Author Topic: Must-read Sci-fi?  (Read 11220 times)

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Offline An Arrant Knave

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Must-read Sci-fi?
« on: August 10, 2012, 10:43:06 AM »
Hi,

My taste in fiction has always been non-sci-fi, but having recently enjoyed "Contact" and Fred Hoyle's "The Black Cloud" - what single sci-fi book would you recommend?  But the focus must be on potentially possible science fiction, rather than veering on fantasy. (if you know what I mean).

Recommendations welcome!

Jason

Offline ting-bu-dong

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2012, 01:47:01 PM »
Read "Starship Troopers" and "Forever War" back to back.

Also, the distinction you're looking for is soft sci fi vs. hard sci fi. Hard sci fi is where the fictional technology is (mostly) compatible with our current understanding of science.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 01:59:28 PM by ting-bu-dong »

Offline lukebourassa

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2012, 04:12:39 PM »
Ender's Game by Orsen Scott Card

2001 by Arthur C. Clark

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

And it's not "must read," I really enjoyed Manifold (3 related books) by Stephen Baxter
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Offline moj

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2012, 08:22:08 PM »
WIRED by  Douglas E. Richards

I'm going to be reviewing the sequel "Amped" in rate the last book you read soon, but am not quite done yet. Anyway wired is not some huge mind fuck where your world changes. But it's a good really fast paced thriller that could almost be real. It's about a genetic engineer who figures out how to enhance intelligence and the shit storm that causes. Once you pick it up it's hard to put down. I add this because most people have never heard of it, but am surprised it has not yet been optioned for a movie.

Offline Neon Genesis

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2012, 03:43:27 AM »
Anything by Philip K Dick.

Offline Tatyana

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2012, 06:55:57 AM »
William Gibson-Neuromancer

Offline Tatyana

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2012, 06:56:46 AM »
Anything by Philip K Dick.

I would start with 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' aka 'Blade Runner'.


Offline Neon Genesis

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2012, 10:30:58 AM »
There's also A Scanner Darkly.

Offline MikeHz

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2012, 11:05:44 AM »
I read Lucifer's Hammer  by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle a few months ago, and highly recommend this post-apocalypse yarn.
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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2012, 03:48:50 PM »
Read "Starship Troopers" and "Forever War" back to back.

Also, the distinction you're looking for is soft sci fi vs. hard sci fi. Hard sci fi is where the fictional technology is (mostly) compatible with our current understanding of science.
I'd recommend Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land, same author written by at the same time but a remarkable contrast.

Offline pandamonium

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2012, 03:54:22 PM »
I second "Stranger in a Strange Land." And just about any short story written by Bradbury or Asimov. "The Illustrated Man" is a good Bradbury collection, and Asimov's robot stories are awesome.
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Offline ting-bu-dong

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2012, 04:04:04 PM »
Read "Starship Troopers" and "Forever War" back to back.

Also, the distinction you're looking for is soft sci fi vs. hard sci fi. Hard sci fi is where the fictional technology is (mostly) compatible with our current understanding of science.
I'd recommend Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land, same author written by at the same time but a remarkable contrast.

Starship Troopers and Forever War do a good job spanning the tone of military sci fi. Starship Troopers is pro-military (though not pro militarism necessarily) because the author experienced war in WW2 in the Navy whereas the author of Forever War experienced war during Vietnam and the book is correspondingly anti war.

Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2012, 05:16:59 PM »
William Gibson-Neuromancer
This. Gibson might just be the most influential SF writer of the last 30 years. His stuff is kind of uneven, although even when he misses it has fun stuff in it (there were a couple books that came out in the 90s for instance where he seemed bent on including references to every post-Pretzel Logic Steely Dan song). I also enjoyed Pattern Recognition.

IMO Stranger in a Strange Land is horribly dated, although a lot of things made now know about it so it's good to have knowledge of.
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Offline Tatyana

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2012, 07:18:14 AM »
I remember loving Robert A. Heinlein, but I think you might be right about the dated thing.


I might re-read 'Time Enough for Love', it has been ages since I read it, but I loved it at the time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Enough_for_Love

I remember reading some of the 'Stainless Steel Rat' books when I was but a child, and I tried to re-read one recently, and the whole part about 'high tech science for crime' just seemed so dated as things like mobile phone technology and the internet were not even in the minds of most science fiction writers.

I personally think that if you want to be well-read in the area of science fiction, the first three books of the Dune series are a must.

I did re-read these recently, and I still loved them.



Offline An Arrant Knave

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2012, 07:19:52 AM »
Thanks everyone! I have just ordered liberally from Amazon, based on your recommendations.

Jason

 

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