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Media => Books => Topic started by: Hoonser on April 02, 2008, 02:30:45 PM

Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Hoonser on April 02, 2008, 02:30:45 PM
Here I am looing for some good sci-fi books to read. I'll try to narrow down what sort of stuff I'm interested in.

I don't like Star Trek type stuff, or Battlestar Galactica. I probably like Cyberpunk type stuff. Bleakness is okay, but it can get old, so not too much in the way of a bleak future. But at the same time I don't really like utopian futures. Also nothing to do with black holes or alternate dimensions or time travel. I'm not a big fan of lazers. I prefer stories where bullets are still widely used. Space ships are okay, just no long space ship voyages where people say things like 'Stardate' or 'I hate space so much! God almighty why did I sign up for this mission?!'. Nothing to do with people losing their sanity or having epiphanies. Robots are cool, just no conflicts between humans and robots. Okay maybe some, but no large scale wars or anything. I prefer robots to have super strength. Generally speaking they should be strong enough to easily throw a half ton truck over a two story house. No alien races with names that have apostrophes in them like Gu'tk or anything like that. No alien diseases either. No deserts. No stories where children play some big role. No stories where somebody is upset about being a clone or some sort of artificial life form. No stories that were made into movies. No stories where the author tried to guess what technology would be like in the future and they were clearly wrong based on technological developments of today. If the main character befriends an alien they shouldn't be all baffled by humans. None of this 'we Jejoopians don't understand your concept of Tuesday' crap. Super computers are all right, but they have to know their place. This falls under the robots category. Really computers should be subservient to humans and not give them any guff with thinking humans are inefficient or obsolete.  I'd like a story where a vehicle gets crushed at some point. No stories where money has been abolished. No stories with teleporters. If there absolutely HAVE to be teleporters they can't have any sort of malfunctions where two people get merged together, and they spend the rest of the story trying to get sorted out. I like technology to seem well used, like not clean and pristine, like you imagine you could probably fix something by yelling and hitting it with a wrench. Also nothing to do with racing ships or cars or space mobiles or anything of that nature.

So there you go. I should also pont out I've read the entire Hitchhikers Guide series so that's out of the running.

Any recommendations aside from that?
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Kurt on April 02, 2008, 02:32:54 PM
Neil Stephenson The Diamond Age and Snowcrash
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Jonny_eh on April 02, 2008, 02:35:09 PM
All you did was list Star Trek cliches, I'm sure most other sci-fi would be fine.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Ole Eivind on April 02, 2008, 03:01:12 PM
Dune.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Mark7300 on April 02, 2008, 03:07:50 PM
Maybe write a story yourself?
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Kurt on April 02, 2008, 03:13:32 PM
Also, these are good starting lists:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebula_Award_for_Best_Novel


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Award_for_Best_Novel


I've been working my way through all the winners over the past few years. I'm about half way done.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Hanes on April 02, 2008, 03:21:01 PM
Ooo, Dune is a great one that fits all your criteria.  When I mentioned in the other thread that I hadn't read scifi besides Asimov (which I stress again is awsome), I f'd up and forgot Dune.  Awesomeness in page and letter form.

[edit]
damnit Kurt, why does your avatar have to be so cute  :evil:
[/edit]
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: roger on April 02, 2008, 04:08:10 PM
Quote from: "Hanes"
Ooo, Dune is a great one that fits all your criteria.  When I mentioned in the other thread that I hadn't read scifi besides Asimov (which I stress again is awsome), I f'd up and forgot Dune.  Awesomeness in page and letter form.


I thought the first half of the first book was great.  All the royal intrigue and a compelling world and all.  The second half got tiresome for me once Muab had his powers.  Then the whole jihad, mystical blather of the second book really turned me off.  

I would have loved a straight up space opera set in that world.  But oh well, to each his own.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Kwisatz Haderach on April 02, 2008, 04:11:56 PM
Quote from: "Hanes"
Ooo, Dune is a great one that fits all your criteria.  When I mentioned in the other thread that I hadn't read scifi besides Asimov (which I stress again is awsome), I f'd up and forgot Dune.  Awesomeness in page and letter form.


Hanes, I'm rather glad that we on Dune, since we seem to disagree about just about everything else.  :D
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Hanes on April 02, 2008, 04:23:42 PM
:lol:
Well we can start all future discussion from that commonality and proceed from there.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Hoonser on April 02, 2008, 04:28:23 PM
Quote
Dune is a great one that fits all your criteria


I said no deserts!
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Ole Eivind on April 02, 2008, 04:34:11 PM
Quote from: "Guimauve"
I said no deserts!

(http://www.orlyowl.com/upload/files/o-srsly.jpg)

Give it a try, you have to like it.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Kwisatz Haderach on April 02, 2008, 04:35:49 PM
Quote from: "Guimauve"
Quote
Dune is a great one that fits all your criteria


I said no deserts!


The desert is a metaphor.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Mr Ben on April 02, 2008, 04:56:38 PM
John Brummer's 'The sheep look up' is a good one if your interested in a slightly different topic. It's set around the idea of our world at the extremes of pollution, when everythings really going to hell. A good book all round, although it does take a little getting into.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: wastrel on April 02, 2008, 04:59:32 PM
Quote from: "Kurt"
Neil Stephenson The Diamond Age and Snowcrash


The Diamond Age is a good fit methinks.

Never read Snowcrash, similar aesthetic?
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: KarenX on April 02, 2008, 05:03:26 PM
The desert may be a metaphor but it's still hot and dry.

I agree completely with roger's assessment of Dune. I liked it a lot in high school. Read it this year. Not great. The writing style is annoying, too.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Hanes on April 02, 2008, 05:30:06 PM
Quote
No deserts.
Gah!  I missed that little bit.

But if you don't read the book, then you won't chuckle when someone brings up organ donations and I say, "The flesh may be yours, but the fluids belong to the tribe."  Ok, maybe you won't chuckle anyways, but it amuses me and sometimes that's enough.  :P
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Hoonser on April 02, 2008, 05:57:52 PM
Quote
But if you don't read the book, then you won't chuckle


You make a good point.


I've heard good things about Neil Stephenson so I reckon I'll pick up one of his books.

Thanks for the suggestions ye all.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Nomen Nescio on April 02, 2008, 07:30:11 PM
Quote from: "Guimauve"
Quote
But if you don't read the book, then you won't chuckle


You make a good point.


I've heard good things about Neil Stephenson so I reckon I'll pick up one of his books.

Thanks for the suggestions ye all.

BEWARE
If you like solid, complete endings where all or most subplots (or, fuck, even the main plot) are resolved, Stephenson is not for you although he's still enjoyable, in my opinion.

Personally, I'd recommend Hyperion by Dan Simmons.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: kikyo on April 02, 2008, 08:56:43 PM
MOVED FROM OTHER THREAD:

Quote from: "Kikyo"
I like Michael Marshall Smith, whose books are kind of like futuristic noir. I also like William Gibson, which is again kind of noir.

I'm not much for the space stuff but I do like some stories set in the future, especially if they are kind of Bladerunner-esque.

Some space opera sci-fi that I like is Iain M. Banks. I guess I just like his writing style or something, although I've only read one or two of his books.

I also like China Mieville's books, which are a combo of sci-fi/fantasy/steampunk, but is a gigantic pinko and that politics is really inherent in the books, so if you don't like that then you wouldn't like them.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Hoonser on April 02, 2008, 08:59:55 PM
Quote
Personally, I'd recommend Hyperion by Dan Simmons



(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/73/Hyperion_cover.jpg/344px-Hyperion_cover.jpg)

Is that guy made out of combs? And what's with the boat sailing across what appears to be a field of wheat? And Fantastical giant mushrooms in the background. It certainly has all the elements of a great yarn to be sure.

'Yea the man of Comb has come to the ship what sails upon wheat, separating the chaff from whatever chaff is attached to. My space buggy be broke. May I  use your phone?'
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Neutral Milk on April 02, 2008, 09:01:52 PM
I loved every book in the Ender Series. I thought the original Ender offshoots were better than the Bean ones, but I loved them all.

I also really liked Card's Homecoming Series, and I thought the concepts in The Worthing Saga were also really cool.

I don't care if he's a homophobic mormon, the guy can write science fiction!
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Nomen Nescio on April 02, 2008, 09:17:48 PM
Quote from: "Guimauve"
Quote
Personally, I'd recommend Hyperion by Dan Simmons



(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/73/Hyperion_cover.jpg/344px-Hyperion_cover.jpg)

Is that guy made out of combs? And what's with the boat sailing across what appears to be a field of wheat? And Fantastical giant mushrooms in the background. It certainly has all the elements of a great yarn to be sure.

'Yea the man of Comb has come to the ship what sails upon wheat, separating the chaff from whatever chaff is attached to. My space buggy be broke. May I  use your phone?'

Yes, that's the plot to a tee. Truly that Hugo Award was well earned.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: 2112 on April 02, 2008, 10:38:37 PM
Quote from: "Neutral Milk"
I loved every book in the Ender Series. I thought the original Ender offshoots were better than the Bean ones, but I loved them all.

I also really liked Card's Homecoming Series, and I thought the concepts in The Worthing Saga were also really cool.

I don't care if he's a homophobic mormon, the guy can write science fiction!


Even Xenocide! Ugh, that book was awful. Way too long and just stupid to boot.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Neutral Milk on April 02, 2008, 10:44:17 PM
I'm not ashamed to admit that I loved Xenocide. It felt like more of a filler between story lines, but I couldn't get enough of Ender.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: MisterMarc on April 02, 2008, 11:42:33 PM
Maybe it would help if you told us what you've already read.

Must reads include Ender's Game, Neuromancer, Dune (yeah, the desert figures prominently), and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Though, as a SF fan, you've probably already read that stuff. I liked Asimov's Robot series (except 'I, Robot' which I never read), but then you don't want to read anything where a semi-human struggles with humanity.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: sketchy on April 03, 2008, 10:07:56 AM
Quote from: "Neutral Milk"
I loved every book in the Ender Series. I thought the original Ender offshoots were better than the Bean ones, but I loved them all.

I also really liked Card's Homecoming Series, and I thought the concepts in The Worthing Saga were also really cool.

I don't care if he's a homophobic mormon, the guy can write science fiction!


agreed on all parts!

The pastwatch series is also good.  Most Card fans haven't read those.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Swagomatic on April 03, 2008, 01:08:51 PM
Quote from: "Neutral Milk"
I loved every book in the Ender Series. I thought the original Ender offshoots were better than the Bean ones, but I loved them all.

I also really liked Card's Homecoming Series, and I thought the concepts in The Worthing Saga were also really cool.

I don't care if he's a homophobic mormon, the guy can write science fiction!


Agreed.  I especially like Speaker for the Dead.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: chionactis on April 03, 2008, 10:29:35 PM
Quote from: "Neutral Milk"
I loved every book in the Ender Series. I thought the original Ender offshoots were better than the Bean ones, but I loved them all.

I also really liked Card's Homecoming Series, and I thought the concepts in The Worthing Saga were also really cool.

I don't care if he's a homophobic mormon, the guy can write science fiction!

Ender's Game is fantastic, and Speaker for the Dead is quite good, but I didn't really care for Children of the Mind. I especially didn't like the teleportation stuff. What he describes is fun to think about, but I thought it was terrible in the context of that story. Near the middle of the book, I really started to feel like he must have been desperately trying to meet a deadline.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: chionactis on April 03, 2008, 10:47:15 PM
guimauve, you might like Ship of Fools by Richard Paul Russo, or his Carlucci trilogy. I remember that a kid has a fairly large role in those Carlucci books, but it's not cheesy. The Carlucci books also definitely have a cyber punk atmosphere.

You also might like Marrow by Robert Reed. There is gratuitous sex with an alien at one point, and I wasn't all that crazy about his writing style, but it was a very interesting book.

I have become a really big fan of Jack McDevitt. He uses "faster than light" travel, but I would describe him as a "hard" sci-fi writer. Like Clarke, he likes to write about technology and physics, but he is also very good at character development. He's big on mysterious, ancient alien artifacts and ships.

Quote from: "Mr Ben"
John Brummer's 'The sheep look up'

You mean John Brunner.

I haven't read that one, but I like Catch a Falling Star. I also want to read Stand on Zanzibar at some point.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Mr Ben on April 04, 2008, 05:34:30 AM
Thanks for the correction. Kinda embarresing when i have the book in front of me as well. And yeh, 'stand on zanzibar' is a good read definitely.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Jim on April 04, 2008, 11:53:20 AM
I would recommend philip jose farmers world of tiers series and also his riverworld series.  they don't seem to have any of the elements you dislike but may not have any you like :-)
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Kurt on April 04, 2008, 12:33:12 PM
Quote from: "Jim"
I would recommend philip jose farmers world of tiers series and also his riverworld series.  they don't seem to have any of the elements you dislike but may not have any you like :-)


To Your Scattered Bodies Go was incredible, The Fabulous Riverboat was good, The Dark Design was ok. Then they just got horribly stupid. I tried to read some of his Dayworld and it was just too silly to get through. Did anyone see the SciFi Channels Riverworld movie? I only saw like the first 10 minutes (I don't remember why I didn't watch it all), so was it any good?
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: kikyo on April 04, 2008, 02:11:42 PM
I saw it, and no ... it wasn't really that good. It was okay. Although it only covered the first book, I think (it's been ages since I read those books so my memory of what happened when is really fuzzy) but I found it to be fairly unmemorable. I don't think I would have liked it if I hadn't read the books.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Kurt on April 04, 2008, 07:01:39 PM
Quote from: "wastrel"
Quote from: "Kurt"
Neil Stephenson The Diamond Age and Snowcrash


The Diamond Age is a good fit methinks.

Never read Snowcrash, similar aesthetic?


sorry, i missed that. Snowcrash is much more cyberpunk dark. Its alot closer to Gibson. Its a good read.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: seanahan on April 04, 2008, 11:41:09 PM
I hadn't read Snow Crash until this year, and I can't believe I missed it.  It was Science Fiction, it talked about how religion as mythology, especially the Babylonian, had memorable characters, was ahead of its time regarding the internet, and the plot kept me reading as fast as I could until I got to the end.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: TurboCramb on April 05, 2008, 08:00:23 AM
I went out last night and bought Rendesvous with Rama (read it before, but it was one of the first SF books I ever read, I'm REALLY enjoying reading it again), Ringworld, and Starship Troopers.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Jim on April 05, 2008, 08:18:52 AM
Quote from: "kikyo"
I saw it, and no ... it wasn't really that good. It was okay. Although it only covered the first book,

I would have to agree it was a bit low budget and goodness me did you need some powerhouse actors to play the characters in the book and they obviously couldn't afford them, shame!
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Bill K on April 05, 2008, 08:47:06 AM
A great science fiction book is Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Swagomatic on April 05, 2008, 02:55:56 PM
Quote from: "Bill K"
A great science fiction book is Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.


I think that's more in the realm of fantasy. :wink:
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: LaPalida on April 05, 2008, 03:45:20 PM
I don't want to write a list so here is my wishlist on Amazon. It contains mostly sci-fi books but there are a few other novels in there that aren't.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/T5TXCZWE02HK/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: nerdo on April 07, 2008, 12:33:46 PM
Heysoos Cristo!  That list of criteria is almost a novel in itself...
The newer Dune books are good: House Atreides, Harkonen, Corrino, etc.  Herbert's son and Kevin J Anderson have a style that was much easier for me to read than the original Dune.  Heinlein's stuff is usually good, but stay away from the movies made after his books.  Orson Scott Card's Ender series was good though it gets a little weird.  I remember Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat was good but it has been a long time since I read it so my tastes may have changed..
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: TurboCramb on April 07, 2008, 01:03:27 PM
Quote from: "nerdo"

The newer Dune books are good: House Atreides, Harkonen, Corrino, etc.  Herbert's son and Kevin J Anderson have a style that was much easier for me to read than the original Dune.


WAT?

Easier to read I'll agree with you on.  IMO.  All I have to say is that cotton candy is easier to chew than a good steak, but I know which one I prefer.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: nerdo on April 07, 2008, 02:03:41 PM
I didn't say I didn't like Dune (it's still one of my all time favorites) I just like the writing style of the newer ones.  It's like eating cotton candy after I finished my steak... or better yet, steak flavored cotton candy...mmmmmm
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: TurboCramb on April 07, 2008, 02:54:56 PM
Quote from: "nerdo"
I didn't say I didn't like Dune (it's still one of my all time favorites) I just like the writing style of the newer ones.  It's like eating cotton candy after I finished my steak... or better yet, steak flavored cotton candy...mmmmmm


Whatever floats your boat.  There's nothing wrong with liking them.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Grimner on April 09, 2008, 07:24:12 AM
Well, these might fit your bill:

Singularity Sky - Charles Stross
 - it has quantum communications and the superior computer but they stay in the background
 - plenty of little laughs
 - teaches you not to mess with information

The day war was declared, a rain of telephones fell clattering to the cobblestones from the skies above Novy Petrograd.


The Reality Dysfunction - Peter F. Hamilton
 - fun & nasty
 - fast
 - high space opera clashing with horror
 - good battles in space and on the ground - bullets are in use, but not necessarily with powder
 - pretty simple characters, but the rich universe they occupy makes up for it


Chasm City - Alastair Reynolds
 - dark & nasty
 - huge - opens a series of mostly good books
 - dark
 - elements of cyberpunk
 - serious about different methodes of spacetravel, as in near light speed:

Dear Newcomer,

Welcome to the Epsilon Eridani system.
Despite all that has happened, we hope your stay here will be a pleasant one. For your information we have compiled this document to explain some of the key events in our recent history. It is intended that this information will ease your transition into a culture which may be markedly different from the one you were expecting to find when you embarked at your point of origin.


No deserts in any of these books; RD has plenty of jungle and water. Common themes - culture differences.

In my opinion, Hamilton and Strauss are perfectly able to waste paper in other books, while Reynolds has a more even output.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Plasmodium vivax on April 09, 2008, 10:24:44 PM
Quote from: "nerdo"
Heysoos Cristo!  That list of criteria is almost a novel in itself...
The newer Dune books are good: House Atreides, Harkonen, Corrino, etc.  Herbert's son and Kevin J Anderson have a style that was much easier for me to read than the original Dune.

You should be flayed alive.

I'm not joking.  That was the most offensive book I have ever read.  And this statement coming from a person that has read Left Behind.

Brian Herbert needs to either find a different job, or stop living off his father's name.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Kwisatz Haderach on April 09, 2008, 10:28:23 PM
Quote from: "Ben Stein"
Quote from: "nerdo"
Heysoos Cristo!  That list of criteria is almost a novel in itself...
The newer Dune books are good: House Atreides, Harkonen, Corrino, etc.  Herbert's son and Kevin J Anderson have a style that was much easier for me to read than the original Dune.

You should be flayed alive.

I'm not joking.  That was the most offensive book I have ever read.


Brian Hebert's books are easier to read than his father's; they are more like children's adventure stories than serious SF.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: nerdo on April 10, 2008, 02:21:05 AM
It's all a matter of personal preference, really.  At least I bothered to suggest something.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: TurboCramb on April 10, 2008, 10:10:30 AM
Quote from: "Febo"
Quote from: "Ben Stein"
Quote from: "nerdo"
Heysoos Cristo!  That list of criteria is almost a novel in itself...
The newer Dune books are good: House Atreides, Harkonen, Corrino, etc.  Herbert's son and Kevin J Anderson have a style that was much easier for me to read than the original Dune.

You should be flayed alive.

I'm not joking.  That was the most offensive book I have ever read.


Brian Hebert's books are easier to read than his father's; they are more like children's adventure stories than serious SF.


Agreed.

Jeez, Ben Stein you are seriously living up to your name.  Maybe that's the point?  Pick Ben Stein's name and act like a total asshole all over the forum?

If you like an easy read, or if you are a younger teen and looking for some introductory books then I don't think these are so terrible.  They aren't much for adults, but they aren't the end of the world.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Grimner on April 10, 2008, 04:00:24 PM
And...

Iain M. Banks - just about anything.
   Yes, there are smug and arrogant machine minds (calling them "computer" or "calculator" is rather more insulting than "meat brain"), but it is done with wit and style.

Use of Weapons
Player of Games


And you might want to steer clear of Iain Banks, evil twin and explorer of wacky families and strangeness here on Earth.

Hmm, he did write that cult send-up "Whit"...
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Plasmodium vivax on April 11, 2008, 09:29:02 PM
Quote from: "TurboCramb"
Jeez, Ben Stein you are seriously living up to your name.  Maybe that's the point?  Pick Ben Stein's name and act like a total asshole all over the forum?

If you want, I could quote some posts and append "qft".

Understand, I really hate this author, and it goes beyond just his atrocious writing style.

But no one wants to hear it.  So, I'll just shut up.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: LaPalida on April 12, 2008, 01:55:55 AM
Quote from: "Ben Stein"
Quote from: "TurboCramb"
Jeez, Ben Stein you are seriously living up to your name.  Maybe that's the point?  Pick Ben Stein's name and act like a total asshole all over the forum?

If you want, I could quote some posts and append "qft".

Understand, I really hate this author, and it goes beyond just his atrocious writing style.

But no one wants to hear it.  So, I'll just shut up.


It's OK Ben... just show us on the doll where Brian Herbert has touched you.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: carrotflowers on April 12, 2008, 02:54:52 PM
tee hee ^^

A new books forum, neat. Like kikyo, I think I'll add what I had in the first iteration of this thread:

Quote from: "carrotflowers"
Oh, and, duhr I forgot to mention Jonathan Lethem, he has some fantastic, fantastic books:  Amnesia Moon, Gun With Occasional Music, Girl In Landscape and Wall of the Sky, Wall of the Eye (short stories) are all highly recommended.

To the OP google books is a good place to get a taste of recommended books.


There is a sci fi podcast called EscapePod that features short Sci Fi stories, although I haven't tried it yet..
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Kurt on April 12, 2008, 03:00:03 PM
Quote from: "carrotflowers"
tee hee ^^

A new books forum, neat. Like kikyo, I think I'll add what I had in the first iteration of this thread:

Quote from: "carrotflowers"
Oh, and, duhr I forgot to mention Jonathan Lethem, he has some fantastic, fantastic books:  Amnesia Moon, Gun With Occasional Music, Girl In Landscape and Wall of the Sky, Wall of the Eye (short stories) are all highly recommended.

To the OP google books is a good place to get a taste of recommended books.


There is a sci fi podcast called EscapePod that features short Sci Fi stories, although I haven't tried it yet..



EscapePod is awesome. I've been listening for about 2 years. This weeks story is a fabulous socioscifi short by Robert Silverberg.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: carrotflowers on April 12, 2008, 03:05:01 PM
Quote from: "Kurt"

EscapePod is awesome. I've been listening for about 2 years. This weeks story is a fabulous socioscifi short by Robert Silverberg.


Ah ha, good to hear. I downloaded an episode (probably the one you mention) a couple days ago but haven't had a chance to listen. Do you like fantasy as well, Kurt? - they started a new fantasy one recently, but I forgot what it's called, something-else-pod.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Kurt on April 12, 2008, 03:13:20 PM
Quote from: "carrotflowers"
Quote from: "Kurt"

EscapePod is awesome. I've been listening for about 2 years. This weeks story is a fabulous socioscifi short by Robert Silverberg.


Ah ha, good to hear. I downloaded an episode (probably the one you mention) a couple days ago but haven't had a chance to listen. Do you like fantasy as well, Kurt? - they started a new fantasy one recently, but I forgot what it's called, something-else-pod.



Podcastle is the new fantasy one, Its been good so far too. It started 2 weeks ago. I don't know that I could say I prefer scifi to fantasy, since I read a lot of both, but I do find scifi to be more, I guess you might say, thought provoking.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Kurt on April 12, 2008, 03:17:01 PM
Oh and let me plug Starship Sofa which has an INCREDIBLE short by Joe Haldeman this week:

http://www.starshipsofa.com/


If you only listen to one short story podcast this month (hell, maybe this year), make it that one.

Don't let the hosts accent scare you off, he just hosts, he doesn't read the story :)

The guy who does read it I think adds another 100% to the 100% awesome the story already is. Thats 200% fucking percent, people!!!!

LISTEN TO IT!!
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: carrotflowers on April 12, 2008, 03:23:21 PM
Quote from: "Kurt"

The guy who does read it I think adds another 100% to the 100% awesome the story already is. Thats 200% fucking percent, people!!!!


Have you been learning Jesus math from the Southern Expedition mafia thread?
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Kurt on April 12, 2008, 03:26:21 PM
Quote from: "carrotflowers"
Quote from: "Kurt"

The guy who does read it I think adds another 100% to the 100% awesome the story already is. Thats 200% fucking percent, people!!!!


Have you been learning Jesus math from the Southern Expedition mafia thread?


I think so :)

You shouldn't be typing! You should be listening!
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: TurboCramb on April 14, 2008, 09:09:46 AM
Quote from: "Ben Stein"
Quote from: "TurboCramb"
Jeez, Ben Stein you are seriously living up to your name.  Maybe that's the point?  Pick Ben Stein's name and act like a total asshole all over the forum?

If you want, I could quote some posts and append "qft".

Understand, I really hate this author, and it goes beyond just his atrocious writing style.

But no one wants to hear it.  So, I'll just shut up.


No one is telling you that you can't say what you want.  But you used quite a bit of hyperbole, and I called you on it.  What's wrong with that?

Most people here very much dislike his books, so I think we'd be interested in hearing why you hate him so much, if you have reasons to share.  Calm down buddy.

I'm not your buddy, friend
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: stonesean on April 14, 2008, 09:25:51 AM
Dune.

If you can fight your way through the first few chapters of Dune, you will be greatly rewarded.

Kind if like having to slog through the first half of "Fellowship Of The Ring".....

It's totally worth it.

I really like  China Meville  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Mi%C3%A9ville) too.....his stuff is crazy....really unique.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: DoctorAtlantis on April 14, 2008, 01:33:01 PM
Quote from: "Guimauve"
Quote
Dune is a great one that fits all your criteria


I said no deserts!


I thought you meant desserts.  Now I have to start my whole list again...
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: DoctorAtlantis on April 14, 2008, 01:40:07 PM
Quote from: "Guimauve"
Here I am looing for some good sci-fi books to read. I'll try to narrow down what sort of stuff I'm interested in.

I don't like Star Trek type stuff, or Battlestar Galactica. I probably like Cyberpunk type stuff. Bleakness is okay, but it can get old, so not too much in the way of a bleak future. But at the same time I don't really like utopian futures. Also nothing to do with black holes or alternate dimensions or time travel. I'm not a big fan of lazers. I prefer stories where bullets are still widely used. Space ships are okay, just no long space ship voyages where people say things like 'Stardate' or 'I hate space so much! God almighty why did I sign up for this mission?!'. Nothing to do with people losing their sanity or having epiphanies. Robots are cool, just no conflicts between humans and robots. Okay maybe some, but no large scale wars or anything. I prefer robots to have super strength. Generally speaking they should be strong enough to easily throw a half ton truck over a two story house. No alien races with names that have apostrophes in them like Gu'tk or anything like that. No alien diseases either. No deserts. No stories where children play some big role. No stories where somebody is upset about being a clone or some sort of artificial life form. No stories that were made into movies. No stories where the author tried to guess what technology would be like in the future and they were clearly wrong based on technological developments of today. If the main character befriends an alien they shouldn't be all baffled by humans. None of this 'we Jejoopians don't understand your concept of Tuesday' crap. Super computers are all right, but they have to know their place. This falls under the robots category. Really computers should be subservient to humans and not give them any guff with thinking humans are inefficient or obsolete.  I'd like a story where a vehicle gets crushed at some point. No stories where money has been abolished. No stories with teleporters. If there absolutely HAVE to be teleporters they can't have any sort of malfunctions where two people get merged together, and they spend the rest of the story trying to get sorted out. I like technology to seem well used, like not clean and pristine, like you imagine you could probably fix something by yelling and hitting it with a wrench. Also nothing to do with racing ships or cars or space mobiles or anything of that nature.

So there you go. I should also pont out I've read the entire Hitchhikers Guide series so that's out of the running.

Any recommendations aside from that?


Even though it breaks your rules, I'd recommend Ender's Game.  There's kids in the first book of the series, but the whole point is that these kids are thrust into an adult world and don't behave much like children.  In other words, it's lit with juvies, but it isn't juvie-lit.

Aside from that, you've so limited the parameters that you've kind of whittled yourself down to a very tiny list:

PKD's: "The Man in the High Castle" comes to mind.  (Hasn't been made into a movie.)

I'm pretty sure from your list of requirements, what you really want is a Romance Novel.  Have you tried Jane Austin's work - except for a few teleporters which you can skip-over, she meets most of your criteria in her major works.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: stonesean on April 14, 2008, 02:55:56 PM
Quote from: "Guimauve"
Here I am looing for some good sci-fi books to read. I'll try to narrow down what sort of stuff I'm interested in.

I don't like Star Trek type stuff, or Battlestar Galactica. I probably like Cyberpunk type stuff. Bleakness is okay, but it can get old, so not too much in the way of a bleak future. But at the same time I don't really like utopian futures. Also nothing to do with black holes or alternate dimensions or time travel. I'm not a big fan of lazers. I prefer stories where bullets are still widely used. Space ships are okay, just no long space ship voyages where people say things like 'Stardate' or 'I hate space so much! God almighty why did I sign up for this mission?!'. Nothing to do with people losing their sanity or having epiphanies. Robots are cool, just no conflicts between humans and robots. Okay maybe some, but no large scale wars or anything. I prefer robots to have super strength. Generally speaking they should be strong enough to easily throw a half ton truck over a two story house. No alien races with names that have apostrophes in them like Gu'tk or anything like that. No alien diseases either. No deserts. No stories where children play some big role. No stories where somebody is upset about being a clone or some sort of artificial life form. No stories that were made into movies. No stories where the author tried to guess what technology would be like in the future and they were clearly wrong based on technological developments of today. If the main character befriends an alien they shouldn't be all baffled by humans. None of this 'we Jejoopians don't understand your concept of Tuesday' crap. Super computers are all right, but they have to know their place. This falls under the robots category. Really computers should be subservient to humans and not give them any guff with thinking humans are inefficient or obsolete.  I'd like a story where a vehicle gets crushed at some point. No stories where money has been abolished. No stories with teleporters. If there absolutely HAVE to be teleporters they can't have any sort of malfunctions where two people get merged together, and they spend the rest of the story trying to get sorted out. I like technology to seem well used, like not clean and pristine, like you imagine you could probably fix something by yelling and hitting it with a wrench. Also nothing to do with racing ships or cars or space mobiles or anything of that nature.

So there you go. I should also pont out I've read the entire Hitchhikers Guide series so that's out of the running.

Any recommendations aside from that?


Uh.....at the risk of being repetitive.  CHINA MEVILLE!

Or perhaps it's time for you to switch straight fiction.

May I recommend David Eggers?
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: DoctorAtlantis on April 20, 2008, 09:15:19 PM
Quote from: "DoctorAtlantis"

I'm pretty sure from your list of requirements, what you really want is a Romance Novel.  Have you tried Jane Austin's work - except for a few teleporters which you can skip-over, she meets most of your criteria in her major works.


But seriously - did you like any of these suggestions?
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Frank on April 24, 2008, 05:13:34 AM
I'm a big Games Workshop fan, and a huge fan of the 40,000 mythos/setting. To that end I'd recommend the more strongly SF books I've read recently:

Relentless by Richard Williams

A nice, if bleak, look at starship life in the forty-first millenium. Interesting enough and a good look at a grim future. Not quite as bleak as some versions of it all, though. This came as a pleasant surprise to me in finding it as actually a very readable and very pleasant (to read) book for what is essentially a pulp genre (i.e. the Black Library's stuff is rarely of anywhere 'excellent' quality compared to books outside its own literature). This easily tops the pile of the latest BL fare, and is in itself a reasonably enticing 'entry' book into the setting. Hopefully it wouldn't also be an 'exit' book too! I enjoyed it alot and have no fear of recommending it to anyone else.

Horus Rising by Dan Abnett

The first in a long series that'll cover the 'setup' for 40,000 (as its set circa 30,000). A well paced and intriguing look at how the future moves from "Rational Humanist Expansionist Enlightened Empire of Humanity" to...well, read the book. Dan Abnett's a reasonably enjoyable writer. It isn't strong SF, and largely handwaves standard SF technology as fantastical. It's much closer to 'space opera' than SF, but still, it's a fun look at the setting. Very good fun, it might get you interested in the series (there's two more in the opening 'trilogy' plus four stand alone novels, and two more set for this year at very least)

But that's enough GW stuff.

Ubik by Philip K Dick.

I read this last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Funny, inventive, interesting. Neither terribly childish nor overly rigid SF either.

My next door neighbour recommends:

The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonegurt

He claims it's very similar to Hitch Hiker's Guide, but written somewhat more coherently than Adams' works. Which then leads me to:

Dirk Gently's Hollistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams

Okay, it's not strictly SF, but it's not strictly anything either. It is SF though. And funny. Certainly a tighter story than HHGG itself, whilst losing little of the inventive humour.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: carrotflowers on April 24, 2008, 10:08:06 AM
Quote from: "Kurt"
Thats 200% fucking percent, people!!!!

LISTEN TO IT!!


OK Kurt, I listened to it. Dude, the guy who read the story was amazing! I loved the way he read it. I agree, it was a good story. I also love the guy who does the intros on starship Sofa, I just dig that accent. Much more interesting to than the EscapePod ones. Oh and I listened to the Silverberg one on EscapePod but hat one I wasn't as crazy about, actually. I am looking forward to hearing some more on both, although I think for SF, I prefer the long genre better than short. I like to completely disappear into that speculative world, you know?
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Zookster on April 24, 2008, 10:41:09 AM
Had a quick look through the whole thread, and as far as I can tell, no-one suggested 'Altered Carbon' by Richard Morgan

I don't want to overhype, but that book absolutely blew me away.  Strongly recomended.  And i have read a fair bit of Sci-Fi.

Must second the suggestion I Iain M Banks, although you should be aware that most of his books make very little sense to start with as you are thrown into situations/politics/technology that only clears up after the first chapter or 2.  I recently-ish read his 'The Algebraeist' and lathough it took even longer than usual to clear up, it was absolutel outstanding.  No Minds though, for fans of his usual stuff. 'The Player of Games' was my first Banks sci-fi, and it is also quite brilliant, and possibly the easiest way into his recurring 'Culture' theme.

Altered Carbon was a first novel and I believe I am correct that Spielberg bought the movie rights for a million bucks right off the press.  Will be hard to film tho, IMHO, which you might agree after you read it, for fairly unique reasons.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: The Skeptic's Apprentice on April 24, 2008, 01:21:14 PM
I also second Iain M. Banks. Read The Algebraist some time back; Gareeeat stuff!

If you haven't read The Gap Series by Stephen Donaldson, you should. Possibly the best sci-fi I've ever read.
Title: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: The Skeptic's Apprentice on April 24, 2008, 01:30:36 PM
Found a review here (http://sites.inka.de/~W3775/reviews/Gap.html) on the Gap Series. The guy freaking hates it, and I quote:

Quote
...unpleasantly memorable for its loathsome characters, lunatics, stark mad, surreal, only living for tormenting others and themselves. And when they finally find a chance to satisfy their deepest desire to kill each other, Donaldson pulls a deus ex machina or reverses their minds in order to be able to go on with the mutual torturing. Midway through the series I was cheering for the Amnion. The "genetic enemies" of mankind were certainly more likable than Donaldson's caricatures of human beings. I'm not sure what bizarre sexual preferences the author caters too, but some aberration seems required to enjoy these depictions.


Desire, torture, violence and deviant sexual behaviour: check! Could it get any better?
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Ah.hell on May 03, 2008, 04:23:08 PM
Maybe it would help if you told us what you've already read.

Must reads include Ender's Game, Neuromancer, Dune (yeah, the desert figures prominently), and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Though, as a SF fan, you've probably already read that stuff. I liked Asimov's Robot series (except 'I, Robot' which I never read), but then you don't want to read anything where a semi-human struggles with humanity.

I pretty much agree with this list, but only the "Caves of Steel" From the Robot series.  I have to warn you it does involve robots, but they are metaphor for machines that look like people.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: KarenX on May 03, 2008, 08:53:59 PM
I second Donaldson's Gap series. It is perfectly plotted and the characters stick with you and the aliens are very, very alien.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Alien Love Gardener on May 06, 2008, 01:19:16 PM
I'll second the Iain M. Banks' The Algebraist and Use of Weapons. Also, Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly. Yeah, the science fiction parts aren't really the point, but it does have the blur suits and constant surveillance, so it qualifies.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: The Dude on May 06, 2008, 03:17:47 PM
Robert Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is fantastic.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Alien Love Gardener on May 06, 2008, 03:39:48 PM
Robert Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is fantastic.
People keep saying that. But then, people also said that about Starship Troopers, which mostly filled me with hate. How do the two compare?
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: spiney on May 06, 2008, 04:23:50 PM
Is Dune the only Frank Herbert novel that gets read? looks like it!

I'd also recomment The Santaroga Barrier, where a Californian town has a weird group mind, created by a psychoactive drug (a fungus that lives in cheese!). Main characters have names of existentialist concepts or philosophers. Very strange indeed, but reads like a straightforward thriller.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Santaroga_Barrier

Also Destination Void, where a spaceship crew have to build an artifcial consciousness to survive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destination:_Void

(successor novel The Jesus Incident is badly written crap).

Dragon in the Sea (in my opinion his best novel) written 1959, undersea hi tech war, better than Tom Clancy. USA is running out of oil, and steals it from Russia in secret subs!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_in_the_sea
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: The Dude on May 06, 2008, 05:34:49 PM
Robert Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is fantastic.
People keep saying that. But then, people also said that about Starship Troopers, which mostly filled me with hate. How do the two compare?

I read Starship Troopers, and I remember enjoying it just fine, but I really don't remember any details about it at all, so I can't really compare them for you. I have read Stranger In A Strange Land twice and loved it both times, but I think The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is my favorite of his. Heinlein is great at creating conditions that challenge our social norms, and The Moon is a perfect example of that. It's not nearly as daunting a read some of his other work, and it's mostly plot driven, so it's pretty easy to get through. The small circle of people I've talked to in person about this book all liked it quite a bit, even two specifically who don't like Heinlein's other stuff, so it's a relatively safe use of your time.

It is written largely in the abbreviated english they use on the moon, but I never found it annoying at all, and after the first ten pages or so I pretty much forgot they weren't speaking normally.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: spiney on May 06, 2008, 08:19:40 PM
The Puppet Masters. Giant slugs take over the world (sounds like my garden).

As with all Heinlein, it's an extremely subtle allegory, with lots of hidden meanings not obvious on 1st read (nah, only joking, but is a good read).

Who Goes Here, Bob Shaw. Comedy stuff, more knockabout than Doug Adams. I particularly like the spaceship, which has a matter transmitter either end, and moves by continually retransmitting itself from one end to the other!

Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: carrotflowers on May 07, 2008, 11:17:56 AM
Is Dune the only Frank Herbert novel that gets read? looks like it!

Not really, look at the Dune thread. Several of us have read all of the ones written by Frank, and a couple have read them all.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Alien Love Gardener on May 07, 2008, 11:45:41 AM
Robert Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is fantastic.
People keep saying that. But then, people also said that about Starship Troopers, which mostly filled me with hate. How do the two compare?

I read Starship Troopers, and I remember enjoying it just fine, but I really don't remember any details about it at all, so I can't really compare them for you. I have read Stranger In A Strange Land twice and loved it both times, but I think The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is my favorite of his. Heinlein is great at creating conditions that challenge our social norms, and The Moon is a perfect example of that. It's not nearly as daunting a read some of his other work, and it's mostly plot driven, so it's pretty easy to get through. The small circle of people I've talked to in person about this book all liked it quite a bit, even two specifically who don't like Heinlein's other stuff, so it's a relatively safe use of your time.

It is written largely in the abbreviated english they use on the moon, but I never found it annoying at all, and after the first ten pages or so I pretty much forgot they weren't speaking normally.
Well, it goes on the list then. Heinlein is one of those authors I feel I should have an informed opinion on.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: spiney on May 08, 2008, 12:26:53 PM
Is Dune the only Frank Herbert novel that gets read? looks like it!

Not really, look at the Dune thread. Several of us have read all of the ones written by Frank, and a couple have read them all.

Sorry! Assumed Dune thread was about Dune, was that dumb?

No it wasn't! I've just read the Dune thread, no Herbert mentioned except the Dune serious. Which is what I said!
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: zandolit on May 14, 2008, 02:18:07 AM
I second/third/fourth the Iain M. Banks recommendations.  There are also fantastical/science-fictional elements in some of his evil twin's non-science fiction output, like Walking on Glass.  I just recently discovered Charles Stross and he's fantastic.

If you don't mind your science fiction sprinkled with extreme feminism and deus ex machina, I have always enjoyed Sherri S. Tepper.  She's certainly not everyone's cup of tea and I haven't liked her more recent stuff as much.  But I though Grass was fantastic.

I know you said time travel was out, but I laughed out loud to quite a bit of 'To Say Nothing of the Dog' by Connie Willis. 
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Kurt on May 14, 2008, 06:00:18 PM
I second/third/fourth the Iain M. Banks recommendations.  There are also fantastical/science-fictional elements in some of his evil twin's non-science fiction output, like Walking on Glass.  I just recently discovered Charles Stross and he's fantastic.

If you don't mind your science fiction sprinkled with extreme feminism and deus ex machina, I have always enjoyed Sherri S. Tepper.  She's certainly not everyone's cup of tea and I haven't liked her more recent stuff as much.  But I though Grass was fantastic.

I know you said time travel was out, but I laughed out loud to quite a bit of 'To Say Nothing of the Dog' by Connie Willis. 

I loved To Say Nothing of the Dog as well as Doomsday Book. It always surprises me how little mention Willis gets considering she has won more Hugo's and more Nebula's than any other author.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Jim S on May 14, 2008, 07:07:42 PM
Is Dune the only Frank Herbert novel that gets read? looks like it!

Not really, look at the Dune thread. Several of us have read all of the ones written by Frank, and a couple have read them all.

Sorry! Assumed Dune thread was about Dune, was that dumb?

No it wasn't! I've just read the Dune thread, no Herbert mentioned except the Dune serious. Which is what I said!
No, you asked if Dune was the only Frank Herbert novel that gets read  As carrotflowers said 5 others get read a fair amount.  But it does appear that non-Dune series novels are not nearly as popular here.   
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: nerdo on May 17, 2008, 02:14:09 AM
I couldnt take Stanger in a Strange Land.  It is one of the few books I ever had to put down halfway, which is weird since I love a lot of Heinleins other stuff.  Puppet Masters is probably my favorite Heinlein book though it is awfully short.

The Mote in God's Eye and The Gripping Hand by Larry Niven/ Jerry Pournelle are both awfully good, in my opinion

Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: spiney on May 17, 2008, 12:10:21 PM
Norman Spinrad.

Can't stand his "famous" novel (Bug Jack Barron).

But, Riding the Torch (short story, existentialist answer to Fermi Paradox).

The Mind Game, somebody trying to penetrate a "scientology-like" cult (has downbeat ending).

A World Between (democracy threatened by ideology).
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: carrotflowers on May 21, 2008, 08:59:13 AM
Is Dune the only Frank Herbert novel that gets read? looks like it!

I only read White Plague, iirc. He didn't have too many other novels, right? The Eye I think is short stories and there is one other we own, but as thefellswooper was down on it, I read other things instead. While I enjoyed The White Plague it came nowhere near how much I liked the Dune books - particularly the last few.

Not really, look at the Dune thread. Several of us have read all of the ones written by Frank, and a couple have read them all.

Sorry! Assumed Dune thread was about Dune, was that dumb?

No it wasn't! I've just read the Dune thread, no Herbert mentioned except the Dune serious. Which is what I said!
No, you asked if Dune was the only Frank Herbert novel that gets read  As carrotflowers said 5 others get read a fair amount.  But it does appear that non-Dune series novels are not nearly as popular here.   

As for non-Dune, I only read The White Plague, I think it was called. It was ok, but not nearly in the same level of goodness as the Dune books, particularly the last few.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: zandolit on May 22, 2008, 11:53:53 AM

I know you said time travel was out, but I laughed out loud to quite a bit of 'To Say Nothing of the Dog' by Connie Willis. 

I loved To Say Nothing of the Dog as well as Doomsday Book. It always surprises me how little mention Willis gets considering she has won more Hugo's and more Nebula's than any other author.

The re-emergence of the post-modernism thread elsewhere reminded me of Bellwether and 'popomo pink'.  That's another of my favourites - very funny and also makes you think.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: namidim on May 22, 2008, 12:17:20 PM
The Black Cloud by Sir Fred Hoyle is a really interesting book. The writing isn't fantastic (though it gets the job done), but the concept and science in the book (he actually includes pictures and equations) is pretty cool.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: KarenX on May 23, 2008, 12:52:09 AM
I am trying to remember the name of a book I read several years ago. This book had a lot of hard, multidimensional science in it. The premise included some kind of gamma ray burst or other cosmic disaster that sent some people into other dimensions to escape it. It may have been some kind of virtual reality escape, but I definitely remember people adding pairs of limbs to better maneuver through four-dimensional space and I definitely remember some guy giving up the virtual reality need to eat but keeping the virtual need to urinate because he liked the sensation.

I can't tell you much else. Does this sound familiar to anyone? If I had titles I could look them up in Amazon and see if I recognized them; I'm sure I'd recognize the one I read if I saw it again. I kinda want to read it now that I've learned more about multidimensional space and see if the story was good. I was bogged down in technical details and remember very little else.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Simma on May 29, 2008, 09:26:57 AM
I have to agree that any Heinlien book you pick up is a good one.  Starship Troopers was one of my favorites.  Some other good ones are Armor by John Steakley.  Also, David Weber's Honor Harrington series are pretty good.  Lots of ships blowing up, and probably the toughest (human) protagnist in sci-fi that I have read.

Stephen Baxter books are pretty good.  Definately hard sci-fi.  Coalescent takes a nice twist on human evolutionary potential.  Creepy too.

Oh, I just looked over and saw my copy of Legion of the Damned by William C. Dietz.  It doesn't have robots so much as it has cyborgs.  Basically, if people get too injured, or commit a capital crime, or are dying of a terrible disease, they have the option of becomine cyborgs to fight in a war.  I know, sounds a bit corny, but the author does a good job humanizing the cyborgs.  And I think they use bullets.

L. Ron Hubbard, say what you will about him, But Battlefield Earth is good.  The movie sucked and ended half way through the story.  His Final Blackout is good too, but it is more of a future war novel than Sci-fi.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: ng on June 23, 2008, 11:00:26 PM
In response to the original question way back on page 1...

"Daemon" by Leinad Zeraus might qualify as cyberpunk.  It's actually an immediate-future technothriller, but the overall gestalt is like a cool video game.

"Blindsight" by Peter Watts started out like a horror story (I don't like horror) but turned out to contain one of the best hard sci-fi concepts I've seen in a long time.  It doesn't match many of your original criteria (it's bleak as hell, but at least the space voyage isn't very long) but if you're posting on SGU you might find it interesting anyway.


Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: pandamonium on June 23, 2008, 11:12:14 PM
I am trying to remember the name of a book I read several years ago. This book had a lot of hard, multidimensional science in it. The premise included some kind of gamma ray burst or other cosmic disaster that sent some people into other dimensions to escape it. It may have been some kind of virtual reality escape, but I definitely remember people adding pairs of limbs to better maneuver through four-dimensional space and I definitely remember some guy giving up the virtual reality need to eat but keeping the virtual need to urinate because he liked the sensation.

I can't tell you much else. Does this sound familiar to anyone? If I had titles I could look them up in Amazon and see if I recognized them; I'm sure I'd recognize the one I read if I saw it again. I kinda want to read it now that I've learned more about multidimensional space and see if the story was good. I was bogged down in technical details and remember very little else.

8[  this book sounds awesome.  i will devote my spare time to finding this.  can you give a decade (it sounds recentish, but you never know)?
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: KarenX on June 24, 2008, 12:42:04 AM
I am trying to remember the name of a book I read several years ago. This book had a lot of hard, multidimensional science in it. The premise included some kind of gamma ray burst or other cosmic disaster that sent some people into other dimensions to escape it. It may have been some kind of virtual reality escape, but I definitely remember people adding pairs of limbs to better maneuver through four-dimensional space and I definitely remember some guy giving up the virtual reality need to eat but keeping the virtual need to urinate because he liked the sensation.

I can't tell you much else. Does this sound familiar to anyone? If I had titles I could look them up in Amazon and see if I recognized them; I'm sure I'd recognize the one I read if I saw it again. I kinda want to read it now that I've learned more about multidimensional space and see if the story was good. I was bogged down in technical details and remember very little else.

8[  this book sounds awesome.  i will devote my spare time to finding this.  can you give a decade (it sounds recentish, but you never know)?

I know that I read it between 1997 and 2003 because I was living in my apartment then. I must have hit on the right Google search terms because I may have found it, based on reviews from this web page (http://www.ansible.co.uk/writing/sfxrev97.html):

DIASPORA by Greg Egan (http://www.amazon.com/Diaspora-Greg-Egan/dp/0061057983/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214282136&sr=1-1)

The Amazon page doesn't really sound familiar but the way the guy writes about it does. I have no recollections of the pure consciousness births and gender-neutral pronouns, but I remember the six legs and the neutron star disasters.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: pandamonium on June 24, 2008, 01:00:03 AM
I am trying to remember the name of a book I read several years ago. This book had a lot of hard, multidimensional science in it. The premise included some kind of gamma ray burst or other cosmic disaster that sent some people into other dimensions to escape it. It may have been some kind of virtual reality escape, but I definitely remember people adding pairs of limbs to better maneuver through four-dimensional space and I definitely remember some guy giving up the virtual reality need to eat but keeping the virtual need to urinate because he liked the sensation.

I can't tell you much else. Does this sound familiar to anyone? If I had titles I could look them up in Amazon and see if I recognized them; I'm sure I'd recognize the one I read if I saw it again. I kinda want to read it now that I've learned more about multidimensional space and see if the story was good. I was bogged down in technical details and remember very little else.

8[  this book sounds awesome.  i will devote my spare time to finding this.  can you give a decade (it sounds recentish, but you never know)?

I know that I read it between 1997 and 2003 because I was living in my apartment then. I must have hit on the right Google search terms because I may have found it, based on reviews from this web page (http://www.ansible.co.uk/writing/sfxrev97.html):

DIASPORA by Greg Egan (http://www.amazon.com/Diaspora-Greg-Egan/dp/0061057983/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214282136&sr=1-1)

The Amazon page doesn't really sound familiar but the way the guy writes about it does. I have no recollections of the pure consciousness births and gender-neutral pronouns, but I remember the six legs and the neutron star disasters.

8D  sweet... that cover looks familiar, too.  i've either seen it at work or on boingboing...  thanks!
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: carrotflowers on June 24, 2008, 08:44:38 AM
In response to the original question way back on page 1...

"Daemon" by Leinad Zeraus might qualify as cyberpunk.  It's actually an immediate-future technothriller, but the overall gestalt is like a cool video game.

"Blindsight" by Peter Watts started out like a horror story (I don't like horror) but turned out to contain one of the best hard sci-fi concepts I've seen in a long time.  It doesn't match many of your original criteria (it's bleak as hell, but at least the space voyage isn't very long) but if you're posting on SGU you might find it interesting anyway.


I enjoyed Blindsight. In case you did not know, the author put up some video related to the novel here: http://www.rifters.com/blindsight/vampires.htm  It's a video by "Fizer-Pharm" on vampires which I never got around to watching. If you have not read them, Starfish and Maelstrom by Watts are great, although I did not like the third book in that trilogy so much.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Zeno Izen on June 24, 2008, 07:57:12 PM
DIASPORA by Greg Egan

Well, if that's not the book you're talking about, still I beg you to read it.  Egan is phenomenal and Diaspora is probably one of his best, if not his actual best.  I had to stop reading this thing with 100+ pages left because I was worn out by the sheer awesomeness.

I wish I lived in a world where Greg Egan was the famous popular one and Steven King was obscure.
 
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: KarenX on June 28, 2008, 02:55:23 AM
Diaspora was sitting on the shelf when I visited the library today. I will resist the urge to skip ahead to the peeing part to see if it's what I remember. Maybe this time the hard stuff will sink in. I also got the other Egan book on the shelf: Schild's Something.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Ah.hell on June 28, 2008, 12:47:49 PM
L. Ron Hubbard, say what you will about him, But Battlefield Earth is good.  The movie sucked and ended half way through the story.  His Final Blackout is good too, but it is more of a future war novel than Sci-fi.

No its not.  Seriosly the aliens call their atmospheric gases "breathgas", which uranium somehow causes to explode.  Can you guess how the hero beats the breathgas sucking monsters.  He sends 1000 year old nukes to breathgassia and the the whole planets esplodes.  Then the alien shark lawyer shows up. 
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: pandamonium on June 29, 2008, 04:17:00 AM
L. Ron Hubbard, say what you will about him, But Battlefield Earth is good.  The movie sucked and ended half way through the story.  His Final Blackout is good too, but it is more of a future war novel than Sci-fi.

No its not.  Seriosly the aliens call their atmospheric gases "breathgas", which uranium somehow causes to explode.  Can you guess how the hero beats the breathgas sucking monsters.  He sends 1000 year old nukes to breathgassia and the the whole planets esplodes.  Then the alien shark lawyer shows up. 

hey, that's how scientology works!  gee, i wonder if hubbard really did make it all up?

ok, is the alien planet really called 'breathgassia', 'cause that's lamer than i'd expect from even l ron.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: musteion on June 29, 2008, 06:32:41 AM
It hasn't been mentioned here, and I'm not exactly sure if purists would count it as sci-fi... but I really enjoyed Jennifer Government by Max Barry.  It's pretty hilarious, and I hope the film version gets made.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Government
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Henry on June 29, 2008, 02:03:54 PM
The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke.

If you're lucky your local library might have a copy.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: joxicle popsicle on July 01, 2008, 07:27:33 PM
Things you don't like:
Star Trek type stuff, or Battlestar Galactica, utopian futures, black holes, alternate dimensions, time travel, lazers, long space ship voyages, people losing their sanity, epiphanies, conflicts between humans and robots, large scale wars, alien races with names that have apostrophes, alien diseases, deserts, children, people upset about being a clone or some sort of artificial life form, stories that were made into movies, clearly wrong guess technology, aliens baffled by humans, Jejoopians, pristine technology, racing ships, cars, space mobiles, abolished money, teleporters, merged people


Things you may like:
Cyberpunk type stuff, bleakness, bullets, Space ships, Robots strong enough to easily throw a half ton truck over a two story house, Super computers that know their place, well used technology, crushed vehicles
-------------------
So basically you don't like science fiction, right?

Honestly, there's nothing on your dislike list that isn't going to interfere with your like list.  I say start reading Presidential biographies and never look back.

However, if you are feeling a little peckish, Bunny Modern by David Bowman doesn't have robots, or electricity for that matter.  It won't make any logical sense, but you know, you're going to have to deal with at least one dislike to get a book out of this.

Look, kid, we're going to get through this.  We can do it.  If this book fails, then hey, maybe you can watch The Fifth Element until the end of time.  Honestly, I don't think it'd be a bad way to go.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: DoctorAtlantis on July 03, 2008, 02:50:15 PM
I loved To Say Nothing of the Dog as well as Doomsday Book. It always surprises me how little mention Willis gets considering she has won more Hugo's and more Nebula's than any other author.

That's interesting.  There are far fewer "SciFi" stat pages for awards than I would have guessed.  Aren't we supposed to be NERDS?  Why hasn't someone put together a little app/spreadsheet that lets us sort and such???

Anyway - she's won a lot of them and is one of only 2 writers to have won Nebulas in all categories.  (Greg Bear being the other.)
http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/TableF16.html (http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/TableF16.html)

And she's one of only three writers to have won in all categories of the Hugos.  (Ursula K. Le Guin and Fritz Leiber being the other two.)
http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/TableF15.html (http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/TableF15.html)

But if you look at who's won the most awards overall (and only consider the Hugo and Nebula) she seems to be the easy winner with a total of 9 Hugos and 6 Nebulas.  Yet Ellison has more overall awards than any of the rest of the lot.  But he doesn't want to be called a sci-fi writer. ::)
http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/TableF27.html (http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/TableF27.html)


I've got "To Say Nothing of the Dog" in my audible queue waiting to be listened to... and the paperback in my bathroom.  I just poop too fast to get any reading done these days.  Damn high fiber diet!
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: Kurt on July 03, 2008, 07:53:54 PM
I loved To Say Nothing of the Dog as well as Doomsday Book. It always surprises me how little mention Willis gets considering she has won more Hugo's and more Nebula's than any other author.

That's interesting.  There are far fewer "SciFi" stat pages for awards than I would have guessed.  Aren't we supposed to be NERDS?  Why hasn't someone put together a little app/spreadsheet that lets us sort and such???

Anyway - she's won a lot of them and is one of only 2 writers to have won Nebulas in all categories.  (Greg Bear being the other.)
http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/TableF16.html (http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/TableF16.html)

And she's one of only three writers to have won in all categories of the Hugos.  (Ursula K. Le Guin and Fritz Leiber being the other two.)
http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/TableF15.html (http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/TableF15.html)

But if you look at who's won the most awards overall (and only consider the Hugo and Nebula) she seems to be the easy winner with a total of 9 Hugos and 6 Nebulas.  Yet Ellison has more overall awards than any of the rest of the lot.  But he doesn't want to be called a sci-fi writer. ::)
http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/TableF27.html (http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/TableF27.html)


I've got "To Say Nothing of the Dog" in my audible queue waiting to be listened to... and the paperback in my bathroom.  I just poop too fast to get any reading done these days.  Damn high fiber diet!



Yeah, Ellison is also a pretty big asshole :P

As far as awards, I consider the Nebula and Hugo to be the pinnacles, and slightly below that the Locus. I also watch for who wins the Campbell, Sturgeon, Clarke, Dick and Tiptree. It's odd that Willis has never even made the short list for the Tiptree.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: carrotflowers on July 05, 2008, 01:43:14 PM
DIASPORA by Greg Egan

Well, if that's not the book you're talking about, still I beg you to read it.  Egan is phenomenal and Diaspora is probably one of his best, if not his actual best.  I had to stop reading this thing with 100+ pages left because I was worn out by the sheer awesomeness.

I wish I lived in a world where Greg Egan was the famous popular one and Steven King was obscure.
 

Hey Zeno, I finally am giving Egan a try. I am about halfway through Schild's Ladder which was all my local library had when I hit it up. So far it is very enjoyable and interesting :)
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: pandamonium on July 05, 2008, 03:35:07 PM
DIASPORA by Greg Egan (http://www.amazon.com/Diaspora-Greg-Egan/dp/0061057983/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214282136&sr=1-1)

am reading.  is awesome.  thanks.  going back to read.  no time for internetz.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: KarenX on July 05, 2008, 08:32:41 PM
The peeing part is on page 188. It's the book I remember.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: pandamonium on July 05, 2008, 08:38:41 PM
The peeing part is on page 188. It's the book I remember.

sweet!! i'm almost there. 8D
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: KarenX on July 10, 2008, 03:27:55 AM
So now I've read two Greg Egan books: DIASPORA and SCHILD'S LADDER. Egan is sort of short on story, long on detail. I can't really recommend him for fiction, although the ideas he has about the future are very interesting. He just doesn't develop them in any meaningful narrative way. I don't think fiction is the right genre for him. He's only interested in setting and exposition, not character, plot, conflict, language and imagery, or theme.

I'll be thinking about his speculations for a while, but not about his novels, if that makes any sense.
Title: Re: Recommend some good Sci-Fi books.
Post by: carrotflowers on July 10, 2008, 09:19:41 AM
So now I've read two Greg Egan books: DIASPORA and SCHILD'S LADDER. Egan is sort of short on story, long on detail. I can't really recommend him for fiction, although the ideas he has about the future are very interesting. He just doesn't develop them in any meaningful narrative way. I don't think fiction is the right genre for him. He's only interested in setting and exposition, not character, plot, conflict, language and imagery, or theme.

I just read Schild's Ladder. As far as that book goes, I didn't have that reaction at all. He is long on the detail that drives the science part of the plot, for sure, but I thought there was character development, imagery, plot and conflict. I found it to be very suspenseful. I thought Tchicaya had definite character development, by the use of the backstory. I thought even Cass was well characterized. There was enough story and character that I thought the ideas the book tackled really stuck with me.

I think maybe it wasn't literary enough for your tastes. But it was fiction enough for mine.