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Old 05-23-2008, 05:49 AM   #61
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......
Of course, it would take years just to read all the suggestions in this thread! Years well-spent, of course...
When, If, they become available in e-format!!
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:23 PM   #62
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I like pretty much anything in any genre that is not too dark(he dies, she dies and everyone else is miserable), has good character development and a complex, consistent world view.
I'm with you, and I'd add that I also don't much care for stories in which the protagonists kill everyone in sight (well, anyone, really) with no sign of remorse. ("But they were all bad!") This makes reading "military sf" difficult, though there are certainly exceptions. I even have problems with wholesale slaughter of "orcs" or whatever their moral equivalent is. I like characters to take ethics seriously.
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Old 05-26-2008, 11:14 PM   #63
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Wow you guys continue to delight me with your recommendations. We'll probably be picking up a few this weekend so I'll let you all know what she ends up picking. Thanks again!
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Old 05-27-2008, 03:00 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
For soft SF, I'm surprised someone hasn't suggested the entire Star Wars catalog. Easy to read, plenty of action, more about the people than the technology, and the tech is colloquially-worded for easy understanding at any level. Same goes for most of the Star Trek catalog, for that matter.
There are some Star Trek books heavy into the techy stuff. If you are not into that, they can be hard to read.
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Old 05-27-2008, 03:02 AM   #65
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Actually, my wife loves Star Trek. She even went to a convention once, a long time ago. I think she would be interested, except she doesn't know where to start, with either series. There's so many dang books.
Do you want to start in published order or maybe timeline order? Timeline order is easy as I have a quite good timeline I can refer to if you'd like.
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Old 05-27-2008, 03:07 AM   #66
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I know this isn't SF but Fantasy. I'd highly recommend the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. It's highly fun and highly addictive. Also, it's not hard fantasy. It's also quite funny too. Terry makes fun of a lot of fantasy elements that you find in a lot of fantasy type works. So if you like something with good characters that's funny, then Discword is it.
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Old 05-27-2008, 04:59 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I know this isn't SF but Fantasy. I'd highly recommend the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. It's highly fun and highly addictive. Also, it's not hard fantasy. It's also quite funny too. Terry makes fun of a lot of fantasy elements that you find in a lot of fantasy type works. So if you like something with good characters that's funny, then Discword is it.
To second Jon's recommendation, and to give you an idea of how they're not hard fantasy, but also science-fiction-friendly, there have been three Science of Discworld books which alternate between talking about "science" (in our world) and a Discworld storytelling. They manage even this in an amusing manner.

As Jon says, they can make fun of "fantasy type works", but also there's a rational science behind them too that is also made fun of (in that it's only rational within the logical bounds of irrationality that pervade Discworld - trust me, it makes perfect, easy sense in the books. ). Here's a wikipedia link to a few "Minor Discworld Concepts":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_Discworld_concepts

Have a look at "Quantum" and "Retrophrenology" for instance. I think the "soft"ness of the definitions might be right up the alley of someone who doesn't want to get bogged down in hard science while waiting for a plot to come along.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:07 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
There are some Star Trek books heavy into the techy stuff. If you are not into that, they can be hard to read.
True... I was mostly thinking of the Original Series books, which tended to avoid heavy tech (not completely, but mostly).
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:40 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Do you want to start in published order or maybe timeline order? Timeline order is easy as I have a quite good timeline I can refer to if you'd like.
What do you recommend? I would think timeline order, as the story would be easier to follow.
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:43 PM   #70
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What do you recommend? I would think timeline order, as the story would be easier to follow.
Timeline plz
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:45 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by montsnmags View Post
To second Jon's recommendation, and to give you an idea of how they're not hard fantasy, but also science-fiction-friendly, there have been three Science of Discworld books which alternate between talking about "science" (in our world) and a Discworld storytelling. They manage even this in an amusing manner.

As Jon says, they can make fun of "fantasy type works", but also there's a rational science behind them too that is also made fun of (in that it's only rational within the logical bounds of irrationality that pervade Discworld - trust me, it makes perfect, easy sense in the books. ). Here's a wikipedia link to a few "Minor Discworld Concepts":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_Discworld_concepts

Have a look at "Quantum" and "Retrophrenology" for instance. I think the "soft"ness of the definitions might be right up the alley of someone who doesn't want to get bogged down in hard science while waiting for a plot to come along.

Cheers,
Marc
Should we try starting at book 1 for the Discworld series?
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:52 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by jplumey View Post
What do you recommend? I would think timeline order, as the story would be easier to follow.
I read them in numberical (published/series) order. But, for the most part each novel stands alone, and most, where they timeline is important let you know that info at the beginning of the books.

I actually like the "Captains Table" books... there is one in each genre series and they are some of the best books. And, I think the best was Fire Ship, the Voyager series version which was written by Diane Carey. I think most of my favories in the Trek anthologies are by Carey, probably followed by Peter David and DC Fontanna.

BOb
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:01 PM   #73
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Has anyone mentioned Ursula Le Guin? Surely a great "soft" SF writer if ever there was one. Can't think of anything by her that I *wouldn't* recommend. Good characterisation, strange but believable societies, and ideas that make you look at your own world in a new light.

Oh, and Mary Gentle -- "Golden Witchbreed" & "Ancient Light" for evocative adventure on an alien world, "Ash: A Secret History" (I think this was published in several volumes in the USA) for a tale about a female medieval mercenary captain in an increasingly alternate world, which *is* actually SF, but with the trappings of fantasy, the White Crow books for "science fiction" in a world where hermetic magic is the way the world works.

Jo Walton's latest series, beginning with Farthing, is a trilogy of excellent murder mysteries set the late 1940s in a world where Britain made peace with Hitler in 1941. Sort of Agatha Christie meets George Orwell... She's also written some good Arthurian fantasy and a Victorian novel of manners about dragons which won the World Fantasy Award.

Robert Silverberg has written reams of "soft" SF too, very readable. "Lord Valentine's Castle" and sequels are great for epic adventure on a vast alien world, and he's written many many excellent short stories.

Better stop now, I'm getting carried away...
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Old 05-27-2008, 03:22 PM   #74
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You talked me into it - Farthing is the next one I'll read. And I'll also look into the Arthurian series. Thanks!
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Old 05-27-2008, 11:30 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by jplumey View Post
Should we try starting at book 1 for the Discworld series?
Some people suggest that you can start at different points, and even have specific books to suggest. If you get that in this thread from others, note that I respect their opinion, even though I do disagree.

See, they're not usually all that long, the books, especially the first couple, so I reckon they're worth reading in the order they were published. Some of the story arcs really need to be read chronologically anyway:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld#Reading_orders

I think the characters develop better (for instance, DEATH makes an appearance in the earlier of the books, and then later on becomes the protagonist in others). For me, watching characters be "supporting" earlier on, to become "main" later, is part of the pleasure. So, yes, I'd start with "book 1". You can see the order here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld#Novels

In the end, as well, you get to see how Terry himself has developed as a writer (I don't mean that condescendingly - his books have generally just become...deeper, as they go).

If you get into them, well, DEATH is great, but just wait until you get into the stories about his "daughter". She's wonderful. And then, for evil, just wait until you meet the Auditors, and the Elves, and...

Cheers,
Marc (talking himself into rereading them)
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