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Sci-fi/fantasy Reading Recommendations

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oh, and SG-1 is awesome.

Best SF on TV in the past 20 years, easy.

As for Mr. Dick, do androids really dream of electric sheep? :thumbsup:

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Thank you. I had no idea. I'll have to look it up.

Oh, the ending is fantastic. All of it. I loved it, especially after all the hard reading required to reach it. A realistic portrayal of the end of the world simply cannot be read any other way. But you do have to appreciate an optimistic novel about the end of the world, too.

Niven and Pournelle got things very right in "Lucifer's Hammer." The collectivist villains as eternal parasites upon the able, without a thought of what happens when they run out of victims (now, did Niven and Pournelle predict the aftermath of Katrina, would you say?); the men of ability banding together to survive and rebuild during the emergency; even the certainty that technology failed because there was not enough of it, and that more will be needed once the disaster is overcome.

Speaking of Niven, he also has a talent for making the most out of unusual environments. I particularly loved his depiction of the Smoke Ring. I wonder whether our interstellar probes in the future will go looking for Christmas wreaths around old neutron stars.

I can't recommend Ringworld by Niven enough. Awesome novel.

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I enjoyed Ender's Game by Card... Haven't gotten around to reading the sequels as of yet.

I enjoyed the robot series by Isaac Asimov, but considered the Foundation books to dreadfully boring.

I read mostly fantasy but have been getting more into the science fiction area lately. I also enjoyed both Stargate SG-1 and Babylon 5..

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While I find Card's Ender series to be fantastic (particularly the half focused on Bean and Peter), I have to say that Stephen Baxter is by far my favorite science fiction author. His stories are based in actual science rather than the space-fantasy that many, albeit good, science fiction works try to get by with. I find his stories always ring true with me, even when the protagonist is defeated or the message (as in his Coalescent) is depressing or seemingly at odds with Objectivist standards. He always portrays reason as the correct answer, and even though the universe he often presents is bleak, he never takes a fatalistic attitude. When technology creates a problem, the answer is always, for him, more technology, and that is refreshing in this day and age. His stories often pit humanity against near impossible odds, but always we find a way to continue on. Just writing this makes me want to read all his books over again!

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Arthur C. Clarke...is there really any competition? The whole 2001 series covers every branch of science that I am intersted in.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Clarke the person credited with the invention of the satelite? Not actually creating one, but the basic idea of them?

Arthur C. Clarke was the first to propose a system of communication satellites in geostationary orbit (circa 1945). The geostationary orbit is sometimes called the Clarke Orbit in recognition of his proposal.

Please see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke_Orbit

Bob Kolker

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along with Heinlein of course, and James Hogan, and Robert Forward...

James P. Hogan, the first scifi author who I've met who actually understood the principles of objectivism, and who applies them to his novels and characterizations. He weaves hard and radical scientific questions, with moral problems that require objective thinking to resolve. For example a ship is sent to another planet with the embryos of humans who are raised by robots who are logical and consistent and encyclopedic. When the parents swing by later to claim "their" planet, the rationally raised offspring have much different ideas.

Harry Harrison for his Stainless Steel Rat series: when in a ferroconcrete cage, only a stainless steel rat escapes. These books are absolutely hillarious and heroic and whimsical and thoughtful.

<Ф>aj

Edited by aristotlejones

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Has no one read IAIN M. BANKS? That's my only conclusion for not seeing him listed here.

He's a Scotsman, who also publishes modern novels as Iain Banks.

The man is a genius SF writer, with vast imagination, great plots, war and love in distant galaxies, fully dimensional characters -including some spunky heroines- and a touch of macabre humour.

His titles (8 SF books) start from "Consider Phlebas" and The Player of Games", through to "Inversions" and "Look to Windward". His sense of life is very rational, and quite heroic.

I will personally guarantee that all of you SF lovers will devour all of them.

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Then there's John Scalzi's Old Man's War books... Scalzi is considered by many as a worthy successor to Heinlein...

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I'm guessing I'm the only Philip K. Dick fan here??

Hell No you're not! Phil Dick is one of my absolute favourite. I recommend reading' A Maze of Death', one of his best and least known works.

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Heinlein is great. 'Door Into Summer' is one of my favourite books of all time. Quick and easy to read with a couple of great heroes. Moon is a Harsh Mistress is very good as others have said and Double Star was also very good.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is great.

Just about to start 'Lucifer's Hammer' by Pournelle and Niven.

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...That's the best "End of the World" book I have ever read. Of course it doesn't end for the survivors....

You might also check out Footfall when you are done with that one. It's the book they originally wanted to write.

And to be environmentally incorrect, Fallen Angels is a great deal shorter (but also has a lot of SF Fandom in-references in it).

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...That's the best "End of the World" book I have ever read. Of course it doesn't end for the survivors....

You might also check out Footfall when you are done with that one. It's the book they originally wanted to write.

And to be environmentally incorrect, Fallen Angels is a great deal shorter (but also has a lot of SF Fandom in-references in it).

Yes I saw Footfall at the book store today. Looked quite interesting and if I like Lucifer's Hammer I'll buy it for sure.

Also bought Dan Simmon's 'Hyperion' today after hearing such good things about it.

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I've read one of the scifi works by Bradbury mentioned earlier. It was The Martian Chronicles. That was mostly like a series of loosely connected progressing short stories. It's very loose on the science aspect of the scifi here, but it's still really interesting even if it isn't much for technically correct. Bradbury's writing style I find to be BEAUTIFUL too. I had one main issue with the book though -

I just had no idea why so many people went to Mars to try to get away from whatever crap was going on back on Earth that looked to be slowly but surely heading to an epically disastrous war, spent time and effort building up a good society and successful lives there, only to then have pretty much ALL of them go back to Earth when the war did start and have them just about all getting annihilated. Humanity doesn't get *totally* wiped out, so it isn't completely pessimistic here, but I just don't see why they seemed to almost inexorably all go back at the worst possible time. Spoiler for another of Bradbury's works now, I joked with a friend of mine who had also read The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451 too that so far as we'd read of Bradbury's works, it looks like he has a thing for endings where seeming inexorable, sudden, devastating wars wipe out almost all of humanity except for a few people smart enough to get the hell out unlike the rest of the lemmings.

Heinlein is my favorite Scifi author. :) I don't know why there's so much complaint about "weirdness" here. I LOVE the "weirdness." It's one of the things that makes me so fond of his works. :P I read and loved Stranger in a Strange Land several years ago and it is still one of my favorite books easily

except the ending is so unnecessarily sad! ;o;

and just recently read Time Enough For Love, though found out after starting it that that book was actually one of the last in Heinlein's future history

and this one though doesn't end so depressingly as Stranger. Yay.

I highly would recommend both. Time Enough For Love was good reading to cheer me up a little too.

Asimov's stuff is good too of course, and I think his name is just neat anyway too. Hah. I haven't started reading it yet, but I've got the beginning of the Dune books too as I hear they're good. For something newer, though I haven't really started it yet either, I thought the premise of a series (or perhaps a future history and so not exactly a series) called The Uplift Wars (or maybe that was just the name of one of the books, according to Wiki it looks like they may be collectively called "The Uplift Stories") by David Brin sounded good. Basic idea I gather from the back of the books is every species that has consciousness (which I'm assuming they mean to be about specifically human-like volitional consciousness it sounds like) gained it from a process of "uplifting" done by another already conscious species - except one evidently (humans, I think it was, who may have recently been found by the other species) and now there's a big deal about this going on and what it means and how and such.

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Heinlein will always be my favorite, for nothing other than being the mind that conceived of Friday, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and The Puppetmasters.

I've been very disappointed in recent years by some of his other work, such as Farnham's Freehold.  But, still. . . He wrote Harsh freaking Mistress.

Aasimov is pretty good.  So is Frank Herbert, if you enjoy a high word-to-content ratio.

 

Ender's Game almost became one of my all-time favorites, until the ending.

I will never forgive Orson Scott Card for that.  He may have written less hopelessly bleak things than that; I don't know.  I still don't trust him enough to try one.

 

Michael Crichton is a god of science fiction.

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Heinlein will always be my favorite, for nothing other than being the mind that conceived of Friday, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and The Puppetmasters.

I've been very disappointed in recent years by some of his other work, such as Farnham's Freehold.  But, still. . . He wrote Harsh freaking Mistress.

Aasimov is pretty good.  So is Frank Herbert, if you enjoy a high word-to-content ratio.

Everything after his Future History books are quite variable. A lot of the time they are something of a commentary on the writing process. By the time he gets to "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls", it's practically surrealism in a loose sense. Even still, he's fantastic at characterization, you just need to adapt to his nontraditional style in his later works. That makes him a writer who doesn't just stick to old tricks all the time.

 

I'd say "Stranger in a Strange Land" is his best work, "Harsh Mistress" and "Time Enough for Love" are quite close in quality. I want to try reading "Friday", but so many books to read... Anyway, "Stranger" is very insightful, a unique analysis of morality and the good life.

 

Besides Heinlein, William Gibson is good. His entire "Sprawl" series is good, but "Neuromancer" is the best of the trilogy. Despite that, the entire trilogy should be read all at once to get the whole sense of the world he develops. Gibson is great at using descriptive and brief language, so it really puts you in his world in a sensory way. I thought Neuromancer was nice after I first read it, but it was better once I finished its trilogy. Overall, he's as good as Heinlein for looking into and contemplating the future.

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Heinlein will always be my favorite, for nothing other than being the mind that conceived of Friday, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and The Puppetmasters.

I've been very disappointed in recent years by some of his other work, such as Farnham's Freehold.  But, still. . . He wrote Harsh freaking Mistress.

Aasimov is pretty good.  So is Frank Herbert, if you enjoy a high word-to-content ratio.

 

Ender's Game almost became one of my all-time favorites, until the ending.

I will never forgive Orson Scott Card for that.  He may have written less hopelessly bleak things than that; I don't know.  I still don't trust him enough to try one.

 

Michael Crichton is a god of science fiction.

Read John C. Wright's Golden Age trilogy.

 

It's hard to get a hold of but the read is worth it.

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Any Objectivist interested in the far future or Sci-Fi MUST read John C. Wright's Golden Age trilogy.

It is a stunning masterpiece of imagination, individualism, reality, and morality.  It is at times, perplexing, inspiring, soaring, complex and at times simply human.  Now that it is available electronically (kindle ebook with free reader to read on any device) for a very fair price (8 bucks each book) there is no reason not to grab it.

The Golden Age:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FA5QJK/

The Phoenix Exultant:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001OWEEHI/

The Golden Transcendence: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001OD6KAQ/

 

Be careful not to read too many reviews ... in fact avoid it all to avoid any spoilers!

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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