November 01, 2011, 03:50:12 AM

Yeah, on Turtledove I particularly enjoyed the Worldwar books, but others such as the great war series are good too. Just got overdose of him eventually...

it's been awhile since I followed Turtledove, so I looked up to see what his current series is, and I see it's alternate history WW2 again (what if WW2 had started in 1938), but he also has a new trilogy starting next month:  the Supervolcano Trilogy:

Quote
In the Los Angeles suburb San Atanasio, livid police lieutenant Colin Ferguson needs to get over the fact that his wife divorced him for a younger man. Bitter and ready to erupt in a meltdown, Colin decides to take a trip to Yellowstone Park. There he meets geologist Kelly Birnbaum who is studying unusual seismic activity when an earthquake hits. She tells him the possibility of a Supervolcano: Eruption is high.

They exchange phone numbers and email addresses; as Colin intends to call her as he wants to date her. Her predictions prove correct when she is flying away from the area: the sky is dark and particles mess up the engines and everything on the ground. All the nearby states are devastated with Wyoming obliterated and the rest of the lower 48 impacted. As the skies remain perpetually dark, while the romance between Colin and Kelly heats up, he keeps track of his three adult children spread across the country. Rob and his band members Squirt Frog and the Evolving Tadpoles are stranded in Northern Maine where gas is unavailable. Vanessa got out of Nevada only to stop at a Kansas FEMA relief camp which she calls is another world for hell. Perpetual student Marshall, on the verge of a degree after a couple of almost a decade at school, is trapped at home in Southern California.

Although life dramatically changes due to the impact of a Supervolcano: Eruption, this engaging tale is not a post apocalyptic thriller at least in the grand scale. Instead the entertaining story line focuses on a family before and after the blast so that the reader feels they have been in several states across the nation. With a nod to Krakatoa but on a continental scale rather than an island, known for his alternate history sagas, Harry Turtledove writes a fabulous near future survival tale (of the Ferguson family). 
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« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2011, 09:42:26 AM »

"True SF", eh?
Heinlein's Starship Troopers, then Steakley's Armor if you want more bugs.
Niven's Ringworld
Asimov, I'll recommend the Robot books instead of Foundation
I really dig Jack Vance (ie the Alaster books, or for hybrid SF/fantasy that heavily informed D&Ds magic system, the Tales of a Dying Earth books).
For something far less technological, you might enjoy Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars (free public domain download on Kindle).  This will also fully prepare you to be disappointed by the upcoming movie!
A couple of other random 'spaceshippy' books I've enjoyed recently:  Schroeder's Sun of Suns and Charles Sheffield's Between the Strokes of Night.
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« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2011, 10:05:47 AM »

Speaking of Mars smile  The Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson was pretty good and considered hard SF too (no whipping around the galaxy in FTL, etc)
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« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2011, 11:26:35 AM »

Quote from: ericb on November 01, 2011, 01:54:15 AM

Also want to mention David Weber...can't believe no one has brought him up considering the way Space Opera has been thrown around smile  The Honor Harrington series is up to 12 books with the 13th coming soon (along with 5+ anthologies).  This is the series that pretty much defined the modern space opera.  Also, the Safehold series is excellent if you like your sci-fi mixed with revolution and massive book spanning non-space naval battles.

Also, any of the books by Harry Turtledove...lots of sci-fi series mixed with the best alternative histories series out.

My favourite Weber books are his March Upcountry series.  A small elite, high-tech 25th century group of Marines end up stranded on a planet filed with Aliens with tech level at about 1600s.  They need to make their way across the planet take over a high-tech space port and get home.

It's basically a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court type story with a very strong military bent.
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