Author Topic: Must-read Sci-fi?  (Read 11209 times)

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Online Ah.hell

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2012, 11:18:55 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.
I really love old and dated sci fi because of all the stuff they get wrong and the occasional things the get almost perfectly.  Books like Farhrenheit 451, which should be on the list too.  Bradbury had the giant TVs and music in everbody's ear all the time and robotic killer dogs designed to catch readers. 

Also, I love dune but I know a lot of folks who hated it.  I'd wait a bit to see if Knave actually likes sci fi before recommending Dune. 

Online amysrevenge

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2012, 12:05:11 PM »
Read "Starship Troopers" and "Forever War" back to back.

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Offline pandamonium

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2012, 02:56:39 PM »
Bradbury had the giant TVs and music in everbody's ear all the time and robotic killer dogs designed to catch readers.
I'll give you killer robot dogs, but those other two basic ideas do exist. It's a Jon Edwards hit, but it's still a hit.
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Online Ah.hell

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2012, 03:12:20 PM »
Bradbury had the giant TVs and music in everbody's ear all the time and robotic killer dogs designed to catch readers.
I'll give you killer robot dogs, but those other two basic ideas do exist. It's a Jon Edwards hit, but it's still a hit.
That's what I like about old sci-fi, the combination of almost a direct hit with wild misses.  Its harder to come up with an example but I really like the stuff that they just didn't expect that's glaringly missing from sci fi.  Like Williams Gibsons world without cell phones or that Johny Memonic had to download stuff into his brain rather than just tranmit it via the internet or in tiny little memory chips that could be hidden anywhere.  I once read a short story about what were essentially PDA's that slowly become conscious, take over there owner and build a space ship to escape earth but were made with vacuum tubes instead of solid state.  I love that stuff.

Offline pandamonium

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2012, 03:54:00 PM »
Bradbury had the giant TVs and music in everbody's ear all the time and robotic killer dogs designed to catch readers.
I'll give you killer robot dogs, but those other two basic ideas do exist. It's a Jon Edwards hit, but it's still a hit.
That's what I like about old sci-fi, the combination of almost a direct hit with wild misses.  Its harder to come up with an example but I really like the stuff that they just didn't expect that's glaringly missing from sci fi.  Like Williams Gibsons world without cell phones or that Johny Memonic had to download stuff into his brain rather than just tranmit it via the internet or in tiny little memory chips that could be hidden anywhere.  I once read a short story about what were essentially PDA's that slowly become conscious, take over there owner and build a space ship to escape earth but were made with vacuum tubes instead of solid state.  I love that stuff.
I'm with you on that; I thought you were saying giant TVs and music-in-the-ears-forever (eg, iPods--which, funny story, I'm listening to right now...) were on par with killer robot dogs. If I can get all Nostradamus for a second, you could say that military drones are the killer robot dogs, and Muslims are readers. OMG BRADBURY FORESAW THE WAR IN IRAQ.
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Offline moj

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2012, 08:35:21 AM »
While these are "techno-thrillers" I'll add them to the list because they are awesome. Nothing in them is technically impossible, it's highly improbably that someone could have the foresight to hack and program so well.

Daemon
Freedom
(I have not yet read but will be starting today "Kill Decision")

All by Daniel Suarez, but start with Daemon. 


« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 10:31:44 PM by moj »

Offline PANTS!

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2012, 12:16:45 PM »
:munch:
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Offline bozothedeathmachine

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2012, 01:59:17 AM »
Well, most people have already stated the best, so it's going to be a bit of a quotefest.

Read "Starship Troopers" and "Forever War" back to back.
+1. Finished Forwever War a couple of weeks ago (Read ST many years ago). Both good military themed Sci-Fi. I especially liked that in Forever War, the war almost seemed ancillary.

I'd recommend Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land, same author written by at the same time but a remarkable contrast.
No kidding; those books are so completely different. But SiaSL is still good. More heady that ST.


Ender's Game by Orsen Scott Card
2001 by Arthur C. Clark

I would also add "Childshood End" by Clarke. It's still my favorite book by him. If you like the "exploration" side of Sci-Fi then also check our Clarke's "Rendevouz with Rama".

All by Daniel Suarez, but start with Daemon.
This is the 2nd time in as many weeks I've heard someone mention him. I'm adding these to the list. Thanks.

As for a must read for me: the "Wool" series by Hugh Howey. I opened another thread about him on this forum. Hope this isn't considered spamming.

Offline MikeHz

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2012, 10:37:38 AM »
I second the "Enders" books, especially since the film comes out next year.

Arthur C. Clarke's "Rendezvous With Rama" is a good one. Anything by Clarke, Asimov or Heinlein, although the older works tend to be a bit dated. (I just think of them as occurring in some parallel universe.)

Michael Crichton is a good writer of hard science fiction.
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Offline dylanharris

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2012, 01:30:13 PM »
I suggest listening to Luke Burrage's SciFi review podcast (http://www.sfbrp.com/), mainly because it's entertaining and covers a much wider range of books than mentioned here (so far). And, when he hates a book, he has a damn good rant --- they're immensely amusing.

Offline rreppy

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2012, 11:09:37 PM »
Asimov has been mentioned several times, and for good reason. I'd call his Foundation Trilogy a must-read.
A lesser-known author not mentioned yet is Jack Chalker. His "Well World" series is a very fun read. He posits a world divided into hundreds of hexagons, each a distinct ecosystem with its own dominant life form, made by a Creator race to test out experimental potential worlds. Chalker populates his Well World with some bizarre life, including non-carbon-based ammonia breathers, arboreal societies of sentient flying squirrels, terrifying giant praying mantises who can walk through walls and have razor-sharp chitinous blades on their forearms, and more. To make it more fun, the lead character has to make it to the Pole to reset he mechanism that maintains the world, but some hexes oppose him and some support him, and his only way to succeed is to get these totally disparate beings to form complex alliances. He's complex and clever.
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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2012, 11:34:18 PM »
I second the "Enders" books, especially since the film comes out next year.

Arthur C. Clarke's "Rendezvous With Rama" is a good one. Anything by Clarke, Asimov or Heinlein, although the older works tend to be a bit dated. (I just think of them as occurring in some parallel universe.)

Michael Crichton is a good writer of hard science fiction.
Um, no. Jurassic Park, Sphere, and Congo were interesting, but towards the end of his life he really jumped the shark and made some fiction that not only was poorly written, it was a bit on the anti-science side as well.
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Offline stretcher

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2012, 12:42:12 AM »
Nueromancer by William Gibson. Seminal cyberpunk.

Offline moj

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2012, 07:42:39 AM »

All by Daniel Suarez, but start with Daemon.
This is the 2nd time in as many weeks I've heard someone mention him. I'm adding these to the list. Thanks.

As for a must read for me: the "Wool" series by Hugh Howey. I opened another thread about him on this forum. Hope this isn't considered spamming.

Suarez is pretty awesome. Before he started writing was consultant and software developer so when he talks about tech get's it right. Also on his site when he list's other favorites links has skeptic magazine on there.

Offline IrishJazz

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Re: Must-read Sci-fi?
« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2012, 10:04:33 AM »
Stanislaw Lem - great, funny, imaginative, smart, and totally unique.  More Borges than Heinlein. 
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