Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Reading Recommendations

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-17-2011, 02:19 AM   #91
rkomar
Wizard
rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,608
Karma: 4122230
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Device: PRS-505, PB 902, PRS-T1, PB 623
Quote:
Originally Posted by taosaur View Post
If I have to go with just one 'best,' I'd hesitate because it's such a recent work, but Anathem gets the nod both because of its inherent strengths and intricacies and because it contains and synthesizes virtually the whole of the genre (certainly most of the works mentioned in this thread) without strain or overreach (IMO).
Hmm, when I said "best", I wasn't thinking of choosing only one (although it's obvious in hindsight that that's what it means, duh!). Rather, I was thinking of choosing books based on some kind of objective merits, rather than emotional ones. What I really wanted to see was people justifying what they thought was best by stating how they thought a book merited that distinction (just as you did when giving your choice).

As GlennD said, "best" can mean so many things. I wanted to see what were people's favourite criteria for best books, rather than just what their favourite books were.

For me, the "best" sci-fi books teach us something fundamental yet unexpected about ourselves, rather than just scratching some emotional itch. My previous choices ("War with the Newts", "Fiasco", "Omon Ra") did just that for me. The Foundation series by Asimov is among my favourites, but I'm skeptical that Seldon's calculus of people can actually work, so I don't think I learned anything new about us in those books. Based on that and my given criterion, I wouldn't rate that series as being among the "best" of sci-fi.

I'm sure others have different ideas of what constitutes "best", and I'm keen to find out what they are.

P.S. I think I'll be checking Anathem out after your description.
rkomar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2011, 03:11 PM   #92
RiverY
RiverY
RiverY shines like a glazed doughnut.RiverY shines like a glazed doughnut.RiverY shines like a glazed doughnut.RiverY shines like a glazed doughnut.RiverY shines like a glazed doughnut.RiverY shines like a glazed doughnut.RiverY shines like a glazed doughnut.RiverY shines like a glazed doughnut.RiverY shines like a glazed doughnut.RiverY shines like a glazed doughnut.RiverY shines like a glazed doughnut.
 
RiverY's Avatar
 
Posts: 22
Karma: 8966
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Device: Kindles, Sony, & nc
Quote:
Originally Posted by taosaur View Post
If I have to go with just one 'best,' I'd hesitate because it's such a recent work, but Anathem gets the nod both because of its inherent strengths and intricacies and because it contains and synthesizes virtually the whole of the genre (certainly most of the works mentioned in this thread) without strain or overreach (IMO).


When I started reading Anathem I wondered if I would ever finish. The descriptions and world building seemed to go on and on...

At some point I realized that I was completely hooked, and I could not put the book down. I reread it almost immediately and I am certain I will reread it in the future.

Last edited by RiverY; 07-19-2011 at 03:14 PM. Reason: dyslexia
RiverY is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Enthusiast
Old 08-08-2011, 07:05 AM   #93
EatingPie
Blueberry!
EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.
 
EatingPie's Avatar
 
Posts: 887
Karma: 133343
Join Date: Mar 2007
Device: Sony PRS-500 (RIP); PRS-600 (Good Riddance); PRS-505; PRS-650; PRS-350
The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester.

It's what I consider "lesser known" but is better than the best the Golden Children of the Golden Age (Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Bradbury, etc.). A take-no-prisoners writing style that matches the plot and characters perfectly; indeed, a perfect storm of a novel! He was way ahead of his time, Cyberpunk novels finally take up the mantle style-wise (but they're still a gross approximation).

I read this on a trip to Hawaii, and I will forever have wonderful memories associating the book with the trip.

I'm all for reasons on recommendations -- no spoilers please! -- because I've seen lots of famously good books, but I want to know WHY they're recommended!

-Pie
EatingPie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2011, 12:58 AM   #94
rkomar
Wizard
rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rkomar ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,608
Karma: 4122230
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Device: PRS-505, PB 902, PRS-T1, PB 623
Quote:
Originally Posted by EatingPie View Post
The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester.
Based on the many recommendations written here for this book, I finally decided to read it. I can see now why it is favoured by so many. It really is a top-notch book: excellent plot, sci-fi-ness(?), character,... I wouldn't rank it as my choice of best sci-fi novel based on my previously posted criterion (i.e. teaching me about humanity), but it's definitely a worthy contestant. I'll have to find more of Bester's works.
rkomar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2011, 09:31 AM   #95
Barty
Wizard
Barty ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barty ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barty ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barty ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barty ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barty ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barty ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barty ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barty ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barty ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barty ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,405
Karma: 2894507
Join Date: Sep 2010
Device: Kindle 3, PW2, iPad 3
Has anyone mentioned the Robots series by Asimov?


Though it's not necessarily the best of anything, I think Bear's Forge of God is a lot of fun. I hope somebody adapts it for the screen now that CGI makes it possible.

Another shout out to The Sparrow.

I agree that Clarke is better at originating ideas than fleshing them out in fiction forms. His books feel sterile. Similarly, Gibson leaves me cold. I can't finish anything by Stephenson because it feels like he's too impressed with his own pyrotechnics and expansive research. Oddly, I tolerate this in "literary fiction" but not in sci fi.


I confess I havent read many of the classics due to certain prejudices. For ex, the martial tone of Starship Troopers (and director Verhoven's satirical take) turned me off to Heinlein altogether. I haven't read Dune because the whole spice trading thing reminds me of those RTS games I have little patience for. Dumb, I know, but my deciding on what to read often hinges on such whims.

Last edited by Barty; 08-14-2011 at 09:45 AM.
Barty is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2011, 05:10 PM   #96
Nancy Fulda
I write stories.
Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nancy Fulda ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Nancy Fulda's Avatar
 
Posts: 561
Karma: 9876150
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Northern Germany
Device: kindle
The Sparrow was good, but far too depressing for my tastes. I couldn't bring myself to read the sequel even though it was sitting right there on my shelves.

The Sparrow is also a fascinating study in the way reader expectations change with the genre. As a sci-fi reader, I cringed at some of unrealistic world-building and chafed at the utter lack of clear physical descriptions of the aliens. But (if I recall correctly) the book hit the NYT Bestseller lists, and I'm guessing the lack of hard sf details had a lot to do with that. It played with the ideas of science fiction without forcing mainstream readers to wallow through the details of science fiction.
Nancy Fulda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2011, 06:10 PM   #97
beppe
Grand Sorcerer
beppe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.beppe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.beppe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.beppe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.beppe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.beppe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.beppe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.beppe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.beppe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.beppe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.beppe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 5,161
Karma: 81026524
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Italy
Device: Kindle3, Ipod4, IPad2
It's a long while that I do not read s.f. But I read it a lot once. My friend and me used to say that when things look grim and depressing there is nothing like a good s.f story to change the mind.

The one I reread more times are:
Enders's game
The gods themselves by Asimov
The Lensman Series by E.E."Doc" Smith.

The Lensman are on ebooks, I found out lately. Nobody has mentioned it yet on this thread. It's fantastic. Childish, naive? Yes, absolutely, but fantastically catching and it gets better and better with each book until the last one, where everything is settled, finally. Except that there is a sequel.
beppe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2011, 04:41 AM   #98
frquixote
Addict
frquixote ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frquixote ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frquixote ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frquixote ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frquixote ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frquixote ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frquixote ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frquixote ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frquixote ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frquixote ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frquixote ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 207
Karma: 1133918
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kapolei, Oahu, HI
Device: Sony PRS-650, Win 7 Netbook
+1 for The Time Odyssey series by Clarke and Baxter

Couldn't put it down.

Used to be Childhood's End, but it has been a long time since I last read it and its not available as an ePub. If Childhood's End is ever published in ePub, I hope they'll publish it with the original opening chapters, not the revised opening chapters that were inserted after the end of the Cold War.

Side note: Seeing all these great books listed reminds me of one of my pet peeves. I really wish someone would publish a reasonably complete collection of some of the classical SF authors in ePub. So many of Asimov's Robot books are not available, except as PDF. Most of Clarke's are also not available in ePub and, when I found the Rama series was available, it was annoying to discover that two of the books were only available in PDF format, not ePub. I've seen the same problem with several series from various authors in various other genres.
frquixote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2011, 12:41 PM   #99
GlennD
Guru
GlennD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlennD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlennD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlennD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlennD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlennD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlennD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlennD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlennD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlennD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlennD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 949
Karma: 3315042
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: The Pacific NW
Device: sony PRS350, iPhone, iPad
I agree with your sidenote...one of my ebook frustrations is that I see 40-50 year old books being e-published at the same prices as a new book, while a paper copy in a used bookstore is a buck or less. Or you can get it used from Amazon for effectively the price of shipping/handling. It's especially annoying because a lot of these older novels are much shorter than the current thick tomes. I think there'd be a market for larger collections, especially of all of the classic authors. I'd be thrilled to get a complete Heinlein collection, or Clarke or whomever for a reasonable price. But there's no way I'm paying hundreds of dollars to get e-copies of books I already have physical copies of.

It's an area where the practical reality of converting and 'typesetting' a book with no digital original and the economic reality of the marketplace aren't quite in sync yet.
GlennD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2011, 09:42 PM   #100
EatingPie
Blueberry!
EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.
 
EatingPie's Avatar
 
Posts: 887
Karma: 133343
Join Date: Mar 2007
Device: Sony PRS-500 (RIP); PRS-600 (Good Riddance); PRS-505; PRS-650; PRS-350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barty View Post
Has anyone mentioned the Robots series by Asimov?
Good books, but please stop... STOP STOP STOP reading at The Naked Sun. Do not continue on to Robots of Dawn or Robots and Empire.

It becomes so terrible, so horrible, so stupidly awful at the end -- and I mean the very end where everything is explained in order to connect the Robots series to his Empire series -- that I was truly embarrassed.

Also, MILD SPOILER, Asimov's moral values changed in the intervening years, and his character changes accordingly. In the early books, he refuses the advances of a super hot chick because he is married; he makes a very strong moral case for his fidelity. In the later books, he gives in, and there is no remorse, or even suggestion that he did anything wrong.

Regardless of your moral feelings on the issue, the problem was that the character changed radically for no explicable reason, and it stuck out like a sore thumb. (Comparable to "Don't call me chicken!" in Back to the Future 2/3.)

-Pie
EatingPie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2011, 05:00 PM   #101
Looler
Member
Looler began at the beginning.
 
Looler's Avatar
 
Posts: 17
Karma: 10
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Canada
Device: Kobo Touch
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
Looler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2011, 06:23 PM   #102
taosaur
intelligent posterior
taosaur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.taosaur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.taosaur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.taosaur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.taosaur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.taosaur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.taosaur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.taosaur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.taosaur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.taosaur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.taosaur ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
taosaur's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,230
Karma: 12629130
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohiopolis
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2, Nook HD+, Xperia Ion
Quote:
Originally Posted by Looler View Post
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
I enjoyed the book, but I have trouble putting it in even a top ten for the genre, partly because it's highly derivative of another classic, Starship Troopers, and partly because of the formulaic, crowd-pleasing structure. It's engaging, as the coming-of-age hero shtick usually is, but ultimately pretty shallow, borrowing any substance it has from Heinlein, who explored it all in greater depth at, what, 1/3 the word count?
taosaur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2011, 06:32 PM   #103
EatingPie
Blueberry!
EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.
 
EatingPie's Avatar
 
Posts: 887
Karma: 133343
Join Date: Mar 2007
Device: Sony PRS-500 (RIP); PRS-600 (Good Riddance); PRS-505; PRS-650; PRS-350
Quote:
Originally Posted by taosaur View Post
I enjoyed the book, but I have trouble putting it in even a top ten for the genre, partly because it's highly derivative of another classic, Starship Troopers, and partly because of the formulaic, crowd-pleasing structure. It's engaging, as the coming-of-age hero shtick usually is, but ultimately pretty shallow, borrowing any substance it has from Heinlein, who explored it all in greater depth at, what, 1/3 the word count?
Heinlein! ACK!!!!



I'll try to just leave it at that so as not to anger anyone else by my opinions of the man and his work!

-Pie
EatingPie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2011, 06:35 PM   #104
EatingPie
Blueberry!
EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.EatingPie puts his or her pants on both legs at a time.
 
EatingPie's Avatar
 
Posts: 887
Karma: 133343
Join Date: Mar 2007
Device: Sony PRS-500 (RIP); PRS-600 (Good Riddance); PRS-505; PRS-650; PRS-350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Looler View Post
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
Another book where you have to scream STOP!!!!

I loved Speaker for the Dead as a teen, and still recommend it though I have advanced beyond it in philosophical maturity since reading it.

But for all that is holy, DO NOT READ Xenoside or the other book!!! He won two Hugos, and I bought Xenoside in hard cover -- on a student budget! -- in the hopes he'd win again for a record third... and then I read the book.

No, he didn't win... and the Hugos remained legitimate for yet another year!

-Pie
EatingPie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2011, 07:40 PM   #105
Looler
Member
Looler began at the beginning.
 
Looler's Avatar
 
Posts: 17
Karma: 10
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Canada
Device: Kobo Touch
Since I really liked Ender's Game I thought I'd give his new book Pathfinder a shot. It sucked. Just saying.
Looler is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sci-fi novel

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Time Hack is not your father's time-travel book carelmackenbach Self-Promotions by Authors and Publishers 5 03-19-2012 11:48 AM
freebies at National Academies Press - from time to time sufue Deals, Freebies, and Resources (No Self-Promotion) 0 04-12-2011 02:45 PM
"Unnatural Time" - Free eBook short story (Sci-Fi / Adventure) ChupaLibro Self-Promotions by Authors and Publishers 8 01-02-2011 06:29 PM
Long-time reader, first-time poster - author, ebook blogger from Brisbania Bookbee Introduce Yourself 8 03-04-2010 04:01 AM
iLiad An idea to mitigate boot time (and app launch time) -- For future use Antartica iRex Developer's Corner 14 11-05-2006 02:16 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:32 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.