Sci-fi S/D

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I love this place :-*

Fred (Fred), Sunday, 13 June 2004 09:12 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm surprised that the discussion has made it this far without mentioning either Jules Verne or H. G. Wells! I'd recommend Wells to anybody getting into sci-fi: start with "War of the Worlds" (the granddaddy of alien invasion stories) and "The Time Machine" and go from there into some of his other books.

As for more modern stuff, I like Joe Haldeman's work (the best of which is "The Forever War") and Robert Charles Wilson also does some good stuff; his "Chronoliths" is one of the more interesting time travel works to be written in recent years.

Mark, Sunday, 13 June 2004 15:36 (seventeen years ago) link

I've never read anything by Daphne du Maurier, but I remember reading somewhere that she had written a sci-fi (about time travel?). I don't remember it's name. Would you recommend it?

Fred (Fred), Sunday, 13 June 2004 16:07 (seventeen years ago) link

I didn't even know that Daphne du Maurier had written a novel that used time travel until you mentioned it (I did some searching and discovered it was "The House on the Strand"), so I'm probably not the best person to ask. My recommendation, though, would be to pass on it; apparently it's more of a romance novel than a work of science-fiction, and if you're interested in reading sci-fi you're probably better off with the more straightforward genre works that everybody's recommending.

Mark, Monday, 14 June 2004 03:03 (seventeen years ago) link

Hmm. That's what I was thinking. I have two of her books with me but never got to read even one, lest it be too romantic for my tastes.

Fred (Fred), Monday, 14 June 2004 18:28 (seventeen years ago) link

I always steer sci-fi newbies to Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. he's a great storyteller, and his characters are memorable. these are traits found in all good books, no matter the genre. if you are indeed interested in commerce, the great classic Dune by Frank Herbert revolves around this as well as many other deep societal themes. it's hard-core sci-fi tho' -- strange names, techno-babble, mythical worlds... the works, but also the best.

Docpacey (docpacey), Monday, 14 June 2004 22:57 (seventeen years ago) link

haha I wouldn't call Frank Herbert hard sci-fi in a world that already contains Kim Stanley Robinson: his character have insides, and he's interested in them.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 15 June 2004 07:54 (seventeen years ago) link

Kurt Vonnegut's 'Sirens Of Titan' counts as SF too, I guess - and is a wonderful, funny and very moving book.

Mog, Tuesday, 15 June 2004 09:25 (seventeen years ago) link

Golden Age: Frederik Pohl, Judith Merril: their granddaughter, Emily Pohl-Weary, finished up Merril's autobiography for her and won last year's Hugo. All great stuff (Emily writes not hard sci-fi but very sci-finfluenced fiction).

Current: Jim Munroe.

(Ya ya, all Canada-connected: Hey, I warned you I was into Canucks these days. Cue the Russian Futurists album!)

Ann Sterzinger (Ann Sterzinger), Tuesday, 15 June 2004 17:13 (seventeen years ago) link


Casuistry (Chris P), Thursday, 17 June 2004 19:24 (seventeen years ago) link

four years pass...

Some help required, I'm looking for any recomendations people have for Classic Sci-Fi, excuse me if my terms are a little off beam I guess I mean classic as in taking part in the future/in space or on alien worlds/general epic-ness, as opposed to say I Am Legend or later Heinlein books.

I have read a few bits and bobs over the years (Dick/Heinlen/Asimov/Clarke etc:) but I'm wondering what the big space opera style books are like and who to read, but I've no idea where to start or who to start with.

The net throws up lots of lists but they are pretty impersonal even the Amazon ones are a bit alll over the place.

There are so many exotic names out there Simak/Le Guin/Pohl/Van Vogt I'd like a little guidance.


MaresNest, Monday, 7 July 2008 09:42 (thirteen years ago) link

Jack Vance's "The Demon Princes" are good if you want a fellow traveling to planets full of odd people. (Giant mechanical spiders and the like)
He writes well, too, so that's a nice bonus. These are practically the definition of space opera. It's _Lady Snowblood in Space_, if you will.

Iain M Banks' "Culture" novels are excellent as well. I'm not sure which one might be most up your alley here though, perhaps "Consider Phlebas"

Friends who are more into SF than I are seem very fond of these huge Peter F Hamilton tomes such as his "The Dreaming Void" trilogy. I gather there's a lot of giant spaceships and the like.
Charles Stross has done some popular space opera recently with "Singularity Sky" etc. I find his writing dreadfully annoying, but he's a guy that's really having a lot of fun with his books. What else? I guess Stross' fondness for the singularity would naturally lead you to Vernor Vinge and stuff like his "A Fire Upon the Deep".

Øystein, Monday, 7 July 2008 11:29 (thirteen years ago) link

A seconding for 'Consider Phlebas' by Banks: big, fast-paced, intelligent, hugely imaginative fun.
Alistair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter (who has "co-written" with Clarke, in that he wrote the books and Clarke stuck his name on the cover) and Greg Bear (esp 'Blood Music' (which is epic but not far-future or space-y) and 'Eon') are all good starting points for writers still writing and not dead. Greg Egan and Ted Chiang also good for mind-blowing short stories, if that's your thing.

James Morrison, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 00:46 (thirteen years ago) link

i got a TON of great recommendations on this thread:

School Me On Some Sci-Fi My Astral Brothers And Sisters!

scott seward, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 01:13 (thirteen years ago) link

Thanks all,

Quick update, I snuck into Borders yesterday after work and bought Fallen Dragon by Peter F Hamilton, it's a stand alone and is supposed to be one of his best.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 08:28 (thirteen years ago) link

I need to read more SF... maybe I should finally read some of the Phillip K Dick books (other than the two easy ones) so that I can have an informed opinion on this writer.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 14:28 (thirteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...

I used to read TONS of sci-fi when I was a kid, continuing up through my late twenties, though not so much these days. Some favorites:

Ringworld: Larry Niven
The Anubis Gates: Tim Powers
Crash: J.G. Ballard
The Cyberiad: Stanislaw Lem
Way Station: Clifford D. Simak
The Master of Space and Time: Rudy Rucker
The Book of the New Sun: Gene Wolfe
Brightness Falls from the Air: James Tiptree, Jr.
Roadmarks: Roger Zelazny
The Man in the High Castle: Philip K Dick
Bill, the Galactic Hero: Harry Harrison (skip the many sequels)
Dhalgren: Samuel R. Delany
Blood Music: Greg Bear
Neuromancer: William Gibson
The Iron Dream: Norman Spinrad
Presidio Street Station: China Mieville
Vurt: Jeff Noon
Dr. Adder: KW Jeter

Short stories by Theodore Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison, Connie Willis.

contenderizer, Thursday, 24 July 2008 16:49 (thirteen years ago) link

Also, The Difference Engine, a Victorian proto-cyberpunk thing by Gibson and Bruce Sterling. Not a great story, but the ideas and implications have stuck with me for years.

contenderizer, Thursday, 24 July 2008 16:52 (thirteen years ago) link

That's a hard list to argue with.

James Morrison, Thursday, 24 July 2008 23:04 (thirteen years ago) link

eleven years pass...

this YouTube channel looks..... intertsing

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 17 December 2019 13:25 (one year ago) link

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