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Old 10-22-2010, 09:58 AM   #16
obs20
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Please let's not nominate a book as science fiction just because three people want it. let's nominate a book as science fiction because it is science fiction.
Actually, Amazon does list 1984 under Science Fiction/Fantasy.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:05 AM   #17
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I'd like to third (fourth) Old Man's War, by Scalzi. I've read it before, but this would be a good opportunity to re-read it.

I'd also like to nominate "The Player of Games" by Iain M. Banks
Spoiler:
Amazon.com Review
In The Player of Games, Iain M. Banks presents a distant future that could almost be called the end of history. Humanity has filled the galaxy, and thanks to ultra-high technology everyone has everything they want, no one gets sick, and no one dies. It's a playground society of sports, stellar cruises, parties, and festivals. Jernau Gurgeh, a famed master game player, is looking for something more and finds it when he's invited to a game tournament at a small alien empire. Abruptly Banks veers into different territory. The Empire of Azad is exotic, sensual, and vibrant. It has space battle cruisers, a glowing court--all the stuff of good old science fiction--which appears old-fashioned in contrast to Gurgeh's home. At first it's a relief, but further exploration reveals the empire to be depraved and terrifically unjust. Its defects are gross exaggerations of our own, yet they indict us all the same. Clearly Banks is interested in the idea of a future where everyone can be mature and happy. Yet it's interesting to note that in order to give us this compelling adventure story, he has to return to a more traditional setting. Thoughtful science fiction readers will appreciate the cultural comparisons, and fans of big ideas and action will also be rewarded. --Brooks Peck
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:12 AM   #18
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I'd also like to nominate "The Player of Games" by Iain M. Banks
That is #2 in a series. Please nominate #1 instead.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:32 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
That is #2 in a series. Please nominate #1 instead.
According to Wikipedia, it's the 2nd "Culture" novel, but I'm pretty sure they don't need to be read in any particular order. I've read others and they have totally different characters and plots, and are simply set in the same universe.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:34 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by gca3020 View Post
According to Wikipedia, it's the 2nd "Culture" novel, but I'm pretty sure they don't need to be read in any particular order. I've read others and they have totally different characters and plots, and are simply set in the same universe.
Take Discworld for example. There is a rather lame chart floating around showing alternate reading orders for the series. But if you do not read in order, you may very well miss out on thinks referenced back to other books published prior to the one currently being read. So really (IMHO), it's best to read a series in order.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:42 AM   #21
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I'd like to nominate The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. 2009 Nebula Award and 2010 Hugo Award Winner.

From Wikipedia:
The Windup Girl is set in the 23rd century: Global Warming has raised the levels of world's oceans, carbon fuel sources have become depleted, and manually wound springs are used as energy storage devices. Biotechnology is dominant and mega corporations like AgriGen, PurCal and RedStar (called calorie companies) control food production through 'genehacked' seeds, and use bioterrorism, private armies and economic hitmen to create markets for their products. Frequent catastrophes, such as deadly and widespread plagues and illness, caused by genetically modified crops and mutant pests, ravage entire populations. The natural genetic seed stock of the world's plants has been almost completely supplanted by those that are genetically engineered to be sterile.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:01 PM   #22
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I'll second The Player of Games.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:03 PM   #23
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I'd like to nominate Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell but I'm not sure if it qualifies as science fiction. http://www.inkmesh.com/ebooks/ninete...+George+Orwell
Was Nineteen Eighty-Four not already the winner once, in August 2009?
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:27 PM   #24
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I would like to nominate "News from Nowhere" by William Morris.

Available for free at MR.

From Wikipedia:
News from Nowhere (1890) is a classic work combining utopian socialism and soft science fiction written by the artist, designer and socialist pioneer William Morris. In the book, the narrator, William Guest, falls asleep after returning from a meeting of the Socialist League and awakes to find himself in a future society based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production. In this society there is no private property, no big cities, no authority, no monetary system, no divorce, no courts, no prisons, and no class systems. This agrarian society functions simply because the people find pleasure in nature, and therefore they find pleasure in their work.

The book explores a number of aspects of this society, including its organisation and the relationships which it engenders between people. Morris cleverly fuses Marxism and the romance tradition when he presents himself as an enchanted figure in a time and place different from Victorian England. As Morris the romance character, quests for love and fellowship-and through them for a reborn self, he encounters romance archetypes in Marxist guises. Old Hammond is both the communist educator who teaches Morris the new world and the wise old man of romance. Dick and Clara are good comrades and the married lovers who aid Morris in his wanderings. The journey on the Thames is both a voyage through society transformed by revolution and a quest for happiness. The quests goal, met and found though only transiently, is Ellen, the symbol of the reborn age and the bride the alien cannot win. Ellen herself is a multidimensional figure; a working class woman emancipated under socialism, she is also a benign nature spirit as well as the soul in the form of a woman. The book offers Morris' answers to a number of frequent objections to socialism, and underlines his belief that socialism will entail not only the abolishment of private property but also of the divisions between art, life, and work.

In the novel, Morris tackles one of the most common criticisms of socialism; the supposed lack of incentive to work in a communist society. Morris' response is that all work should be creative and pleasurable. This differs from the majority of Socialist thinkers, who tend to assume that while work is a necessary evil, a well-planned equal society can reduce the amount of work needed to be done by each worker. News From Nowhere was written as a response to an earlier book called Looking Backward, a book that epitomizes a view of Socialism that Morris abhorred.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:44 PM   #25
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I would like to nominate The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy By Douglas Adams. http://inkmesh.com/ebooks/hitchhiker...+Douglas+Adams
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:03 PM   #26
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I second "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:17 PM   #27
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Was Nineteen Eighty-Four not already the winner once, in August 2009?
You are correct... that disqualifies it. We already have a discussion thread on this one.

BOb
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:22 PM   #28
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I nominate City At World's End by Edmond Hamilton. It can be found here: http://manybooks.net/titles/hamilton...worldsend.html Apparently it fell through some sort of hole in copyright back in the day and is free to download though published in 1951.
looks interesting.

Nominated

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Old 10-22-2010, 01:50 PM   #29
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To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.
Like Doomsday Book, Blackout, All Clear, and Firewatch it features Oxford's time travelling historians, though the major characters in the other books are minor characters in this one.

From Booklist--

What a stitch! Willis' delectable romp through time from 2057 back to Victorian England, with a few side excursions into World War II and medieval Britain, will have readers happily glued to the pages. Rich dowager Lady Schrapnell has invaded Oxford University's time travel research project in 2057, promising to endow it if they help her rebuild Coventry Cathedral, destroyed by a Nazi air raid in 1940. In effect, she dragoons almost everyone in the program to make trips back in time to locate items--in particular, the bishop's bird stump[though they are unclear about what it is exactly]....
Time traveler Ned Henry is suffering from advanced time lag and has been sent, he thinks, for rest and relaxation to 1888, where he connects with fellow time traveler Verity Kindle and discovers that he is actually there to correct an incongruity created when Verity inadvertently brought something forward from the past.
Take an excursion through time, add chaos theory, romance, plenty of humor, a dollop of mystery, and a spoof of the Victorian novel, and you end up with what seems like a comedy of errors but is actually a grand scheme "involving the entire course of history and all of time and space that, for some unfathomable reason, chose to work out its designs with cats and croquet mallets and penwipers, to say nothing of the dog...."
--Sally Estes

It won both the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1999, and was nominated for the Nebula Award in 1998.

http://inkmesh.com/ebooks/to-say-not...+Connie+Willis
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:51 PM   #30
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I am nominating:

Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke (Large Print but easily adjusted via a Calibre convert)
Quote:
Suddenly space ships appear above all the Earth’s great cities. Soon the aliens announce a new regime enforcing peace and bringing prosperity to the planet. But some suspect ulterior motives particularly since humanity is no longer free to pursue space travel and the aliens never appear publicly. Years later they do appear but bring a message of the destruction of mankind as we know it and the transformation of human children into superior beings.
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
Quote:
This is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel first published in 1960 that has never been out of print and gone through 25 reprints. It is considered one of the classics of science fiction. Appealing to mainstream and genre critics and readers alike, it won the 1961 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel.
The story starts in a Roman Catholic monastery in the desert of the Southwestern United States after a devastating nuclear war, then spans thousands of years as civilization rebuilds itself. The monks of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz take up the mission of preserving the surviving remnants of man's scientific knowledge until the day the outside world is again ready for it. Eventually, the organization seeks refuge and a mission in the stars. It's themes of religion, recurrence, and church versus state have generated a significant body of scholarly research
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
Quote:
First published in the Soviet 1920s, Zamyatin's dystopic novel left an indelible watermark on 20th-century culture, from Orwell's 1984 to Terry Gilliam's movie Brazil . Randall's exciting new translation strips away the Cold War connotations and makes us conscious of Zamyatin's other influences, from Dostoyevski to German expressionism. D-503 is a loyal "cipher" of the totalitarian One State, literally walled in by glass; he is a mathematician happily building the world's first rocket, but his life is changed by meeting I-330, a woman with "sharp teeth" who keeps emerging out of a sudden vampirish dusk to smile wickedly on the poor narrator and drive him wild with desire. (When she first forces him to drink alcohol, the mind leaps to Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel .) In becoming a slave to love, D-503 becomes, briefly, a free man. In Randall's hands, Zamyatin's modernist idiom crackles ("I only remember his fingers: they flew out of his sleeve, like bundles of beams"), though the novel sometimes seems prophetic of the onset of Stalinism, particularly in the bleak ending.

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