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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Minneapolis, MN

    Best Sci-Fi Book

    So I had to write a paper on a piece of popular culture and analyze it as a literary work for my literature class this semester and I did it on my favorite Book, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. This is one of potentially the best known Sci-Fi books.

    I was wondering what others favorite Sci-Fi books are? I'm looking to read a few more good SciFi books as I'm in the mood. What should I read?

  2. #2
    Well that's an entire universe of topic; what do you define as Sci-Fi? Speculative fiction covers a lot of ground.

    My favorite at the moment is probably Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, by Philip Dick, one of the best science fiction writers ever.

    I could also rattle off (in no particular order) Dune, Downbelow Station, Starship Troopers, Babel-17, Diamond Age, Neuromancer, and Sundiver (and the rest of the Uplift novels) to cover off some mainstram works.

    If you were leaning towards something a little different, The Moon and the Sun is a terrific science fiction novel set in Louis XIV's court at Versailles. If you wanted to think politically, The Dispossessed is a wonderful work about anarchy. Or The Left Hand of Darkness, which deals with bigotry and stereotyping.

    I could do this all day.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Cavlaw View Post
    Well that's an entire universe of topic; what do you define as Sci-Fi? Speculative fiction covers a lot of ground.

    My favorite at the moment is probably Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, by Philip Dick, one of the best science fiction writers ever.

    I could also rattle off (in no particular order) Dune, Downbelow Station, Starship Troopers, Babel-17, Diamond Age, Neuromancer, and Sundiver (and the rest of the Uplift novels) to cover off some mainstram works.

    If you were leaning towards something a little different, The Moon and the Sun is a terrific science fiction novel set in Louis XIV's court at Versailles. If you wanted to think politically, The Dispossessed is a wonderful work about anarchy. Or The Left Hand of Darkness, which deals with bigotry and stereotyping.

    I could do this all day.
    That's a great list. I'll strongly echo Dune (but none of the sequels, sadly). For Stephenson, I would probably replace Diamond Age with Snow Crash.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    I don't read as near as much as I used to, but my favorite sci-fi writers were (and still are) Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke. Pick up any Bradbury anthology for a swift read through a bunch of compelling stories, and from Clarke check out Rendevous with Rama (he authored the first, had Gentry Lee co-write the second two in the Rama series).
    Also, just to throw this out there, easily in my top 5 sci-fi writers, but not often cosidered, is Rod Serling. That guy was an idea machine.
    Mmmm, BBQ!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by bigj4194 View Post
    So I had to write a paper on a piece of popular culture and analyze it as a literary work for my literature class this semester and I did it on my favorite Book, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. This is one of potentially the best known Sci-Fi books.
    Hey, thanks for keeping me from having to start a new thread - I was just going to post the following question:

    Does Ender's Game (the book) have any important charts/graphs/maps/illustrations in it? I have an audio book version, and am looking forward to listening to it, but don't want to miss out on any content that may not translate to audio.

    Same question for any of the others in the Ender/Bean series (my husband's gone through about 5 of the audio books.) Thanks!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilAlumna View Post
    Hey, thanks for keeping me from having to start a new thread - I was just going to post the following question:

    Does Ender's Game (the book) have any important charts/graphs/maps/illustrations in it? I have an audio book version, and am looking forward to listening to it, but don't want to miss out on any content that may not translate to audio.

    Same question for any of the others in the Ender/Bean series (my husband's gone through about 5 of the audio books.) Thanks!
    Nope, everything's in yer noggin'.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Quote Originally Posted by Cavlaw View Post
    Nope, everything's in yer noggin'.
    And that's the way it should be...i'm slightly worried with the movie they are making of it. I think they will end up ruining the novel.

    Thanks also for responding...as it is Thanksgiving break this week I might get to read something fun for a change
    Last edited by bigj4194; 11-24-2008 at 07:47 PM. Reason: forgot a thought

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC area
    Quote Originally Posted by bigj4194 View Post
    And that's the way it should be...i'm slightly worried with the movie they are making of it. I think they will end up ruining the novel.

    Thanks also for responding...as it is Thanksgiving break this week I might get to read something fun for a change
    Theoretically, Card is very closely involved with the movie. We'll see. It was the first novel to win both the Hugo and Nebula awards. I think the sequel was the second.

    -jk

  9. #9
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    Oct 2007
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    Minneapolis, MN
    Quote Originally Posted by -jk View Post
    Theoretically, Card is very closely involved with the movie. We'll see. It was the first novel to win both the Hugo and Nebula awards. I think the sequel was the second.

    -jk
    you are correct with all three. OSC is playing an active role in the movie. The director just quit and so they are searching for a new director. And EG was the first and speaker of the dead was the second.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bigj4194 View Post
    you are correct with all three. OSC is playing an active role in the movie. The director just quit and so they are searching for a new director. And EG was the first and speaker of the dead was the second.
    Both works were very good. Sadly, he hasn't quite produced at that level since.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seoul, Korea
    Ok, lets see...

    I'd toss in any of Asimov's short story books(his longer fiction was good too, I have a particular fondness for the Caves of Steel and its continuations, but I like his playing with ideas much more in short stories... 2 of my favorites being The Red Queen's Race and Breeds there a man?

    I've always liked The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein. Some of his other works my feelings ebb and flow, but that's one I've always enjoyed.

    The Hyperion Cantos by Simmons(4 books, Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion, Endymion, Rise of Endymion) is a good read as well.

    The Man in the High Castle is to me the quintessential Dick book. And though I can only read him in small doses(many authors I'll binge on, reading 5 of their books in a month), the distopian visions he creates in his short stories are fabulous.

    The can come across as a bit dry, but I also enjoyed Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars series.

    And finally, a book I highly recommend, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Very interesting take on first interaction with another species(it also has a follow up called Children of God, which isn't as good, but still a decent read).

    That's what occurs to me off the top of my head, there's loads of other stuff that I'll read because, well, I read way too much and living in a non-English speaking country means I'll read crud just to have something to read even if its only marginally entertaining.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC area
    I'll second The Sparrow. Not a typical SF novel, but quite good none-the-less.

    The list so far has been some of my favorites (Hyperion less so). I'm also fond of novels by Greg Bear.

    -jk

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    My favorite is The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, a splendid example of the first contact genre.

    For a series, my fav is Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld series. Forget the movie, the books create a plausible universe which includes everyone who ever lived on the same huge planet at the same time.

  14. #14
    Hyperion Cantos is a great add. Also by Simmons are Illium and Olympos, which are great reads.

    I would never recommend reading all six works back to back though - each pair goes through an entire story arc on its own, and a pair of them is enough to crush you under their weight.

  15. #15
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    Feb 2007
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    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by bigj4194 View Post
    And that's the way it should be...i'm slightly worried with the movie they are making of it. I think they will end up ruining the novel.

    Thanks also for responding...as it is Thanksgiving break this week I might get to read something fun for a change
    For a preview of the movie look and feel, check out the Ender's Game comic series out right now. I read on teh intertubes that it will be the template for the movie.

    As for suggestions (some repeats, but because they are that good):

    Dune
    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
    The Four Lords of the Diamond series by Chalker
    Ringworld - Larry Niven
    Ender's Shadow
    Pegasus Takes Flight - Anne McAffrey
    Nueromancer\\\
    these two books started the whole genre of cyberpunk
    Snow Crash////
    Anathema - new Stephenson book, very interesting
    Now I'm 33, my back hurts, and I just don't care who does what in Cameron. - Throatybeard

  16. #16
    Excellent lists. I'd add the Gap series by Stephen R. Donaldson. Like his fantasy epic, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Gap series explores some very dark reaches of the human psyche, but it is fantastic.

  17. #17
    Stranger in a Strange Land - Heinlein

    William Gibson
    ~rthomas


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham-- 2 miles from Cameron, baby!
    No one has mentioned:

    - The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov. Great, old school SF.
    - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (a Trilogy in Four Parts) by Douglas Adams. Everyone's heard of this one, but forgets it's actually SF.

    Ones others have named here that I highly recommend:

    1) Dune. Do not read the sequels. If you must, stop at the third. You've been warned.

    2) Ender's Game. I'd actually say read the first two sequels, but stop there.

    3) Neuromancer. Wow. First time I read it out of obligation, and it was okay. The second time I read it, I was surprised at how much better it was. The third time I read it, it was awesome. I'm afraid to read it a fourth time.

    4) Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein. Classic. One of the last books before he started going really out there.

    5) Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson. Great, fun read. Amazing ideas.

    If you can get your hands on the anthology Science Fiction Writer's Hall of Fame (the one edited by Robert Silverberg), that's an amazing collection of short stories.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Back in the dirty Jerz
    Lemme see, I'm gonna have to think hard about this..... hmmm.....
    -- DukeUsul

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seoul, Korea
    The sleeper must awaken?

    Oh, and geez, can't believe I left off Hitchhikers, I meant to put it in there and forgot halfway through the post.
    Last edited by Deslok; 11-24-2008 at 11:29 PM. Reason: add THGTTG note

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