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need suggestions for *clean* sci fi books/authors


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The Tripod series by John Christopher is good. There are four books in that. I like Orson Scott Card, but I can't universally recommend him due to some sexual content in some of his books. Ender's Game doesn't have sex, but it is violent and bloody at times. It is, however, one of my favorite books because of the central conflict.

 

ETA: Jules Verne and H.G. Wells are worth a look, but you may need to get adaptations.

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Pre-60s science fiction is usually fairly clean. Even Heinlein's early work is pretty clean (my father remembers his Have Spacesuit Will Travel phase fondly).

 

It may be worth searching out a Nebula Award book (Asimov edited quite a few of these) for each year. Read some short stories or novels and see what he likes.

 

He may want to look at:

 

The Martian Chronicles or Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury

The Foundation series or I, Robot by Asimov

Ender's Game by Card

The Time Machine or War of the Worlds by Wells

A Wrinkle in Time by L'Engle

the short stories of Cordwainer Smith

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The Harper Hall Trilogy (a subset of the Dragonriders of Pern) by Anne McCaffrey are clean - I read and enjoyed them as a teen - the books are:

 

Dragonsong

Dragonsinger

Dragondrums

 

However, the other books in that series are not. They're tame by adult standards, but I was fairly sheltered and it caught me by surprise when I read past those three books...

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Sigmund Brouwer's Mars Diaries series or his Robot Wars series. The Dreamhouse Kings series by Robert Liparulo. Seven Sleepers series by Gilbert Morris (maybe more fantasy, though). These are all aimed at kids/teens.

 

Some adult books/series that might meet your standards (Christian authors, but not necessarily in-your-face about it): Empyrion books and others by Stephen Lawhead. Maybe something by John B. Olson. Offworld by Robin Parrish. Chronicles of Brothers series by Wendy Alec.

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I found this blog: http://novelreaction.com/ when I went looking to see if any of the Terry Pratchett books had sexual content. That blog gives a "sex" rating basically (from some kissing to fully descriptive sex scene).

 

While I don't remember there being sex in any of the Discworld books I read, there may be other reasons you might find them objectionable: Pratchett is an atheist or agnostic (depending on your source), there has been at least one witch as a character, the books are sometimes considered religious satire, etc.

 

That said - the novel reaction site had several categories (fantasty and futuristic being two of them) along the top and the rating system was clearly described.

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Guest Jessica at Novel Reaction

Brandon Sanderson is a great author who is clean. His stand alone novel Elantris is a great beginning for the harder fantasy. David Eddings is another great author, although his novels are a bit more violent (sword fights). I would advise starting with Pawn of Prophecy in the Belgariod Series.

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The Harper Hall Trilogy (a subset of the Dragonriders of Pern) by Anne McCaffrey are clean - I read and enjoyed them as a teen - the books are:

 

Dragonsong

Dragonsinger

Dragondrums

 

However, the other books in that series are not. They're tame by adult standards, but I was fairly sheltered and it caught me by surprise when I read past those three books...

 

Really? I was going to recommend the whole series. I've read all the Pern books (well, except for the newest ones by Todd) and I never read anything that I found objectionable or overtly sexual, and I started reading them when I was around thirteen or fourteen. The few intimate scenes that occur when one of the queens rises to mate were pretty vague or else fade to black, from what I remember. And there is so much that is completely awesome about those books, I really think the good points outweigh any bad.

 

Does anyone know if any Pern fandom is still going on? I got really involved with that as a kid too (I actually created Black River Weyr, if it's still around) and had a blast. I improved my writing and learned web design. :D

 

Sorry... this concludes my trip down memory lane. :)

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I think Pratchett is by far the greatest, but there is some innuendo in them.

 

Did you see he has Alzheimer's? There was an article in the Guardian about it and how he can no longer physically write/type - he's using voice recognition software to continue to compose.

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The Anne McCaffery Pern books, with the exception of Dragonsong and Dragonsinger, which are completely clean and great for younger readers, most definitely have sexual content. When the dragons mate, the dragonriders have to as well, in case anyone doesn't recall. It's pretty mild and it frankly went over my head when I was 12, but it's there and it baffles me that these books get rec'd all the time for young readers without this disclaimer. I also think there's a lot of weird gender stuff in there, but we won't get into that.

 

I also think The Hunger Games is a strange rec. It's popular and there's no actual sex and only some kissing - however the romantic element is a big part of the series and there's a lot of violence.

 

On to other stuff...

 

Maybe skip The Hunger Games, but Suzanne Collin's other series, Gregor the Overlander, is absolutely clean (there's one very innocent romance) and appropriate.

 

Actually, any scifi/fantasy in the children's section will be fine. I really like Cornelia Funke's Dragonrider, which is a great book - her Inkspell and Inkdeath are also really good. Also, maybe Diana Wynne Jones? She's a great writer. Or Madeline L'Engle? If he hasn't read A Wrinkle in Time, now's the time to do it!

 

But really, anything in middle grades will be fine - Harry Potter, Septimus Heap, Bartimeas trilogy, etc. - any of the popular fantasy series for kids these days are basically fine - some violence, occasional romance, no sex, no foul language.

 

Forgive me if I'm suggesting things that he's outgrown or already done, but if he's just now getting to Narnia, then I would think the children's section is the place to start anyway.

 

That wasn't so much scifi... Mostly fantasy. But for some reason there have been lots of book threads - which I always feel the need to but in on - and I think my book rec'ing skills are turning off for the night. Goodnight, ability to think of good books... See you tomorrow if anyone is asking for more book ideas...

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I also think there's a lot of weird gender stuff in there, but we won't get into that.

 

Weird gender stuff? Have you even read the books? The only thing I could imagine anyone considering "weird gender stuff" would be that there are gay people in the books. One of the reasons I love them. Ms. McCaffrey was way ahead of her time.

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Oh - also in sort of young adult is Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. That's a multi book series about a teenager who gets in league with some fairy folk (and not dancing in the sunshine kind of fairies, but crime fighting fairies). Initially Artemis is trying to take over the world or rob it blind, but he comes around to the good side ;)

 

Artemis is a boy, BTW.

 

Oh, and there is a code somewhere in all the books. THe code is the same and I thought it was an easily deciphered one (in the first book there is a paragraph in English and in code, and it's nearly a letter to letter transcribing code. i learned the name for that when I read a book about the Zodiac murders, but it's escaping me right now.).

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My oldest is suddenly into sci/fi books, but I haven't read enough (as in hardly any) to have a clue where to point him. He's read 2/3 of C.S. Lewis' series already. I would like to find ones without s*xual content. :001_smile: Any suggestions?

 

Pirx The Pilot and the sequel. I think the sequel even better.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tales_of_Pirx_the_Pilot

 

This is a good place for a teen to start with Lem. He is fairly unknown in the US, but very well known worldwide. I once wrote him a letter (I had the good luck of having a Polish intern working under me, and he translated the letter for me) telling him of the interesting people I met carrying one of his books for a year on the NYC subway system. None of the people who spoke to me were born here.

 

100% clean.

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Really? I was going to recommend the whole series. I've read all the Pern books (well, except for the newest ones by Todd) and I never read anything that I found objectionable or overtly sexual, and I started reading them when I was around thirteen or fourteen. The few intimate scenes that occur when one of the queens rises to mate were pretty vague or else fade to black, from what I remember. And there is so much that is completely awesome about those books, I really think the good points outweigh any bad.

 

Does anyone know if any Pern fandom is still going on? I got really involved with that as a kid too (I actually created Black River Weyr, if it's still around) and had a blast. I improved my writing and learned web design. :D

 

 

I was just looking last night and could not find anything about Ista-6. I know Telgar-5 (the one my current username started as a brown dragon in) is trying to restart and having problems. PernMUSH is gone :( Dragonsfire MOO is still around. But basically not grown since I was there a decade ago (or more? probably)

 

Most of the Pern books very definitely have sexual content. Innuendo and stuff, but if you are concerned, DO preread.

 

Off Armageddon Reef from David Weber Maybe? might want to preread. Nothing overt but it does allude to stuff.

 

How about Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series?

 

Asimov's robot series?

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With respect to the Pern stuff:

 

a) Dragondrums has some sex as well.

 

b) Some, especially in the earlier ones, carries a strong theme of not being completely consensual.

 

c) That being said, I read it when I was about 10-14 and completely missed almost all of it. It's not especially explicit in most cases. I went back and read it as an adult and was astonished at how much went over my head.

 

With respect to Heinlein:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_A._Heinlein_bibliography

 

If you stay in the 'early' series, you should be okay. If you go beyond that, there's lots.

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Weird gender stuff? Have you even read the books? The only thing I could imagine anyone considering "weird gender stuff" would be that there are gay people in the books. One of the reasons I love them. Ms. McCaffrey was way ahead of her time.

 

This blog post from Girl Detective pretty well sums up my feelings on the first book (and if you look at the comments, you can see my reaction too). I enjoyed these books a LOT as a young reader. And I still think that there are many appealing things about them. However, I don't find McCaffrey ahead of her time on gender issues (any gay issues presented are fine with me though there aren't much in the original books, IIRC...). I'm talking about her presentation of women and relationships. The books in the original series most definitely do not pass the Bechdel test.

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Really? I was going to recommend the whole series. I've read all the Pern books (well, except for the newest ones by Todd) and I never read anything that I found objectionable or overtly sexual, and I started reading them when I was around thirteen or fourteen. The few intimate scenes that occur when one of the queens rises to mate were pretty vague or else fade to black, from what I remember. And there is so much that is completely awesome about those books, I really think the good points outweigh any bad.

 

 

 

Yes, I most certainly remember the sexual stuff in those books from when I read them as a young teen, so am always surprised when they're recommended.

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  • 3 years later...
Guest Scifitom

My oldest is suddenly into sci/fi books, but I haven't read enough (as in hardly any) to have a clue where to point him. He's read 2/3 of C.S. Lewis' series already. I would like to find ones without s*xual content. :001_smile: Any suggestions?

Book as a Parent I would not recommend:

 

Hunger Games - this is not a book I'd recommend. We get caught up as adults that it's clean but it's kids killing kids. I think the books are well written but I wouldn't consider it teen themed.

Tripod Series - it's not terrible just incredibly boring.

Percy Jackson Series - I thought this would be great but there are some inappropriate themes. The kids are part of a special camp for bastard children of the gods. The Greek Gods are treated as real, which sounds cute and fun but twists peoples views.

Ready player 1 - full of foul language.

 

 

Books I'd recommend:

Silent Intrusion by Adam Gillrie - no sex no swearing and no strange themes. My kids have enjoyed it. Very fast paced it's about good people trying to stop alien abductions.

Harry Potter - not scifi but incredibly well written. There is some black magic stuff but I didn't see it as a problem.

Enders Game - just a great motivator for kids about their potential.

Anything Anne Mcaffery - I just love the woman.

 

 

I hope that helps a bit. I had to write when I saw the recommendation that Hunger Games would be good for kids.

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When I was a kid I loved SciFi.  For a while it was pretty much all I read, but I hated Fantasy.  Sometimes there is a fine line.  I loved Bradbury and Asimov but I would have never considered Harry Potter (although I love that series) SciFi, it is Fantasy.  Same with Percy Jackson and CS Lewis.  If you son prefers Lewis perhaps he is more interested in Fantasy than SciFi?

 

I couldn't get through the Pern books, even though they really straddle the two genres.   The dragons to me screamed Fantasy and turned me off.

 

For SciFi I do agree with the Hunger Games and Enders Game suggestions.

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Book as a Parent I would not recommend:

 

Hunger Games - this is not a book I'd recommend. We get caught up as adults that it's clean but it's kids killing kids. I think the books are well written but I wouldn't consider it teen themed.

Tripod Series - it's not terrible just incredibly boring.

Percy Jackson Series - I thought this would be great but there are some inappropriate themes. The kids are part of a special camp for bastard children of the gods. The Greek Gods are treated as real, which sounds cute and fun but twists peoples views.

Ready player 1 - full of foul language.

 

 

Books I'd recommend:

Silent Intrusion by Adam Gillrie - no sex no swearing and no strange themes. My kids have enjoyed it. Very fast paced it's about good people trying to stop alien abductions.

Harry Potter - not scifi but incredibly well written. There is some black magic stuff but I didn't see it as a problem.

Enders Game - just a great motivator for kids about their potential.

Anything Anne Mcaffery - I just love the woman.

 

 

I hope that helps a bit. I had to write when I saw the recommendation that Hunger Games would be good for kids.

 

I find it interesting that you would not recommend The Hunger Games but would recommend Ender's Game. Ender's Game has him annihilating an entire race of beings--that's the "big reveal" that makes it so horrifying. Describing it as you do "just a great motivator for kids about their potential?" It's as if you didn't even read it, frankly.

 

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I find it interesting that you would not recommend The Hunger Games but would recommend Ender's Game. Ender's Game has him annihilating an entire race of beings--that's the "big reveal" that makes it so horrifying. Describing it as you do "just a great motivator for kids about their potential?" It's as if you didn't even read it, frankly.

 

 

Plus, recommending a book based on 'no sex no swearing' and then recommending Anne McCaffrey ... ???

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Not Sci-fi.... more fantasy. 

N.D. Wilson has a couple of series that are magical, other-worldly and clean (he writes religious stuff too.)  I really like Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men series also loved Maurice (I own ALL of the Discworld books).  Artemis Fowl is "clean", I mean Artemis develops a crush on a LEP-recon (spelling is correct) but nothing grown up about it.  Not 100% sure about swearing.... there might be a few rather tame ones but nothing that stands out in my memory.

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Hunger Games was disturbing on many levels, I would not recommend it. As for not having sex, it certainly has some dark sexual elements, especially in the third book. One of the former hunger games champions tells about being repeatedly forced to have sex with people who paid money to--I think it was the president? He couldn't say no because this guy threatened to kill his family if he did. Really not what I want my kids reading about in a book meant for entertainment.

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My dh, my ten year old and I all read and LOVED the Wandla series by DiTerlizzi. We are anxiously waiting the third book in the series and have already discussed who gets to read it first!

http://wondla.com/home/

Wow, that looks great!

 

OP are these recommendations for your 15 year old? Personally I think that the Hunger Games series is fine for a young teen. Or at least should be fine for a young teen who understands that many books have deeper meaning. The book isn't about kids killing kids for fun. It is about a governments control over its citizens. The third book does contain mention that a male character had to prostitute himself against his will.

 

What about the Maze Runner Books? I really only liked the first one but there are three.

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Anything Anne Mcaffery - I just love the woman.

 

 

 

For children?? No. Just...no.

 

I have all the Pern books (that were authored by her alone); there are definitely s*xual elements in them, even in the Harper Hall books. For adults they're fine; for children...no. And some of her other books are pretty graphic--not throughout the whole book, usually only one instance, but...no, not for children.

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For children?? No. Just...no.

 

I have all the Pern books (that were authored by her alone); there are definitely s*xual elements in them, even in the Harper Hall books. For adults they're fine; for children...no. And some of her other books are pretty graphic--not throughout the whole book, usually only one instance, but...no, not for children.

 

I read and loved them as a child (I did not even notice the sexual elements at the time). When I reread them as a late teen I was astonished at how much sex there was in them. I certainly would never recommend them to someone who was searching for "clean" science fiction.

 

Also, I refuse to classify the ones written with her son as Pern books. I prefer to pretend that they never happened. :)

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More fantasy than Sci fi but David Edding's Belgariad is wonderful.

Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem

Timothy Zahn's Star Wars books

early works of Robert Heinlen such as Podkayne of Mars, Have Spacesuit, Will Travel or even Starship Troopers

Orson Scott Card

C. S. Lewis' Space Trilogy

Rendezvous with Rama

Douglas Adams

Ringworld by Larry Niven

The Mote in God's Eye

 

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Book as a Parent I would not recommend:

 

Hunger Games - this is not a book I'd recommend. We get caught up as adults that it's clean but it's kids killing kids. I think the books are well written but I wouldn't consider it teen themed.

Tripod Series - it's not terrible just incredibly boring.

Percy Jackson Series - I thought this would be great but there are some inappropriate themes. The kids are part of a special camp for bastard children of the gods. The Greek Gods are treated as real, which sounds cute and fun but twists peoples views.

Ready player 1 - full of foul language.

 

 

Books I'd recommend:

Silent Intrusion by Adam Gillrie - no sex no swearing and no strange themes. My kids have enjoyed it. Very fast paced it's about good people trying to stop alien abductions.

Harry Potter - not scifi but incredibly well written. There is some black magic stuff but I didn't see it as a problem.

Enders Game - just a great motivator for kids about their potential.

Anything Anne Mcaffery - I just love the woman.

 

 

I hope that helps a bit. I had to write when I saw the recommendation that Hunger Games would be good for kids.

 

Really?  My kids read the top ones and were just fine.  Of course discussion is good, but the Hunger Games brings up important points for the teen crowd.  I can't imagine why Ender's Game would make the cut if Hunger Games didn't though.  Wow.  SOOOOOOO much cussing, nudity, and genocide.  Much worse than Hunger Games in many ways. Of course you think that the way the gods are treated as well in Percy Jackson is also bad, and I'm assuming you're referencing Nico's crush on Percy as being immoral, so I can see we won't see eye to eye.  Their views must be terribly twisted.  :lol:  I'm sorry, that's just really insulting. 

I find it interesting that you would not recommend The Hunger Games but would recommend Ender's Game. Ender's Game has him annihilating an entire race of beings--that's the "big reveal" that makes it so horrifying. Describing it as you do "just a great motivator for kids about their potential?" It's as if you didn't even read it, frankly.

 

:iagree:

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Book as a Parent I would not recommend:

 

Hunger Games - this is not a book I'd recommend. We get caught up as adults that it's clean but it's kids killing kids. I think the books are well written but I wouldn't consider it teen themed.

Tripod Series - it's not terrible just incredibly boring.

Percy Jackson Series - I thought this would be great but there are some inappropriate themes. The kids are part of a special camp for bastard children of the gods. The Greek Gods are treated as real, which sounds cute and fun but twists peoples views.

Ready player 1 - full of foul language.

 

 

Books I'd recommend:

Silent Intrusion by Adam Gillrie - no sex no swearing and no strange themes. My kids have enjoyed it. Very fast paced it's about good people trying to stop alien abductions.

Harry Potter - not scifi but incredibly well written. There is some black magic stuff but I didn't see it as a problem.

Enders Game - just a great motivator for kids about their potential.

Anything Anne Mcaffery - I just love the woman.

 

 

I hope that helps a bit. I had to write when I saw the recommendation that Hunger Games would be good for kids.

 

I forgot to put Hunger Games on hold for ds. Thanks!!

 

As a couple of FYIs... I adore Anne McCaffrey as well, but DragonsFlight basically has a rape scene when Lessa's dragon flies. DragonSong and DragonSinger are safe.

 

Ender's Game is wonderful, but Orson Scott Card has some political beliefs and has served on boards and directed his money to some causes that I absolutely strongly disagree with, so I'd only buy his books used at this point. Speaker for the Dead has the torture and vivisection of the piggies, so I steered my son away from it after he'd read Ender's.

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As a couple of FYIs... I adore Anne McCaffrey as well, but DragonsFlight basically has a rape scene when Lessa's dragon flies. DragonSong and DragonSinger are safe.

 

So do Dragonquest (and not even involving a dragon flying), the White Dragon, and several other of the dragon books.

 

I would also consider Dragonsong and Dragonsinger safe, other than some children might be disturbed by a physical punishment (basically, beating with a belt until blood is drawn) administered in Dragonsong.

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Tripod Series - it's not terrible just incredibly boring.

 

 

This is a brilliant series that deals well with themes of teenage independence, free will, societal norms...  The basic premise is that Earth is taken over by aliens who put mind-controlling caps on humans once they reach puberty.  There's a lot to discuss in there....

 

L

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This is a brilliant series that deals well with themes of teenage independence, free will, societal norms... The basic premise is that Earth is taken over by aliens who put mind-controlling caps on humans once they reach puberty. There's a lot to discuss in there....

 

L

I actually re-read it every 10 or 15 years, so much to think about, well written. There is also leadership, friendship, friend/family/society/nation loyalty...

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What about the Eragon series?  It's fantasy, not sci fi, but I remember liking it.  I don't remember anything sexual in it, but I could be wrong.  Wasn't it written by a young home schooler?

 

The first book of this series might be ok. But I couldn't stomach the beginning of the third's violence. I've never been tempted to go back and I put down very few books without finishing.

 

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