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Old 08-02-2012, 04:24 PM   #46
BeccaPrice
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Oh, Bujold is wonderful. If you're reading the SF, the Vorkosigan books, they've got to be read in order, because one book builds so wonderfully on the previous one. The exception is the Komarr/A Civil Campaign series, because she wrote Komarr specifically to be a point of entry into the series. Start with Shards of Honor/Barrayar, also known as Cordelia's Honor - really the two books are part of one whole story line.

Bujold is the only author that I reflexively buy in paper (for collection), eformat, and audio.

If you're into fantasy, i think Bujold's best books are Curse of Chalion and its sequel, Paladin of Souls. Each book can be read on its own though.

The Sharing Knife books are really one book in four volumes. Book 2 is the weakest, i think, but they're all well worth reading.

(have I gushed enough? if not, i can go on for hours about the wonderfulness that is Lois Bujold.)
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:52 PM   #47
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I would have said Sharing Knife was more a pair of pairs. It's also much heavier on the romance side (not unlike Shards of Honor) and might not be to everyone's taste.

I like a bit of Iain M Banks and Alastair Reynolds, myself, and they are both still producing excellent stuff.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:05 PM   #48
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Sharing Knife is a pair of pairs, but you can't really read the second pair without the first pair. And the second pair is soooo wonderful. yeah, it's a bit romance-y, but that shouldn't put anyone off who isn't totally romance-phobic.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:02 PM   #49
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Niven+Barnes Dreampark trilogy
And yes Vorkosigan is :wave:
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:03 PM   #50
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Avoid anything by James P. Hogan that isn't "Inherit the Stars", "The Gentle Giants of Ganymed", and "Giants' Star". Turns out that he wasn't all that great after that.
YMMV, but I rather like THRICE UPON A TIME, PROTEUS OPERATION, VOYAGE FROM YESTERYEAR, and several others. Coversely, the latter books of the MINERVAN EXPERIMENT (ENTOVERSE, etc) strike me as taking a good thing too far.
(shrug)
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:18 PM   #51
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I'll try a couple, thanks for the recommendations. I've got a Cherryh book on my wish list (don't think I've read any in a decade or so), I'm familiar with Larry Niven (can't remember if I've read any of his or not). I'll check out the others.
Also, David Brin.
His FIVE GALAXIES cycle is interesting.
I'd start with THE PRACTICE EFFECT, though. (It's a nonfantasy fantasy.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Practice_Effect

For Niven+Pournelle, THE MOTE IN GOD'S EYE is their acknowledged masterpiece. I'm also partial to their OATH OF FEALTY and INFERNO. FOOTFALL AND LUCIFER'S HAMMER were written more along the lines of NYT "bestseller" fiction and are somewhat dated by now but still good reads.

Niven alone? RINGWORLD is highly acclaimed but I like the SMOKE RING more.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Smoke_Ring_(novel)

For Bujold, I'd suggest CETAGANDA since it is a standalone that doesn't give much away of the earlier titles. If you're willing to commit to the whole series (it can be rewarding) then, yes; CORDELIA'S HONOR will introduce you to the millieau a generation earlier than the bulk of the series.

There is plenty of good classic "idea" SF if you're willing to dig a bit.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:19 PM   #52
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Oh, Bujold is wonderful. If you're reading the SF, the Vorkosigan books, they've got to be read in order
Well, I think they should be read in copyright order but some people prefer to read them in internal chronological order. So there is really no obvious correct order to read them in.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:28 PM   #53
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well, there is, to an extent. Memory doesn't make much sense without Mirror Dance, which doesn't make much sense without Brothers in Arms. Komarr and A Civil Campaign really have to be read together, and Cryoburn should be read last, I think, if only for the ending.

but I agree, Cetaganda stands alone, pretty much.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:31 PM   #54
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well, there is, to an extent. Memory doesn't make much sense without Mirror Dance, which doesn't make much sense without Brothers in Arms. Komarr and A Civil Campaign really have to be read together, and Cryoburn should be read last, I think, if only for the ending.

but I agree, Cetaganda stands alone, pretty much.
Oh, definitely. I really think that the correct order is copyright order but I can accept that reading them in internal chronological order is OK also. But no other order seems sensible to me.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:43 PM   #55
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and Cryoburn should be read last, I think, if only for the ending.
Absolutely.
Cryoburn is 99% standalone but that extra 1% and the ending depend on the rest of the series.

KOMARR and A CIVIL CAMPAIGN (aka MILES IN LOVE) are simply a delight. I reread them at least once a year.
(Got me to sample Georgette Heyer.)
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:05 PM   #56
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If you read them in copyright order, I don't think you'll get the Shards of Honor / Barrayar duology - wasn't Barrayar written somewhat later? and the two really need to be read together... if only to see how Lois progressed as a writer.

I will say that, arguably, Memory is the best in the lot. But I love them all (except that the first part of Mirror Dance can be so incredibly painful)
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:55 PM   #57
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+1 for memory as the best.
For everyone going for the cryo-cd: It isn't on the CD; order it its damn worth it.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:31 PM   #58
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+1 for memory as the best.
For everyone going for the cryo-cd: It isn't on the CD; order it its damn worth it.
Another +1 for Memory being the best book in the Vorkosigan series. THE defining book in the series when Miles chooses between being Admiral Naismith or Lord Vorkosigan.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:07 AM   #59
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Another +1 for Memory being the best book in the Vorkosigan series. THE defining book in the series when Miles chooses between being Admiral Naismith or Lord Vorkosigan.
"Miles hits 30; 30 hits back."
Pretty good "murder" mystery.
One of the best in the series but I really favor A CIVIL CAMPAIGN as the best, and CETAGANDA as very slightly better than MEMORY. (And then there is the heart-wrenching MOUNTAINS OF MOURNING--free at the BAEN LIBRARY.)
Bujold is just consistently great; intriguing ideas dramatically explored with memorable characters and situations. What's not to like? Textbook SF.

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Old 08-03-2012, 04:18 PM   #60
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I actually think that Curse of Chalion and Paladin of souls are as good as or better than Memory in a lot of ways - Hallowed Hunt not so much, but it grows on me when I re-read it, in spite of the ambiguous ending. On the other hand, Memory has the theme of what is identity, which theme gets me every time (Double Star by Heinlein is a favorite, as is PTerry's Going Postal)
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