Recommend some good fantasy/sci-fi books and/or book series

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patrick6
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01 Apr 2008, 9:22 pm

I've been wanting to read a good fantasy or sci book/book series for a while now. I don't care what year they are from.



pakled
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01 Apr 2008, 9:34 pm

well, Sci-fi is all over the map now. What's your preference? 'Hard' Sci-fi (technical), Fantasy? Sword and Sorcery? Alternate Histories

I go for alternate histories. Anything by Stirling, Turtledove, some things by Harry Harrison. The Turtledove 'alternate Civil War' series is getting a bit long in the tooth (about 6-8 books), so you might just selectively skim that. The 'Balance' series, about aliens landing in WWII is pretty good.

I liked the 'Foundation' series by Isaac Asimov. Written in the 50s (I think), it's sort of a 'Fall of the Roman (er, Galactic) Empire. There's some follow-on books after the 1st three.

Word of Warning: There's an author who did 'The Incarnations of Immortality', 'Bio of a Space Tyrant'...can't recall the name. But his M.O. is read all but that last book in the series; he usually goes a bridge too far...;)

Asprin did a nice set of 'Myth' series. Funny, and fun to read. I think he also did the 'Phule' series; more sci-fi, but also fun. The puns quotations are the best...;)

Pratchett's 'Discworld' is sort of sword-and-sorcery; there's at least 20-30 of them, but they stand up pretty well on their own. I've got about 10 so far, he's a scream.

I like Heinlein, did some good hard sci-fi, but he got a bit 'strange' towards the end. Still, stuff that makes you go 'hmmm'...;)

Farmer's 'Riverworld' series from the 70s ain't bad. Lots of famous people thrown together. They almost made a TV series on the Sci-Fi channel, they had a pilot movie, which loosely follows the books. He's a bit obsessed on sex, but not to the detriment of his novels. The 'World of Tier's, while hard to find, I found I liked.

Gerrold's 'War of Tchorr (sp?) is in the Heinlein vein, I think he was channeling him after the RAH passed away.

Spider Robinson has some good punny, shaggy-dog yarns; a good read all.

I'll stop. I have about 1,200 or so Sci-fi books, and I want to let others have their chance..;)



singularitymadam
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01 Apr 2008, 10:30 pm

Dan Simmons' Hyperion series is simply gorgeous. Even people who do not think they will like science fiction enjoy it.

Larry Niven's "Known Space" novels, of which Ringworld is a good place to start.

I concur with pakled about Asimov's Foundation, as any true SF fan should :P

As a way to honor a man who recently died, I also suggest Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey if you haven't read it yet.

These are fairly introductory, but excellent.



patrick6
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01 Apr 2008, 11:01 pm

pakled wrote:
well, Sci-fi is all over the map now. What's your preference? 'Hard' Sci-fi (technical), Fantasy? Sword and Sorcery? Alternate Histories

I go for alternate histories. Anything by Stirling, Turtledove, some things by Harry Harrison. The Turtledove 'alternate Civil War' series is getting a bit long in the tooth (about 6-8 books), so you might just selectively skim that. The 'Balance' series, about aliens landing in WWII is pretty good.

I liked the 'Foundation' series by Isaac Asimov. Written in the 50s (I think), it's sort of a 'Fall of the Roman (er, Galactic) Empire. There's some follow-on books after the 1st three.

Word of Warning: There's an author who did 'The Incarnations of Immortality', 'Bio of a Space Tyrant'...can't recall the name. But his M.O. is read all but that last book in the series; he usually goes a bridge too far...;)

Asprin did a nice set of 'Myth' series. Funny, and fun to read. I think he also did the 'Phule' series; more sci-fi, but also fun. The puns quotations are the best...;)

Pratchett's 'Discworld' is sort of sword-and-sorcery; there's at least 20-30 of them, but they stand up pretty well on their own. I've got about 10 so far, he's a scream.

I like Heinlein, did some good hard sci-fi, but he got a bit 'strange' towards the end. Still, stuff that makes you go 'hmmm'...;)

Farmer's 'Riverworld' series from the 70s ain't bad. Lots of famous people thrown together. They almost made a TV series on the Sci-Fi channel, they had a pilot movie, which loosely follows the books. He's a bit obsessed on sex, but not to the detriment of his novels. The 'World of Tier's, while hard to find, I found I liked.

Gerrold's 'War of Tchorr (sp?) is in the Heinlein vein, I think he was channeling him after the RAH passed away.

Spider Robinson has some good punny, shaggy-dog yarns; a good read all.

I'll stop. I have about 1,200 or so Sci-fi books, and I want to let others have their chance..;)


Hey, thanks for listing all the recommendations! I have heard of pretty much all of the books that you listed but not all. I currently have 6 speculative fiction books out from the library. One of the books that I have out right now is a book that you listed actually, the first book from the "Riverworld" series by Philip Jose Farmer. The other five books I have out are "Seven Science Fiction Novels" by H.G. Wells (an omnibus of 7 of his most famous novels), "The Great Book of Amber" by Roger Zelazny (an omnibus which includes all of the "Chronicles of Amber"), "The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth" by Roger Zelazny (an omnibus of short stories), "Lord Valentine's Castle" by Robert Silverberg and "Tower of Glass" by Robert Silverberg. I can keep these books for up to half a year as long as nobody requests any of them, and I'm a quick reader so I constantly like to get some recommendations! Thanks!



patrick6
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01 Apr 2008, 11:03 pm

singularitymadam wrote:
Dan Simmons' Hyperion series is simply gorgeous. Even people who do not think they will like science fiction enjoy it.

Larry Niven's "Known Space" novels, of which Ringworld is a good place to start.

I concur with pakled about Asimov's Foundation, as any true SF fan should :P

As a way to honor a man who recently died, I also suggest Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey if you haven't read it yet.

These are fairly introductory, but excellent.




Thanks for the recommendations. I have read Ringworld, I own Foundation and I have read stuff by Arthur C. Clarke, but not 2001 yet. The first book I read by Arthur C. Clarke was "Childhood's End" and it blew me away. At the end of last year I read "Rendezvous with Rama" which I found was another good read but certainly not as good as "Childhood's End" in my opinion.



BTW I found that Ringworld was a very good read but I didn't care too much for the ending. Does anybody out there share the same opinion as me?



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01 Apr 2008, 11:54 pm

I'll list single books first then series, in no particular order.

Riddle-Master by Patricia McKillip
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Engdahl
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Silverlock by John Myers Myers
Princess Bride by William Goldman
Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Tailchaser's Song by Tad Williams
American Gods, Stardust, and Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone by Greg Keyes
The Wind on Fire by William Nicholson
The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix
Discworld by Terry Pratchett
The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
The Farseer Trilogy, The Liveship Traders, and The Tawny Man by Robin Hobb
Dune Chronicles by Frank Herbert
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever and The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson
Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn by Tad Willams
The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin
Magician by Raymond E. Feist
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Dark Is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper


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02 Apr 2008, 1:05 am

pat666rick wrote:
The other five books I have out are "Seven Science Fiction Novels" by H.G. Wells (an omnibus of 7 of his most famous novels)

That's one of my favourite books! The only story I found a bit weak was "The Food of the Gods". I can recommend "In the Days of the Comet" to anyone here - it is a kind of wish-fulfillment story in which everybody in the world suddenly becomes sensible (yeah, as if!). In addition to the other recommendations here (most of which I can second) I'd like to mention the Helliconia trilogy by Brian Aldiss (a weird and slightly gruesome science-fantasy epic), "Inverted World" by Christopher Priest, J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth trilogy (needless to say), Fred Saberhagen's Dracula series, Isaac Asimov's "The End of Eternity" and "This Perfect Day" by Ira Levin. My favourite books by Robert Heinlein are "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag" and "The Puppet Masters".

On the ending of "Ringworld": You mean all that superstitious good-luck stuff? Yeah, that's a bit unsatisfactory. The sequel, "The Ringworld Engineers", corrects that. (But don't read the third and fourth books in the series, they're awful.)



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02 Apr 2008, 1:21 am

The Ware's Tetralogy by Rudy Rucker who is one of the originators of cyberpunk
Software
Wetware
Freeware
Realware
They are in the hard scifi category and a great read
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudy_Rucker



patrick6
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02 Apr 2008, 2:01 am

Icheb wrote:
pat666rick wrote:
The other five books I have out are "Seven Science Fiction Novels" by H.G. Wells (an omnibus of 7 of his most famous novels)

That's one of my favourite books! The only story I found a bit weak was "The Food of the Gods". I can recommend "In the Days of the Comet" to anyone here - it is a kind of wish-fulfillment story in which everybody in the world suddenly becomes sensible (yeah, as if!). In addition to the other recommendations here (most of which I can second) I'd like to mention the Helliconia trilogy by Brian Aldiss (a weird and slightly gruesome science-fantasy epic), "Inverted World" by Christopher Priest, J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth trilogy (needless to say), Fred Saberhagen's Dracula series, Isaac Asimov's "The End of Eternity" and "This Perfect Day" by Ira Levin. My favourite books by Robert Heinlein are "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag" and "The Puppet Masters".

On the ending of "Ringworld": You mean all that superstitious good-luck stuff? Yeah, that's a bit unsatisfactory. The sequel, "The Ringworld Engineers", corrects that. (But don't read the third and fourth books in the series, they're awful.)


I think that "Seven Science Fiction Novels" by HG Wells is quite a rare omnibus (I may be wrong though) Where did you find it? Did you buy it used?

To answer the question about Ringworld: I didn't mind the good luck stuff, I just thought the ending could have been a bit better. But to be honest with you I don't remember all the details near the end of this book as it was nearly a year ago that I read the book.



patrick6
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02 Apr 2008, 2:04 am

spudnik wrote:
The Ware's Tetralogy by Rudy Rucker who is one of the originators of cyberpunk
Software
Wetware
Freeware
Realware
They are in the hard scifi category and a great read
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudy_Rucker


I might check those books out, but I have never had much luck with finding a cyberpunk book I can get into.



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02 Apr 2008, 2:11 am

I had trouble getting into William Gibson, or Bruce Sterling, the characters were to one dimensional, Rudy Rucker uses the term Transrealism, where he takes people or places in real life and puts them into a story.



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02 Apr 2008, 2:55 am

Quote:
Word of Warning: There's an author who did 'The Incarnations of Immortality', 'Bio of a Space Tyrant'...can't recall the name. But his M.O. is read all but that last book in the series; he usually goes a bridge too far...


Piers Anthony is his name - very prolific - does a lot of word play like "Crewel Lyes"



Icheb
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02 Apr 2008, 4:58 am

pat666rick wrote:
I think that "Seven Science Fiction Novels" by HG Wells is quite a rare omnibus (I may be wrong though) Where did you find it? Did you buy it used?

My parents bought it for me new - oh, probably thirty years ago. Anyway, you can find it used at Amazon marketplace for $1.79. :P



patrick6
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02 Apr 2008, 9:29 am

Icheb wrote:
pat666rick wrote:
I think that "Seven Science Fiction Novels" by HG Wells is quite a rare omnibus (I may be wrong though) Where did you find it? Did you buy it used?

My parents bought it for me new - oh, probably thirty years ago. Anyway, you can find it used at Amazon marketplace for $1.79. :P


Oh ok. The version that I have of that book right now is from the library and it's either from the 40's or 50's.



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02 Apr 2008, 7:41 pm

I enjoyed Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game saga and Alfred Bester's books. Of the former, I found the side-saga of Ender's game more interesting than the main saga, which gets a little far fetched from the second book onwards. Of the latter, I enjoyed The Demolished Man the most. It's about a guy who commits murder in a world where some people can mind-read and the police who pursue him are all mind-readers too.