Best Sci-Fi Novels

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Franquoir
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Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Franquoir »

Saved this great thread on the last forum and was slowly going through some of the recommendations - can i ask for your input again?
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Jeff the Bear
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Jeff the Bear »

Consider Phlebas - Iain M Banks
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Ogre
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Ogre »

Are you looking for stand alone novels or a series or an author of note?

The Dune Series (Frank Herbert and the his son and some other chap) is awsome if you read it from start to finish.
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Fat Albert
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Fat Albert »

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress - Heinlein
Ring World - Niven
Lucifer's Hammer - Niven & Pournelle
Dune - Herbert
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Dick

Series
Foundation - Asimov
Dorsai - Dickson
Pern - McCaffrey

Short
Nightfall - Asimov
Weyr Search - McCaffrey
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Ogre
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Ogre »

Fat Albert wrote:The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress - Heinlein
Ring World - Niven
Lucifer's Hammer - Niven & Pournelle
Dune - Herbert
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Dick

Series
Foundation - Asimov
Dorsai - Dickson
Pern - McCaffrey

Short
Nightfall - Asimov
Weyr Search - McCaffrey
Thats some good stuff right there.
Would chuck in the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and the Belgariad and Mallorean by David and Leigh Eddings.
frankster
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by frankster »

Ogre wrote:
Fat Albert wrote:The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress - Heinlein
Ring World - Niven
Lucifer's Hammer - Niven & Pournelle
Dune - Herbert
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Dick

Series
Foundation - Asimov
Dorsai - Dickson
Pern - McCaffrey

Short
Nightfall - Asimov
Weyr Search - McCaffrey
Thats some good stuff right there.
Would chuck in the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and the Belgariad and Mallorean by David and Leigh Eddings.
I like Eddings's stuff (have most of it) but find him too lightweight after Raymond E. Feist. Jordan's stuff really drags on IMHO though the missus loves it.
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by paddywack »

Second Variety by Philip Dick is superb
Space Prison by Tom Godwin
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Bindi
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Bindi »

Use of Weapons - Iain M Banks
Player of Games - Iain M Banks
Look to Windward - Iain M Banks
Behold the Man - Michael Moorcock
Pattern Recognition - William Gibson
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams


Pretty much anything by JG Ballard, Kurt Vonnegut, China Meiville (more steampunkish), Banks, Moorcock, Gibson really.
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Ogre
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Ogre »

frankster wrote:
Ogre wrote:
Fat Albert wrote:The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress - Heinlein
Ring World - Niven
Lucifer's Hammer - Niven & Pournelle
Dune - Herbert
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Dick

Series
Foundation - Asimov
Dorsai - Dickson
Pern - McCaffrey

Short
Nightfall - Asimov
Weyr Search - McCaffrey
Thats some good stuff right there.
Would chuck in the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and the Belgariad and Mallorean by David and Leigh Eddings.
I like Eddings's stuff (have most of it) but find him too lightweight after Raymond E. Feist. Jordan's stuff really drags on IMHO though the missus loves it.
He does tend to repeat himself through different series however the first couple are good. Feist is good stuff, I really like the Janny Wurts co story Empire Trilogy. Jordan does write a loooooong story but I like that so its good stuff.
Harry Turtledove is also a top author if you are into alternative history
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EverReady
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by EverReady »

Jeff the Bear wrote:Consider Phlebas - Iain M Banks
I saw the thread title and was going to post that
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bealonian
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by bealonian »

Sci-fi or fantasy? Some of the other suggestions fall into the latter category.

Anyway for sci-fi, Neil Asher's Ian Cormac books are pretty good as is Stephen Donaldson's "The Gap into..." series.
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Edinburgh01
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Edinburgh01 »

Fat Albert wrote:The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress - Heinlein
Ring World - Niven
Lucifer's Hammer - Niven & Pournelle
Dune - Herbert
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Dick

Series
Foundation - Asimov
Dorsai - Dickson
Pern - McCaffrey

Short
Nightfall - Asimov
Weyr Search - McCaffrey
Read many of these decades ago. Do they stand the test of time?
captainshamrock
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by captainshamrock »

Just too much to remember.

Original Dune series - Frank Herbert. Don't read anything by the son afterwards or you'll be disappointed
Foundation and Robot series - Assimov - 60 years old and still a great read
Dawn's night trilogy - Peter F Hamilton
Hyperion series by Dan Simmons

Cities in Flight - James Blish
Enders Game - rest of series is fairly poor but original book is a great stand alone
Revelation Space - Alastair Reynolds
Old Mans war - John Scalzi
A fire upon the deep - Vernor Vinge
ovalball
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by ovalball »

Fat Albert wrote:The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress - Heinlein
Ring World - Niven
Lucifer's Hammer - Niven & Pournelle
Dune - Herbert
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Dick

Series
Foundation - Asimov
Dorsai - Dickson
Pern - McCaffrey

Short
Nightfall - Asimov
Weyr Search - McCaffrey

Good list

Almost anything by Asimov or Heinlein is well worth reading.

Alan Dean Foster is excellent

Another vote for Cities in Flight by Blish

A.E. Van Vogt did some great novels and short stories

Day of the Triffids is a cracking read

Also recommend

Ursula Le Guin

Poul Anderson (if you can find Trader to the Stars, start with that).

I don't know many of the modern SF writers but I used to read the stuff non stop
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Saint
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Saint »

To add to the lists:

Arthur C Clarke - 2001, 2010, 2061 (ignore 3001). Any of his short story collections

Peter F Hamilton - Greg Mandel series, Commonwealth trilogy (mixes Sci-Fi and Fantasy)
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danthefan
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by danthefan »

I'm reading Player of Games at the moment, I think it's quite good.
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JM2K6
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by JM2K6 »

Once you've got the Iain M Banks bug, Excession is his best "pure sci-fi" novel IMO.

Something older - The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. Also Gateway by Frederick Pohl.
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w0rdtothe3rd
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by w0rdtothe3rd »

Anyone ever read any China Miéville? I'm thinking of getting one of his books this weekend maybe. What should I start with? City and the City?
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Jeff the Bear
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Jeff the Bear »

danthefan wrote:I'm reading Player of Games at the moment, I think it's quite good.
I'm reading Use of Weapons...got Surface detail ready to read after that. 8)
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by JM2K6 »

Use of Weapons is f**king harsh. :)
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by frankster »

w0rdtothe3rd wrote:Anyone ever read any China Miéville? I'm thinking of getting one of his books this weekend maybe. What should I start with? City and the City?
his best is probably Perdido Street Station, that's the one that was recommended to me and I tried first. The Iron Council and the Scar are in a similar vein, both very good as well.

UnLunDun is more for teenagers, King Rat was his first novel and is simpler, but a bit more accessible.
ovalball
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by ovalball »

Saint wrote:To add to the lists:

Arthur C Clarke - 2001, 2010, 2061 (ignore 3001). Any of his short story collections

Peter F Hamilton - Greg Mandel series, Commonwealth trilogy (mixes Sci-Fi and Fantasy)
I'm not a fan of Clarke - was really disappointed with 2001. Tried several others and just couldn't get into them.
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w0rdtothe3rd
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by w0rdtothe3rd »

frankster wrote:
w0rdtothe3rd wrote:Anyone ever read any China Miéville? I'm thinking of getting one of his books this weekend maybe. What should I start with? City and the City?
his best is probably Perdido Street Station, that's the one that was recommended to me and I tried first. The Iron Council and the Scar are in a similar vein, both very good as well.

UnLunDun is more for teenagers, King Rat was his first novel and is simpler, but a bit more accessible.
Thanks.

I think I might read one of his shorter books first though, to see if I like him.

I'm looking forward to it now. He's very highly rated.
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Ted.
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Ted. »

ovalball wrote:
Fat Albert wrote:The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress - Heinlein
Ring World - Niven
Lucifer's Hammer - Niven & Pournelle
Dune - Herbert
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Dick

Series
Foundation - Asimov
Dorsai - Dickson
Pern - McCaffrey

Short
Nightfall - Asimov
Weyr Search - McCaffrey

Good list

Almost anything by Asimov or Heinlein is well worth reading.

Alan Dean Foster is excellent

Another vote for Cities in Flight by Blish

A.E. Van Vogt did some great novels and short stories

Day of the Triffids is a cracking read

Also recommend

Ursula Le Guin

Poul Anderson (if you can find Trader to the Stars, start with that).

I don't know many of the modern SF writers but I used to read the stuff non stop

Same. Started with Asimov and EE Doc Smith many moons ago. HAve boxes and boxes of the things stashed away.

Might give this Banks fella a whirl.
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gibbothegreat
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by gibbothegreat »

Lord of Light, Creaturs of Light and Darkness, This Immortal (novels), The Doors of his Face, the Lamps of his Mouth (short stories) - Roger Zelazny
Dinner at Deviant's Palace - Tim Powers
The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed - Ursula LeGuin

and if you want introducing to much more sci-fi, including some now obscure stuff, and some wonderful analysis of style, of history of sci-fi, then it doesn't come any better than LeGuin's 'The Langauge of the Night'
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by frankster »

w0rdtothe3rd wrote:
frankster wrote:
w0rdtothe3rd wrote:Anyone ever read any China Miéville? I'm thinking of getting one of his books this weekend maybe. What should I start with? City and the City?
his best is probably Perdido Street Station, that's the one that was recommended to me and I tried first. The Iron Council and the Scar are in a similar vein, both very good as well.

UnLunDun is more for teenagers, King Rat was his first novel and is simpler, but a bit more accessible.
Thanks.

I think I might read one of his shorter books first though, to see if I like him.

I'm looking forward to it now. He's very highly rated.

Try King Rat then - nostalgic for old ravers like me as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Rat_(1998_novel)
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Bill
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

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Saint
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Saint »

ovalball wrote:
Saint wrote:To add to the lists:

Arthur C Clarke - 2001, 2010, 2061 (ignore 3001). Any of his short story collections

Peter F Hamilton - Greg Mandel series, Commonwealth trilogy (mixes Sci-Fi and Fantasy)
I'm not a fan of Clarke - was really disappointed with 2001. Tried several others and just couldn't get into them.

Seriously? To my mind you could distil Sci-Fi down to 2001/2010 from Clarke, Foundation from Asimov, and probably the Asimov robot stories.
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Sefton
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Sefton »

The Red Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Lacrobat »

The thinking person's Sci Fi:

Ursula LeGuin, The Dispossessed. Or - when capitalist and anarchist worlds collide. A brilliant study in how utopian dreams bump up against the limitations of human nature.

William M. Millar, Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz. A vision of the future in three parts, going from bad to better to worse, with a thread of continuity maintained by the Catholic Church. It illustrates the timelessness of such questions as the balance between knowledge and faith, rights and obligations.

Octavia Butler, The Parable of the Sower. If you ever wanted informed speculation about just how bad it could get in the inner cities, this is the book for you. Absolutely bone-chilling, made all the more so because of its plausibility.
likimeya
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by likimeya »

Well, it souldn't be that much about sci-fi or fantasy, or a bit of surrealism, but more about poor/acceptable/good style, or not ...
I mean Azimov is usually an OK author, doesn't make too many grammar faults (mines should be forgiven please, english is not my native language, his editors probably should be forgiven as they are yet to know how to use any program that would help them, but they know how to use CTRL-V CTRL-C and everyone can see it it when you read twice the same sentence in a row, with one meaningful line disappearing), very simple writing kind of guy, and with good stories ... (better in my mind is "The god sthemselves", many people seem not to like that one, but the best I've ever read from him, even though the Foundation stuff is definitely worth reading, the "robots" saga can enlinghten a whole lot of books written afterwards, even by other writers).

On the side of the best written books, you'll probably find H.P. Lovecraft (and the real history of the famous Necronomicon), Ray Bradburry (Fahrenheit 451, great book, great François Truffaut movie), and the always underscored Philip K. Dick, with quite a lot of awful Hollywood tries at making a good enough movies, Blade runner as an exception. If you do fancy a bit of a surrealistic experience, a good piece of writing, and a wonderful novel go for "Kubik".

If by sci-fi, you're thinking of wild thinking, not that much about science, but a bit bit more surrealistic you might try french writer Srege Brussolo too, really unequal in his writings, but sometimes spot on.

On the more fantasy line, there's Tad Williams of course, if you fancy a longer, better, not as stereopycal book as the "Lords of the Ring", then go for it, should be read at any rate, even if the only reason was to understand my name on this site.
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Finsbury Girl
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Finsbury Girl »

For old skool that other peeps haven't mentioned:

Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner. An excellent pre-cursor to modern cyberpunk

Harry Harrison put out a number of short story collections in the 60's. Like those of Phil Dick, they are awesome and essential reading.

For modern stuff, I'd recommend any of the new age of British sci-fi - Ken McLeod, Banks (obviously), Richard Morgan and Peter Hamilton.

I haven't read any of Alistair Reynolds as yet, but I've heard they're pretty good.

One thing the UK has done fantastically well, is churn out absolute quality sci-fi and fantasy authors.

Oh and final recommendation, another British chap David Wingrove put out a series called Chung Kuo years ago. They're being re-released at the moment. It does tail off towards the end, but I thought the first few books were excellent.
Brabus
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Brabus »

The Reality Dysfunction - Peter F Hamilton
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JM2K6
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by JM2K6 »

Sefton wrote:The Red Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.
Yeah, this is great.
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Saint
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Saint »

Brabus wrote:The Reality Dysfunction - Peter F Hamilton
That's just the first third of the Confederation trilogy
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Cymro
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Cymro »

JM2K6 wrote:The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.
A one hit wonder perhaps, but a bloody good story.
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by eugenius »

Hyperion series by Dan Simmons
His Ilium series is just as strong ....
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Ted.
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Ted. »

Is it time to start up a new a handy navigation fred?
Dillon
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Dillon »

For military sci-fi, I really enjoy the Warhammer 40,000 books, especially those authored by Dan Abnett.

His "Gaunt's Ghosts" series is my favorite by a long way and now in omnibus form; "The Founding", "The Saint" and "The Lost" (in that order). Brilliant characterization, excellently written, strong story-lines and almost continuous action all the way through.

Asimov's Lijah Bailey series;
"The Caves of Steel", "The Naked Sun" and "Robots of Dawn"

"Fantastic Voyage" and "Fantastic Voyage II: Destination Brain" both written by Asimov and "Fantastic Voyage: Microcosm" written by Kevin J. Anderson.
D'arse
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by D'arse »

check out Joe Haldeman. The Forever War is a great book. Currently reading his 'worlds' series. On book 3 now, really great stuff. This is proper Sci-fi, not fantasy. 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!
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