What sci fi books have we all read?

Discussion in 'SciFi & Fantasy' started by Fraggle Rocker, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

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    I simply devoured Stross' books. I think of his stories as a fine balance between the mood and environment of Iain M. Banks' and the stylization of Gibson.

    I've got Robson on my list of stuff to get, but as of late I've been caught up in Alastair Reynolds' books.
     
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  3. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    You weirdo- how can you get caught up in Reynolds books? The only reason I've read several of them was to try and work out how he was so bad yet people seemed to like him. OK, having a cool universe is a start, but heck, I have dozens of cool ideas, although I have some trouble getting them down on paper in a way that the writers group admit is good and readable.
     
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  5. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

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    This is a common misconception I've heard often about the book. You did not have to serve in the military in order to earn your franchise, only serve a term in some form of civic service .
    Nixing the powersuits just created a bunch of plot holes that they were very sloppy in patching. Without the powersuits the MI's would have been no match for the technologically advanced Bugs protrayed in the book. So they down-graded the bugs, which led to changing the Bugs nuking the main character's home town to them throwing an asteroid at it (though they never really explained how the Bugs managed to throw an asteroid halfway around the galaxy without technology.) and farting plasma out their arses to take out ships in orbit.
     
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  7. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    Well, one of the reasons Heinlein came across as pro- military and pro- fascism in the book was that the military guys had all the good lines. The whole book, to the unsophisticated teenager comes across as a bit of pro army propaganda. Now, many people have argued that is not what he intended, but I think he was intelligent enough, that if that was not what he intended, he would have written it differently.
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    When "Dune" came out I knew a lot of people who read it who never read another sci fi novel before or since. Well, except "Stranger in a Strange Land," that was an icon in the 1960s.

    My wife has an M.A. in English literature and normally reads authors like Jorge Amado and Gabriel García Márquez (yeah I know they don't write in English but that star is setting). She has read a number of the books on that list--plus Alan Dean Foster's "Midworld," which I suspect belongs on it.
    She read the whole series and thought it was "great literature."
    She turned me on to C. S. Lewis. I found it almost insufferably quaint, but it was worth the whole torpid experience to come across that scene where he contrasted the way men and women communicate. We had always remarked on the fact that women speak in adjectives while men speak in nouns. My eternal criticism of her is "the nounless woman." The men and women in the story had to take their shifts in the kitchen on alternate days. "If two men are working in the kitchen, one man will say to the other, 'Take this large blue bowl and put it on the second shelf on the right next to the slightly smaller green bowl.' But if two women are working together, one will say, 'Put this over there with the other one.' "
    I suppose the fans of William Gibson.
    Yes, I commented on that myself. The last author I discovered was Robin McKinley. I'm still three books behind on Harry Potter, I'm waiting impatiently for the "Clan of the Cave Bear" finale, I keep up with Dean Koontz in garage sales, and none of those are proper sci fi.
    No, I haven't even heard of these people. If they write short stories for F&SF--which does a fair job of keeping up with non-American writers--I've probably read them because I seldom skip one, but they don't ring a bell. I'll have to look for Stoss. I don't read all that much, mostly on the subway, and as you can see sci fi is not my only interest. I still stumble across Michener books I haven't read and one of those can take months.
     
  9. Girlzilla Registered Member

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    The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester is one of those sci/fi books you gotta just read.
     
  10. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    Its a good book, yes, and thrilling in a way. But if you read others of his novels you immediately feel that they are all very similar and that he's just re-using the same old devices and themes. Or you do if you are me anyway.
     
  11. Girlzilla Registered Member

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    I've never read any of his other books, so it was completely new and refreshing to me at the time. My only complaint was that it was such a short novel compared to what I was used to reading.
     
  12. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    Ahh yes, I had forgotten about the 60's effect. Occaisionally an SF book will cross over into the mainstream, but I cannot think of any one in particular that has done, since the 60's or 70's. Possibly one has, and Iknwo who I could ask about it, although I havnt seen him for a while.

    Your wife is obviously a woman of great taste and intelligence. Can I quote her opinion of Herberts series when next I talk to a friend, who maintains that SF is not great literature. My usual reply is to point out that he is correct. SF is after all a distinct genre, which can cross over into several over genres, in a confusing manner.


    Quaint perhaps, but that might be because you are USA'ian. TO me, middle class scottish youth when I read them, they were evocative of a faded period, but not exactly quaint. They were also rather good, I shall have to read them again. Well, the third was a bit poor, but the 2nd was great.


    Stross has I think been in SF and F, or maybe analogue, I cant recall. THe others have had stuff published, but I personally don't find individual short stories a great guide to an authors capabilities. Plus they often seem to be very similar, Analogue feels a bit claustrophobic just now.
    I can quite understand you not being up to date with SF, but if you take the names I have listed, (Many of them british) and have a look, you might like some of what you see.
     
  13. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    "The demolished man" is good, and not too wibbly. "Golem 100" is rather too weird for its own good, although the short story that was its beggining was good. His short stories are interesting in their own right.
     
  14. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

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    Thanks for reminding me of Bester.

    His stories are uniquely interesting.
    It's sad how difficult it is to buy his books alas..
     
  15. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    2nd hand. I get most of my books 2nd hand. If you are prepared to wait a year or two just about everything ends up in 2nd hand shops.
    ANd charity shops.

    Just take a look at Amazon, it has lots of 2nd hand. Or, if you are lucky enough to live in a country like the UK, I can go to two major cities and browse a dozen good second hand book stores.
     
  16. ScottMana Registered Senior Member

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    I have read a bunch, but either they were not worth mentioning or already have been. There is one however one I did not see. The Lensmen Series, very cool! No others at the moment come to mind.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  17. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, the LEnsmand series is cool, in its own way.
     
  18. Sion Registered Member

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    i own most of these books or read them but i prefer newer writers but i do like some oldies like robert a heinleins Friday but authors like david weber and elizibeth moon are cool, iv nerly al the honor harrington books and Moons Vatta's war series is a good read, don't get thruogh, 5,000 years in future and heinleins starship troopers don't have any cool guns, hell starship troopers could be a centurie from now
     
  19. ScottMana Registered Senior Member

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    Come to think of it, I don't see the Foundation series. The first 3 were good. But the last 3 were painful to read.
     

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