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Old 2010-11-10, 17:47   #1
Flatlander
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Default Recommended Science Fiction Reading

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Originally Posted by Xyzzy View Post
Nobody reads Asimov?

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Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
I was more of an Arthur C. Clarke fan ... and book-form SciFi and fantasy lost their appeal to me after my teen years. Since the human stories in most SciFi are rather weak or secondary to the plot, I consider it mostly a visual medium these days.
I haven't read science fiction for a while and am looking for recommendations. I like it to be believable/realistic/thought provoking or just funny.
Time travel and it's resultant paradoxes can be fun. As can A.I. gone wrong.
I consider 2001 (the movie, can't remember if I read the book) to be a masterpiece and the HHGTTG books to be hilarious and immensely enjoyable. But that was years ago and I feel I'm missing out.

I don't like fantasy/magic/witchcraft/elves/glorified violence etc.
I read some Asimov and A.C.Clarke years ago but I can't remember what!

Any recommendations?
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Old 2010-11-10, 17:48   #2
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Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
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Old 2010-11-10, 18:01   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatlander View Post
I haven't read science fiction for a while and am looking for recommendations. I like it to be believable/realistic/thought provoking or just funny.
Time travel and it's resultant paradoxes can be fun. As can A.I. gone wrong.
I consider 2001 (the movie, can't remember if I read the book) to be a masterpiece and the HHGTTG books to be hilarious and immensely enjoyable. But that was years ago and I feel I'm missing out.

I don't like fantasy/magic/witchcraft/elves/glorified violence etc.
I read some Asimov and A.C.Clarke years ago but I can't remember what!

Any recommendations?
The Foundation series and Robot series by Asimov

"Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert Heinlein

"Rendevous with Rama" by ACC (avoid the sequels)

"Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut

"Dune" by Frank Herbert (avoid the sequels)

"The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury

"20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" by Jules Verne
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Old 2010-11-10, 18:05   #4
Flatlander
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Thanks! Time to get on ebay.
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Old 2010-11-10, 18:48   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatlander View Post
I
I read some Asimov and A.C.Clarke years ago but I can't remember what!
Had in the 90s, the same authors read, but for example also "The Trouble Twisters" by Poul Anderson.
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Old 2010-11-10, 19:37   #6
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Quote:
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"20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" by Jules Verne
I read all books from Jules Verne.
Anyone here reads Daniel Silva, Christian Jacq, Heinz Konsalik, Collen McCullought, Clive Cussler?
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Old 2010-11-10, 19:58   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by em99010pepe View Post
I read all books from Jules Verne.
Anyone here reads Daniel Silva, Christian Jacq, Heinz Konsalik, Collen McCullought, Clive Cussler?
I can'rt speak for "anyone" but I've read none of those you name. Perhaps I should do so.

My recommendations include almost anything by Iain M Banks and the Commonwealth & the Void series by Peter F Hamilton.

There are many other authors I could recommend but the ones above are about 30cm of shelf space...

Paul
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Old 2010-11-10, 20:20   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatlander View Post
that was years ago and I feel I'm missing out.

I don't like fantasy/magic/witchcraft/elves/glorified violence etc.
I read some Asimov and A.C.Clarke years ago but I can't remember what!

Any recommendations?
The ones mentioned look good. Some thoughts earlier science fiction had an anthropomorphic principle of it's own that (editor Campbell) strongly selected for stories in which humans came out on top.

Bradbury had an admitted anti-technology bias. Not that this was bad.

Frank Herbert's epics are of course, epic. His son, Brian writes too; I liked Sudana, sudana

Saberhagen might be worth a look; these are early examples of eternal wars between biological life and machines. Clifford D. Simak needs mentioning. (just putting it here for now without thoughts more firmly gelled. I know I liked some of his stories very much)

More modern writers are a bit hard to wholeheartedly boost for general reading; in my opinion almost all nanotechnology and cyberpunk stories are a frustrating read. I've liked George Alec Effinger

Neil Stephenson is good.

John Varley is good (moved this down out of the cyberpuk area) he has some good Gaea books

I'm straining to remember some writers at the moment. I believe I have read some very good or particularly satisfying, but not so mainstream, ones that I would like to chime in on -- perhaps later in the thread if they come to mind

It is hard to find really good female writers in many of these genre tide pools; It took some time for me to accept that part of this is my own first person action hero men's adventure reader bias; For grand space opera style writing I've enjoyed Heinlein, Poul Anderson, but also more recently also Louis McMaster Bujold. C.J. Cherryh too, although it took me some time to warm to her. David Brin tells an engaging space opera story too.

Now on my gender bias, I believe that all other things being equal, a random female writer is more likely to mention sentient/telepathic pets, focus on bloodlines and heraldry, and introduce social and environmental issues. Of course not all of that is bad or true even

added: Just saw Paul's recommendation of Iain M. Banks -- Heartily concur
I don't see A. E. Vogt mentioned yet. This is one of the ones I was straining to remember. I loved "The players of Null-A." I think he followed up many years later with a sequel or two.

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2010-11-10 at 20:59 Reason: fiddling with typos and inchoate text sputtering
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Old 2010-11-10, 20:43   #9
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Michael Crichton; perhaps especially those works of his not sensationalized by other venues (e.g. jurassic park... not to say that isn't also a good book), such as The Andromeda Strain and Sphere
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Old 2010-11-10, 20:43   #10
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if you like SF, i recommend you ' Flowers for Algernon' from Daniel Keyes
Anyway, the only Christian Jacq I know is one who write about egypt. mustn't be the same.

Last fiddled with by firejuggler on 2010-11-10 at 20:58 Reason: cause i did say some dulb things.
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Old 2010-11-10, 20:46   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by only_human View Post
Neil Stephenson is good.

...

It is hard to find really good female writers in many of these genre tide pools; It
Stephenson: heartily concur, on the assumption that you mean Neal Stephenson. I especially like Cryptonomicon but I'm not to be trusted because I'm a cryptogeek with an interest in WWII cryptanalysis.

Personally I like Ursula Le Guin but, then, I may not be typical.

In the hard fiction category, Robert L Forward is by far the best IMAO. For space opera, good old Doc Smith is hard to follow but my earlier recommendations make it, as does Alistair Ryenolds whom I forgot to mention in the previous post.

Paul

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