Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

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CivilDefense700
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Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby CivilDefense700 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:05 am UTC

I've always liked sci-fi movies and tv shows but haven't really every gotten into reading it until this fall when I decided to read the Neanderthal Parallax series and was then drawn into the Halo novels. I really enjoyed both of them and recently have read the short story Bloodchild, which I liked (see my post on that http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=18530)

Does anyone have any good reccomendations for stories of a similar genre or just sci-fi novels that every nerd should read?
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Aluminus » Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:26 am UTC

Phillip K. Dick (Lots of Mars colonization, lots of psychedelic drugs, lots of androids)
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:18 am UTC

Anything by Larry Niven.
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Gravitas Shortfall » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:47 am UTC

the Culture series, by Iain M. Banks; range from grand tales in which the fate of interstellar civilizations hang in the balance, to incredibly moving character dramas. probably my favorite author right now

the Fall Revolution sequence, by Ken Macleod; libertarian SF at its best, lots of stuff with AI, technological singularity, etc.

anything by Robert Heinlein; you just can't go wrong with Heinlein, though if you're new to his work, his best novels include Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Time Enough for Love

Dune, by Frank Herbert; duh.

A Deepness in the Sky, by Vernor Vinge; one of the best space operas I've read in a long time. over 700 pages, but still much to short.
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby l33t_sas » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:49 am UTC

Neanderthal Parallax? I just read the first one (Hominids?) and I am searching for, but unable to find the sequels at the moment. I might just have to buy them :(

Recommendations, in order:

Robert Silverberg
Stephen Baxter
Isaac Asimov
John Wyndham
Philip K Dick
Arthur Clarke
Ursula Le Guin
Robert Heinlein
Greg Egan
Roger Zelazny
HG Wells
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby zomgmouse » Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:47 am UTC

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
^^ He wins.

EDIT: As does Douglas Adams, along with H.G. Wells.
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Zak » Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:49 am UTC

The ender's game series, and the ender's shadow series, by Orson Scott Card, are both awesome.
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Teut » Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:29 am UTC

Some epic sf to read -

The Gap series by Stephen Donaldson (starts with The Real Story and gets much thicker)
Revelation Space and sequels by Alastair Reynolds - gloriously geeky, but disappointing ending.
The Nights Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton

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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby JayDee » Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:47 am UTC

I'm currently working my way through these lists - described as "books that a serious writer of speculative fiction should own and read." Many of the books listed have been mentioned by peoples already. And quite a few of the authors have threads dedicated to them (like Asimov for instance.)
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby bridge » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:26 pm UTC

Nobody mentioned my favorites yet...

William Gibson - novels, books, everything
Neal Stephenson - "Snow Crash" in particular

Both computer-centric cyberpunk
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Eazy1980 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:49 pm UTC

Teut wrote:The Nights Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton


+1 for Night's Dawn Trilogy (Reality Dysfunction, Neutronium Alchemist & Naked God)

However i have read all of Hamilton's books and haven't found a bad one yet! The Greg Mandell Series (Mindstar Rising, A Quantum Murder & The Nano Flower), The Commonwealth Saga (Pandora's Star & Judas Unchained) and his newest, The Dreaming Void (part 1 of a new series)

Anything by Harry Harrison or Eric Frank Russel (two of the old school sci-fi legends).

Heinlein can be a bit preachy but i have enjoyed: Starship Troopers (yes the awful movie was loosely based on this book), Job, Stranger in a Strange Land & Red Planet.

Orson Scott Card: Ender's (Anything) Series was fantastic.

+1 for William Gibson: Neuromancer is THE definitive cyberpunk novel. Add in the two following books: Count Zero & Mona Lisa Overdrive.

John Wyndham: Day of the Triffids & The Chrysalids, while not technically sci-fi are MUST reads.
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Firnagzen » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:25 pm UTC

If you're a mature reader, consider Neal Asher- Highly graphic violence, but with a nice, convincing backstory, technology and people. CTD weapons for the win!
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Bomaz » Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:19 am UTC

Dune is a must read.

Ender is advisable as well.

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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby schmiggen » Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:42 am UTC

Treason by Orson Scott Card (and of course the Ender series). Treason sort of seems like a fantasy story at times, but Card's style, description, and approach make it more sciencey to me than fantasy-ey.

Sphere by Michael Chrichton.

The Coming of the Quantum Cats by Frederik Pohl.

The magazine "Analog." :D
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby alexgmcm » Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:07 am UTC

Gravitas Shortfall wrote:
the Fall Revolution sequence, by Ken Macleod; libertarian SF at its best, lots of stuff with AI, technological singularity, etc.



I've just read the Engines of Light trilogy by him, which was pretty good. I'm reading Newton's Wake atm I'll look out for Fall Revolution too. He's a pretty good writer overall.

On Topic:
Ken MacLeod is pretty good and yeah Dune is awesome although I must admit I haven't read all of the Dune books just the first one.. I keep meaning to get the next two but apparently the others after that are pretty crap.

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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby pixelfehler » Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:15 pm UTC

Teut wrote: [..]The Nights Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton
Eazy1980 wrote:+1 for Night's Dawn Trilogy (Reality Dysfunction, Neutronium Alchemist & Naked God)[...]

I quit reading after Reality Dysfunction (SPOILERS!) since it was turning from Sci-Fi to religous Fantasy. Also it was a bit too verbose for my taste. The envisioned universe though was quite inspiring, so it didnt feel like wasted time.

Speaking of which, I always wanted to know how one subplot started in the book ended: Joshua Calvert smuggles antimatter tech and is followed by some Edenist bioship (Voidhawk?), yet when they search his ship they only find (legal) fusion tech. Anyone remember how that was resolved?


Apart from that, I second Greg Egan, Diaspora is just wonderful.
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Midnight » Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:49 pm UTC

did anyone mention revelation space?


edit: yes.. and i liked the ending to that book. it's genius, who thinks up planetorbitblackholecrystalthing?
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby cephalopod9 » Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:10 am UTC

Martian Chronicles
a little more fantasy, but still awesome, other stuff by Ray Bradbury too.
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Amnesiasoft » Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:41 am UTC

what, no love for The Stand? It's a long book, but it was very good.

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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Teut » Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:27 am UTC

Midnight wrote:yes.. and i liked the ending to that book. it's genius, who thinks up planetorbitblackholecrystalthing?


It wasn't the ending to Revelation Space I was disappointed with, it was the ending to Absolution Gap - the last in the series. It's difficult to discuss without revealing major spoilers for the resolution of the entire series :|

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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby SneakyMongo » Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:34 am UTC

Oh um, a very interesting book I read about speculative exobiology is The Sunborn, and one I think would be just as interesting is The Dragon's egg.
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Gravitas Shortfall » Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:45 pm UTC

alexgmcm wrote:I've just read the Engines of Light trilogy by him, which was pretty good. I'm reading Newton's Wake atm I'll look out for Fall Revolution too. He's a pretty good writer overall.

On Topic:
Ken MacLeod is pretty good and yeah Dune is awesome although I must admit I haven't read all of the Dune books just the first one.. I keep meaning to get the next two but apparently the others after that are pretty crap.


I was a bit disappointed by the ending of the Engines of Light. The first three books of the Fall Revolution are definitely my favorite of his (the fourth book I can't make up my mind on). I was also pretty impressed by Learning the World, which is one of the best first contact novels I've ever read. You might want to hold off on his most recent work, The Execution Channel; there's an interesting idea in there somewhere, but for some reason the whole thing just didn't seem very well thought out.
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Aerol » Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:49 pm UTC

Read Neuromancer. You won't be disappointed.

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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby McCaber » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:24 pm UTC

I'm actually in the middle of writing a paper on Neuromancer, about the impact of science and technology on everyday life.

But yeah, it's awesome. Read it. Now.
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby bbctol » Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:26 am UTC

Aerol wrote:Read Neuromancer. You won't be disappointed.


I was.

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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Nath » Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:55 am UTC

bbctol wrote:
Aerol wrote:Read Neuromancer. You won't be disappointed.


I was.

As was I. It just didn't seem very well written.

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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby l33t_sas » Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:17 am UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:what, no love for The Stand? It's a long book, but it was very good.


By Stephen King?

When some virus kills everybody in America and then some people start getting weird powers or something? How the hell is that Science Fiction?
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby CivilDefense700 » Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:36 am UTC

Good recommendations so far.

Dune though I'm not sure about, I've seen the movie and if it's anything like the actual novels I don't think I'd get very into it. A little to fantasy-ish for me (riding giant sand worms, life altering substance, strange powers).
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Malice » Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:51 pm UTC

l33t_sas wrote:
Amnesiasoft wrote:what, no love for The Stand? It's a long book, but it was very good.


By Stephen King?

When some virus kills everybody in America and then some people start getting weird powers or something? How the hell is that Science Fiction?


The Stand is a mix of genres. It's one part "What would happen if a government-created plague spread and destroyed late 1970s society?", one part "Good lord, mass plagues are fucking terrifying", and one part "Oh, so now this is more like allegorical fantasy", plus a pinch of Bible. Mix well. Serves about 1000 pages of Epic Awesome.
The first part is the science fiction part.
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby sethicus » Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:43 pm UTC

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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby d00mkitt3n » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:20 am UTC

Harry Harrison -- Deathworld trilogy; well written, fast paced & relatively easily read. really fun sci-fi.
Larry Niven -- Ringworld series, The Mote in God's Eye, A World Out of Time; classic sci-fi ftw.
Niven & Jerry Pournelle -- Lucifer's Hammer; another classic, & Pournelle adds a neat dynamic to Niven's writing style.
Isaac Asimov's Foundation & Empire set is a must read for a budding sci-fi fan, in my opinion, as well.
Heinlein is one of my all time love affairs, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress being one of my favorites,
as well as The Door Into Summer, Starship Troopers, Beyond This Horizon, & Time Enough for Love.
if you are new to Heinlein, i recommend reading some of his short novels, written for younger fans long ago.
it's an easy way to introduce yourself to his world, his characters & his writing style,
without getting the preachy (thanks Eazy1980) aspect of some of his later works.

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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Jorpho » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:30 am UTC

Nath wrote:
bbctol wrote:
Aerol wrote:Read Neuromancer. You won't be disappointed.
I was.
As was I. It just didn't seem very well written.

I have no doubt that it was Completely Revolutionary when it came out, but it seems that so much of what it does has been done since then so many times over, and frequently rather better, too.

I like David Brin. It's been a few years since his last book, Kiln People, which was awesome. The Practice Effect is also lots of fun. His other stuff can be pretty heady.

I really like Dan Simmons's Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion. DO NOT be tempted to read the other two books in the series.

Pohl's Gateway and its sequels are also pleasant romps.

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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby HighCharity » Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:06 am UTC

The Homecoming series. I loved that series. Favorite series, ever.
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Zohar » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:13 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:I really like Dan Simmons's Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion. DO NOT be tempted to read the other two books in the series.


Dan Simmons is awesome. I really liked the two other books. Not as great as the first two, but still very good.

As for Homecoming, I rather liked it, at the time. But I've outgrown Orson Scott Card. He was very nice to read at first but when I started reading other authors I realized his sci-fi isn't very good. He writes relationships and politics extremely well, but not much else. Still, I thought Pastwatch was a very good book, as was Songmaster. I must admit I didn't fall in love with Ender's Game.
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Mavketl » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:28 pm UTC

I'm just going to second a couple of things already mentioned, because they really are cool.

I read a lot by Orson Scott Card and liked all of it. Favourite: Ender series (mostly the Shadow ones!). Dune is really awesome, I keep rereading those on regular basis. Also Larry Niven and Roger Zelazny (but I guess the latter is more fantasy than sci-fi, and if we're going to include fantasy, then... George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire can't be missing from the list).
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Eazy1980 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:11 am UTC

I quit reading after Reality Dysfunction (SPOILERS!) since it was turning from Sci-Fi to religous Fantasy. Also it was a bit too verbose for my taste. The envisioned universe though was quite inspiring, so it didnt feel like wasted time.
Speaking of which, I always wanted to know how one subplot started in the book ended: Joshua Calvert smuggles antimatter tech and is followed by some Edenist bioship (Voidhawk?), yet when they search his ship they only find (legal) fusion tech. Anyone remember how that was resolved?


Pixelfehler:

You quit too early!! *smacks around the head for you*
I must admit that i had a massive case of the WTFs when all that started happening. I agree with the verbosity remark too, i think it's more a matter of that's his style as opposed to "look how big my education & vocabulary is".

If you really must know what happened on that smuggling run (try and read it again first! and if you can track down the Greg Mandell series DO SO) it's under the spoiler tag ---->
Spoiler:
It's actually quite simple, i figured it out before Syrinx (sp?) did. He had another ship following him, under full stealth. Hence why the jumps were taking so long. Just before their final jump in system, they dumped the coils into space for their partner to pick up. EASY!
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:32 pm UTC

Kim Stanley Robinson.

Oddly enough, my one professor is good friends with him and editing a book of critical essays on his work.

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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Marbles » Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:24 pm UTC

Kind of weird and obscure one: Piers Anthony's Mode series. They sort of wander between sci-fi and fantasy... But I really enjoyed them. I have yet to ever meet anyone else who has read them, though.

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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:28 pm UTC

Might be hard to find, but I really enjoyed Mike Reznik (sp?) Rise of Man. Its about mankind's spread and influence through the universe over three epochs, our Rise, our Stagnation, and our Fall. Each chapter is about a different 'profession' and how its changed or changes everything. My favorite was probably The Olympians, but all are very interesting.
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Re: Recomend me some Sci-Fi !

Postby cephalopod9 » Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:56 am UTC

Also Brave New World kind of disturbing, but thought provoking.
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