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Old 07-02-2012, 02:28 PM   #16
bill_mchale
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Banks is ok.. but I think he gets a little preachy sometimes, particularly when it comes to issues of religion (in Consider Phlebas anyway).

For fantasy, I think in addition to Tolkien (who essentially is the father of Epic Fantasy), I think Robert E. Howard and his Sword and Sorcery stories (specifically, but not limited to Conan) which pretty much defined the sub-genre. I am not a huge fantasy fan so I will limit my comments on fantasy to that.

For Sci-Fi... Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke, I Robot by Isaac Asimov, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein are all classics that should be read, even if they do occasionally show their age. Dune by Frank Herbert has aged very well (imho), but avoid the sequels (imho). Others I really like... Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress, Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card, Forge of God and Anvil of Stars by Greg Bear, Startide Rising and the Uplift War by David Brin.

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Old 07-02-2012, 04:58 PM   #17
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Banks is ok.. but I think he gets a little preachy sometimes, particularly when it comes to issues of religion (in Consider Phlebas anyway).
Yeah, he is an "ideas guy". I really like that, it makes the book more layered. He tends to address questions of moral philosophy quite often. That layers over whatever action is happening with the characters.

One of his topics is the question of intervention by well-meaning moral rationalists to "help out" less developed cultures. This is one of the "great questions" of our time, but in Banks' sci-fi it is quite abstracted thanks to the tremendous power of The Culture. The essential moral question is the same as (say) the rights and wrongs of Iraq war, but thanks to the Minds it is framed in totally rational utilitarian terms with endless power to attempt to enforce that.

Usually he is talking about moral grey areas, so I don't know if "preachy" is the right word. However he does advocate direct democracy (mediated by AIs!), and ending resource scarcity and social classes to facilitate individual freedom. It is kind of a Jeffersonian Utopia.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:15 AM   #18
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I have to laugh at myself about this I hope you do too, but I had to google Inheritance Cycle only to realise what it was; I admit I only read the Eragon and Eldest.

Looking at the question you asked I would say these but in no order really, the following for Fantasy:
The Dark Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan
Kingmaker Kingbreaker by Karen Miller
The Magican's Apprentice by Trudi Canavan
The Traitor Spy trilogy by Trudi Canavan

If you havent guess I really like Trudi Canavan something about her writing just draws me in.

Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling (Yeah I know but it def one series I've read more than any other ever)
Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
Heros of Olympus by Rick Riordan
His Dark Materials by Philp Pullman
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (Not its biggest fan, but the guy who wrote it lives about half an hour from me, and his uncle used to be teach in my old seconardy(High) school)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

They just my top few, but its hard to think up other these are the ones that are looking right at me from my bookshelf and now I'm searching for ebooks in the same genre.

Also yeah I do like my teen/ young adult books more than the Adults, more so cause I find them more interesting and easier to read, although I am now think of reading Game of Thrones.

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Old 07-09-2012, 02:15 PM   #19
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Fantasy and sci-fi together? So you want 10 books about space dragons(...)
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Oh no!that will be sort of weird(...)


Hey techiemonkey, do you know Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series?
If not, I have a feeling that you are going to LOVE those books!

There's a good reading order guide here.
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:39 PM   #20
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I don't agree with this list entirely (plenty of good stuff left out / some not that great) but it's a good quick rule-of-thumb sort of list IMO.

NPR's reader-voted top 100 sci/fi fantasy for 2011.

http://www.npr.org/2011/08/11/139085...-fantasy-books
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:56 PM   #21
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I never considered Frankenstein as being SF or fantasy...
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:21 AM   #22
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I never considered Frankenstein as being SF or fantasy...
Using technology to create a monstrous zombie creature pieced together from multiple dead bodies?

Yup, definitely scifi-horror.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:51 PM   #23
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NPR's reader-voted top 100 sci/fi fantasy for 2011.
Kind of a weird list

I'll freely admit that it's a good rule-of-thumb-thingy to get started, but it's why does it sometimes list a whole series as one entry and sometimes just one book out of a major series?

I mean, "Small Gods" and "Going postal" as representative of the entire Discworld?

Or "Dragonflight" without any mention that it's followed by about two dozen further novels?

I also never heard of the Dune "Chronicles".
Dune Series, Dune Saga, Duniverse, sure but "Chronicles"...?
(a book that follows the adventures of Paul Atreides - what is this, Enid Blyton? )
EDIT: My bad, just realized that it's now marketed under this name.
Maybe to tie in the (mostly god-awful) prequels better?


Makes me wonder whether whoever made this list actually read those books at all!

And yeah, there's definitely a lot of good stuff missing.

Regardless, thanks GreenMonky for sharing!

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Old 07-20-2012, 06:52 PM   #24
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You've pretty much targeted my antithesis list. (with the possible exception of Banks which I've not read yet). I've tried reading all the others and pretty much despise them.
You have good knowledge and judgement of science fiction

Would you be so kind as to recommend a few science fiction novels written this century or in the last few years of last century

I've read most older science fiction, I was fortunate in my teen years and later to live near excellent libraries with large collections of science fiction novels
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:28 AM   #25
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You have good knowledge and judgement of science fiction

Would you be so kind as to recommend a few science fiction novels written this century or in the last few years of last century

I've read most older science fiction, I was fortunate in my teen years and later to live near excellent libraries with large collections of science fiction novels
A recent discovery: Faith by John Love

Don't know if it fits your time-frame, but Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

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Old 07-21-2012, 10:40 AM   #26
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A recent discovery: Faith by John Love

Don't know if it fits your time-frame, but Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Faith was surprisingly great. It was really thoughtful and "literary" scifi, but with some great action sequences when the main characters engage Faith in ship-to-ship combat.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:47 AM   #27
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Faith was surprisingly great. It was really thoughtful and "literary" scifi, but with some great action sequences when the main characters engage Faith in ship-to-ship combat.
An example of why it's difficult, sometimes, to recommend books. I gave up on Faith at about the 50% point. I thought is was a rambling, going nowhere novel. Maybe I'll look at it again someday.
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:07 PM   #28
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The Road by Cormac McCarthy
If you're like me and the absence of all punctuation aside from periods drives you nuts, stay far away from this book. No commas, no quotation marks, no semi colons... just periods.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:10 PM   #29
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An example of why it's difficult, sometimes, to recommend books. I gave up on Faith at about the 50% point. I thought is was a rambling, going nowhere novel. Maybe I'll look at it again someday.
That opinion isn't too surprising. Until the lead up to the main event (i.e., the battle with Faith) the book can be dull.
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Old 07-22-2012, 03:57 AM   #30
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