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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:21 pm 
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sorCrer wrote:
windpomp wrote:
sorCrer wrote:
Windpompies, please stop enforcing the stereotype. Betwene you, Sards and cnut Nipper I'm not surprised that RC has so much ammo.

What strereotype? I believe in God, that`s all. If anyone has an isssue with that, then fudge them and you included


The dumb clutchplate stereotype.

Soutpiel, jou dom doos.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:37 pm 
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6roucho wrote:
Cymro wrote:
D'arse wrote:
Really pisses me off (itunes) that fantasy and sci-fi seem to get lumped together on some sites.
I don't give a fudge about ravens, goblins, wizards, massive swords or hooded mystics. I just want the stars!

+ several million.


Indeedy. Most fantasy is risible pap, and there only seems to be one story. So is some sci-fi of course - but nowhere near the same extent. Can't figure out why they're lumped together.


There is plenty of fantastic Fantasy - just because it doesn't float your boat, doesn't mean it's bad.

Amusingly, re Atwood. She doesn't consider herself Sci Fi and the spat she's had with Ursula Lequin is impressive in it's length.

Vernor Vinge is excellent if you like the harder side of Sci Fi


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:48 pm 
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windpomp wrote:
Pile of shit, how anyone can be interested in this genre is beyond me.


windpomp wrote:
I believe in God, that`s all.


:lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:07 pm 
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Mat the Expat wrote:
6roucho wrote:
Cymro wrote:
D'arse wrote:
Really pisses me off (itunes) that fantasy and sci-fi seem to get lumped together on some sites.
I don't give a fudge about ravens, goblins, wizards, massive swords or hooded mystics. I just want the stars!

+ several million.


Indeedy. Most fantasy is risible pap, and there only seems to be one story. So is some sci-fi of course - but nowhere near the same extent. Can't figure out why they're lumped together.


There is plenty of fantastic Fantasy - just because it doesn't float your boat, doesn't mean it's bad.

Amusingly, re Atwood. She doesn't consider herself Sci Fi and the spat she's had with Ursula Lequin is impressive in it's length.

Vernor Vinge is excellent if you like the harder side of Sci Fi


Some is very good, Mat, it's just that when I go to the bookshop, it all seems the same. I love China Mieville and wanted to be a character in the LOTR until I was 38.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:30 pm 
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6roucho wrote:
Mat the Expat wrote:
6roucho wrote:
Cymro wrote:
D'arse wrote:
Really pisses me off (itunes) that fantasy and sci-fi seem to get lumped together on some sites.
I don't give a fudge about ravens, goblins, wizards, massive swords or hooded mystics. I just want the stars!

+ several million.


Indeedy. Most fantasy is risible pap, and there only seems to be one story. So is some sci-fi of course - but nowhere near the same extent. Can't figure out why they're lumped together.


There is plenty of fantastic Fantasy - just because it doesn't float your boat, doesn't mean it's bad.

Amusingly, re Atwood. She doesn't consider herself Sci Fi and the spat she's had with Ursula Lequin is impressive in it's length.

Vernor Vinge is excellent if you like the harder side of Sci Fi


Some is very good, Mat, it's just that when I go to the bookshop, it all seems the same. I love China Mieville and wanted to be a character in the LOTR until I was 38.


The ratio is the same for Sci Fi I'd say.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:42 pm 
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6roucho wrote:
Mat the Expat wrote:
6roucho wrote:
Cymro wrote:
D'arse wrote:
Really pisses me off (itunes) that fantasy and sci-fi seem to get lumped together on some sites.
I don't give a fudge about ravens, goblins, wizards, massive swords or hooded mystics. I just want the stars!

+ several million.


Indeedy. Most fantasy is risible pap, and there only seems to be one story. So is some sci-fi of course - but nowhere near the same extent. Can't figure out why they're lumped together.


There is plenty of fantastic Fantasy - just because it doesn't float your boat, doesn't mean it's bad.

Amusingly, re Atwood. She doesn't consider herself Sci Fi and the spat she's had with Ursula Lequin is impressive in it's length.

Vernor Vinge is excellent if you like the harder side of Sci Fi


Some is very good, Mat, it's just that when I go to the bookshop, it all seems the same. I love China Mieville and wanted to be a character in the LOTR until I was 38.


Which pretty much shows you are completley missing the point of fantasy...


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:49 pm 
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Quote:
Which pretty much shows you are completley missing the point of fantasy...

You are a man for fairytales then?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:54 pm 
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Whoever said Eddings... no.
Relies too much on Deus Ex Machina for my liking. In his case though they are actual Gods.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:04 pm 
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windpomp wrote:
Quote:
Which pretty much shows you are completley missing the point of fantasy...

You are a man for fairytales then?


Yep. You?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:09 pm 
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RuggaBugga wrote:
windpomp wrote:
Quote:
Which pretty much shows you are completley missing the point of fantasy...

You are a man for fairytales then?


Yep. You?

Nah, although I thought the wizard of oz, cinderella, alice in wonderland, etc. were quite cute. ET was just silly but that`s more your type of scene anyway


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:18 pm 
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windpomp wrote:
RuggaBugga wrote:
windpomp wrote:
Quote:
Which pretty much shows you are completley missing the point of fantasy...

You are a man for fairytales then?


Yep. You?

Nah, although I thought the wizard of oz, cinderella, alice in wonderland, etc. were quite cute. ET was just silly but that`s more your type of scene anyway


Love to stay and chat but I don't have the courage. I'm late for a very important date and my stepsister is going to be pissed :(


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:49 pm 
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Lots of good stuff mentioned in earlier posts. I have a lot of time for Robert Silverberg. "Downward to the Earth" and the novella "Nightwings" were beautifully written.
For a bit of light reading Philip Jose Farmer can be a great read great especially the "Tierworld" stuff and parts of "Riverworld".
It probably doesn't count as Sci Fi but Mervyn Peake's "Gormenghast" Trilogy is, for me, the most remarkable work. Peake was, in all likelihood, insane and I found the first book "Titus Groan" both addictive yet difficult to read. Some criticise his descriptive work but it is his ability to paint the scene I find incredible. I remember reading and rereading his introduction to the castle and its inhabitants. Fantastic!


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:04 pm 
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David Gemmell - Wolf in Shadow. It's a dystopian future type of sci-fi. The main character is basically Clint Eastwood - bit like Stephen King's Dark Tower novels.

Used to like David Gemmell when I was a kid but don't know how well it holds up when read as an adult. His fantasy stuff such as Legend, and Waylander were very enjoyable. Raymond E. Feist was certainly smart as was Tad Williams, but after a while all of the stories start to blend into each other. Young boy goes on quest to prove himself and in the process learns that he is special in some way. Bit boring. The Song of Ice and Fire series is pretty good though and is the only fantasy I've read for a long time. Frankly I find going into the fantasy section of the bookstore a bit embarrassing. It seems to be populated by weirdos in their leather trench-coats and terrible bo.

When it comes to Sci-fi there's plenty of interesting stuff out there. I like Heavy Water by Martin Amis (from a set of his short stories) which pisses all over much of the Sci-fi out there. Banks used to be good but I think he's gotten lazy and run out of ideas. Asimov is very good and Clarke had some good ideas (even if he was a creepy character). Kim Stanley Robinson made a good series with Mars - wouldn't mind seeing that as an HBO series..


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:08 pm 
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I don't read that many novels at the moment, but I have subscribed to Analog Science Fiction & Fact for many years for good hard SF.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:56 pm 
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Cryptonomicon needs to be here


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:16 am 
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Just looking at those Mammoth books on the previous page, Gardner Dozios is an excellent writer himself, though not very prolific.

Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun is good too.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:44 am 
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Taranaki Snapper wrote:
The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle?

As good a scifi book as you will find.
Pity about the sequel.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:53 am 
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doog22 wrote:
Back on topic...


Footfall - Niven and Pournelle - Brilliant especially when you get to the bit when they build "Michael" (I will say no more) AGREED

Clarke - The Fountains of Paradise, A Fall of Moondust, Rendezvous with Rama AGREED (the follow-ups are ok too) NO, SORRY, THE FOLLOW UPS ARE UNMITIGATED CRAP.

Asimov - The Robot books are very probably scientific second sight, Foundation is however (imho) monumentally dull A BIT HARSH; HE WAS MILKING IT.

You could do worse than pick up old copies of SF collections from the 40's and 50's at car boots and sh bookstores. It's where I started with SF and you get a brilliant insight into the style and minds of the authors. Great starting point, and some marvellous tales...AGREED


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:16 am 
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aliens with no vowels in their names poking each other in the groin with quark lasers by TT "honest" smith is a classic of the genre. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:17 am 
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The Illuminati Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson is a good read.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:52 am 
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c69 wrote:
The Illuminati Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson is a good read.


That's not sci-fi; its all real. Ask Kronic.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:02 pm 
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RuggaBugga wrote:
6roucho wrote:
Mat the Expat wrote:
6roucho wrote:
Cymro wrote:
+ several million.


Indeedy. Most fantasy is risible pap, and there only seems to be one story. So is some sci-fi of course - but nowhere near the same extent. Can't figure out why they're lumped together.


There is plenty of fantastic Fantasy - just because it doesn't float your boat, doesn't mean it's bad.

Amusingly, re Atwood. She doesn't consider herself Sci Fi and the spat she's had with Ursula Lequin is impressive in it's length.

Vernor Vinge is excellent if you like the harder side of Sci Fi


Some is very good, Mat, it's just that when I go to the bookshop, it all seems the same. I love China Mieville and wanted to be a character in the LOTR until I was 38.


Which pretty much shows you are completley missing the point of fantasy...


I must be. I look for allegory, and symbolism, and all I see is swordplay and romantic hyperbole.

So... what is the point of it? (I'm not sure about entire genres having a 'point' - but I'll go along with it for sake of the discussion).

Some individual writers are very good - I mentioned Mieville. But a vast number of the incredible number of pages in the fantasy sections of bookstores seems to be the same story.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:19 pm 
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6roucho wrote:
Some individual writers are very good - I mentioned Mieville. But a vast number of the incredible number of pages in the fantasy sections of bookstores seems to be the same story.


Sadly I have to agree. There's some excellent fantasy out there but the vast majority goes like this:

An unlikely group of adventurer band together to find X which represents the last hope of defeating the The Dark Lord. X was created in a bygone age of which little remains except Wizard/Sage Y, who always pops up to offer useful advice at just the right moment. Along their journey, the party is betrayed by one of their own, someone discovers he has a noble/magic/superman background, a romance blossoms between a spunky princess and the guy she hated, and they'll all nearly die several times at the hands of The Dark Lord's minions except for the intervention of Wizard Y and the newfound noble-who-used-to-think-he-was-a-commoner. But finally X will be found/fixed/whatever and the world is saved.

Oh, and there will be some elves, dwarves and probably a dragon or two in there somewhere too.

I'm not knocking all fantasy, because some of it's really good. Love Tolkien, McCaffrey, Moorcock, many of the old (and new) Conan stories and some of Piers Anthony's stuff too. Even Greg Bear (who's written some great hard SF) wrote a 2-book fantasy series I liked.

But SF is just "deeper". Even when the characters are paper-thin, there's some truly mind-blowing ideas and concepts out there that really make you think about the possibilities for the future. There's been lots of good stuff mentioned here already (Banks, Clarke, Heinlein, Simmons, etc) but I'll add John Wyndham (Day of the Triffids, The Chrysalids, The Midwich Cuckoos, short story collections) to the mix.

Also, Harry Harrison has some really good stuff, as does Keith Laumer (especially the Retief series). I've also liked the Titan series by John Varley (in spite of some rather weird sex scenes at the series goes on). I've also enjoyed Saberhagen's Berserker series although Saberhagen is a more prolific fantasy writer.

I've only read a few of Mike Resnick's short stories so far, but he's a great writer. Same with Terry Bisson.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash) is always entertaining and thought-provoking.

I'll stop there ...


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Maybe the point of fantasy is to tell the same story over and over again, until all the possible variations are exhausted, and the world can finally end.

There's an Arthur C. Clarke short story like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:44 pm 
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Stephen Donaldson's gap series is gripping. Arguably the most 'unputdownable' SF I've read. The first book, a novella, is just dark. And from there things get increasingly worse for all concerned as the series goes along.

The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story
The Gap Into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge
The Gap Into Power: A Dark And Hungry God Arises
The Gap Into Madness: Chaos And Order
The Gap Into Ruin: This Day All Gods Die


Although showing their age a bit now, Clifford Simak noves have plenty of 'otherness' to them
Olaf Stapeldon's 'First and Last Men' is supposedly a classic [haven't read it]
Stanislaw Lem's Solaris is a beaut
Stephen Baxter's short story collection 'Vacum Diagrams' is great


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:36 am 
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SEAsianExpat wrote:
6roucho wrote:
Some individual writers are very good - I mentioned Mieville. But a vast number of the incredible number of pages in the fantasy sections of bookstores seems to be the same story.


Sadly I have to agree. There's some excellent fantasy out there but the vast majority goes like this:

An unlikely group of adventurer band together to find X which represents the last hope of defeating the The Dark Lord. X was created in a bygone age of which little remains except Wizard/Sage Y, who always pops up to offer useful advice at just the right moment. Along their journey, the party is betrayed by one of their own, someone discovers he has a noble/magic/superman background, a romance blossoms between a spunky princess and the guy she hated, and they'll all nearly die several times at the hands of The Dark Lord's minions except for the intervention of Wizard Y and the newfound noble-who-used-to-think-he-was-a-commoner. But finally X will be found/fixed/whatever and the world is saved.

Oh, and there will be some elves, dwarves and probably a dragon or two in there somewhere too.

I'm not knocking all fantasy, because some of it's really good. Love Tolkien, McCaffrey, Moorcock, many of the old (and new) Conan stories and some of Piers Anthony's stuff too. Even Greg Bear (who's written some great hard SF) wrote a 2-book fantasy series I liked.

But SF is just "deeper". Even when the characters are paper-thin, there's some truly mind-blowing ideas and concepts out there that really make you think about the possibilities for the future. There's been lots of good stuff mentioned here already (Banks, Clarke, Heinlein, Simmons, etc) but I'll add John Wyndham (Day of the Triffids, The Chrysalids, The Midwich Cuckoos, short story collections) to the mix.

Also, Harry Harrison has some really good stuff, as does Keith Laumer (especially the Retief series). I've also liked the Titan series by John Varley (in spite of some rather weird sex scenes at the series goes on). I've also enjoyed Saberhagen's Berserker series although Saberhagen is a more prolific fantasy writer.

I've only read a few of Mike Resnick's short stories so far, but he's a great writer. Same with Terry Bisson.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash) is always entertaining and thought-provoking.

I'll stop there ...


Plenty of scope in Fantasy - the Sci Fi equivalent is Wormholes/FTL etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:25 am 
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Sci-Fi v. Fantasy

I enjoy both...
Good Fantasy is always based on (IMO) theme's closely linked to our world - Neil Gaiman - "American Gods" or George RR Martin's- "Song of Ice and Fire" Series.

Good Sci-Fi is always based on a human context and the possibilities of our future. Hamilton does well in his Conferderation Series to include things like sentient machines, Technology that attaches to your brain to access wireless communications, people who are place themselves in stasis and then live for a few years every 100 - to experience the future.

There was a series of books about a super computer built by a race of Aliens that created the universe and a central planet where all sorts of different creatures and their worlds are accomodated and the adventures the characters had as they navigate through this world...

I don't know the books names and/or the author...anyone?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:33 am 
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Lucius wrote:
Sci-Fi v. Fantasy
There was a series of books about a super computer built by a race of Aliens that created the universe and a central planet where all sorts of different creatures and their worlds are accomodated and the adventures the characters had as they navigate through this world...

I don't know the books names and/or the author...anyone?


I think you're talking about the Well World series by Jack Chalker.

Link to the first book (Midnight at the Well of Souls) is http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Well-Souls-Jack-Chalker/dp/0743435222


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:35 am 
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Lucius wrote:
Sci-Fi v. Fantasy

I enjoy both...
Good Fantasy is always based on (IMO) theme's closely linked to our world - Neil Gaiman - "American Gods" or George RR Martin's- "Song of Ice and Fire" Series.

Good Sci-Fi is always based on a human context and the possibilities of our future. Hamilton does well in his Conferderation Series to include things like sentient machines, Technology that attaches to your brain to access wireless communications, people who are place themselves in stasis and then live for a few years every 100 - to experience the future.

There was a series of books about a super computer built by a race of Aliens that created the universe and a central planet where all sorts of different creatures and their worlds are accomodated and the adventures the characters had as they navigate through this world...

I don't know the books names and/or the author...anyone?


Jack L. Chalkers Well World. I mentioned him earlier in the thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:50 am 
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windpomp wrote:
RuggaBugga wrote:
windpomp wrote:
Quote:
Which pretty much shows you are completley missing the point of fantasy...

You are a man for fairytales then?


Yep. You?

Nah, although I thought the wizard of oz, cinderella, alice in wonderland, etc. were quite cute. ET was just silly but that`s more your type of scene anyway



Tell us about the talking Snake again bro. How many animals did Noah fit on the boat again bro?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:09 am 
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I second many of those already mentioned, Banks' Culture novels especially and would also add...

Starmaker - Olaf Stapledon
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood
A Scanner Darkly - Dick
Brave New World - Huxley
Fahrenheiht 451 - Bradbury
2001 etc - Clarke

All definitely worth a read if you enjoy the genre! :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:19 am 
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For fantasy heads, military fiction heads, even sci fi heads Joe Abercrombie is a great read.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:24 am 
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waguser wrote:
For fantasy heads, military fiction heads, even sci fi heads Joe Abercrombie is a great read.


Say one thing about Waguser say he's got good taste in books...


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:31 am 
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6roucho wrote:
Maybe the point of fantasy is to tell the same story over and over again, until all the possible variations are exhausted, and the world can finally end.

There's an Arthur C. Clarke short story like that.

Groucho,

Do yourself a real favour and find* a copy of 'The Langauge of the Night' by Ursula LeGuin. It's a collection of her writings and speeches on Sci-fi and Fantasy, which is wide-ranging, rigorous in its analysis, and so well written that it's as much a pleasure to read as any of her works of fiction. It'll provide you with some possible answers as to the 'purpose' of fantasy, and also the differences between it and sci-fi. You'll not be surprised to hear that her ideas are rather different from any expressed on here for both genres: indeed, she thinks extrapolation of future possibilities is a very limited part of sci-fi, and that its possibilities are much. much greater than that. And she sees fantasy as a fundamental human mode of operation: one common to all human cultures throughout the ages, and only recently (in historical terms) have we in the west built a culture which rejects fantasy, not least by insisting it have an economic value: "what's it for?!?" As she says, children understand fantasy very clearly, and losing that ability is not something she sees as progress worthy of the name.

She sees America in particular as having a hostility to the genre, but finds the English still very receptive to it: amusingly (in the light of the poster who started this thread, and the slant they were giving it) she has found that a disproportionate proportion of her English fans are clergy ("which, as a congenital atheist, I find a little alarming!")

*In fact, IM me on skype (username the same) and I'll post yo0u a spare copy that I happen to have.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:35 am 
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gibbothegreat wrote:
6roucho wrote:
Maybe the point of fantasy is to tell the same story over and over again, until all the possible variations are exhausted, and the world can finally end.

There's an Arthur C. Clarke short story like that.

Groucho,

Do yourself a real favour and find* a copy of 'The Langauge of the Night' by Ursula LeGuin. It's a collection of her writings and speeches on Sci-fi and Fantasy, which is wide-ranging, rigorous in its analysis, and so well written that it's as much a pleasure to read as any of her works of fiction. It'll provide you with some possible answers as to the 'purpose' of fantasy, and also the differences between it and sci-fi. You'll not be surprised to hear that her ideas are rather different from any expressed on here for both genres: indeed, she thinks extrapolation of future possibilities is a very limited part of sci-fi, and that its possibilities are much. much greater than that. And she sees fantasy as a fundamental human mode of operation: one common to all human cultures throughout the ages, and only recently (in historical terms) have we in the west built a culture which rejects fantasy, not least by insisting it have an economic value: "what's it for?!?" As she says, children understand fantasy very clearly, and losing that ability is not something she sees as progress worthy of the name.

She sees America in particular as having a hostility to the genre, but finds the English still very receptive to it: amusingly (in the light of the poster who started this thread, and the slant they were giving it) she has found that a disproportionate proportion of them are clergy.

*In fact, IM me on skype (username the same) and I'll post yo0u a spare copy that I happen to have.


I'm a big fan of LeGuin, gibbothegreat but I haven't read that and would quite like to.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:40 am 
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RuggaBugga wrote:
waguser wrote:
For fantasy heads, military fiction heads, even sci fi heads Joe Abercrombie is a great read.


Say one thing about Waguser say he's got good taste in books and a huge penis...


Thanks man,


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:57 am 
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Bumped for Doog!

JM2K6 wrote:
Do you remember which one(s) you tried reading already?


Without knowing for sure what you've not read, I'd say Look To Windward probably nails your requirements. Player of Games second, but it was his first Culture novel and lacks a little of the bite of some of the later ones.

Excession has a great core story but can be hard work and I never recommend it to anyone who hasn't got a good grounding in the Culture.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:02 am 
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waguser wrote:
RuggaBugga wrote:
waguser wrote:
For fantasy heads, military fiction heads, even sci fi heads Joe Abercrombie is a great read.


Say one thing about Waguser say he's got good taste in books and a huge penis...


Thanks man,


Bloody Nine inch


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:12 am 
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The Revelation Space series by Alastair Reynolds is superb. Also, Neal Stephenson is very good - Golden Age, Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon and the Baroque Cycle (technically) are all excellent.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:12 pm 
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gibbothegreat wrote:
6roucho wrote:
Maybe the point of fantasy is to tell the same story over and over again, until all the possible variations are exhausted, and the world can finally end.

There's an Arthur C. Clarke short story like that.

Groucho,

Do yourself a real favour and find* a copy of 'The Langauge of the Night' by Ursula LeGuin. It's a collection of her writings and speeches on Sci-fi and Fantasy, which is wide-ranging, rigorous in its analysis, and so well written that it's as much a pleasure to read as any of her works of fiction. It'll provide you with some possible answers as to the 'purpose' of fantasy, and also the differences between it and sci-fi. You'll not be surprised to hear that her ideas are rather different from any expressed on here for both genres: indeed, she thinks extrapolation of future possibilities is a very limited part of sci-fi, and that its possibilities are much. much greater than that. And she sees fantasy as a fundamental human mode of operation: one common to all human cultures throughout the ages, and only recently (in historical terms) have we in the west built a culture which rejects fantasy, not least by insisting it have an economic value: "what's it for?!?" As she says, children understand fantasy very clearly, and losing that ability is not something she sees as progress worthy of the name.

She sees America in particular as having a hostility to the genre, but finds the English still very receptive to it: amusingly (in the light of the poster who started this thread, and the slant they were giving it) she has found that a disproportionate proportion of her English fans are clergy ("which, as a congenital atheist, I find a little alarming!")

*In fact, IM me on skype (username the same) and I'll post yo0u a spare copy that I happen to have.


Is that the one in response to Atwood's dummy spit?


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