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Old 12-31-2014, 12:09 PM   #16
crossi
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The Belgarian and Mallorean seried by David Eddings.
RiddleMaster by Patricia McKillip.
Demon Breed by James Schmitz.
Honor Harrington series by David Weber. If you don't dislike military SF.
The Vorkosigan series by Lois Bujold.
The Uplift War by David Brin.
The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon.

They all have likeable characters.

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Old 12-31-2014, 02:59 PM   #17
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It sounds like Andre Norton is right up your alley. Interesting and likeable outsider characters, large conflicts and the fundamental questions of life are what she does best.

Her Witch World series is either sci-fi or fantasy depending on which books you're reading, which I thought was neat.

I think you'd especially like the first part of the Estcarp Cycle, the Gryphon trilogy and Year of the Unicorn.
Estcarp Cycle:
Witch World (1963)
Web of the Witch World (1964)
Three Against the Witch World (1965)

Year of the Unicorn (1965)
The Crystal Gryphon (1972) – first book of Gryphon trilogy
Gryphon in Glory (1981) – second book of Gryphon trilogy
Gryphon's Eyrie (1984), with A. C. Crispin – third book of Gryphon trilogy

She also did an excellent sci-fi series called Time Traders about humans who discover time travel technology and an alien invasion. The first few books are out of copyright on Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/7021
The Time Traders
Galactic Derelict
The Defiant Agents
Key Out of Time
Firehand

The Deed of Paksennarion is also a great series. The heroine is a genuinely good woman who rises from a farm girl to - well - you'll see. I loved the thoughtful and intelligent worldbuilding and how very real everything felt - the aliens were truly alien, even different human cultures were distinctive, and the series slowly builds up to kingdom-level conflict in a way that felt very natural. There's other series set in the same world which were also excellent. Baen has the ebooks, including the omnibus, DRM-free.

Another one you might like is Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series. It's narrated by a human living in an empire of aliens, and it's a fascinating read. It's got magic and elves, but it's very much got the feel of science fiction because magic is very much simply another technology. The main character doesn't start out likeable, and part of the point of the series is him coming to terms with this and beginning to change.

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Old 12-31-2014, 03:21 PM   #18
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I would say The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson and the First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie.


For hard sci-fi, if you haven't read them yet, take a look at

Red Mars / Green Mars / Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crossi View Post
The Belgarian and Mallorean seried by David Eddings.
RiddleMaster by Patricia McKillip.
Demon Breed by James Schmitz.
Honor Harrington series by David Weber. If you don't dislike military SF.
The Vorkosigan series by Lois Bujold.
The Uplift War by David Brin.
The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon.

They all have likeable characters.
Vorkosigan has been on my reading list for years. Given the huge number of books involved how consistent is the series's quality?
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Old 12-31-2014, 04:58 PM   #20
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There are the books Labrynth and The Dark Crystal. They were written based on the movies (I think). And What of the Princess Bride?
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Old 12-31-2014, 05:25 PM   #21
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Iain M Banks and Alastair Reynolds.

For Banks, I started with Player of Games, which is the second in his Culture universe, and probably still my favourite. The first is Consider Phlebas, which is heavier going, in my opinion. They are unrelated standalone stories, for the most part, and can be read in any order.
Don't believe it. When someone says a book in a series is standalone and it's not the first book, don't believe it. It's not standalone. Also do not belive that Iain M. Banks is a good writer. Consider Phebas is lousy. It starts off very good and then it just sinks into silly and boring and never makes it out of the trenches. I read it for a book club and hardly anyone liked it.
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:52 PM   #22
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Vorkosigan has been on my reading list for years. Given the huge number of books involved how consistent is the series's quality?
They are all consistantly good. Best read in chronological order because the characters lives change over time.
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:59 PM   #23
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Vorkosigan has been on my reading list for years. Given the huge number of books involved how consistent is the series's quality?
The bad books are merely great.
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Old 12-31-2014, 10:46 PM   #24
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The Vorkosigan books are excellent. I didn't suggest them earlier because I wouldn't consider them to have particularly big concepts. And for some reason I thought you were looking for fantasy, but I was probably thinking of a different thread.

GGK is one of my favourite authors (top 5) and The Fionavar Tapestry is where it all starts. It does something unexpected in the second book, which had a big impact on me and the way I thought about fantasy and writing in general. It's essential reading before at least one more recent novel.
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Old 12-31-2014, 11:13 PM   #25
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Vorkosigan has been on my reading list for years. Given the huge number of books involved how consistent is the series's quality?
They're pretty variable, depending on your tolerance for complete escapist fantasy, 1-dimensional characters, preachiness and rape/torture. They are all definitely adult books though, the lowest age I would go is upperclassperson in high school, and then only with a discussion about how real relationships work. Bujold also has a definite agenda and gets kind of pushy with it. That said, they can be a lot of fun.

I'd skip the ones before Miles Vorkosigan is born (badly done relationships, torture/rape, just not good). Also skip the last one, it wasn't good enough to disguise the fact that her characters are often cardboard cutouts.

Here are the ones I'd read, taking the political and social commentary with a huge grain of salt:
The Warrior's Apprentice
The Vor Game
The Mountains of Mourning - all the above three are action
Cetaganda - detective
Brothers in Arms - action
Memory - detective
Komarr - detective
A Civil Campaign - hilarious social comedy
Diplomatic Immunity - detective novel
Cryoburn - detective

I'd characterize Bujold as a high midlister author for when I want to not think. She's not innovative or interested in deep questions but she's generally a good bet for entertainment so long as you don't mind her prejudices. Much like David Drake, David Weber or Jon Scalzi.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:13 AM   #26
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What kind of prejudices are we talking about? Also I'm 32, so I'm not really worried about suitability for younger audiences.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:23 AM   #27
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What kind of prejudices are we talking about? Also I'm 32, so I'm not really worried about suitability for younger audiences.
Bujold doesn't seem to me to be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or ageist. I suppose you could consider it a prejudice that she thinks people are people.

And I completely disagree with the assessment of the first two books (Shards of Honor and Barrayar). I found them excellent.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:47 AM   #28
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And I completely disagree with the assessment of the first two books (Shards of Honor and Barrayar). I found them excellent.
As did I.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:55 PM   #29
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Maybe Perdido Street Station, The Scar or Embassytown by China Mieville would work for you? I would definitely say they fit the "big concepts" qualification.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:00 PM   #30
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Any other ideas?
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