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Old 12-02-2010, 12:50 PM   #16
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You can find quite a few free science fiction books at the Baen Free Library
http://www.baen.com/library/defaulttitles.htm
(just like a drug pusher, the first one is free...)

If he is interested in starship combat, may I suggest On Basilisk Station?
http://www.webscription.net/p-304-on...k-station.aspx
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:12 PM   #17
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That's really going to depend on his personal preferences. Science Fiction and Fantasy are really very diverse, with multiple sub-genres within them and they sometimes overlap.

For instance, I (female, mid-20's) tend to prefer fantasy, and within that genre I enjoy dark swords and sorcery fantasy. Books I've enjoyed recently include Joe Abercrombie's First Law Trilogy, Steven Erikson's Malazan series (10 big books), and Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastards. Some not so recent favorite include R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing trilogy, China Mieville's Perdido Street Station and associated books, and Matthew W. Stover's Heroes Die.

My boyfriend, on the other hand (mid-20's also) tends to prefer hard science fiction. His favorites include any of Iain M. Banks' books, and Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos, among others I can't remember off the top of my head.

That said, I had him read the Malazan books, which he loved and he has been excitedly waiting for the next book right along with me. He has had me read a few of Iain M. Banks' Culture books, which I loved. And we both independently loved Terry Pratchett's Discworld books (British humorous fantasy). There are plenty of other sub-genres, too, like urban fantasy, soft sci-fi, space opera, alternate history, etc.

Why not get a subscription to Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine? http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/ I'm afraid they don't have an electronic version yet, but it's a great magazine with a wonderful diversity of stories. You could also try Analog or Asimov, one of which I believe has an electronic version, but I think both of those are more sci-fi oriented.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:18 PM   #18
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FSF has an electronic versiyon. I always buy them as ebooks: https://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/a...gale-Authors/?
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GERGE View Post
FSF has an electronic versiyon. I always buy them as ebooks: https://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/a...gale-Authors/?
Ah, thanks for the correction. I was thinking more along the lines of an automatic subscription like B&N and Amazon have for Asimov's, but that certainly works too!
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:19 PM   #20
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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.

This would indeed be for a Christmas gift, for the son of a friend, and could be either paper or e-book--she just said he likes to read fantasy and SF, so I don't have too much to go on. I am especially liking the idea of a magazine subscription--I hadn't thought of that, and it might be my best option. Maybe the subscription plus a couple of books; I'll check out the various authors that have been suggested.

Thanks again.
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:49 PM   #21
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If he likes the genre and if he is young, best you could do is to buy an old book. He probably read all good new ones.

About old books, these are the ones I can recommend without any hesitation:

First of all, I think he would be very happy if you can find old paperbacks of Netheril Trilogy or The Cornelius Quartet.

After that, all of these books are awesome, more than awesome:

Gloriana, or The Unfulfill'd Queen - Michael Moorcock
Little, Big - John Crowley
Our Lady of Darkness - Fritz Leiber
Lyonesse Trilogy - Jack Vance
The Dancers at the End of Time - Michael Moorcock
The Chronicles of Tornor - Elizabeth A. Lynn

Last edited by GERGE; 12-02-2010 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:46 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
This would indeed be for a Christmas gift, for the son of a friend, and could be either paper or e-book--she just said he likes to read fantasy and SF, so I don't have too much to go on
You might want to ask your friend for the titles of some books her son has recently read.
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:05 PM   #23
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A good series of fantasies is the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. These are long books starting with A Game of Thrones which is actually being made into an HBO series to play next year. They may produce the rest of the books if this one is well received.

There are also the classic fantasies like The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, or the Harry Potter stories but he may have read those already.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:44 PM   #24
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There are some amazing suggestions in here so I'll echo a couple of them - but here's where I stand at the moment:

Fantasy:
- The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss (first of a series)
- Anything by China Mieville. He's my favourite author and I'll devour anything he comes up with, couldn't recommend him enough.
- Tigana - Guy Gavriel Kay (truly astounding)
- Raymond Feist - Magician, Silverthorn, Darkness at Sethanon, Daughter of the Empire, Servant of the Empire, Mistress of the Empire. The last three are with Janny Wurts. There's more books but for me I didn't really get much joy from anything after these 6 books.
- Jay Lake - Mainspring

Sci Fi:
Iain Banks - start with Consider Phlebas (wow) and then just keep reading forever.
Orson Scott Card - Enders series
Connie Willis - Doomsday Book (my favourite time travel book so far)
Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash, Diamond Age, Cryptonomicron (haven't read his others but I will)

When it comes to Sci-Fi/Fantasy I could just go on and on and on. But there's plenty of time for that.

Regards
Caleb
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:53 PM   #25
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Quote:
Connie Willis - Doomsday Book (my favourite time travel book so far)
One of my favorites as well. But give Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates a try... you might just have a new favorite time travel book on your hands.

Sorry for the slight derailment, but with all these great books being bandied back and forth, it's kind of hard to resist.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:30 PM   #26
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I'd recommend a Baen Gift Card. That way he could pick out the books that interest him, and get whatever he wants.

http://www.webscription.net/p-3-gift-card.aspx
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:45 PM   #27
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Since the person you're buying for is 20 years old, I'm going to give another plug for China Miéville. You mentioned Sci-Fi and Fantasy, which Miéville sort of combines and makes work. He calls his genre New Weird, but I still think of it as Steampunk. You can try Perdido Street Station for starters. If you're interested in a couple of books, you could try The City & the City, which has won pretty much every major speculative-fiction award out there (Hugo Award, BSFA Award, Arthur C. Clarke Award, World Fantasy Award). It's going to be the next Miéville book I read. He's not exactly a literary writer, but I think he tries harder than most to be a decent writer (I didn't particularly care for The Scar, though).
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:47 AM   #28
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Since the person you're buying for is 20 years old, I'm going to give another plug for China Miéville. You mentioned Sci-Fi and Fantasy, which Miéville sort of combines and makes work. He calls his genre New Weird, but I still think of it as Steampunk. You can try Perdido Street Station for starters. If you're interested in a couple of books, you could try The City & the City, which has won pretty much every major speculative-fiction award out there (Hugo Award, BSFA Award, Arthur C. Clarke Award, World Fantasy Award). It's going to be the next Miéville book I read. He's not exactly a literary writer, but I think he tries harder than most to be a decent writer (I didn't particularly care for The Scar, though).
Had to chip in again and say: "Absolutely!!".
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:48 AM   #29
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One of my favorites as well. But give Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates a try... you might just have a new favorite time travel book on your hands.

Sorry for the slight derailment, but with all these great books being bandied back and forth, it's kind of hard to resist.
I'm actually hunting down this book to buy as a birthday present for my partner - so I may actually get a chance to read it. Thanks for the suggestion.

Regards
Caleb
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:05 AM   #30
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Under Heaven by Canadian writer Guy Gavriel Kay is a sumptuous feast of storytelling, a beautifully written tale,

You gonna Love it guys. the story will make you tears in the end.
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