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  • Any Science Fiction Fans?

    My top five:


    1. Foundation Trilogy + 1.
    2. While would have Niven on list, The Mote in God's Eye is better than Ringworld series.
    3. Heinlein Orphans of the Sky.
    4. Philip Jose Farmer: Riverworld Series.
    5. EE Doc Smith: Lensmen Series.
    Speculative fiction is the literature of change and discovery. But every now and then, a book comes along that changes the rules of science fiction for...
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
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  • #2
    Oh, yeah. Here are a few that I've enjoyed in the last couple years that aren't "classics" but have most of the elements---
    Sevenes--Neal Stephenson- the moon breaks up into chunks, and eventually the Earth is going to be blasted, so mankind has to get into space quickly, in a few years, using existing tech- space station and some rockets to kludge together humanity to survive in deep space. Plausibly scary- the writer is a futurist for jeff bezos whose parents worked at fort meade if memory serves. smart guy. big brain.
    Pandora's Star -Commonwealth Saga, followed by the Void Trilogy, et al. Peter Hamilton--guys come out of a lander on Mars and a couple hippies are like "hey dude"- we got a worm hole. It goes from there, across time and thousands and thousands of pages, millions of light years and a huge cast of characters. Space opera at its best.
    Daemon- Daniel Suarez- guy with a serious vengeance streak downloads himself into a level of AI that basically runs the planet. Sounds impossible, but it is a great read- an MIT fellow turned me onto this book.
    The Expanse Series- James S.A. Corey (really two guys one of whom is a show runner for Game of Thrones)- space opera writ large- The SciFy Channel has actually produced and aired a season of TV based on the first novel in the series, and it isn't bad. The books are, of course, better.

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    • #3
      "The sky above the port was the color of television tuned to a dead channel."

      - Neil Stevenson's triology The System of the World (The Baroque Cycle) set in the 18th Century (where I used to live) is great fun. I like reading Stevenson - read all most all of 'em - even though he still hasn't figured out how to end a story.

      - I think I read Asimov's Foundation Triology when I was maybe 13 - it was mind expanding, and since then I've run across a few Mulish characters. It was like reading Phänomenologie des Geistes by Gottfried Hegel, with whom I thought Psycho Historians would have got along famously.

      - Author James Blish has always been a favorite.

      - Scott Card's Ender series was quite entertaining.

      - Scottish author Iain Banks' Culture series is a great read - heck all his books are fun or distrubing or both. What an imagination.

      - Fantasy is not my genre but Tolkien's Lord of the Rings really really is worth reading - with luck you did so before seeing the movies.

      - At the top of my list has to be William Gibson - the guy famous for coining the term 'Cyber Space'. It might have been better to have read the likes of Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive in the 1980's than years later when much of those works had come true or at least reasonably imaginable. Back then the public Internet wasn't much and nowhere close to what it is today. Which leaves you a good reason to read his later works to see the further future. His latest(?) I've read is Peripheral - with its futures of futures -an absolute stunner. His books make your own mind work, leaving you with the feeling that you did a job well done.










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      • JCOConnell
        JCOConnell commented
        Editing a comment
        didn't read the books but hated the lord of the rings movies, cant believe I got thru all three of them

      • Guest's Avatar
        Guest commented
        Editing a comment
        Look Mr. Frodo ... more albondigas ... er, I mean lambas bread.

    • #4
      1. Rendez vous with Rama - Arthur C Clark
      2. The Road - Cormack McCarthy
      3. Nights dawn trilogy - Peter F Hamilton (A long read ... about 3500 pages.)
      4. The Algebraist - Iain M Banks
      5. Solaris - Stanislaw Lem

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      • #5
        Per- The Road is pretty dark. Ever read his Blood Meridian? It is possibly the bleakest book I've ever read (Western, but like music, the genres blend together).

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        • Per Sundell
          Per Sundell commented
          Editing a comment
          The Road is about the darkest you can get. Haven´t read Blood Meridian. Guess Cormack McCarthy is pretty bleak in general. No country for old men wasn´t easy on the soul either.

      • #6
        Neal Asher is another one you guys would probably like; kind of a cross between Peter F Hamilton and Iain M Banks Culture stuff. Alistair Reynolds is a bit hit or miss, but his better stuff is very good. Farther back, Julian May's multiple series about people (and aliens) with extraordinary mental powers are always a fun read. Even further back, Roger Zelazny's mix of SF and fantasy has stood the test of time. Way too many more to discuss in a short post.
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        • #7
          It seems that some of us are into hard core sci-fi and others into sci-fantasy. I could never get into sci-fantasy like Ursala LeGuin.
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
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          • rbbert
            rbbert commented
            Editing a comment
            I don't see much fantasy here at all, except possibly Zelazny's Amber series which I didn't specifically mention. If one wants to go in that direction GOT is topical at least LOL. But the "classic" sci-fi you mention in your thread opener is really dated, primarily because those books missed (for lack of a better term) the cyber-revolution.

        • #8
          I read lots of Science fiction in high school and then continued reading a little afterward. My parents would give me Judith Merrill's "The Year's Greatest SF Short stories" for XMas every year.

          1. Foundation Trilogy
          2. Dune
          3. Stranger in a Strange Land

          More recently:
          4. Robopocalypse
          5. World War Z
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        • #9
          I really don't read science fiction anymore but I loved Jules Verne as a kid.
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          • #10
            My fiction reading tends to be Sci-Fi/Fantasy or spies/war. I read a lot so I have lots of favorites!! Have been reading SF/F since I could read. Started off with Wells and Verne, then Tolkien that we had around the house.

            My favorites run the gamut from hard to fantasy. Here's a partial list from the "modern" era;

            A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter Miller
            City - Clifford Simak
            Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke
            Dune - Frank Herbert
            Watership Down - Richard Adams
            Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

            As for series;

            The Belgariad Series - David Eddings
            Shanarra Series - Terry Brooks (early ones are much better)
            Sword of Truth series - Terry Goodkind
            The Dresden series - Jim Butcher
            The Iron Druid series - Kevin Hearne
            Safehold series - David Webber

            2 older ones that are hard to find now are Perry Rhodan and Cap Kennedy. Essential both were serials they I devoured as a kid.

            Robert Jordan and George R.R. Martin would have made the list is they hadn't dragged the stories out past the point of comprehension.



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            • #11
              Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
              It seems that some of us are into hard core sci-fi and others into sci-fantasy. I could never get into sci-fantasy like Ursala LeGuin.
              I love Ursula LeGuin. Left Hand of Darkness is a great book.

              Azimov's Foundation trilogy and Herbert's Dune series (first four books only) are both amazing. Some of Herbert's other books are really well done too, with The Dosadai Experiment is one of my favorites.

              Heinlein's early short stories are his best work.

              for sci-fi adventure always likes Piers Anthony. One of his early series (Orn, Ox and Omnivore) were pretty bleak but well done.

              Never cared much for Zelazny or Moorcock, though I kept trying!

              I donated about five boxes of paperback sci--fi books to a local library some years ago.
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              • Beaur
                Beaur commented
                Editing a comment
                Forgot about the Xanth series. Great reading for puns and assorted whimsy and a very good story line too. I recently had to move offices so some of my books went with. Had over 300 of them, most hardback. Been whittled down some as it's a "lending" library. Anyone in Brooklyn is welcome to contact me about borrowing some!!

            • #12
              Defining sub-genres in sci-fi is like 'prog rock'--this site attempts to do so: http://bestsciencefictionbooks.com
              You can go into a parallel universe cyberpunk thing with cozy catastrophes or a hollow earth lost world thing with erotic overtones.
              We live on a fractured planet.

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              • Beaur
                Beaur commented
                Editing a comment
                Myles, Forbidden Planet is still there, isn't it? Mostly comics but still some SF.

              • Bill Hart
                Bill Hart commented
                Editing a comment
                Myles- not really, but the mind is a fragile thing. Beaur- I think Myles is referring to a different store. I remember Forbidden Planet- it used to be near University Place....
                I did have contact with the Count Dracula Society in the Village at one point, but that is an entirely different trajectory.

              • MylesBAstor
                MylesBAstor commented
                Editing a comment
                No the place I was referring to was more West Village. That weird triangle of Perry St., West 4th St and Greenwich Ave..

            • #13
              Love Heinlein and Asimov. I really enjoyed the original Foundation novels, but the later ones, although containing some interesting ideas, had some obvious flaws. For re-reading, I've gone with Caves of Steel, and that was as enjoyable as I remember. I really like how Asimov tried to bring detective fiction into a scifi story. But Niven did it better with the Long Arm of Gil Hamilton.... I can re-read almost any Heinlein and still enjoy them. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is very nicely done.

              Alfred Bester's The Demolished Man is one that should have made the list.

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              • rbbert
                rbbert commented
                Editing a comment
                For Bester I prefer "The Stars My Destination"

            • #14
              Originally posted by Nattt View Post
              Love Heinlein and Asimov. I really enjoyed the original Foundation novels, but the later ones, although containing some interesting ideas, had some obvious flaws. For re-reading, I've gone with Caves of Steel, and that was as enjoyable as I remember. I really like how Asimov tried to bring detective fiction into a scifi story. But Niven did it better with the Long Arm of Gil Hamilton.... I can re-read almost any Heinlein and still enjoy them. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is very nicely done.

              Alfred Bester's The Demolished Man is one that should have made the list.
              Freshman year at Columbia, my chemistry advisor Richard Flynn had been Asimov's PhD advisor. When he found out that I was an Asimov Sci-Fi fan, he pulled Asimov's PhD thesis off his shelf for me to see.

              Coincidentally eleven years later in 1983 when I got my doctorate from Columbia, Asimov received an honorary doctorate from the university. He received a standing ovation from the crowd being one of the most known and respected honorary awardees!

              Final Asimov story. A couple of years later, I went down to the old B. Dalton on 6th. Ave and 8th St. in the Village to have Asimov sign a copy of the new fourth book addition to the Foundation Series. I was patiently waiting in line and watching Asimov sign a copy of his new book for the person in front of me. Asimov looks at the man and asks to whom he should make it out to and the man replied Steven King. Asimov looks him square in the eye and goes, "the real Steven King?" and the man goes yes. To this day, I wouldn't know Steven King if I ran over him.

              Of course no discussion about Asimov would be complete about his robotic series, beginning with I Robot and the three laws of Robotics:
              • A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
              • A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
              • A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
              -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

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              • mkuller
                mkuller commented
                Editing a comment
                Cool story about Asimov.

                I met Ray Bradbury once. I've always enjoyed his books and short stories. In the mid-1970s I went to see The Martian Chronicles at a small playhouse in Pasadena. It was terrific and after the show Bradbury and his wife were in the lobby. I bought a show poster and Bradbury autographed it for me. Chatting with him, he said he doesn't drive so it was nice for him to be able to walk to the theater from his house.

            • #15
              Of course, growing up there were the sci-fi digests and many short stories, some of whom made their way into books.

              One short novella that I loved was Larry Niven's Death by Ecstasy dealing with the topic of electricity junkies.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_by_Ecstasy
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
              -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

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