Help choosing a Sci/Fi book/series. Anything comparable to the "Foundation" series?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Pine, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Please give me some suggestions. I've read the complete Asimov "Foundation" series all the way through several times. It is my favorite series. I very much like this style-type and content. Any other series that would compare to the grand-master himself. F.Y.I., I have already read the Dune, Rama, 2001, Hyperion, Ender and Black Tower series also. Anyone read the "Robot" series by Asimov? Is it as good as the "Foundation" series?
     
  2. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    The two series - along with Asimov's "Empire" novels - are actually connected (and you can sorta kinda throw Nemesis in as well).
    Heinlein's "Future History" isn't bad (although I'm convinced that Heinlein went insane sometime between Starship Troopers and Stranger In A Strange Land); I also like Larry Niven's "Known Space", even if the Protectors are a bunch of hooey and he won't tell us who really built the Ringworld. Ben Bova's current "planets" series is only loosely tied together, but it's enjoyable adventure.
    Truthfully, though, I sort of burned out on the whole science-fiction series thing. Give me stories that are complete in one volume, like Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon The Deep (even if he did put out a prequel).
    Actually, I'm getting most of my sf out of magazines right now. I fully expect to be down to reading nothing longer than a single page in five years. [​IMG]
     
  3. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Jason, I guess I'm from the old school so "a single page in five years" is a scary thought indeed! I'm not burned out on the series format just yet. But,.....I could see that happening to me as well in the future. I don't guess you've ever read any of the "Robot" series?

    Thanks for the suggestions, I'll check these out!
     
  4. Duane_T

    Duane_T Stunt Coordinator

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    I read the Foundation series and Larry Niven's Ringworld series at about the same time - and I remember liking both (it was quite a while ago). My suggestion: try Ringworld (the series is three books I believe).

    Now I think I may have to read both over again, they should be like new material now.
     
  5. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  6. StephenK

    StephenK Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    First, do yourself a favor and GET THE WHOLE ROBOT SERIES!!!!! These comprise some of the best works in fiction, imo, let alone sci-fi. Plus, I'm surprised that you haven't already as you need the robot back story to fully enjoy Robots and Empire.

    Like you, I also thought Foundation, Dune, Rama and 2001 were good so I think our tastes are similar. I'll give you some suggestions, and most will be older as I haven't kept current in sci fi recently....

    1) Robot series (Asimov) just get them
    2) William Gibson's "Cyberpunk Trilogy", Neuromancer, Count Zero & Mona Lisa Overdrive, plus almost everything else he wrote, especially the short story collection, Burning Chrome.
    3) Well of Souls series 1-5, by Jack Chalker, he wrote some more recently, but they're not as good. It's really one book, Midnight at the Well of Souls, then another 2, then 2 more. So check out the first, then decide if you want to continue.
    4) The Ender series by Orson Scott Card, Again, justly famous.
    5) Lastly, one of my favorite series of all time, though more Fantasy than Scifi are the Chronciles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. Available as collected volumes.

    Oh yeah, again not really scifi, but the Dark Tower series by Stephen King is fantastic, (and unfinished).

    Rgds
    Steve
     
  7. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Duane: Thanks, I will.

    Jason: Good insight on the "Robot" series!
     
  8. Wayne Murphy

    Wayne Murphy Stunt Coordinator

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    You can also try Ben Bovas 'Red Mars' 'Green Mars' 'Blue Mars' amazingly enough about the terraforming of Mars.
    Or my all time favorite authoress(?) Anne McCaffrey.
    She has a few series out. Dragon Riders of Pern, which is sci-fi not fantasy. Then she has another series about people who have/develop psi abilities.
    Try this link and the click on series. http://www.annemccaffrey.org/
     
  9. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Stephen: Really?! In the past I've heard mixed reviews on the series so I never picked them up. Also, I mostly buy used PB's and the series is so long it's not an easy thing to get all the volumes.

    This is too weird, good call on the "Black Tower" series but I've already read it three times. It was great, but the last book was a little weak.

    Another good call on William Gibson. I forgot all about that guy! I read Neuromancer years ago and really enjoyed it!

    I've also read Card's "Ender" series, good stuff! I guess I should have made my opening post more complete!

    I'm not familiar with the other authors but I'll check them out!
     
  10. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Not really to the level of Foundation, but a pair that existed in a great universe are the Dan Simmons' "Hyperion."

    I'd second the "Well of Souls" series.
    I'll raise you Pohl's "Gateway" series, and Farmer's "Riverworld"

    Another enjoyable pair were Niven's "Integral Trees/Smoke Ring."
     
  11. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Wayne: I mistakenly thought all of McCaffrey's books were fantasy. The "Psi" series sounds promising! Thanks for the info and the link!
     
  12. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Jeff: Boy....I guess I need to get out more, there's another one I've read. I read the Hyperion Cantos about two years. You are right, it's was very enjoyable but not quite in the same class as the "Foundation" series, I.M.O. Thanks for the feedback!
     
  13. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  14. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Kim Stanley Robinson is the author of Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars.

    I agree with Jason's posts. The "Future History" series of Robert A. Heinlein short stories, novellas, and novels are essential reading for any well-rounded SF fan. And I would suggest Mr. Heinlein's insanity was in greatest evidence with his atrocious 1970 novel, I Will Fear No Evil (not part of the "Future History" canon). The celebrated, most influential SF author of them all recaptured some his form later on, but only sporadically (Friday, The Cat Who Could Walk Through Walls--Cat is part of the "Future History," as is the late author's final, and utterly dreadful novel, To Sail the Distant Sunset).
     
  15. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    I've always preferred Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun - great writing. Jack Vance's Star King series is awfully nice also.
     
  16. Mike D.

    Mike D. Stunt Coordinator

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    I was JUST thinking about the Foundation series this weekend. I found them in a box in my basement, and was thinking about re-reading them. It's been years! I was thinking about what order to read them in, and I can't remember. Should Prelude to Foundation be read before Forward the Foundation? Anyone want to suggest an order to read them in?
     
  17. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    When I discovered these I read Prelude first. That got me hooked. I then went through the whole Foundation series, then the Robot series.

    I really need to read Ringworld again, haven't touched that since I was a teen (ie a half lifetime ago).
     
  18. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    How about some British SF? I would highly recommend Iain Banks epic SF novels, inc Use of Weapons and Excession, huge mad bad space operas, if they were ever filmed you would never look at another Star Wars film again.[​IMG]
    Peter F.Hamilton's massive SF space opera "Nights Dawn Trilogy", starting with the 1000 page plus 'Reality Dysfunction' are also highly recommended.
     
  19. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Mike: I've read them three times in this order:

    Prelude to Foundation
    Foundation
    Foundation and Empire
    Second Foundation
    Foundation's Edge
    Foundation and Earth
    Forward the Foundation

    Prelude can also be read in the order written, which was next to last.
     
  20. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Speaking of making films, I always thought the Hyperion books would translate well to film, especially now with the CG work that could be used. Since I'm notoriously out of the loop with this stuff now, was there a third Hyperion novel?

    Also, how was the third Ringworld story? Rama III?

    I was enjoying Card's Earth series, but only have up to 3. Comments on the rest? (that was one of those "get to the end, to be continued" type deals)
     

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