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Drastic
08-29-2001, 04:18 PM
For a period of five-six years or so, I had pretty much stopped reading fiction entirely. I hadn't really planned on it, I just found myself drifting into reading a lot of religious/mystical things in equal parts with layman's science writing (to keep the scales balanced, you see).

It's time I got back into fiction again. I've recently picked up Vernor Vinge's "A Deepness in the Sky" (loved it), based on memories of enjoying his "Realtime" series years previous, and I've read some John Barnes ("Kaleidoscope Century", "Candle"--likewise based on memories of enjoying the heck out of "Mother of Storms"--I like his work, but do wish he'd get over his apparent fascination with rape themes).

Previous to that, I enjoyed Dan Simmons' "Hyperion" series, the first two books rather more than the following two "Endymion" works. Oh, and Neal Stephenson's "Diamond Age", which I enjoyed but thought sort of just staggered and fell apart in the final third.

So...recommendations? I like works with great world-building--Barnes did an especially good job of that, though the fascinating world he built up (the Meme Wars was just a neat concept) sort of ended up looming much larger than more flat characters. I enjoyed Simmons' mixing of spiritual themes into "Hyperion", and Vinge's "Deepness" really kept me interested because of the strength of the characters. What I'd really like to see is those three strengths fused into something even better.

But I'll settle for good quality entertainment, too. :) What do you think, sirs?

Kilt-wearin' man
08-29-2001, 04:24 PM
Niven's "Ringworld" left a pretty good taste in my mouth, ditto with the first four books of the "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" trilogy.

I read a lot of Arthur C Clarke in the first part of the year, and enjoyed "The Ghost of the Grand Banks" and "Hammer of God".

If you like fantasy, Jack Whyte's Camulod Chronicles are excellent - and believable.

Zanshin
08-29-2001, 04:30 PM
Well, I don't know if I can give you good 'world-building' recommendations, but here are some of my absolute favorite sci-fi novels that I recommend to everyone:

Steven Barnes and his Aubry Knight series (Streetlethal, Gorgon Child and Firedance). The series is set in the near future (which technically makes it sci-fi) but concentrates more on the characters than the technology. Excellent characterizations; the characters are very complex and the dialogue and interaction is striking.

Steve Perry and his Matador series (The 97th Step, The Man Who Never Missed, Matadora, The Albino Knife, The Machiavelli Interface, Black Steel, and Brother Death). A series about intergalactic bodyguards and the revolution they forment against the corrupt Confed. Very stripped-down and easy to read. I love it for the inventiveness of the technology and the dialogue. Plus, there are some ideas in there I've never seen in sci-fi before.

And Kilt, I just finished the Camulod series -- fantastic! That was one of the best series I've read in a great long time.

Simon Green's Deathstalker series (Deathstalker, Deathstalker Rebellion, Deathstalker War, Deathstalker Honor and Deathstalker Destiny). Very campy space-opera, but REALLY well-written. A noble is outlawed by the Empress and starts a rebellion against the throne. Again, complex characters, great dialogue, and neat ideas.

These titles are a little more pulpy than what you've listed, but I enjoy them greatly.

CrankyAsAnOldMan
08-29-2001, 04:42 PM
jesus, asking for a sci fi recommendation among this crowd....

well, there should be a good joke in that somewhere but I can't come up with it.

magdalene
08-29-2001, 04:50 PM
I'm not a huge sci-fi fan but I've been under the influence of The Boy lately.

Try "Millenium" by John Varley.

Moirai
08-29-2001, 05:23 PM
My husband, who lives and dies by his sci fi and fantasy, thinks that Robert Jordan, Tolkien, Ursula Le Guin, and Guy Gavriel Kay, to name a few, are the best world builders out there right now, although they belong to the fantasy genre.

Pick up Ender's Game, some Heinlein (Lazarus Long, the moon books), Frank Herbert's Dune series, Issac Asimov, Dan Simmons' Hyperion books (at least the first two!).

Enjoy! You can look forward to many lost evenings with your nose in a book!

NothingMan
08-29-2001, 06:09 PM
"Eon" by Greg Bear was quite good (and epic).

I believe there was a follow up novel, but I can't recall the name.

I have been absorbing Jeff Shaara's "historic novels" of late . . . but after that I should get back to sci-fi.

glee
08-29-2001, 08:46 PM
William Gibson wrote 'Neuromancer', and a couple of other near-future novels, with the emphasis on developments in computing, multinational businesses, weaponry and genetics.
I find them gripping.

Fred Pohl had a trilogy on Heechee aliens, although the story is told from the point of view of one interesting human character.

Roger Zelazny wrote the Amber series, which has led to me participating in an e-mail roleplaying game set in the Amber world with other SDMB members.
Warning! only read the first 5 books. The last 5 are terribly weak and contrived.

Morgyn
08-29-2001, 10:39 PM
Almost anything by C.J. Cherryh, who writes fantasy and science fiction with equal facility (sometimes in the same book!) and is one of the best writers of truly alien aliens (not humans in funny suits).

Try Serpent's Reach and Downbelow Station and the Morgaine series Gate of Ivrel, Well of Shiuan, Fires of Azeroth, and Exile's Gate.

Another fun world builder is Mercedes Lackey . . . not what you'd call "great litratoor" but a good read nonetheless.

Wendell Wagner
08-29-2001, 10:48 PM
Search in the archives on the phrase "science fiction" in the title of threads and you'll find a slew of them filled with recommendations. In any case, here are my 20 favorite science works longer than 25,000 words:

1. Olaf Stapledon _First and Last Men_ and _Starmaker_
2. Philip Jose Farmer _The Riverworld Series_
3. Frank Herbert _Dune_ (and maybe its sequels)
4. Walter Miller _A Canticle for Leibowitz_
5. Alfred Bester _The Stars My Destination_
6. Ursula K. LeGuin _The Left Hand of Darkness_
7. H. G. Wells _The Time Machine_
8. Philip K. Dick _The Man in the High Castle_
9. Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth _The Space Merchants_
10. Theodore Sturgeon _More than Human_
11. Roger Zelazny _Lord of Light_
12. Arthur C. Clarke _Against the Fall of Night_
13. Stanislaw Lem _Solaris_
14. Ken Grimwood _Replay_
15. Joe Haldeman _The Forever War_
16. Michael Frayn _The Tin Men_
17. Larry Niven _Ringworld_
18. Robert Heinlein _Stranger in a Strange Land_
19. Clifford Simak _City_
20. Isaac Asimov _The End of Eternity_

Do you also want fantasy recommendations? You say nothing about fantasy in the OP, but many of the books people have been mentioning are fantasy.

Enderw24
08-29-2001, 10:48 PM
Every damn time a thread like this comes up I feel like Tweek from South Park.

AHHH! Ender's Game! Read it! AHHH!! They're after my underwear! AHHH!

glee, there were actually four books in Pohl's series, but the fourth one wasn't that great anyway so it doesn't count. The first one, Gateway, I'd definitely recommend.

Glad you liked Hyperion, Drastic, that was a great series. Do NOT read Hollow Man though. Just a waste of time.

If you like more "idea" books than "character" books, I'd go with 2001, or I, Robot.

Revedge
08-29-2001, 11:10 PM
Besides the aforementioned,

Asimov: The Gods Themselves, Nightfall and Other Stories, Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation

Heinlein: Starship Troopers, Time Emough For Love, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, The Past Through Tomorrow

Ellison: Almost everthing he wrote

Niven and Pournelle: Lucifer's Hammer, The Mote in Gods Eye, Footfall

Bradbury: The Illustrated Man, Farenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes

Clarke: The Fountains of Paradise, Reandevous With Rama, Childhood's End, 2001

Spider Robinson: Calahan Chonicles, Deathkiller, Antinomy, Meloncholy Elephants

Fredrick Pohl: Gladiator at Law (With Kornbluth), Gateway, Man Plus

There are so many more but my fingers are getting tired.
But other authors to check out are: Piers Anthony, Robert Aspirin, David Weber, Harry Harrison, Harry Turtledove, Glen Cook, of course Zelazny, Mike Resnick, etc.

Angel of the Lord
08-29-2001, 11:47 PM
Offhand? Anything by Kage Baker. Her stuff's intelligent, interwoven, and touches upon humanity and some spiritual ethical themes....and she has an interesting view of the future.

Also Circuit of Heaven and End of Days, both of which are by Dennis Danvers.

Zaphod Beeblebrox
08-29-2001, 11:50 PM
Philip K. Dick's VALIS "trilogy" (I use the term loosely, as the three books are related thematically, rather than in terms of storyline) has got to be my favourite work of sci-fi ever.

uglybeech
08-30-2001, 01:06 AM
The best sf novel I ever read I think is out of print: Sam Delaney's stars in my pocket like grains of sand.

These have been mentioned, but to me they're not just recommendations, but must reads:
Orson Scott Card - Ender's Game
Philip K. Dick - the Valis trilogy (or Ubik is my favorite)
Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash

Little Nemo
08-30-2001, 01:08 AM
If you liked Simmons and Vinge, I'd recommend checking out the work of David Brin. If you want to try him out Glory Season is an excellent solo novel. If you're feeling more ambitious, jump into the Uplift series which currently consists of six novels (start with Sundiver or Startide Rising.) Another author similar to the two you mentioned is George R.R. Martin. Personally, I feel his shorter work is his best, so I'd recommend one of his collections.

Cougarfang
08-30-2001, 08:04 AM
actually, Issac Asimov is a good author. i suggest you read the foundation "trilogy" and all those extra books he tacked on, and the whachamacallum series, you know, the one with Elijah Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw. and i think he co-authored this book called Nightfall. Nightfall is kinda crazy though. anyway, those are the books i've read from him, and i'm searching for the rest.

TheThill
08-30-2001, 09:12 AM
Just about anything by Philip K. Dick if you think you'd like a hard-to-describe mixture of psychodelic mysticism (particularly in his later books) and naive mid-20th century Americana (especially in his earlier ones.)
His Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? might be one of his best. It was later "made" into Bladerunner and can be also found under that title. The book was much more (philosophically) interesting and had a completely different feel to it than the action flick, though.

sdarr2002
08-30-2001, 09:21 AM
have you ever read any h. beam piper? it's old, but good. the fuzzy stories.
and i loved lem's the cyberaid, i just can't figure out if he is (was?) a great writer or had a really great translator or both.
i also just read dragons egg by robert l.forward. it was pretty darn good. the sequel i did't like so much, but it had words in it. so i read it.
i also highly reccomend double star, by heinlein. actually anything by heinlein is worth a read.

tavalla
08-30-2001, 09:25 AM
Gardner Dozois has edited several short story compilations that are usually pretty worthwhile.

Greg Egan's done some good stuff, and I'll echo the recommendation for Brin's Uplift series ("Startide Rising" is my preferred one, but the other five are okay). I also enjoyed Jack McDevitt's "Engines of God."

I've got a long-term fondness for John Wyndham, but that might be just me :)

Barbarian
08-30-2001, 09:48 AM
Fenris? Oh Fennnnrisssss.

I chugging my way through David Wingrove's most excellent Chung Kuo series. It's up to 8 hefty novels, I believe.

Just do yourself a favour and ignore the list of characters at the front of each book-- especially the ones marked under 'dead'

5-HT
08-30-2001, 10:08 AM
Well, this is definately fantasy rather than SF, but I
loved "Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman. it's kind of a modern day Alice in Wonderland. Highly Recommended

Cat Whisperer
08-30-2001, 01:52 PM
Robert Silverberg is on my list of "read anything this guy has written" authors. I particularly liked Tom O'Bedlam and The Majipoor Chronicles (a series in three parts, I believe).

The_Peyote_Coyote
08-30-2001, 07:08 PM
1.) "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" and "The Past Through Tomorrow" ( a very large collection of short works that includes two short novels) by Robert A. Heinlein.
2.) "Wasp," "Sentinels from Space," "Sinister Barrier," and "Three to Conquer" by Eric Frank Russell, a writer of Campbell's stable who is little known today. (This is very sad, IMO, as Russell was one of the most original sci-fi authors ever.)
3.) "Childhood's End" by Arthur C. Clarke
4.) The three volumes of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame contain many of the greatest shorter pieces of the genre, including Roger Zelazny's short story "A Rose for Ecclesiastes" and E.M. Forster's "The Machine Stops."
5.) "Tau Zero," "A Knight of Ghost and Shadows," "The Dancer of Atlantis," "Brain Wave," "The Rebel Worlds," "The Man Who Counts," and "There Will be Time" by the recently -deceased Poul Anderson. He was my favorite science-fiction author.
6.) "The Silver Eggheads" and "Gather Darkness" by Fritz Lieber.
7.) "Ringworld" by Larry Niven
8.) The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
9.) "The World of Tiers" by Philip Jose Farmer (Actually he wrote five books in this series, but the first one is by far and away the best, IMO, and one of the most wildly imaginative novels ever.
10.) "The Space Merchants" by Fred Pohl and the late C.M. Kornbluth
11.) "Dune" by Frank Herbert
12.) The Best of Leigh Brackett, "The Long Tommorow," and the Ginger Star trilogy, all by Leigh Brackett
13.) "Dangerous Visions" a massive anthology edited by Harlan Ellison
14.) "S is for Space" and "R is for Rocket" by Ray Bradbury
15.) The anthologies of Hugo and Nebula stories always contain some works well worth reading
16.) "War of the Worlds" and "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells. Oldies but goodies.
17.) "Bug Jack Barron" by Norman Spinrad
18.) "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman
19.) "At the Mountains of Madness" and "The Shadow out of Time" by H.P. Lovecraft. Yeah, I know Eich Pi Ell is supposed to be a horror writer, but trust me on this. These works are science fiction.
20.) The Solar Queen series by Andre Norton. The four I have are "Sargasso of Space," "Plague Ship," "Voodoo Planet," and "Postmarked the Stars." I understand Norton recently wrote a fifth novel in collaboration with another writer, but I don't know its name.
21.) They mostly wrote short stories and their work is probably out of print, but I have found that Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore, a husband-and-wife team, rarely disappoint.

Badtz Maru
08-31-2001, 04:16 AM
John Varley's 'Steel Beach' is one of my favorite novels in any genre. Even though Varley is fairly well-known in the SF community, I hardly ever come across SF fans who have read 'Steel Beach'. If you can find a copy, please do so.

Chas.E
08-31-2001, 04:43 AM
Boy, people are picking some weird works by my favorite authors. My picks would be:

Stanislav Lem: The Star Diaries, More Tales of Pirx the Pilot; The Cyberiad; Memoirs Found In A Bathtub; His Master's Voice, One Human Minute; Imaginary Magnitude.
Phil Dick - A Scanner Darkly; Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said; The Man Who Japed; Martian Time-Slip. Note: I do not recommend the Valis books to anyone, after two people I recommended the book to had nervous breakdowns while reading them. Actually, his short story collections are much better than his novels.

Also highly recommended
Rudy Rucker: White Light; Space-Time Donuts; The Secret of Life, the "Software" series (4 books), Saucer Wisdom, The Transrealist Anthology
Robert L. Forward: Dragon's Egg; Starquake; Rocheworld

If you're into hard-science fiction, you must read Dragon's Egg. If you're out for a good laugh, read The Cyberiad. If you're lucky enough to find it, you should read SpaceTime Donuts. If you ever find The Secret of Life, you should sell it to me, I'd pay serious of money for it.

Tomcat
08-31-2001, 06:05 AM
Originally posted by Morgyn
Almost anything by C.J. Cherryh, who writes fantasy and science fiction with equal facility (sometimes in the same book!) and is one of the best writers of truly alien aliens (not humans in funny suits).

Try Serpent's Reach and Downbelow Station and the Morgaine series Gate of Ivrel, Well of Shiuan, Fires of Azeroth, and Exile's Gate.


Beat me to it...CJ Cherryh is a great read. Not much of this- "Oh, everything is peachy, then we have a problem, then everything gets fixed again." tripe. Situations start off bad, and the characters deal in very realistic ways to the situations around them.

I am SSOOOOO pissed at DAW books though! I just got all 4 books in the 'Foreigner' series from Amazon. I start reading the first book and get halfway, and the jerks had a machine error or something- it goes from page 144 to page 241, then start over again after page 287 it jumps backwards to 195 and finishes...GGGrrrr...4 books to take with me on vacation next Saturday to read on a beach, and I can't now!!!

AS for the OP- The first two books of 'The Nights Dawn Trilogy' by Peter Hamilton are great. Don't read the third, make up your own ending. Also, I love Iain M. Banks- Start with 'Consider Phlebas'. He has created a universe dominated by the Culture, and each book focuses on a little story from here or there- Great reads. He also writes very good fiction under the name Iain Banks (no M.).

-Tcat

Zaphod Beeblebrox
08-31-2001, 06:49 AM
I do not recommend the Valis books to anyone, after two people I recommended the book to had nervous breakdowns while reading them.

LMAO! That is indeed a great risk one takes when reading VALIS. PKD was going through a rather serious bout of insanity when he wrote that book. There are parts that will make anyone feel uneasy. However, the man also had a great sense of humour, and that much is reflected, especially in the first book (the one actually entitled VALIS).

After reading that post, I must also add A Scanner Darkly to my recommendations. It's a thoroughly entertaining book. Another one I failed to mention - one which has been snubbed by critics - is Clans of the Alphane Moon. This was one of the first PKD books I ever read (after the mandatory reading of The Man in the High Castle), and I really enjoyed it. It's quite insane, and extremely funny.

Chas.E
08-31-2001, 07:04 AM
It's true, Zaphod, Valis is dangerous for people who aren't ready for it. Actually, I'm kind of a fan of "Galactic Pot-Healer" but it's pretty offbeat. But oh those short stories. Like "Autofac" or "Roog" or "Explorers We."

Kilt-wearin' man
08-31-2001, 07:57 AM
OK, does anyone else find it odd that Zaphod Beeblebrox didn't recommend the Hitchhiker Trilogy?

Oh, and I thought the Amber books were great, but there needed to be an eleventh book to tie up loose ends after the non-ending of the tenth. The first five books definitely make a good series with a decent end.

Zaphod Beeblebrox
08-31-2001, 08:01 AM
Ah, yes. I almost forgot The Galactic Pot Healer. In the same vein, there's also Confessions of a Crap Artist, which is an entertaining read if you're in a "WTF???" kind of mood.

I do enjoy Dick's short stories. I also enjoyed his collection of essays and philosophical writings (the title of the book is something to that effect, though I don't remember it exactly at the moment). Among his earlier short stories, the most influential (though by no means his best) was probably We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, which was the inspiration for the movie Total Recall.

Zaphod Beeblebrox
08-31-2001, 08:04 AM
LOL... Fair enough. I hereby wholeheartedly recommend The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy". I avoided mentioning it, because some sci-fi purists might have argued that these were works of comedy, rather than science fiction.

Spatial Rift 47
08-31-2001, 01:54 PM
Poul Anderson's Time Patrol

Many of the several hundred Star Trek novels are good. Federation(J. & G. Reeves-Stevens), like many others, doesn't require any previous knowledge of Star Trek.

yabob
08-31-2001, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by Badtz Maru
John Varley's 'Steel Beach' is one of my favorite novels in any genre. Even though Varley is fairly well-known in the SF community, I hardly ever come across SF fans who have read 'Steel Beach'. If you can find a copy, please do so.
You're finding one here, and I'll agree with you. Much more than a "Heinlein homage or pastiche" which critics often dismiss it as. It DOES have a sort of "Golden Age" feel to it, though. "Golden Globe" is a follow on in the same universe, and it's also good.

I liked Varley's "Titan" stuff, too, although it trailed off badly at the end. The first two were great.

Robert Silverberg is on my list of "read anything this guy has written" authors.
Funny you should say that. He's on my list of "you shouldn't judge authors by a couple books" list. I read "Son of Man" and "A Time of Changes" and seriously questioned the sanity of anybody who like this author. Then, after continuing to see reccomendations for him, I read "Dying Inside". Silverberg is one of the few authors who has generally gotten better throughout his career, though I could have STRANGLED him for "Face of the Waters", one of the worst endings ever constructed to a good novel. I liked "Hot Sky at Midnight" in addition to his more widely read stuff. I met him once, too. Nice old guy, who told me I'd gotten on his good side by complementing "Dying Inside" which is one of his personal favorites.

World building - I'm a fan of Julian May's 9 book, 3 series Galactic Millieu Opus - "Pliocene Exile" (4 books), "Intervention" (2 books) and finally "The Millieu Trilogy" (3 books).

Glen Cook - The Black Company stuff, though I've lost interest in the books of the South. The first series is very good, and reach a conclusion that doesn't require that you start the sequels. "The Silver Spike" is a standalone story that follows the first part, and I would say that either the first book or that one is the best thing Cook has done. Silver Spike was written without a sequel in mind. It helps.

UK LeGuin - "The Dispossessed" may be the best SF novel, and fits into her constructed universe. "Left Hand of Darkness" is also good.

David Brin's "Sundiver" stuff is overrated IMO, as is Card's "Ender" stuff (THAT may ruffle somebody's feathers). Both authors have done better - I really liked the world Brin constructed in "Glory Season" and would like to see a followup. Card wrote an unusual little fable called "Hart's Hope" that I may regard as his best work. Card's "Alvin Maker" was good, though it suffers from his inability to end a series. "Ender" and "Sundiver" aren't BAD, exactly, I just don't think they live up to their hype.

Since we seem to just be handing out reccomendations in addition to specifically epic / world building, a couple favorite authors of mine that haven't been mentioned:

John Brunner
Tim Powers

Be careful with Brunner, though. I think he was one of the best, but I will concede that he wrote some clinkers as well as some of the best SF ever written. Read "Shockwave Rider", "The Sheep Look Up", "Stand on Zanzibar", "The Jagged Orbit", "The Crucible of Time". Do NOT read "Players at the Game of People" or "The Web of Everywhere".

bagkitty
08-31-2001, 08:14 PM
Bagkitty's list of ten frequently overlooked but great science fiction works (not in any particular order, just as they occurred to me):

1) Sherri S. Tepper's "Grass" -- truly imaginative "world builder" book

2) Ursula K. LeQuin's "The Dispossessed" -- far and away her best, more challenging than "The Left Hand of Darkness"

3) Iain M. Banks' Culture books (all of them) -- can't praise this series enough

4) Roger Zelazney's "Lord of Light" -- self contained single novel, a truly inspired "world builder"

5) Walter Miller Jr.'s "A Canticle for Leibowitz" -- well deserves it's reputation as a classic

6) E.E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman series -- okay, they're old, they're campy, and I love them -- comic books without the pictures... 10 on the entertainment scale (even if they score in the negative figures in terms of deep and meaningful)

7) Frank Herbert's "Whipping Star" and "Dosadi Experiment" -- strangely enough, some people don't like the "Dune" books, this pair might change their mind about the author

8) James Blish "A Case of Conscience" -- dated, but still good. Also, his "Cities in Flight" series is worth trying to find

9) John Brunner's "The Shockwave Rider" and "Stand on Zanzibar" -- who thought that it was the sociologists who would set us free?

10) Piers Anthony's "Tarot" -- okay, the man has written more crap than almost anyone else, but occasionally.......

edwino
09-02-2001, 12:24 AM
I'd have to agree with you on Deepness in the Sky. I think it is best science fiction I have read since Speaker for the Dead. It was a long book, but at no point was I bored. The characters were great, the plot was great, the whole concept was great, the attention to detail was awesome, even the ending was good.

In terms of recommendations, I'd chime in here and agree with yabob on the 9 book Julian May Golden Torc/Intervention/Galactic Milleu series. I think it one of the most underappreciated works of science fiction.

I also just finished the Red/Green/Blue Mars trilogy of Kim Stanley Robinson. Good characters and incredible attention to detail. If you can stand all of his prattling on about areology (geology on Mars), then it is a good read. Each book stands nicely, except of course for all of that description of terrain and meteor strikes.

clairobscur
09-02-2001, 03:18 PM
You already had tons of good recommendations, but there are three well known series I've been surprised not to see mentionned (in the "world building" category) :

-The torturer by Gene Wolfe (Shadow of the torturer, Claw of the conciliator, Sword of the Lictor..there are 5 of them)

-Helliconia, by Brian Aldiss (Spring,Summer,Winter)

-Earthsea, by Ursula Le Guin (Wizard at Earthsea,Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest shore)



Among the many good books which have been mentionned, my prefered are :

-Ender's trilogy, by Orson Scott Card, the Majipoor Chronicles by Silverberg, *some* of Brunner's books,...and especially "a canticle for Leibowitz", which is amongst my preferred books.



I liked a lot the dark tales of "Night's sorceries" by Tanith Lee, but I don't know if the other books from her "Flatearth" serie (Night's Master, Death's Master, Delusion's Master and Delirium's Mistress) are as good.



Oh! And also a not well known but IMO excellent book "Mother's country chronicles". Unfortunately the author's name (she's a canadian writer) escapes me and I lent the book (probably not to see it again...), so I can't check. I would be grateful if someone knows it and can give me the author's name (the story is about a world where men's have been mostly wiped out, and which became a matriarchy, and the main character is a kind of archeologist. Tales and children's songs play a great part in the plot...in case it would help someone to remember it)

clairobscur
09-02-2001, 03:31 PM
Just noticed that quite all of my recommendations are actually fantasy (Flatearth for instance), or about worlds where technology never appeared (Helliconia), collapsed (mother's country chronicles), has been deliberatly eliminated (a canticle for Leibowitz), is so remotedly present that it plays no part (Majipoor) or is only accessible to very few people (I won't give the name, it's part of the plot).


So, if you're into "pure" technology SF, perhaps my recommendations aren't the best for you....

Lynn Bodoni
09-02-2001, 07:57 PM
It's time I got back into fiction again. I've recently picked up Vernor Vinge's "A Deepness in the Sky" (loved it), based on memories of enjoying his "Realtime" series years previous,

If you haven't already read A Fire Upon the Deep (also by Verner Vinge), read it NOW. If you can find his anthology Threats and Other Promises, pick that one up, too, as he has a prequel story, set in the same universe.

I found the idea of Focus to be utterly fascinating, and utterly terrifying.

Torgo
09-02-2001, 08:08 PM
Nice to see LeGuin finally get mentioned in a sci-fi thread around here. I recommend The Lathe of Heaven, a real mind-bender.

Also, PK Dick's Time Out of Joint and when you're ready for a nice brain-fry A Scanner Darkly.

sjc
09-02-2001, 08:53 PM
I second the Red Mars/Green Mars/Blue Mars Trilogy. Although I think that they got worse as they progressed. I don't think I finished 'Blue Mars'.

I second the Julian May 'Galactic Mileu' and 'Pleistocene Epoch' series. Good worlds, kind of disappointed me at certain points, but really good nonetheless.

I also second (or third?) 'Ender's Game' and 'Speaker for the Dead'. Also the recently published 'Ender's Shadow'. Much of what Orson Scott Card writes is very good. I liked most of the 'Earthfall' series. His novelization of 'Abyss' is one of the few books based on movies that really works.

By the way, if you liked Diamond Age try Snow Crash (you've got to love a serious novel that has a main character called Hiro Protagonist) and Cryptonomicon. Cryptonomicon is not exactly Sci-Fi, but I think it appeals to similar crowds. (I started a thread called The Neal Stephenson Appreciation Thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=84849).)

Badtz Maru
09-02-2001, 11:59 PM
Originally posted by yabob

David Brin's "Sundiver" stuff is overrated IMO, as is Card's "Ender" stuff (THAT may ruffle somebody's feathers). Both authors have done better - I really liked the world Brin constructed in "Glory Season" and would like to see a followup. Card wrote an unusual little fable called "Hart's Hope" that I may regard as his best work. Card's "Alvin Maker" was good, though it suffers from his inability to end a series. "Ender" and "Sundiver" aren't BAD, exactly, I just don't think they live up to their hype.

I really enjoyed the two Uplift Trilogies (the two series that Sundiver was the first part of) but I recognize their weaknesses. I read later that Brin was trying to do an homage to the old planet-smashing space operas, and I buy it (though Sundiver is more of a mystery that shares the same setting as the later books).

Triskadecamus
09-03-2001, 12:46 AM
Cuckoo's Egg by C. J. Cherryh

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

Dragon's Egg by Robert L Forward

More Than Human by Robert Silverberg

The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey

The Tactics of Mistake by Gordon R. Dickson

Something by Larry Niven, but I am not sure which.

This Immortal by Roger Zelazny


Each author has written many other things, some of which I also like.

Tris
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"Sic transit gloria mundi. And Tuesday's usually worse." ~ Robert A. Heinlein ~