Your Sci-Fi book recommendations?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Greg_Y, May 21, 2002.

  1. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 1999
    Messages:
    1,466
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've been looking for some good sci-fi books to read.
    Some stuff I've liked:
    · The Truth Machine and The First Immortal by James L. Halperin.
    · The Andromeda Strain
    · Contact -- Even though I think Sagan was better with non-fiction than fiction.
    · Some fantasy and some horror (S. King, The Exorcist, etc.)
    · The Star Wars novels written by Zahn (the Thrawn trilogy set after ROTJ.) Most of the other SW novels that I read weren't written well.
    Some stuff I haven't liked or probably won't like:
    · I'm not into fantasy too much. So I don't think I would go for the George H.H. Martin or Robert Jordan series.
    · The Celestine Prophecy was the worst book I ever tried to read.
    · I didn't care for Ender's Game.
    Basically I'm looking for sci-fi that leans towards hard sci-fi (i.e. somewhat technically believable) and is also well-written. Good plot, three-dimensional characters, etc.
    Can anyone recommend anything for me? Many thanks!
     
  2. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 1999
    Messages:
    1,557
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Hard SF - Look for anything by Larry Niven, alone or in combination with other authors (Pournelle, Barnes, etc.).
     
  3. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Try some of the early James P Hogan: Inherit the Stars (plus two sequels), Voyage From Yesteryear, Thrice Upon a Time. (Avoid the current James P Hogan [​IMG] )
    David Brin's Uplift Series is very good. The first book, Sundiver, may be out of print. But that doesn't matter because you can start right out with the superior Startide Rising without any problem.
    If you like some horror and King, then you might try the guy who heavily influenced his early work: HP Lovecraft. A lot of what Lovecraft wrote was horror combined with science fiction. Maybe not hard science fiction, but hey, I'll put in a mention of HPL whenever I can. I'd recommend the book The Best of HP Lovecraft.
     
  4. Jeff Rogers

    Jeff Rogers Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Childhood's End -- By Arthur Clarke
    Insane awesome [​IMG]
     
  5. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2000
    Messages:
    4,611
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'd recommend anything by Vernor Vinge. His more recent work, "A Fire Upon the Deep" and "A Deepness in the Sky" both won Hugos, and deservedly so. Epic hard science fiction without the soap. Also look for his "Peace War" and "Marooned in Realtime", which you may also find in a single volume as "Across Realtime".

    Brin is very good too...like Julie said, the Uplift series are good.

    There's always the classics like "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card, "Dune", Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash" (I love how almost everything in that book has come true! I laugh everytime I enter a fast food restaurant...and I can't wait until I get my first trillion dollar bill!).

    Or you can go a little bit off-the-wall: Rudy Rucker's "Wetware" series. Peter F. Hamilton's outrageously fun Neutronium Alchemist series (Star Wars with sex, genetic engineering, and Julie's favorite movie subject...). And there is always Iain Banks' SF series: "Consider Phlebas", "Player of Games", "Use of Weapons", "Excession", "Look to Windward".
     
  6. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'd also highly recommend Larry Niven and Ian M. Banks.
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Trust me. I've voted on the Hugos before, in all categories. RobertR knows of which I speak.

    The finest SF novels?

    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

    More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon

    First and Last Men by Olaf Stapledon

    Downward to the Earth by Robert Silverberg (will debate this with you until dawn)

    Universe [novella] by Robert A. Heinlein

    Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke (duly noted above)

    Continue the discussion!
     
  8. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2000
    Messages:
    4,611
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    [thread fart]
    You VOTED on the Hugos Jack? How'd you manage that? And, is it true that Anne McCaffrey was a total babe in her younger years? Also I guess you thought Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire must be really good! [​IMG]
    (Actually, I really do like HPatGoF, but I digress)
    [/thread fart]
     
  9. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes. For several years. I have voted for (in various categories and in various years):

    The Lathe of Heaven by LeGuinn

    Rendezvous With Rama by Clarke (we all make mistakes)

    • "The Slow Sculpture" by Sturgeon (possibly the finest SF short story ever written?)

    Ringworld by Niven (great hard SF, poor literature)

    ...and the list goes on. Long, long involvement with the genre.
     
  10. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 1998
    Messages:
    9,822
    Likes Received:
    246
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Of course I know whereof Jack speaks. [​IMG] I've also voted on the Hugos. Don't have a huge amount to add to what's been said. The City and the Stars by Clarke is very good. I also liked the Riverworld series by Philip Jose Farmer.
     
  11. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 1999
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for jogging my memory on the Hogan novels, Julie. I haven't read those in many years, and hadn't thought about them either.

    My recommends.

    Asimov's Foundation trilogy, and most of his robot series books.

    One of my personal favorites:

    Hyperion - Dan Simmons (a Hugo award winner)
     
  12. Mohsen Sadeghi

    Mohsen Sadeghi Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jack,

    A couple of questions:



    Hey, I like RWR. What is wrong with it?


    Finally, what do you think of Foundation series? Too cheesy?
     
  13. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Robert, we must talk about Against the Fall of Night sometime soon!

    So much more to add, so little time!

    • Clifford Simak's Weigh Station, Hugo Award winner for novel, disturbing implications in story--author elevates himself above SF fray as a result.

    • Ellison. Deathdird series. Must discuss.

    I voted for Gateway, by Frederick Pohl, for Best Novel. It deservedly won. As did When Last the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm. Extraordinary novel--as literature.
     
  14. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Also:

    The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
     
  15. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Messages:
    1,975
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Rex Bachmann
    Don't get to read much fiction any more (sigh). I've always been more partial to short stories than novels, anyhow. I've enjoyed almost everything I've read by A.E. von Vogt, both his "monster" tales and his space stuff (Voyage of the Space Beagle and The Mixed Men, "Ship of Darkness"), which aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. But be warned: some people (especially some other, outspoken science-fiction writers) hate, hate, hate, hate 'im.

    And, although it's not strictly "science fiction", some of Richard Matheson's stuff is highly regarded as well (especially his I Am Legend!, though, again, I'm partial to the short fiction).

    Boy, how I wish they'd re-issue all of these two men's work!
     
  16. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Rex: Slan by A.E. Van Vogt. 'Nuff said! [​IMG]
     
  17. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 23, 2000
    Messages:
    871
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Finally, what do you think of Foundation series? Too cheesy?

    The original "trilogy" is some of the best Sci-fi out there. Its the later books that make it a bit cheesy as Asimov tried to link his Robot series in with the Foundation stories.
     
  18. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Asimov: Wrote faster than his talent could carry him. From a literary standpoint, he was left at the train station. From an idea standpoint, he was in the starship's front row. Edmund Hamilton was just as good at ideas. Read Hal Clement. Or even Poul Anderson. JB
     
  19. stan hiller

    stan hiller Extra

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    1- Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse Dune.

    2 - Jack vance's Demon Prince series.

    3 - Anything by robert sheckley - underrated genius!

    4 - Anything by Douglas Adams.

    5 - Arthur C Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama (but don't bother with the sequals)
     
  20. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 1999
    Messages:
    1,466
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the recommendations everyone. While reading through your choices, I remembered some other titles and authors I've enjoyed: Iain Banks's The Wasp Factory, Matheson's I Am Legend and the Douglas Adams 'trilogy' which I haven't read since freshman year in high school.

    This list will serve me well when I hit the bookstore today. Many thanks.
     

Share This Page