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Old 07-10-2011, 08:51 PM   #46
jtdolphins
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The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein. I have always been bothered by the ending. Intrigued by Prof. The book made an impression on me.

Probably my second favorite sci-fi book is a Philip K. Dick collection. I have reread 1984.

Stranger in a Strange Land is on my Kindle to be read on vacation. I am on a mission to read more of Robert Heinlein this year. For some reason I overlooked this arthor, except for The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

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Some of these I've heard of and know a little about and others I've never heard of at all. Lots to check out. That's kind of why I started the thread. I like sci-fi best, and I'm having a hard time finding anything new to read. I should be able to find something good out of all this!
Good thread! I got some ideas out of it.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:51 PM   #47
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Stars In Your Pocket Likes Grains Of Sand by Samuel Delaney
A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge

Both really great books with some great ideas and interesting ways of writing.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:22 PM   #48
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"An Inconvenient Truth" by Al Gore.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:42 PM   #49
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"An Inconvenient Truth" by Al Gore.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:00 AM   #50
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The Handmaid's Tale

Maybe Ender's Game
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:25 AM   #51
Nancy Fulda
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Isn't this a little bit like asking a mother to name her favorite child? Uh-uh. No way am I going to label any single book as the Best Sci-fi title ever. But a few of my favorites over the years have been:

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Ballad of Beta-2 by Samuel R. Delaney
Timothy Zahn's Star Wars books (yes, I know; technically, they're science-fantasy)
Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:29 AM   #52
Nancy Fulda
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Wait wait! How could I forget The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey? Also The Ship Who Searched.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:58 AM   #53
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100 Best Science Fiction Books of all time
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:12 AM   #54
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I feel too that it is an impossible task, but I was saddened that nobody yet mentioned Clifford Simak. An incredible fusion of perfect SF with a melancholic vision of USA in the fifties.
I don't know where to begin, but certainly his City is one of the best books ever written. Stop. No arguments accepted.
And Waystation, do not let me even begin to talk about it... it takes you to the heart.
... or Highway of eternity !!! One of the most wonderful and surreal descriptions of time travel I ever read ...

You don't know SF if you don't know Simak.

alessandro
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:02 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by alexxx View Post
I feel too that it is an impossible task, but I was saddened that nobody yet mentioned Clifford Simak. An incredible fusion of perfect SF with a melancholic vision of USA in the fifties.
I don't know where to begin, but certainly his City is one of the best books ever written. Stop. No arguments accepted.
And Waystation, do not let me even begin to talk about it... it takes you to the heart.
... or Highway of eternity !!! One of the most wonderful and surreal descriptions of time travel I ever read ...

You don't know SF if you don't know Simak.

alessandro


City was my all-time favorite for a long time, just edged out by Foundation Trilogy...but still right up there. It is one of the few books I've re-read multiple times.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:20 PM   #56
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Anyone read Tad Williams Overland series? Its been recommended several times. When I see a set of massive books like that my first thought is a good editor is needed. I read that Tad considered the whole set 1 book that had to be broken up due to length.
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:31 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtdolphins
Anyone read Tad Williams Overland series? Its been recommended several times. When I see a set of massive books like that my first thought is a good editor is needed. I read that Tad considered the whole set 1 book that had to be broken up due to length.
A lot of people love it. I liked it. Williams tends to throw too many words at some pretty simple plot-lines. This series could have easily been trimmed by several hundred pages. Great story, he just needed to channel his "inner editor" a bit more.

NOTE: I've read huge books/series that I thought were too short, and I've read short-books that I felt were too long... so it's not just me disliking huge books or long series. Williams just tends to talk too much—which wouldn't be a problem if he had a lot to say—for my taste.

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Old 07-11-2011, 02:37 PM   #58
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Thanks for reminding me.

Anne McCaffery
Andre Norton
Marion Zimmer Bradley

All excellent authors but like you say some are more fantasy than Sci-fi
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:42 PM   #59
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A Song of Fire and Ice-A Game of Thrones
I started reading this when the first book came out and have loved it.
The HBO series has amped up the eroticism a bit to my mind but the story line is followed well just as in LOTR.
I had hoped for a film version of The Sword of Truth but we shall see.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:57 PM   #60
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I love ASOIAF, but I gotta say that it's epic fantasy. It definitely ain't SciFi. Its not even close to the line, the way McCaffery and MZB are. Just saying. Now there are a lot of people-GRRM among them- who would say that's a distinction without a difference, and if you like, we could have that discussion. Maybe the OP should have begun by defining what science fiction is.
For purposes of this thread, I think we should stick to novels that fall within the Wikipedia definition:

Quote:
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible (or at least nonsupernatural) content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities. Exploring the consequences of scientific innovations is one purpose of science fiction, making it a "literature of ideas".[1]

Science fiction is largely based on writing rationally about alternative possibilities.[2] It is similar to, but differs from, fantasy in that, within the context of the story, its imaginary elements are largely possible within scientifically established or scientifically postulated laws of nature (though some elements in a story might still be pure imaginative speculation).

The settings for science fiction are often contrary to known reality, but most science fiction relies on a considerable degree of suspension of disbelief, which is facilitated in the reader's mind by potential scientific explanations or solutions to various fictional elements. Science fiction criteria include:

A time setting in the future, in alternative timelines, or in a historical past that contradicts known facts of history or the archaeological record.
A spatial setting or scenes in outer space (e.g., spaceship travel), on other worlds, or on subterranean earth. [3]
Characters that include aliens, mutants, androids, or humanoid robots.
Technology that is futuristic (e.g., ray guns, teleportation machines, humanoid computers). [4]
Scientific principles that are new or that contradict known laws of nature--for example, time travel, wormholes, or faster-than-light travel.
New and different political or social systems (e.g., a dystopia, or a post-apocalyptic situation where organized society has collapsed), [5] although disagreement exists on whether this criterion identifies science fiction.
Paranormal abilities such as mind-reading, mind control, mental telepathy, telekinesis, and self-teleportation.
Now I am open to discussion on this , but I think SOME line needs to be drawn, or we'll be nominating the Epic of Gilgamesh or Grimm's Fairy Tales.

While its not the best science fiction novel ever written, I think that the most influential SF novel ever written was HG Wells' The War of the Worlds.
Think of how many SF tropes were introduced or popularized by the book:

* Life on other planets
*Space travel
*First contact with aliens
*Alien invasion
*Ray guns and hi-tech weaponry
*War between planets
*Colonization of other planets
*Exhaustion of planetary resources and planet wide ecological catastrophe
*Possibility of biological warfare
* Political commentary ( Wells was commenting on European imperial policy)

Indeed I would argue that HG Wells is the most important author in the history of SF, and that the genre is for the most part a commentary upon and an expansion of his works.

Last edited by stonetools; 07-21-2011 at 11:43 AM.
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