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Old 04-29-2014, 01:26 AM
Gray Ghost is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 4,563
Thanks for the compliment, Green Bean. This'll be brief; I'm heading to bed, but FGIE has a point: including books like On the Beach, A Clockwork Orange, The Man in the High Castle, and The Yiddish Policeman's Union, really makes me wonder where the line is that we're drawing between fantasy and SF. If The Road counts, then why not The Stand? If Alt-History is on the table, then why no Turtledove?

I'd swap out On the Beach for Warday. Warday does the "post-nuclear war" thing much better, IMHO, and Childhood's End does the,
"What do we do when we're the last humans and this is it?"
question much, much better.

(People, CE's been out forever: I feel silly for hiding my point with a spoiler tag, but you really should go read it if you haven't already. It's short, too.)

Iain Banks is on a very short list of the Best Sci-FI Writers of the last 20 years. Not to have one of his on your list is a mistake, IMHO. Pick Use of Weapons if you're a frustrated English Lit grad student, though the unconventional structure actually adds a lot to the story, IMHO. Pick The Player of Games (or Excession or Look to Windward) if you want an interesting, seductively easy to read tale, with several interesting things to say about whichever topic he was addressing (Out of Context problems, how people heal from wartime trauma, etc...) All of his previous ones that others and I have mentioned, are much more than space opera or a list of the new and shiny. Pick whichever one you want, but you need one, again IMHO.

I'd dump Slaughterhouse Five and World War Z; the first because his short stories are much better at getting to the point---I'd support Welcome to The Monkey House on your list---and WWZ because it's more fantasy than SF.

This is fun; thanks for the OP.