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beansprouts

Need science fiction suggestions..

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Isaac Asimov is classic - I particularly like his Robot series and Foundation series (which are both in the same universe - I'd read them in the order they were written, not their chronological order within the universe; Asimov wrote a few prequels to the Foundation series that assumes knowledge of what comes next). Frank Herbert's Dune is also classic. I also think of Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke as classic sci-fi writers.

 

More modern writers that I like: Timothy Zahn (my favorite - I've read all his books; "The Icarus Hunt" is probably my absolute fav), David Weber (particularly his Honor Harrington series), Orson Scott Card ("Ender's Game" is probably his most well-known book, and probably my favorite). For sci-fi humor, Robert Aspirin's Phule series is fun, but still on the "normal" side ;), and Douglas Adams' Hitch-hiker's Guide series is hilarious and totally cracked :lol:.

 

Well, I think that exhausts most of my sci-fi bookshelf :tongue_smilie:. Have fun - sci-fi's been one of my favorite genres since I was a kid :).

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I love sci fi!

 

My favorite series ever is the Vorkosigan books, by Bujold. It starts with Shards of Honor and Barrayar (they're sold as one volume these days). It is a series, but those two are pretty self-contained, so don't feel like you're committing to something huge.

 

Though, I'll warn you, I've introduced lots of friends to these books, and every single one has ended up hooked. :)

 

The Bujold books are very character-driven (her plot-generating device is: what's the worse thing I can do do my hero?), and tend towards bio-ethical questions, cultural dilemmas, etc.

 

If you want something that's more about world-building, Julie E. Czerneda writes excellent imaginary worlds and the best aliens I've ever read. Try the series that starts with Survival. I find that every once in a while she loses the plot in the complexity of her world, but they're still fascinating reading, and she usually catches up with the narrative eventually. :)

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The Red Mars Series is excellent for "realistic" sci-fi

Heinlein (the author) is amazing all over the board

Isamov - classic

Bradbury - sci-fi on Earth - wonderful!

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Oh! And how could I forget? The Liaden books, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (start here). Though they're a bit more space opera than hard sci-fi. Terribly fun. The authors are fans of Georgette Heyer, and it shows.

 

More classic sci-fi, as someone else posted, are Asimov and Clarke. I second the recommendation of the robot books, and with Clarke, I've always liked "The Hammer of God".

 

Also, Larry Niven is pretty classic. He gets a little odd sometimes (most sci-fi authors do, I think), but I thought "The Integral Trees" presented a fascinating world.

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You could obviously go classic with Asimov and so forth - all stuff that if you haven't read but are interested in Scifi, then you should.

 

I also second Orson Scott Card. It's YA, but great stuff so don't let that deter you.

 

The author not mentioned that I'll throw into the mix here is Octavia Butler. She's a fascinating writer. Just a warning though - there's some strange stuff in there. I especially like her short stories and her two "Parables" books.

 

In general, I like a lot of the women's scifi. You could look at Sharon Shinn. And, of course, Ursula K. LeGuin is classic.

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My favorites:

 

space trilogy by C.S. Lewis (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength)

 

Connie Willis! I love her time travel books: Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog, Blackout, All Clear. Bellwether is also good.

 

Wendi

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I second (third, fourth) many of the books and authors already mentioned.

 

Two good ones I haven't seen posted are Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress (I actually prefer the novella to the novel, if you can find it) and The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.

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I also second Orson Scott Card. It's YA, but great stuff so don't let that deter you.

 

 

 

Some of his stuff is YA, but certainly not all. I think he's best writing short fiction. Ender's Game started as a novelette and he lengthened it a bit. It's still short. I like his novels, but I adore his short stories. And he's written about a thousand of them.

 

The short stories are definitely not YA.

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I agree with what other people have suggested-Asimov, Clarke, Bradbury, Heinlein, they are some of sci-fi's greatest authors. I also agree with Orson Scott Card and agree with Melinda about The Sparrow, I was going to suggest it too.

 

There are a number of early works considered sci-fi:

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, Frankenstein and The Last Man by Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, HG Wells, Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, those are the pioneers.

 

Other suggestions:

Aldous Huxley

 

George Orwell

 

William S. Burroughs

 

Frank Herbert

 

Ursula LeGuin

 

Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover books

 

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

 

Cormac McCarthy

 

Frank Herbert

 

You might consider looking at The Norton Anthology of Science Fiction. It could help you decide what types of science fiction you enjoy.

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The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.

 

I haven't read a lot of sci-fi, but I have read The Sparrow & thought it was fascinating. (Not sure I realized it would be considered 'sci-fi'....)

 

I saw this book at the library & want to read it because it sounds neat: The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Clarence Palmer.

"From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Palmer's dazzling debut explodes with energy and invention on almost every page. In a steampunky alternate reality, genius inventor Prospero Taligent promises the 100 kids he's invited to his daughter Miranda's birthday party that they will have their "heart's desires fulfilled." When young Harold Winslow says he wants to be a storyteller, he sets in motion an astonishing plot that will eventually find him imprisoned aboard a giant zeppelin, the
Chrysalis
, powered by Taligent's greatest invention, a (probably faulty) perpetual motion machine. As Harold tells his story from his airborne prison, a fantastic and fantastical account unfolds: cities full of Taligent's mechanical men, a virtual island where Harold and Miranda play as children, the Kafkaesque goings-on in the boiler rooms and galleries of Taligent's tower. Harold's narration is interspersed with dreams, diary entries, memos and monologues from the colorful supporting cast, and the dialogue, both overly formal and B-movie goofy ("I'm afraid the death rays are just a bunch of science fiction folderol"), offers comic counterpoint. This book will immediately connect with fans of Neal Stephenson and Alfred Bester, and will surely win over readers who'd ordinarily pass on anything remotely sci-fi."

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I haven't read a lot of sci-fi, but I have read The Sparrow & thought it was fascinating. (Not sure I realized it would be considered 'sci-fi'....)

 

*trying to tread gently but probably failing* Can I ask why you wouldn't consider it science fiction, what with the space travel and the aliens?

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*trying to tread gently but probably failing* Can I ask why you wouldn't consider it science fiction, what with the space travel and the aliens?

 

:lol:

 

I love reading fantasy (which can include all sorts of 'out of this world' scenarios, so I was probably mindlessly lumping it in the 'fantasy' category somewhat). When reading it, I don't think I really thought about what category it was considered. The characterization was great & the story fascinating, regardless of where/what universe it took place.

 

I guess when I think of sci-fi, I think of the 'classic' things like Asimov or War of the Worlds type stuff or cheesy 70s pulp fiction w/ cover art of people carrying ray guns. ;):D

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Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Moon, Julie Czerneda, and Tanya Huff all have great series about women in space. Asimov, Heinlein, and Niven are also good choices.

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:lol:

 

I love reading fantasy (which can include all sorts of 'out of this world' scenarios, so I was probably mindlessly lumping it in the 'fantasy' category somewhat). When reading it, I don't think I really thought about what category it was considered. The characterization was great & the story fascinating, regardless of where/what universe it took place.

 

I guess when I think of sci-fi, I think of the 'classic' things like Asimov or War of the Worlds type stuff or cheesy 70s pulp fiction w/ cover art of people carrying ray guns. ;):D

 

Thanks for humoring me.

 

I definitely agree with the bolded part. :001_smile:

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Planet of the Apes. I looked for an author and there seem to be several :confused: Pierre Boulle seems to have written the first one, but other authors apparently wrote the sequels. The movies were kind of corny, but I liked them anway. I believe there was a remake movie too.

 

The first book that came to mind when reading this thread...well, I can't remember the name. I looked for it around the house, but can't find it. I know I still have it.

 

Ok, name this book:

 

This is what I remember: The people on the world (a future earth?) each have a red gem embedded in the palm of their hand. When they reach the ripe old age of 30-ish, the gem starts flashing red. At that point, they are supposed to report to this place where they are euthanized. It's for the good of society. No old people to take care of. But this guy decides he wants to keep living, and he and some other people escape and eventually live happily ever after. I loved this book! It seems like the title was one word.

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Isn't that Logan's Run by William Nolan and George Clayton Johnson? There was also a movie and I think a tv series.

 

Ok, name this book:

 

This is what I remember: The people on the world (a future earth?) each have a red gem embedded in the palm of their hand. When they reach the ripe old age of 30-ish, the gem starts flashing red. At that point, they are supposed to report to this place where they are euthanized. It's for the good of society. No old people to take care of. But this guy decides he wants to keep living, and he and some other people escape and eventually live happily ever after. I loved this book! It seems like the title was one word.

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Isn't that Logan's Run by William Nolan and George Clayton Johnson? There was also a movie and I think a tv series.

Yes! I just found it online and was coming back to post it. (I didn't find the book here at my house, though. I want to re-read it now)

 

Logan's Run

 

I haven't seen the movie or TV series.

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Tripod series by John Christopher

Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard

 

Of those already listed I adore Douglas Adams and very much enjoy Card.

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Yes! I just found it online and was coming back to post it. (I didn't find the book here at my house, though. I want to re-read it now)

Yay! Dh found it. Before I knew the name of the book, I asked him if he knew where it was. I said, "I think it has a rainbow or rainbow colors on the cover, and a hand with a red gem on the palm." He didn't have a clue where it was. I looked all over for it. Then, once I found out the name and told him, he says, "Oh, if you had said it was a white book with a rainbow, I'd have known what book you meant." :glare: Then he went right to the bookshelf and got it for me.

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I loved sci-fi as a teenager. My favorites were Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series and Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea series. Both tend more toward the fantasy end of sci-fi.

 

The Dune series is also very good. I personally liked the first two books in the series better than the later books.

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I guess when I think of sci-fi, I think of the 'classic' things like Asimov or War of the Worlds type stuff or cheesy 70s pulp fiction w/ cover art of people carrying ray guns. ;):D

 

 

That's funny! Actually a great deal of science fiction is very thought provoking and philosophical as well as imaginative. I think I am going to enjoy reading these books.

 

I downloaded and read "Gifts" by Ursula K Leguin earlier this week. I liked the book very much. It was very thoughtful and well written, but the ending seemed abrupt and without resolution. Last night I downloaded "Foundation" by Asimov. I am looking forward to getting into it. I have also wanted to read "Frankenstein" for a while. I have this thread bookmarked, and will be referring back for more suggestions.

 

Another question: What is the difference between science fiction and fantasy? There seems to be some overlap.

 

Thanks!

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Coming back to add Michael Chricton (some of his books), Carl

Sagan, and H.G. Wells.

 

The difference between sci-fi and fantasy (IMO) is that sci-fi explains unusual abilities or powers with technology or biological mutations while fantasy explains these with magic.

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Another question: What is the difference between science fiction and fantasy? There seems to be some overlap.

There is some overlap, in that they are both speculative fiction, set in worlds that are in some way not the "real world" ;). And they get classed together a lot - all those sci-fi/fantasy sections :tongue_smilie:. I like them both, but not all do - my dad is strictly sci-fi, and my sil is strictly fantasy, for example.

 

Anyway, I see the difference as to whether all the speculative elements are grounded in "science", that there is a rational grounding for all the otherworldly elements - sci-fi - or whether things just are, they exist because they do, or for explicitly magical reasons - fantasy. (Not that everyone will agree with me :tongue_smilie:.)

 

But *having* magic doesn't automatically make something fantasy - for example, Zahn, a hard sci-fi author, has a wonderful book that deals with actual magic in a very sci-fi way (Triplet). And some books have a lot of sci-fi trappings - space ships, etc. - but overall have a fantasy feel (Stephen Lawhead's Empyrion books come to mind here).

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