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Best Science Fiction Books

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Steve
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What are the best in your opinion? I would like to rule out the following from consideration:

Star Trek books, except by Roddenberry
Star Wars, period
Anything by L. Ron Hubbard
 

MrFungus420

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Very difficult.

I'd have to default to authors. Asimov, Heinlein, Niven, Silverberg, Harrison, and Pournel come immediately to mind.
 

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MrFungus420 said:
Very difficult.

I'd have to default to authors. Asimov, Heinlein, Niven, Silverberg, Harrison, and Pournel come immediately to mind.
Larry Niven is maybe my favorite. The guy can create plausible worlds that are nothing like ours.The alien world in 'The Mote in God's Eye,' and the cyclical mutual exterminations there, the 'planet' in 'The Integral Trees,' and of course, 'Ringworld.' The last was amazing. I need to read the trilogy again.

Ever read Heinlein's 'He built a crooked house?'
 

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Dan Simmon's Hyperion series is terrific. So is Across Realtime by Verner Vinge. Both are big, meaty reads that take a little effort, but are well worth the time.

Neal Stevenson's Snowcrash and Diamond age are both great cyberpunk -- tongue in cheeck and much better than his later stuff imo. I also like Pat Cadigan in that genre.

I certainly wouldn't have that Douglas Adams quote were it not for Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. The movie was a disappointment. Read the books, instead.

John Brunner's Stand On Zanzibar is a classic, as is James Blish's Cities in Flight. Couldn't fail to mention Herbert's Dune, either.

Other favorite writers are R.A. Laferty, Cordwainer Smith, James Tiptree Jr., John Varley, Nancy Kress (beggers in Spain esp), and Lois McMasters Bujold.
 

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Gardener said:
Dan Simmon's Hyperion series is terrific. So is Across Realtime by Verner Vinge. Both are big, meaty reads that take a little effort, but are well worth the time.

Neal Stevenson's Snowcrash and Diamond age are both great cyberpunk -- tongue in cheeck and much better than his later stuff imo. I also like Pat Cadigan in that genre.

I certainly wouldn't have that Douglas Adams quote were it not for Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. The movie was a disappointment. Read the books, instead.

John Brunner's Stand On Zanzibar is a classic, as is James Blish's Cities in Flight. Couldn't fail to mention Herbert's Dune, either.

Other favorite writers are R.A. Laferty, Cordwainer Smith, James Tiptree Jr., John Varley, Nancy Kress (beggers in Spain esp), and Lois McMasters Bujold.
Read a little Vinge-he wrote 'The cold equation' didn't he? A great, cold, scary story, especially for its time.

Read the 'Hitchhiker' books, haven't seen the movie yet for fear of disappointment. I tend to favor the style of some of the British authors.

Read some Nancy Kress, haven't read most of the others you mentioned.
 

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Dune is on top for me, then comes the Foundation books by Aasimov, The Ender's Game Series by Orson Scott Card, and Phillip K. Dick's books are up there too.
 

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Sulla158 said:
Dune is on top for me, then comes the Foundation books by Aasimov, The Ender's Game Series by Orson Scott Card, and Phillip K. Dick's books are up there too.
I agree about Card's Ender's Game Series. I had the priviledge to take a survey class under him when he was a visiting lecturer one semester at ASU. It was one of the best classes I ever got to take.
 

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Sulla158 said:
Dune is on top for me, then comes the Foundation books by Aasimov, The Ender's Game Series by Orson Scott Card, and Phillip K. Dick's books are up there too.
I thought this thread had croaked. I should have made it more interesting, instead of asking such a dead end question.

I never read Dune, will some day. I read the first Ender's Game, the short story, and it is excellent.
 

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I started with Verne and Wells. Then came Clark and Asimov. After that a million books. Too many to say. I always read the local library out.

One guy that is more known for fantasy, but had an excellent 5 book series is Stephen R. Donaldson. Dune rocks, and his sons recent books are good. You're right about Hyperion Gardener. How'd you like to be on that tree of pain? It's like choosing the prettiest girl. So many good ones.
 

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I know this thread is dying, but I've gotta put a plug in for Edgar Rice Burroughs...not just the Tarzan series, but the John Carter of Mars books, which are, of course, more sci-fi. Good, entertaining, and easy going reading.

I always liked Bradbury, and H.G. Wells. My wife keeps wanting me to read Heilen (sp?), as in Robert S. Heinlen, but I cannot get into his books. Too boring, too descriptive sometimes...the plot is moving along nicely, then suddenly, you have to read through 6 pages of landscape details, or someone's home furnishings...etc...blah.

I prefer Science Fantasy over Sci-Fi.
 

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Hoot said:
I know this thread is dying, but I've gotta put a plug in for Edgar Rice Burroughs...not just the Tarzan series, but the John Carter of Mars books, which are, of course, more sci-fi. Good, entertaining, and easy going reading.

I always liked Bradbury, and H.G. Wells. My wife keeps wanting me to read Heilen (sp?), as in Robert S. Heinlen, but I cannot get into his books. Too boring, too descriptive sometimes...the plot is moving along nicely, then suddenly, you have to read through 6 pages of landscape details, or someone's home furnishings...etc...blah.

I prefer Science Fantasy over Sci-Fi.
It is harder to read Heinlein to me too. I've read several of his books but none are among my favorites. Try some of his short stories, though. 'He Built a Crooked House,' and 'Them' for instance. They are more to the point.

The only Burroughs I ever read was 'Tarzan.' Didn't know he wrote sci-fi.
 

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tryreading said:
It is harder to read Heinlein to me too. I've read several of his books but none are among my favorites. Try some of his short stories, though. 'He Built a Crooked House,' and 'Them' for instance. They are more to the point.

The only Burroughs I ever read was 'Tarzan.' Didn't know he wrote sci-fi.
Are you kidding me? I've always thought that Heinlen was easy to read. It's not like he's the Tom Clancy of scifi, or anything like that. To start out reading his books, go look up 'Starship Troopers'. Next look up 'Stranger In A Strange Land'. I prefer Starship Troopers, but it lacks the great amount of combat that should be associated with a book of that name. Still a good book though.
 

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Sir_Alec said:
Are you kidding me? I've always thought that Heinlen was easy to read. It's not like he's the Tom Clancy of scifi, or anything like that. To start out reading his books, go look up 'Starship Troopers'. Next look up 'Stranger In A Strange Land'. I prefer Starship Troopers, but it lacks the great amount of combat that should be associated with a book of that name. Still a good book though.
I have to admit...the first book my wife wanted me to read by Heinlen was "Time Enough For Love." I'm not sure about that title anymore?

Anyway...that was the book that turned me off on Heinlen. Perhaps I should give him another chance? I know he's well respected as a writer.
 

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Sir_Alec said:
Are you kidding me? I've always thought that Heinlen was easy to read. It's not like he's the Tom Clancy of scifi, or anything like that. To start out reading his books, go look up 'Starship Troopers'. Next look up 'Stranger In A Strange Land'. I prefer Starship Troopers, but it lacks the great amount of combat that should be associated with a book of that name. Still a good book though.
I read 'Stranger in a Strange Land' and grokked it very well. But Heinlein's books aren't as interesting to me as some of the other sci-fi I read. That's really what I meant by a 'hard read.' I kind of have to make myself read his books, but I jump on stories written by my favorite authors, like Niven. Funny thing is, Niven has said that 'Heinlein showed us (authors) how' to write sci-fi. I've never read Starship Troopers, but will soon.
 

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tryreading said:
I read 'Stranger in a Strange Land' and grokked it very well. But Heinlein's books aren't as interesting to me as some of the other sci-fi I read. That's really what I meant by a 'hard read.' I kind of have to make myself read his books, but I jump on stories written by my favorite authors, like Niven. Funny thing is, Niven has said that 'Heinlein showed us (authors) how' to write sci-fi. I've never read Starship Troopers, but will soon.
Don't get to exicted about any epic scifi battles. The reason I like the book is because of how ahead of it's time it was. How many 50s era scifi novels do you read that include mech robots (a lot like the ones from the series Mobile Suit Gundam) with automated machineguns and computer targeting missiles fighting against giant communist spiders with laser cannons.
 

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Sir_Alec said:
Don't get to exicted about any epic scifi battles. The reason I like the book is because of how ahead of it's time it was. How many 50s era scifi novels do you read that include mech robots (a lot like the ones from the series Mobile Suit Gundam) with automated machineguns and computer targeting missiles fighting against giant communist spiders with laser cannons.
The thing I respect most about Heinlein is that he went full bore into the religious and political to make one think. He was a pioneer. Although not my favorite, I understand how talented he was.
 

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I'm not exactly sure if this would count as Sci-Fi, or Sci-Fant, or just wacky fiction, but The Illuminatus Trilogy!:The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, Leviathan . If you like Hitchhiker, you'll love this one.
Book Description
Filled with sex and violence--in and out of time and space--the three books of The Illuminatus are only partly works of the imagination. They tackle all the coverups of our time--from who really shot the Kennedys to why there's a pyramid on a one-dollar bill
 

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tryreading said:
The thing I respect most about Heinlein is that he went full bore into the religious and political to make one think. He was a pioneer. Although not my favorite, I understand how talented he was.
Don't believe anyone who says Starship Troopers is about a fascist society. Sure, they do hang people and air it on television, but all races and sexual preferences are accepted as equal.


Also, you have to join the military to vote and have children. :doh
 
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