Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

A catch-all topic for movies, books, television, and other SF & F conversation.
User avatar
Snow
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:02 pm
Location: Sterling, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Snow » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:25 pm

kyle wrote:
Snow wrote:Ironically, I write sci-fi because there's no sci-fi out there that I personally enjoy reading. I mean, I can wade through it, but there's no sci-fi for me, if that makes any sense.

That makes perfect sense. However, it also makes those early sales challenging...



Thankfully that's why I'm not making writing my first career choice :wink: I'll have that sense of accomplishment of telling my story, and if people like it, hey that's great, if they don't, oh well.
0 Rejections
0 HMs
0 Finalists
0 Wins
0 Published works

User avatar
soulmirror
Posts: 1971
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:34 am
Location: USA

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby soulmirror » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:56 pm

Ironically, I write sci-fi because there's no sci-fi out there that I personally enjoy reading. I mean, I can wade through it, but there's no sci-fi for me, if that makes any sense.


There are a number of ways someone might approach SF / Fantasy: they could be a "fan" and simply enjoy reading it and never feel any need to write it, they could be a critic or study it from an intellectual, historical or sociological approach and perhaps not "enjoy" it in a so-called fanboy sense (even not caring much rather than to study who was the first author to write about a mechanical man that could pass as human, etc).

I certainly see how someone could feel a drive to create SF / Fantasy for their own artistic fulfillment and self-expression ... and still not "enjoy" reading huge amounts of it themselves.

I'd suppose any writer needs to know about their market, have a grasp of what's been done already. But then I could also see someone sitting down and writing "a love story about vampires" and having a hugely successful novel ... having only seen a "Dracula" movie. :)

Sometimes we may overthink things. Most genre fans aren't overthinking, or thinking much at all perhaps.

Success is based on others' "enjoyment" ... and achieving that perhaps need not require any great technical flourishes from the writing or the writer.

Simply ... tell a good Story, and don't tell it badly.
Image
'The only tyrant we accept in this world is the still voice within.' -Gandhi
IOTF:Winner Q1 vol.27 (3x Finalist); WOTF: HM x2

User avatar
M. Wimmer
Posts: 287
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:00 pm

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby M. Wimmer » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:56 am

I used to read SF extensively, but I ran out of Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, and Pohl, the authors I started reading in my teens and who lasted into my mid-twenties. I just haven't been able to get on board with many modern writers. I don't know if I grew out of SF, or if there was a nostalgia component with those authors, but the bottom line is I haven't read any SF in the last five years that I read because I wanted to, not for market research.

I think, like Jeff said, if I try to read fiction now I start examining the writing and mechanics and whatnot and can't really get into the story.

Adventrous Adam
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:07 pm

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Adventrous Adam » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:20 pm

Hey Snow,If your looking for big,nasty,magical creatures,then Terry Brooks' Shannara series is what you are looking for. There are beast of every kind,such as organic medal,gigantic worms that crawl directly through concrete,and best of all there are terrifying villains.sword of Shannara ,Elfsstones of Shannara,and wishsong of Shannara are the first three Books. If you dont fall in love with these books,you need a fantasy novel makeover. :mrgreen:

Other Authors that i like are : Terry Goodkind, Raymond E.Feist, Brandon Sanderson, and David Addings.
Check these authors out!

User avatar
Snow
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:02 pm
Location: Sterling, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Snow » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:11 pm

I've actually read a few Terry Brooks and really enjoyed his style, I'll look those up. Though for now my interests are the Hannibal trilogy and for valentines day my sweetheart bought me The Stand :D .
0 Rejections
0 HMs
0 Finalists
0 Wins
0 Published works

User avatar
Alex Kane
Posts: 745
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:17 pm
Location: Galesburg, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Alex Kane » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:42 pm

Snow wrote:I've actually read a few Terry Brooks and really enjoyed his style, I'll look those up. Though for now my interests are the Hannibal trilogy and for valentines day my sweetheart bought me The Stand :D .

The Stand is one of my all-time favorites. Truly a masterpiece. Just thinking about it makes me want to read it...
Image

Plan

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Plan » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:34 am

Iain M. Banks is fantastic and clearly does not get enough credit for his work.

Critics are always complaining about SF writing and characterization, and here's a guy whose prose surpasses that of most haughty "literary" writers while introducing the reader to absolutely fantastic characters, and he gets the cold shoulder from SF awards committees. I am baffled at how a writer like Elizabeth Bear gets showered with awards, while Iain Banks goes ignored.

It's like, "Hmmmm, shall we honor this highly literary, richly-etched, multi-layered novel, or just toss some props in the direction of a writer who pens novels about an alternate-reality WWII fought with dragons?" I can understand how the latter may be more popular, especially since diet and self-help books dominate bestseller lists. Anything that doesn't require us to think is guaranteed to be popular. But awards contests should not be popularity contests, and writers like Banks provide great fodder for the argument that, yes, science fiction can be written for and enjoyed by adults.

When a genre is constantly under assault for poor characterization, bad dialogue and one-dimensional plots, it would certainly help public perception to honor writers like Banks, and not the authors of the latest Eragon knock-offs.

Also glad to see Alastair Reynolds mentioned in this thread. His Revelation Space series contains some of the most original and disturbing big ideas in all of SF. He's a master of noir and he's managed to buck the SF/horror trend by reinventing the fusion of those two genres into something often-horrific, disgusting and highly disturbing -- yet like a car accident, you can't look away.

Reynolds does not imagine any far-future utopias or write under the pretense that technology will change human nature. In Revelation Space, humans run the gamut from decent and honest to despicable and disingenuous, and everything in between. Technology may change the means, and may even allow people to go further in extreme pursuits (think: Pattern Jugglers and Ultras), but the motivators and behaviors remain constant.

But most of all, no one conveys how dark and lonely it is between the stars better than Alastair Reynolds. When he writes about the crew of a generation ship going insane and killing their own passengers, it's not something he pulled out of thin air -- it's a steady build-up of frustration, resentment and rage that the crew will live and die aboard that starship, while the passengers get to sleep through the entire journey simply because they were wealthy enough to buy that luxury.

Gwendolyn Clare
Posts: 201
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:11 pm
Location: North Carolina
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Gwendolyn Clare » Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:32 am

Plan wrote:It's like, "Hmmmm, shall we honor this highly literary, richly-etched, multi-layered novel, or just toss some props in the direction of a writer who pens novels about an alternate-reality WWII fought with dragons?"

I'm guessing you're referring to Naomi Novik here, which is an odd choice, since Iain Banks certainly wasn't eligible for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer anytime recently. They were never in competition for the same award. And while I haven't read Novik's work, I'm not convinced that an alternate-reality with dragons necessarily won't be richly-etched and multi-layered.

Plan wrote:But awards contests should not be popularity contests,

Actually, the Nebulas and Hugos are pretty much by definition popularity contests. The awards committee says, "hey SFWA members / Worldcon attendees, what stuff did you like last year?" and a group of people says, "we liked this stuff." That's why the Nebulas and Hugos are such a big deal -- precisely because they aren't determined by a tiny awards committee deciding what qualifies as "good", but because they represent the voice of the community as a whole. I don't particularly like Doctor Who, so it puzzles me that the show walks away with half the short-form nominations every year, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles. Other people like it and nominate it. *shrugs*

I'm not saying Iain Banks isn't good. I'm just saying it's kind of pointless to rail about what does and does not garner awards.
HM x 7
Semi-finalist x 4

User avatar
vanaaron
Posts: 173
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:30 pm
Location: Denver
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby vanaaron » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:34 am

Gwendolyn Clare wrote:I'm just saying it's kind of pointless to rail about what does and does not garner awards.
Oh, I think railing about what does and does not garner awards is great fun. :)

And I actually agree that Iain Banks should have received more recognition from the major awards than he has to date. But I think that's mostly due to the lag between when his books have come out in the U.K. and when they were published and noticed in the U.S. I do not attribute it to poor taste among the Hugo and Nebula voters.

Look at the Hugo winners for best novel over the past three years: Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl; China Miéville, The City and the City; Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book; Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policeman's Union. It seems to me the voters have been doing a great job of rewarding "literary, richly-etched, multi-layered novels," rather than derivative dragon books.

Highspeedlimo

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Highspeedlimo » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:56 pm

I read more fantasy than Sci-Fi but heres my list of both that I truly enjoy.
R.A. Salvatore - Legend of Drizzt (13 books), The Hunter's Blades trilogy, and The Sellswords
Gail Z. Martin- Chronicles of the Necromancer books: The Summoner, The Blood king and Dark haven
James Maxey- Bitterwood

Science Fiction wise was a no brainer as I was first turned sci fi by the online game eve online which started me on this
sci-fi/fantasy trend.
Eve Related
Tony Gonzalez- The Empyrean Age
Hjalti Danielsson- The Burning Life

Non Eve related
James Lovegrove- The Age of Ra
Koushun Takami- Battle Royale

jeeohn
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby jeeohn » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:16 am

William Gibson's trilogy-esque steampunk world has become a recent favorite. Neuromancer is now one of my favorite books, as is Mona Lisa Overdrive. Haven't read the middle one (Count Zero) because it isn't in the library, but oh well.

However, I don't really "get" his most recent works like Pattern Recognition (though I did like it) and, most recently, Zero History. Probably because they're not actually sci-fi, but nonetheless they still contain sci-fi elements; they just seem too lowstakes, if you catch my drift.

Zero History in particular is just so...banal. That's the word that kept flashing in my mind like a lightbulb while I was skimming through its pages. It was so boring I found myself half-reading, half-day dreaming of a neon Tokyo and the cyberspace he coined in the 80s.

I also just read a book called The Lifeship, but I forget the authors (it was co-written; I think the first was Harry Harrison).

Also, on the subject of Iain M. Banks, his forte is space opera, which isn't too terribly popular among the literary crowd. He's also a bit of a msyoginist (or maybe his universe is just a bit sexist, either way). Great universe, great novels, but not the type to win awards.
Last edited by jeeohn on Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

WFABZDNLDBT
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:36 am

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby WFABZDNLDBT » Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:08 pm

i read a whole lot of books from a wide range of genres and authors. My absolute favorite, in no particular order, are Jim Butcher (Harry Dresden and Tavi are awesome stories to read), Stephen King and Terry Books. Those are my all time favorites. All very different writers, but all of them are extremely talented.

User avatar
AdamP
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:11 pm
Location: Leesburg, VA
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby AdamP » Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:24 am

Snow wrote:
M. Wimmer wrote:Has anyone else found that the more they write science fiction, the less they want to read it? I'm almost exclusively onto non-fiction, mostly biographies and history, though I did just buy Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl, just to keep myself up to date of the goings-on in the SF scene today. I'm not really enthusiastic about starting it, though. I also have a short collection by Tobias Buckell but haven't lookes at it yet. He has a unique voice, somewhat similar to O.S. Card.



Ironically, I write sci-fi because there's no sci-fi out there that I personally enjoy reading. I mean, I can wade through it, but there's no sci-fi for me, if that makes any sense.


I pretty much agree with you, Snow. Most of the SF I see getting published today (short stories, I mean), just really seem to fall flat for me. I've been looking at recent issues of Analog and Asimov's, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, etc., and I have to say, the vast majority of the stories just do nothing for me. A majority don't even seem to have something so basic as a plot hook, character arc or satisfying resolution. Most are very derivative along the lines of "take 'x' sci-fi device that's been done a million times before, tweak it just a tiny bit, finish with a nebulous ending and Presto!" Some can't even be classified as sci-fi! (i.e. no speculative element) I find myself scratching my head, wondering, just why some of these stories see the light of day. I know a large part is name recognition of the author, but I'm guessing maybe my tastes are just more old fashioned, more classic than literary, which seems to be all the rage now. I have no problem with literary stuff if it's also a GOOD STORY. I don't see that as usually being the case.

That being said, it seems this contest DOES seem to prefer the kind of stories that I enjoy. More golden age stuff, where the speculative element is the driver of the story, and maybe where the story is more of a journey for the characters. The story I submitted here that won was handily rejected by five markets before I sent it in. I was on the verge of shelving it forever. But I can see now why it was rejected b/c it looks nothing like anything I've read in the pro markets, and I honestly could not imagine any of them publishing it. The feel of it is just different, and I guess, not literary enough. I think this is also why I've read on these forums how many people have success with their HM, semis and finalists in selling them afterwards. Those (few) that I've read seem to fall into the the more literary category.
http://www.adamperin.com

Q42010 WotF 3rd Place Winner

User avatar
Alex Kane
Posts: 745
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:17 pm
Location: Galesburg, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Alex Kane » Sat May 21, 2011 4:08 pm

I'm in the middle of writing a hard SF story, and found that I had to set aside both Speaker for the Dead by OSC and Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl in favor of non-SF reading material for the time being. They just seemed a bit boring. Bacigalupi's writing style is equal parts gorgeous and infuriating. Makes for great writing, from the standpoint of an envious emerging writer, but as a reader it's pretty laborious.

I dunno. Guess I'm just not in the mood for such dense prose right now. I'll pick it up sometime in June and love it, guaranteed. It was really getting off to a good start though; can't say the same for Speaker. That book was shaping up to be a colossal disappointment after about 50 pages in. Too much theological allegory for my tastes. A far cry from the original novel, I think.

It's Chuck Palahniuk in the meantime. No SF till I get this story done for Quarter 3. :)
Image

Grayson Morris
Posts: 760
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:42 am
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Grayson Morris » Sun May 22, 2011 11:59 pm

Alex Kane wrote:Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl ...[snip]... Bacigalupi's writing style is equal parts gorgeous and infuriating. Makes for great writing, from the standpoint of an envious emerging writer, but as a reader it's pretty laborious.

I've just started it, and my assessment is similar to yours, Alex. He belabors his points. The writing is fine, and the story is interesting, but he just hits you over the head with things. I've said at least twice out loud, "Okay! I get it already!"

I started Patricia McKillip's Riddle-Master trilogy and made it through the first book, but put it down early into the second. With regret...she mostly writes beautifully, but something about her style kept jerking me out of the book. The way she uses punctuation and strings adjectives together without any flow, I think. I just could not get absorbed into the story for more than a paragraph before WHAM! there the writer was, reminding me of her presence again. It's a shame, though, because she had some passages that were truly beautiful.
Much madness is divinest sense, to a discerning eye; much sense, the starkest madness. (Emily Dickinson)
http://www.graysonbraymorris.com
past entries: 5x HM, 3xR
current entries: none

User avatar
izanobu
Posts: 1240
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:03 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby izanobu » Mon May 23, 2011 2:04 am

I loved the Riddle-Master books, though I read them as a kid. I should re-read them. Those were some of my favorites back then (as well as "The Forgotten Beasts of Eld")

User avatar
Inspector Karamazov
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 7:41 am

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Inspector Karamazov » Mon May 30, 2011 7:45 am

Ender's Game is my favourite Sci-Fi. (I really must re-read those sometime)
I liked the Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy series, too. Those were hilarious.

As Fantasy goes, I like the usual: Lord of the Rings is my favourite but I grew up on Harry Potter and Narnia.

User avatar
Alex Kane
Posts: 745
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:17 pm
Location: Galesburg, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Alex Kane » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:09 am

About 1/3 of the way into John Scalzi's FUZZY NATION. Amazing book. Great writing, great humor, great story. I wish more modern SF was like it, to be honest. I keep saying to myself, this is what AVATAR should have been. And the fact that he's writing what is essentially fan fiction adds a certainly playfulness to it. It manages to walk the line between realism and cynicism so damn well. And the characters are very well conceived. Brilliant, brilliant -- and fun! :)
Image

User avatar
mcdoodle42
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:59 am
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby mcdoodle42 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:11 am

Michael B wrote:Robert Jordan, though I haven't brought myself to read the the Sanderson replacement novel yet.


I was quite surprised to see that this was the only mention of Robert Jordan. Sure, the length and sheer number of his books make them rather daunting, but in my opinion, they are one of the most brilliant pieces of fantasy writing that I have ever read. I was also very impressed by the quality of the Sanderson follow ups.
Personally I prefer reading fantasy to sci-fi, but I have found some real gems. Orson Scott Card, who's been mentioned a few times here, is superb, as is Peter F Hamilton (The Void Trilogy in particular). I'm afraid I am a bit of a heathen in sci-fi terms, as I don't like Frank Herbert or Aasimov. They just tend to grate for some reason :P
For fantasy there is an altogether longer list, so you can have my highlights :P I like Brandon Sanderson, especially his Mistborn books, which have a really innovative magic system, Brent Weeks, who writes some of the most lifelike characters I have ever read, Robert Jordan, David Gemmel, David Eddings, and various manga authors. I love manga.
I am a leaf on the wind - watch how I soar
- Hoban 'Wash' Washburn

george nik.
Posts: 824
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:10 pm
Location: Athens, Greece
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby george nik. » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:08 pm

Almost everything by Tanith Lee, Ursula K. LeGuin and Michael Moorcock.
Robert Jordan, for the incredible Wheel of Time.
Roger Zelazny, for Amber.
Tolkien, for making me love fantasy.
Isaac Asimov and Arthur Clarke, for making me love SF.
Douglas Adams, for proving that SF can really be so funny.
Julian May, for the Exiles Saga.
Gene Wolfe, for the Books of the New Sun.
Orson Scott Card, mostly for the Tales of Alvin Maker.
Brian Aldiss, for Helliconia.
Philip Jose Farmer, mostly for Riverworld.
Frank Herbert, for the first few books of Dune.
Susanna Clarke, for Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
Philip Pullman and Steven Erikson, whom I'm reading these days.
Oh, AND J.K.Rowling. Because I have to admit that the Harry Potter books were really good.
George Nikolopoulos
WOTF: 1 SF, 1 SHM, 4 HM
Fiction (EN): 43 stories sold, 29 published
Fiction (GR): c.10 stories published & a children’s novel
Amazon Page

plambert
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:47 pm

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby plambert » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:13 pm

I think the last book, of this genre, that I really enjoyed would be I Am Number Four. Too bad that the movie adaptation didn't really soar after this, which should have been really great for all those who are following the series.

I really enjoyed it, quite honestly. As for all books that I have read though, I have always though of something better as compared to their movie counterparts.

Well, you are only limited to 3 hours, tops, in a movie so it wouldn't be fair to judge by that.

User avatar
Martin L. Shoemaker
Posts: 4267
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:20 am
Location: Michigan (more or less)
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:36 pm

plambert wrote:I think the last book, of this genre, that I really enjoyed would be I Am Number Four. Too bad that the movie adaptation didn't really soar after this, which should have been really great for all those who are following the series.


I never knew it was a book before it was a film. I'll look for it. Thanks!

I really enjoyed it, quite honestly. As for all books that I have read though, I have always though of something better as compared to their movie counterparts.

Well, you are only limited to 3 hours, tops, in a movie so it wouldn't be fair to judge by that.


Length is one of the issues. Another is point of view: in a book you often know the thoughts of one or more characters; in film you can only guess based on the skills of the actors and the director.
http://Shoemaker.Space
Other worlds from award-winning author Martin L. Shoemaker

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT!
REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
NNiNN

Solanavi77
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:04 am

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Solanavi77 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:34 pm

Pretty much anything by Philip K. Dick. Thought his stuff in the late 70's and 80's isn't as good as his earlier stuff. I probably recommend his short story collections. He was a master at short fiction. Of his novels, "The World Jones Made," is very good, as are "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep," "A Scanner Darkly," "Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said" and "The Man in The High Castle." These are a few of my favs, but I love his work. PKD is the reason I write science fiction (oddly enough, the Bioshock videogame series is also why I write sci-fi. Go figure).

And of course, if I like PKD, how could I not like William Gibson? "Neuromancer" remains one of my favorites, too.

Alan Moore, of course, ranks up there as well. "The Watchmen" is probably one of the best books ever written (so I say, haha).

The Early and Middle Heinlein is good, especially "Double Star," "Puppet Masters," "The Door into Summer," and "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress."

The anti-Heinlein, namely "The Forever War" is also fantastic. It provides a good contrast between the pro-military view of Heinlein.
"I'm your Huckleberry" -Doc Holiday, from Tombstone

User avatar
Alex Kane
Posts: 745
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:17 pm
Location: Galesburg, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Alex Kane » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:10 pm

I really need to pick up The Forever War next time I get paid. I've read a couple short stories by Haldeman, which were fantastic, but I keep seeing The Forever War being mentioned all over the place, often touted as the greatest example of military SF ever. Hard to ignore a reputation like that.

I'm currently working my way (slowly) through PKD's The Simulacra, when my crazy homework schedule allows. It's one of the strangest novels I've ever read, even for Dick. Very fun. Next on the list is either The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester or one of the many short story collections I've got lying around.

Finished Tobias Buckell's Arctic Rising about a month or so ago, and wow, what a killer near-future SF thriller. It's a must-read for anyone looking to improve their SF worldbuilding, pacing, or characterization.
Image

Lair
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 10:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Lair » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:20 pm

Can not go wrong with Haldeman - the guy puts together a good read.
Bester had another book I liked - 'The Demolished Man' - it won a Hugo
Aldiss is another goody - 'Non-stop'
Simak, Delany, Zelazny, Clement, Sturgeon, Van Vogt, Wolfe, Leiber. There are too many.

What I am doing is purchasing all the nebula and hugo award winners (and reading them of course) - once that's done and my library is properly outfitted - it's off to another award - hit all the grandmasters? Campbell award? WFO - IDK. We shall see. One thing is certain - the oldies from back in the day cannot be beat.
Jason Lairamore
Semi-Finalist x 1
HM x 5

User avatar
Dustin Adams
Posts: 1524
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:47 am
Location: NY, state of
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Dustin Adams » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:56 am

Alex,
Personally, I preferred Scalzi's Old Man's War to Forever War. However, Forever War is probably a better book.
Might be worth reading both, if you have time.
Scalzi's writing style is such that you will read three pages in a blink. His words are more invisible than any other I've ever read. He makes that seem so easy, but we all know how difficult it is to do.

D
2x Finalist
1x Semi
2x Silver
9x HM
Eight EDF stories. DSF: Flash1. Flash2. Short Story. My Semi-F

User avatar
Alex Kane
Posts: 745
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:17 pm
Location: Galesburg, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Alex Kane » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:41 am

Dustin Adams wrote:Alex,
Personally, I preferred Scalzi's Old Man's War to Forever War. However, Forever War is probably a better book.
Might be worth reading both, if you have time.
Scalzi's writing style is such that you will read three pages in a blink. His words are more invisible than any other I've ever read. He makes that seem so easy, but we all know how difficult it is to do.

D

I've got Old Man's War on my Kindle, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I've heard good things. Loved Fuzzy Nation!
Image

Solanavi77
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:04 am

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Solanavi77 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:50 pm

Alex Kane wrote:I really need to pick up The Forever War next time I get paid. I've read a couple short stories by Haldeman, which were fantastic, but I keep seeing The Forever War being mentioned all over the place, often touted as the greatest example of military SF ever. Hard to ignore a reputation like that.


I don't usually like military science fiction. A lot of it is very pro-aggression with very little in the way of anything valuable to teach us. And much of it, *caugh* John Ringo *caugh* is highly racist and sexist. I like The Forever War, and maybe this is because I am a pacifist, because it showed the weight of war on someone. It was a great metaphor for the Vietnam war and for showing how utterly stupid war really is.
"I'm your Huckleberry" -Doc Holiday, from Tombstone

User avatar
Alex Kane
Posts: 745
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:17 pm
Location: Galesburg, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Alex Kane » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:17 pm

Solanavi77 wrote:
Alex Kane wrote:I really need to pick up The Forever War next time I get paid. I've read a couple short stories by Haldeman, which were fantastic, but I keep seeing The Forever War being mentioned all over the place, often touted as the greatest example of military SF ever. Hard to ignore a reputation like that.


I don't usually like military science fiction. A lot of it is very pro-aggression with very little in the way of anything valuable to teach us. And much of it, *caugh* John Ringo *caugh* is highly racist and sexist. I like The Forever War, and maybe this is because I am a pacifist, because it showed the weight of war on someone. It was a great metaphor for the Vietnam war and for showing how utterly stupid war really is.

Speaking generally, I'm also a pacifist. But when it comes to art, honesty is key...and let's face it, the world is a harsh, violent place sometimes. So I think it makes sense that a lot of science fiction and fantasy involves a lot of violence. It's in our nature, sadly. I think you can teach a lot about human beings within the context of a high-tension environment like a war zone. And certainly portraying violence, despite what some would like to claim, does not in fact condone said violence.
Image

Grayson Morris
Posts: 760
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:42 am
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby Grayson Morris » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:02 am

Alex Kane wrote:And certainly portraying violence, despite what some would like to claim, does not in fact condone said violence.

Well put. Portraying something isn't the same as glorifying it. I've always thought the film Trainspotting is an excellent deterrent to heroin addiction, for example.
Much madness is divinest sense, to a discerning eye; much sense, the starkest madness. (Emily Dickinson)
http://www.graysonbraymorris.com
past entries: 5x HM, 3xR
current entries: none


Return to “Science Fiction & Fantasy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest