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Old 09-01-2010, 09:06 PM   #1
Steven Lake
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Need some new reading recommendations

Ok, I'm looking to refresh my library with ebook titles (I'm a paperback and audiobook junkie) and I'm looking for recommendations for some newer scifi and fantasy books in ebook (epub only please) that are worth checking out. Prior to this I've been reading a lot of classic stuff over and over again simply because I had them and they were so much fun to read. But it's time to move on to newer stuff. So anywho, here's a selection of what I've been reading, and I'll let you guys figure out what might fit with my reading tastes. I haven't been reading anything new for quite a while simply because, being in tech and having the schedule I do doesn't permit me to research much new stuff. I only grab new stuff if someone like my dad recommends it to me.

Lord of the Rings (hobbit, LOTR, Simarilion, etc)
Orson Scott card (Ender series and the shadow series)
Ringworld (all the books)
Asimov (pretty much everything of his)
E.E.Doc Smith (ditto)
Dune
Some HG Wells (time machine, war of the worlds, etc)
Arthur C. Clark (Childhood's end, 2001, The City and the Stars)
C.S. Lewis (Narnia, space trilogy)
A handful of random Starwars books.
A handful of Star Trek books (Corona, The Final Reflection, etc)
Jules Verne (20,000 leagues, Journey to the Center of the Earth)
Carl Sagan - Contact
Madeleine L'Engle - A Wrinkle In Time
Michael Crichton (The Andromeda Strain, Sphere, etc)

Now that's not all I've read, but that's all I can think of right now. So any further suggestions are welcome. And don't limit your suggestions to just a few. I want plenty, especially those that will tutor me in some ways to improve my writing, as they say you get better as a writer if you read the works of other great writers. So suggest away.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:30 PM   #2
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Well, if you liked Diane Duane's Star Trek novels, then you'll like her "Wizards" series. She's got a YA version with teen wizards, and a grown-up version with cat wizards. Both are good, though the latter books in the teen series are starting to be a little formulaic, imho.

They're ostensibly fantasy, but with a fairly grounded scientific background and "explanations" for how the "magic" works, what with the worldgates and time-travel and extraterrestrial planet-visiting, and all.

Quick search of Kobo and Sony stores shows that while all the YA novels aren't represented, you can get the two "cat wizard" books, although Sony seems to have only the 2nd one.

There's plenty of Mike Resnick up at Baen's Webscriptions. His best available is the Kirinyaga collection, though the AU Teddy Roosevelt collection should also have some good ones, and you can read some of the award-winning stories in full, free online as samples there.

He's also written a book about writing science fiction, which dissects and analyzes his own stories as examples, but it looks like the MultiFormat version disappeared off of Fictionwise along with a huge chunk of his novels; perhaps one day it'll show up at Baen.

Given that you like Asimov, kind of like Clarke, and Carl Sagan's Contact, as well as John M. Ford's The Final Reflection, I think you might like to try Robert J. Sawyer's "Factoring Humanity", which is a not-quite-first-contact novel based on receiving and interpreting a mysterious message from the stars, and how it ultimately affects society.

RJS also puts some of his award-winning short stories/novellas online free on his website (I linked it in the Hard Science Fiction recs thread), along with some helpful articles he did on the business in Writer's Digest or some other professional magazine.

It looks like not all his work is yet available as e-books, but it also looks like Tor's been steadily putting his backlist out in electronic editions (the Sony store has an interesting mix of his earliest and latest works), so I expect it'll eventually show up.

Another one of his that might be interesting to you as a writer is "Mindscan", which involves an author's intellectual property rights in an age of consciousness transference and immortal plastic bodies.

This is probably long enough giant wall o'text for starters and I have to catch a bus soon, so I think I'll leave at that, though if you mention any story/theme elements you particularly like or dislike, I'm sure it'll help refine people's suggestions.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:48 AM   #3
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Philip Jose Farmer (Riverworld)
Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow)
Anything by Connie Willis
Terry Pratchett (Discworld)
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:10 AM   #4
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I think you'd love The Hunger Games trilogy, which I am just finishing up now. I can't say for sure if it's in epub (probably from B&N if it is). The books are fantastic and I think your reading tastes would mesh perfectly.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
Philip Jose Farmer (Riverworld)
Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow)
Anything by Connie Willis
Terry Pratchett (Discworld)
Thanks! Now that you've listed those (I knew I forgot some! Doh!) I do remember reading Riverworld and liking it, but Discworld just didn't sit right with me. Not sure why. But I'm definitely going to check out the other two! Thanks!

foreverjuly: Thanks, I'll look for those.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:17 AM   #6
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The Day After Tomorrow by Allan Folsom - this was recommended by a forum member when I asked a few months back (Edit: recommendation was back in September 2009!! time goes by fast!)... never went back to thank him for the recommendation (I need to search and do so today).

You will not be able to put it down.

Last edited by wachuko; 09-02-2010 at 10:24 AM. Reason: months... not! more like a year...
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:26 AM   #7
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:36 AM   #8
Steven Lake
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Oh, I know another author who I've read and liked a lot of his books. I just remembered them today. Probably forgot them because all my copies went to my dad. ^_^ I've read many of Clive Cussler's books too and loved them.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:38 AM   #9
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Thanks! Now that you've listed those (I knew I forgot some! Doh!) I do remember reading Riverworld and liking it, but Discworld just didn't sit right with me. Not sure why. But I'm definitely going to check out the other two! Thanks!

foreverjuly: Thanks, I'll look for those.
What books did you read of the Discworld series? I've read a decent amount of them, but recently started reading them from the beginning. I'm usually compulsive about reading an entire series in order, but really, the first two or three of Discworld were stinkers in the scheme of things (IMHO). If I try to turn people on to Pratchett now, I try to make sure they start with "Mort" at the earliest.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:05 AM   #10
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You should check out all the SF books available for free from Baen. You can get them all here:

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/

I'd personally recommend the Honor Harrington series, although I enjoyed many other books from Baen. If you're into alternative history at all you should check out the 1632 series.

You really can't go wrong browsing this stuff and randomly picking something to read. If you don't like it, it was free and you can delete it. And if you do like it, go buy your copy over at webscriptions for the unbelievably reasonable price of $6 with no DRM.

-Marcy
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:15 PM   #11
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You may want to try China Miéville's Bas Lag novels. He doesn't seem to like being pigeon-holed into any particular genre, but he's most often classified as Steampunk. I've only read Perdido Street Station, which was okay. My reasons for not giving it high marks may be different from what others like. Despite all his efforts--and he does try, a little too hard maybe--I wouldn't call him a brilliant writer, but his ability to create atmosphere is above almost every other author I've ever read, including some of my favorites. He's incredibly imaginative, and the city of New Crobuzon is fully-realized from the get-go.

His overuse of a thesaurus, his politics, and his plotting aside, he's definitely worth a look for fans of the (sub-)genre.

*EDIT: Just to add another plug: In addition to the atmosphere, Yagharek's story is very moving, especially when you get to the end of the novel.

Last edited by SlowRain; 09-06-2010 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:04 AM   #12
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I recently read Perdido Street Station too and enjoyed it. Mieville has a hell of an imagination, that's all I've got to say. I think I read somewhere that he considers his genre to be "weird fiction," which I think is appropriate. Just when I felt like I'd gotten a grip on the atmosphere of his world, the next page would throw in some new element straight from the depths of his id. Steampunk cyborgs? OK. A race of cactus people? Sure. Giant flying jellyfish? Why not? And the amazing thing was that he actually made it all work. I definitely want to check out more of his stuff in the future.
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:56 PM   #13
Steven Lake
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Here's an interesting thing I stumbled onto. I only ever knew Orson Scott Card had written the Ender series, plus its derivatives. Well, I stumbled onto a copy of his Songmaster novel, and that is certainly an interesting one. I at first thought that it was about people and their songbirds. Little did I realize that the songbirds were actually people!! It was quite a departure from what I normally consider a true Card novel, but it was none the less enjoyable. And in an odd way, it had a bit of an Ender feel to it in some ways.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:24 PM   #14
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Blackout by Connie Willis. Brilliant. As long as you won't finish it for 3 weeks because it's continuation/sequel comes out in mid October.
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:55 AM   #15
Steven Lake
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heh. I doubt I will, given that I'll be working on what was given me for a while. My "to be read" folder is pretty big now, plus I've got a manuscript deadline coming up pretty soon, and I'm nowhere near ready!
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