SF&F recommendations

I have become somewhat set in my ways, and mostly re-read books I already own, or buy new releases of series I am already releasing. I would like to experience some new authors, and would prefer to target good ones, which is where your opinions comes in

From the list below you’ll see I like most things. The list is as exhaustive as I can manage off the top of my head, but I’m sure I missed some. What would you suggest for me to try next

Already read and like

Robert Jordan - Wheel Of Time
Katharine Kerr - Deverry
Terry Pratchett - Discworld
David Gemmell - everything
George R R Martin - Song of Ice and Fire
JV Jones - bakers boy series & cavern of red ice series
David Farland - Runelords
Iain M Banks - all, but particularly like the Culture subset
Larry Niven - core Known universe books, ringworld
Asimov - various, mainly Robot books and Hari Seldon books
David Eddings - All - used to love them, have moved on
L E Modessitt - Recluce books
Robin Hobb - Farseer, Liveship, Tawny Man, Soldier Son
Guy Gavriel Kay - Tigana & Fionavar
Stephen Donaldson - Mordant’s need, covenant1, covenant2, covenant3, Gap series
Weis & Hickman - Death’s Gate, Dragon Lance, Darksword, Rose of the Prophet,
Star of the Guardians
Stephen King - most but some gaps
Stephen Lawhead - Pendragon cycle, Dragon King, Song of Albion, Celtic crusade
Hugh Cook - Age of Darkness
Greg Bear - Songs of Earth and Power, Eon, Forge of God, Darwin’s Radio
Philip Jose Farmer - World of Tiers
Jacqueline Carey - Kushiel
Tad Williams - memory, Sorrow & Thorn, Otherland
Elizabeth H Boyer - Alfar
Jonathan Wylie - Servants of Ark, Unbalanced Earth
Douglas Adams - HHGTTG,
Anne McCaffrey - Pern
Terry Brooks - Shanhara, Magic Kingdom

Read and disliked

Gormenghast - one series i could never finish
Sword of Truth - it started OK but became total preachy drec
James Clemens - Wit’ch books. Hated hated hated these, never got past 1/3 way into 1st book

Vernor Vinge, specifically A Fire Upon The Deep and A Deepness In The Sky. Very engaging science fiction, with some fantastic concepts wrapped around decent plots.

(Don’t let the prologue to Fire dissuade you; it’s thick writing, but intentionally so, and the opacity clears up in the novel proper.)

Told you I’d missed some. Those should have been on the enjoyed list. I have read his Peace War books also

Whilst we’re at it, also have read the Trudi Canavan Black Magician series


Gene Wolfe, Book of the New Sun series (Shadow of the Torturer, etc.), and Book of the Long Sun series. Also, Knight/Wizard duology.

And please tell us you have read Zelazny. Because, seriously.

yes on the zelazny, just couldn’t remember his name or how to search, but the Amber books are a roger wilco.

Also Harry Potter, how the hell did I forget those? have read them also
add the golden compass books too, those were a bit meh for me, but were OKish

Cheers for your suggestions, I shall start a list.

I’ve been reading the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde which are kinda sorta sci-fi’ish. British absurdity. Fun stuff, specially for a book lover.

Based on your liosty, I’d suggest:
Philip Jose Farmer – The “Riverworld” series (to Your scattered Bodies Go, The Fabulous Riverbo0at, The Dark Design, The Magic Labyrinth. You can ignore The Gods of Riverworld, as far as I’m concerned, but check out the two anthologies of Riverworld stories written by other writers, aslong with Riverworld and other stories by Farmer) If you liked Farmer’s Tiers series, I’ll bet you’ll like this.
Robert Sheckley – If you can find them. he was a big influence of Douglas Adams (I still think Hitchiker’s Guide feels like rewritten “Dimension of Miracles”), and his stuff was ripped off for the movies without attribution (while, ironically,. movies based on his stuff are pretty bad, and not terribly faithful)

Cordwainer Smith – Not sure if you’d like him – his stuff isn’t really comparable to anyone else’s. But they’ve recently reprinted a lot of his stories in a trade paperback, and it’s well worth the look.

I notice that Tolkien and Robert E. Howard are missing from your list, although other fantasy is there. Are they too obvious? Or did you not really care for them? How about Lovecraft? Have you read T.H. White’s the Once and Future King and The Book of Merlin?

Tolkien I have read, well Hobbit & Lord of the rings books, never got round to Silmarillion etc

Robert E Howard is a new one on me, one for the list?
Lovecraft never really floated my boat, though admittedly I didn’t try real hard. Once And Future King sounds familiar, but I have read a ton of Arthurian stuff, and they all run together in my head.

Oh yes, as well as his Nursery Crime Division novels. Very entertaining and silly in an understated way.

One and Only, I half suspected it’d turn out you already read those. :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, for fairly standard sci-fi, there’s Night Train to Rigel by Timothy Zahn. It’s nothing epic or grand, but it is an entertaining train mystery novel with an interesting science fiction bent.

David Brin, the Uplift series.

Anyone who digs SF&F should read Robert Anton Wilson’s and Robert Shea’s Illuminatus! at least once, regardless of whether it strictly qualifies, just because.

High fantasy:

Greg Keyes: Kingdom of Thorn and Bone series starting with The Briar King

Lois McMaster Bujold: Chalion series starting with The Curse of Chalion

Garth Nix: Abhorsen series starting with Sabriel

I don’t usually recommend series that aren’t complete, but these first books in series impressed me:

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham
Mistborn by Brian Sanderson

You mention Niven’s Known Space books, how about some of the Niven and Pournelle ones: The Mote in God’s Eye, Lucifer’s Hammer, Footfall, etc?

On the fantasy side, have you tried Katherine Kerr’s Deverry series, particularly the first quartet, Daggerspell, Darkspell, Dawnspell, and Dragonspell?

ETA Sorry missed second on the list :smack:

No Heinlein on your list?

Howard’s the guy who wrote the original Conan the Barbarian stories, and they’re well worth the read. Fortunately for you, they’ve reprinted his original stories (along with the notes and outlines we’ve never seen before), all without the additions and pastiches by de Camp and Carter and others in a series of trade paperbacks. They’ve also reprinted a lot of non-Conan Howard stories as well. Definitely worth reading.

tried starnger in a strange land, and didn’t like it. worth trying others?

Absolutely! I’m not sure which one(s) specifically to recommend, but definitely try something shorter than and written earlier than Stranger.

The Door Into Summer is shorter and less…out there? than Stranger. It’s a solid time travel story which I’ve read about three times and enjoyed each time. Job: A Comedy Of Justice is also well worth checking out, especially if you’re into Christianity-as-mythology, similar to Good Omens.

Some of Heinlein’s stuff is definitely odd, like Stranger and Number of the Beast, but not all of his works are such.

For fantasy, I recommend P.C. Hodgell’s Kencyrath novels, Godstalk, Dark of the Moon, Seeker’s Mask, and To Ride a Rathorn. They follow the adventures of a young Kencyr woman, Jame, as she tries to rejoin her people, surrounded by chaos and calamity all the while. The themes are quite complex and dark, but there’s also plenty of quirky humor to leaven them, drawn both from the heroine’s rather irreverent attitudes and the peculiarities of the world she lives in.

Godstalk and Dark of the Moon have been combined in an omnibus edition, Dark of the Gods, and a new omnibus release, The God Stalker Chronicles, is scheduled for January 2009. There’s also an anthology called Blood and Ivory with some additional Kencyr stories and (oddly enough) my favorite Sherlock Holmes story, “Ballad of the White Plague”.

Have you tried any of the Dresden books by Jim Butcher? If you like that sort of urban fantasy, there are several other authors I could recommend.

You mentioned Trudi Canavan, have you tried her Age of the Five books? This is the first in the series. It wasn’t bad, although not as good as her other series.

What about Piper for some SF? I liked Little Fuzzy and a couple of the other Fuzzy books, Lord Kalvin of Otherwhen and The Cosmic Computer.

Have you tried any of the Deryni books by Katherin Kurtz? I’m hit or miss with them but they’re enjoyable if irritating sometimes for leaving stuff out.

I liked The Magelord Trilogy by Thomas Martin. A quick read but enjoyable.

I also like The Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell.

Let me know if you’d like more suggestions. Especially about the urban fantasy stuff. There are at least 3 or 4 other series out there in that genre.