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#1 Sep 10 2012 at 10:25 AM Rating: Good
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My work is seasonal, and this is the last month. Since it's a shore town, I have a lot of free time while I'm there and am looking for some books to read. Now, I SHOULD be using this time to get through my current to-read pile, but I've been in the mood for some Science Fiction and I don't have any lined up.

I was thinking Neuromancer, Fahrenheit 451, and Ender's Game. But honestly, I'm pitifully behind in the genre, and I've barely read anything in it. Anyone have some good recommendations for a Sci-Fi newbie? Bonus points if it's set in space.
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#2 Sep 10 2012 at 12:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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In no real order, some of my favorites:

Philip K. Dick - The Man in the High Castle
Kim Stanley Robinson - Red Mars
Greg Egan - Quarantine
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Left Hand of Darkness
Isaac Asimov - Foundation
Stephen King - The Stand
China Mieville - The City & the City
Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash
Paolo Bacigalupi - The Windup Girl
Frank Herbert - Dune
Robert A. Heinlein - Starship Troopers

I could probably go on for a long time. Also, Neal Stephenson's Anathem is one of my very favorite books ever, but I don't think I've ever recommended it to anyone who didn't end up finding it "too boring".

Anyway, it's really cheesy and whatnot, but you could just go take a gander at a list on NPR or some other site of the "top 100 sci-fi novels" or whatever, and make note of ones whose premises intrigue you.

Edited, Sep 10th 2012 2:40pm by Spoonless
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#3 Sep 10 2012 at 12:47 PM Rating: Good
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My favorite novel is The Count of Monte Cristo so I doubt a slow book would deter me, if that's the issue with Anathem. At least three of those were already in my mind as options, the Foundation series being at the forefront. I'm just not sure I want to jump into a series off the bat, I dunno. Anything with a cheaper e-book version would probably get preference, if I'll be buying a bunch.

[EDIT]

Also, thanks.

Edited, Sep 10th 2012 2:49pm by idiggory
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#4 Sep 10 2012 at 6:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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In no particular order, and concentrating on books that are part of a series.

David Weber - "On Basilisk Station", "Mutineer's Moon" (two diffeent series, both available as free e-books here: http://www.baenebooks.com/c-1-free-library.aspx?SectionFilterID=108 also "off armageddon reef" http://www.amazon.com/Off-Armageddon-Reef-David-Weber/dp/0765315009

Arthur C Clark's RAMA series.

David Brin - Start with"Sundiver" http://www.amazon.com/Sundiver-The-Uplift-Saga-Book/dp/0553269828/ref=la_B000APAXV6_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1347321384&sr=1-3

Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's Korval series - Start with this one which has the first two books in it. http://www.amazon.com/The-Agent-Gambit-Liaden-Sharon/dp/1439134073/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y

Elizabeth moon - Lots of them to choose from there. Start with the "Vatta's war" series or the "Herris Serrano" series

Anne Mcafferty - Any of the "The ship who, books, Start wth "the ship who sang". Also the crystal singer ones, the pern series tangentially, the planet pirates / sassnek series, etc.

David Drake - Hammer's slammers series, cross the stars series, etc.

Jack mcdevit - space detective / indianna jones type - Start with "A talent for War". which isn't about what it seems from the title.

John Ringo - the Posleen war series. Which is exactly about what it seems like

William C Dietz start with the sam Mccade series. (space bounty hunter)

Timothy zahn, I always like most of his, my favorite were the blackcollar series or the Cobra series (nothing to do with G.I. Joe)

Larry niven - ringworld of course, which has now grown intoa rather large series.

I second dune, starship troopers, much of Heinlein, Also add Jack L. Chalker's "well of souls" series. Maybe richard K Morgan's Altered Carbon. Mike Resnick's "Santiago". Avoid anythign by Kevin J "I can't @#%^ing write" Anderson or L Ron "I'm a @#%^ing liar douchebag scientologist founder" Hubbard like the plague. Asamov is also good, can be preachy sometimes I've found anyways.

Plenty more where that came from if you need more, but that should get you started.
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#5 Sep 10 2012 at 6:20 PM Rating: Excellent
Dune! Dune is really good, though it's not typical sci fi. If I had to describe it, I'd say it's almost sci fi enough to cross back over into low-magic fantasy. That said, it's very good.

Edit: Also, about the Foundation series. The first book lays out how the series will progress, and the second and third books are just the second and third parts of the overarching story. This sounds really "well, duh," but it's not what you'd expect. Most books, even in a series, have their standalone stories. The Foundation books are more a series of short stories all contributing to an overarching plot, much more episodic.

Reading the first one is a bit like watching the first third of the Avatar series. It's good, it sets the stage for what's to come, but still leaves you wanting more, whereas an entry in say, Stephen King's The Dark Tower series is more like a full season of a show itself. You can go into the break between seasons satisfied with the section of the story you've been given.

I don't think I'm doing a very good job of explaining this.

Edited, Sep 10th 2012 8:26pm by IDrownFish
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#6 Sep 10 2012 at 8:51 PM Rating: Good
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Wow, thanks all. I'll make a note of those and look into them.

Also, I think I can understand what you're getting at Fishy. I can't know the specifics until I read them of course, but I understand the concept.
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#7 Sep 11 2012 at 9:01 AM Rating: Good
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Ender's series is good. If you've never read Fahrenheit 451 you need to, but it's really quick. Also any of the HG Wells classics are worth reading: Time Machine, Island of Dr. Moreau, The War of the Worlds...

I'd second Kao's suggestion on David Brins stuff with the dolphins and of course Dune is worth reading more than once in a lifetime.

I like Urusala K. Leguins Left Hand of Darkness stuff, but I'm a big fan of hers. I also like Octavio E. Butler - her stuff is more alternate reality type versus spacey stuff...and it's weird.

I don't like Heilein so much but Stranger in a Strange Land is a must read for scifi fans.

I liked Harry Harrison's West of Eden.

Anne McCaffrey's Brainship books are pretty good for short, easy reads.

I'm currently reading More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon, but it's my secondary book (and not on my nook), so I'm not getting through it very fast. I'll report in at some point.
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#8 Sep 11 2012 at 9:23 AM Rating: Good
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I read Parable of the Sower in high school, and I recall liking it. Haven't read any of her other books, though. Thanks for the recommendations.
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#9 Sep 11 2012 at 4:28 PM Rating: Good
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I'ld definitely go with Dune, it's hard to go wrong with that series. (although the second and fourth book do give some readers a hard time) Don't bother much with the more recent additions of Kevin J. Anderson, but that's already been pointed out.

I'll second West of Eden.

Zelazny should be on the list, either with Lord of Light or Eye of Cat.

Dan Simmons with at least the two first parts of the Hyperion series.

For Asimov, I'ld recommend End of Eternity before The Foundation myself.

Julian May's The Manycoloured Land series is good.

For Philip K. Dick, I'ld suggest A Maze of Death before Man in the high castle. Very dark novel though, even for Dick.

As always just personal opinions, there are hundreds upon hundreds of good SF books to be found :)
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#10 Sep 12 2012 at 2:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
My favorite novel is The Count of Monte Cristo so I doubt a slow book would deter me, if that's the issue with Anathem. At least three of those were already in my mind as options, the Foundation series being at the forefront. I'm just not sure I want to jump into a series off the bat, I dunno. Anything with a cheaper e-book version would probably get preference, if I'll be buying a bunch.

[EDIT]

Also, thanks.

Edited, Sep 10th 2012 2:49pm by idiggory
Well, I would also suggest Anathem, then. Though I would say that if you didn't like it, you should still try some other Stephenson novels out.
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#11 Sep 12 2012 at 5:26 PM Rating: Excellent
Also, a couple short stories you should check out are The Last Question by Asimov and The Nine Billion Names of God by Arthur C. Clarke.

Both are up there in my favorite reads list.
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#12 Sep 12 2012 at 9:54 PM Rating: Good
If Count is your favorite book, try Steven King's Gunslinger series. It's long. I think there's 8 of them, plus the recently released Wind in the Keyhole that is mostly a flashback tale set between books 4 & 5. Also, a bunch of his other books- The Stand, The Talisman/Blackhouse, Salem's Lot, It, Eyes of the Dragon (which is a decent fantasy book in it's own right), & Insomnia (Along with other more subtle references in his other books, entire comic book series', & some of his short stories).

I recommend not reading the Epilogue.

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#13 Sep 13 2012 at 7:52 AM Rating: Good
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Kickass, you're all awesome!
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#14 Sep 13 2012 at 8:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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If you decide to read The Stand, make sure you get the unabridged version.
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#15 Sep 13 2012 at 8:14 AM Rating: Good
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Unabridged books are the closest thing I have to a religion.
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#16 Sep 13 2012 at 12:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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Bigdaddyjug wrote:
If you decide to read The Stand, make sure you get the unabridged version.
I don't know if it's what you're referring to, but there's an expanded addition where he went back and revised some stuff and fleshed out some plot. That's the definitive edition, in my opinion. I don't know if the abridged edition is the original published edition, or if it's actually abridged from the original.
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#17 Sep 13 2012 at 12:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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Omegavegeta wrote:
I recommend not reading the Epilogue.
Do you mean the Coda? The Epilogue was the part where basically it makes you feel OK about everyone dying because they're alive in alternate realities.

I liked the Coda enough where I'd suggest reading it. I thought it was a fitting ending, while still offering a bit of hope, as this time Roland has the Horn of Eld.

As far as Book 7 in general goes, though I knew it was going to happen, it was still really hard to read everyone die, especially Oy. Smiley: frown

Edited, Sep 13th 2012 2:48pm by Spoonless
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#18 Sep 13 2012 at 8:30 PM Rating: Good
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Zelazny should be on the list, either with Lord of Light or Eye of Cat.


Lord of Light is one of my favorite books actually. Can't really explain why, but it's got the right mix of pacing, pseudo-mythicism, and twist to it. His Amber series is an easy read and gets a bit silly/strange towards the end, but is worth reading once just for the interesting concept and approach to the world. I've always liked Zelazny for his "interesting" story worlds.

I'd also recommend Niven as an author. Ringworld is an obvious choice, but another interesting set is his Integral Trees books (warning: It's more hard sci-fi than most like). Niven also has a collection of books broadly called "known space" with a somewhat common storyline. Several of those books are pretty good reads. I recently had "Protector" lent to me and couldn't figure out how I'd missed reading it before. Very good (and filled in some gaps of info I'd run into in other stories). He's got a collection (called "Tales of Known Space", go figure), that's a pretty good set of stories set in that line (or get the updated "Three Books of" instead of "Tales of" I suppose). I also recall a set of short stories that dealt with the use of transfer booths and how they could make a mess of law enforcement, but can't remember the name.

Heinlein's more hit or miss IMO. You have to remember that he did a whole run of juvenile books (intended for young teens), but later moved into more serious and adult themes. Good news is you can hit a whole gambit of possibilities. Bad news is that you might not know what you're getting based on the name on the cover. Aside form those previously mentioned though, try: Time enough for Love, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Methuselah's Children.


If you're into powered combat armor, but don't like the pro-military slant of Starship Troopers, try Joe Haldeman's "Forever War". He puts the hell in "war is hell", and examines some interesting aspects of fighting an inter-galactic war when time dilation is in effect from the technological, sociological, and psychological perspectives.


If you like that combat armor thing, plus giant bugs, interesting side stories, and a pretty cool (but kinda predictable) twist, try John Steakley's "Armor". Fun fun book. Dark, I suppose, but engrossing. The book is split into two story lines. First time you read it through, the "main" story is something you just want to get through to read about the parts with the combat armor (first quarter of the book is one combat event, then it breaks jarringly to another story, then dribs and drabs the backstory to you). It almost gets in the way. Second time you read it though, you appreciate more of it though. Another book I really like and will pick up and re-read periodically.


So so many more, but I'll stop there.

Edited, Sep 13th 2012 7:30pm by gbaji
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#19 Sep 13 2012 at 8:49 PM Rating: Excellent
Omegavegeta wrote:
If Count is your favorite book, try Steven King's Gunslinger series. It's long. I think there's 8 of them, plus the recently released Wind in the Keyhole that is mostly a flashback tale set between books 4 & 5.


First book is called The Gunslinger, the series is called The Dark Tower, and it's 7 books long. Quote in my sig is from it.

Very, very good. It kind of defies genres, which is why I didn't really bring it up. Though the first book is pretty different from the rest of the series, honestly. It's a series that everyone gets hooked at different points, but everyone gets hooked eventually.

Edit: And if you're going to read 'Salem's Lot, read it before Book 5 (Wolves of the Calla) of the Dark Tower series. You get little bonuses if you do.

Edited, Sep 13th 2012 10:50pm by IDrownFish
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#20 Sep 13 2012 at 10:33 PM Rating: Excellent
gbaji wrote:
If you're into powered combat armor, but don't like the pro-military slant of Starship Troopers, try Joe Haldeman's "Forever War". He puts the hell in "war is hell", and examines some interesting aspects of fighting an inter-galactic war when time dilation is in effect from the technological, sociological, and psychological perspectives.


I was gonna make a snarky comment, here, but...gbaji is right on with this statement. A fun read.Smiley: nod
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#21 Sep 14 2012 at 8:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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Spoonless wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
If you decide to read The Stand, make sure you get the unabridged version.
I don't know if it's what you're referring to, but there's an expanded addition where he went back and revised some stuff and fleshed out some plot. That's the definitive edition, in my opinion. I don't know if the abridged edition is the original published edition, or if it's actually abridged from the original.


I read it years ago and as far as I remember it was just called "The unabridged edition". If he's gone back and cleaned up a few plot holes, I may have to find a copy of it when I've caught up to Butcher on the Dresden Files.
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#22 Sep 14 2012 at 8:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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IDrownFish of the Seven Seas wrote:
Omegavegeta wrote:
If Count is your favorite book, try Steven King's Gunslinger series. It's long. I think there's 8 of them, plus the recently released Wind in the Keyhole that is mostly a flashback tale set between books 4 & 5.


First book is called The Gunslinger, the series is called The Dark Tower, and it's 7 books long. Quote in my sig is from it.


You're both right. The series is called The Dark Tower series, but it is 8 books long as of February 21, 2012, when The Wind Through the Keyhole was released.
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#23 Sep 14 2012 at 10:18 AM Rating: Good
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The Forever War is great, but the sequel is nowhere near as good. Haldeman has got a couple of other good books, 'All my sins remembered' for instance.

The Stand, and IT too, had a rerelease after King added a bunch of scenes that were originally cut by the editor. Sometime in the nineties I think anyway. No further changes were ever made later. I'm not sue you can even find the original versions anymore.
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#24 Sep 14 2012 at 10:31 AM Rating: Good
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@gbaji: have you tried Eye of cat by Zelazny yet? It's a fairly similar setup as Lord of light, but with a focus on Native American mythology. A very visual book, very dark.

The Amber series are great fun, but due to Zelazny's untimely death also frustratingly unfinished :( And the prequels by an other writer are pretty bad.
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#25 Sep 14 2012 at 2:00 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
If you're into powered combat armor, but don't like the pro-military slant of Starship Troopers, try Joe Haldeman's "Forever War". He puts the hell in "war is hell", and examines some interesting aspects of fighting an inter-galactic war when time dilation is in effect from the technological, sociological, and psychological perspectives.


I'll definitely keep that in mind, thanks.
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#26 Sep 14 2012 at 3:30 PM Rating: Good
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
IDrownFish of the Seven Seas wrote:
Omegavegeta wrote:
If Count is your favorite book, try Steven King's Gunslinger series. It's long. I think there's 8 of them, plus the recently released Wind in the Keyhole that is mostly a flashback tale set between books 4 & 5.


First book is called The Gunslinger, the series is called The Dark Tower, and it's 7 books long. Quote in my sig is from it.


You're both right. The series is called The Dark Tower series, but it is 8 books long as of February 21, 2012, when The Wind Through the Keyhole was released.


I wasn't aware of this, since I only got into the series recently.

Well, I know what I'm picking up.
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#27 Sep 14 2012 at 8:06 PM Rating: Decent
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Zieveraar wrote:
@gbaji: have you tried Eye of cat by Zelazny yet? It's a fairly similar setup as Lord of light, but with a focus on Native American mythology. A very visual book, very dark.


No, I haven't. I guess I'll have to pick that up now. Sheesh!) ;)

Quote:
The Amber series are great fun, but due to Zelazny's untimely death also frustratingly unfinished :( And the prequels by an other writer are pretty bad.


I honestly didn't realize he'd continued it past the first five.


Just thought of another author. Iain Banks. I read a book by him called "Player of Games" ages ago, and found it interesting. Good story, but also had a future society that was interesting ("The Culture"). He's got a whole mess of books that deal with and around that same future society, in a variety of ways. It's different in that the central theme is that of a super advanced galaxy spanning civilization dealing with less advanced civilizations. The stories focus often on single individuals who are either part of, or represent The Culture, having to resolve some problem. Usually without revealing just how ridiculously more advanced their own technology is to the folks they're interacting with. It's really more about overcoming social/cultural differences than technological though.
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#28 Sep 14 2012 at 8:09 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Quote:
If you're into powered combat armor, but don't like the pro-military slant of Starship Troopers, try Joe Haldeman's "Forever War". He puts the hell in "war is hell", and examines some interesting aspects of fighting an inter-galactic war when time dilation is in effect from the technological, sociological, and psychological perspectives.


I'll definitely keep that in mind, thanks.


In pretty much any list of "best sci-fi books dealing with war", the top three are almost inevitably "Starship Troopers", "Forever War", and "Enders Game". I'd recommend reading each of them at least once, even if just to know what people are talking about.
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#29 Sep 14 2012 at 8:21 PM Rating: Good
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Ok, maybe you guys can help me remember a book I read a LONG time ago. It was a sci-fi book and one of the characters was Arthur Conan Doyle. He wasn't the writer, it was a novel about his involvement with some secret group or something. I'm sketchy on the details cause it was probably 15-20 years ago. I just remember it was really good and I want to re-read it.
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#30 Sep 14 2012 at 11:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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League of Extrordanary gentlemen would be my immidiate guess, but it apperently would have been wrong since Aurther Conan Doyle never was in that. There is a book from 1974 that might be it, called the "seven percent solution" but it wasn't sci-fi ish at all. There was another author named Gyles Brandreth that wrote something along those lines. the earliest ones would have been about 1996, see if any of these ring a bell? http://www.amazon.com/Oscar-Wilde-Death-Gyles-Brandreth/dp/0719569508

This one is also a theoretical possibility, but its from 2003
http://www.amazon.com/The-Patients-Eyes-Beginnings-Sherlock/dp/0312990987

Is there a chance its a different author name?
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#31 Sep 14 2012 at 11:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Quote:
If you're into powered combat armor, but don't like the pro-military slant of Starship Troopers, try Joe Haldeman's "Forever War". He puts the hell in "war is hell", and examines some interesting aspects of fighting an inter-galactic war when time dilation is in effect from the technological, sociological, and psychological perspectives.


I'll definitely keep that in mind, thanks.


In pretty much any list of "best sci-fi books dealing with war", the top three are almost inevitably "Starship Troopers", "Forever War", and "Enders Game". I'd recommend reading each of them at least once, even if just to know what people are talking about.


I second John Steakley's "Armor" by the way.
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#32 Sep 15 2012 at 10:17 AM Rating: Good
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I'm at the store now, with like 70 bucks in books. I'm gonna try and narrow it down... but chances are I'm walking out of here with my wallet far emptier than I intended...

[EDIT]

So I ended up with Hitchhiker's Guide, Dune, Neuromancer, Starship Troopers, Foundation, Ringworld, and Ender's Game.

I was seriously considering grabbing Anathem and Forever War, too, but they didn't have the mass market paperbacks in stock and I'm actually not a fan of larger books, nor do I want to pay more for them. Especially Anathem--the ebook is half the cost. I'll just order them online sometime later.

I think I'm going to start with Hitchhiker's. I'm having trouble deciding, ha.

Edited, Sep 15th 2012 2:04pm by idiggory
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#33 Sep 15 2012 at 2:05 PM Rating: Good
They're all good. Eeney meenie miney moe.
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#34 Sep 15 2012 at 2:55 PM Rating: Good
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I started with Hitchhiker's and wondering why I didn't read this sooner. It's Confederacy of Dunces with aliens, which is really all I ever wanted tbh...
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#35 Sep 15 2012 at 6:27 PM Rating: Good
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Ah, to be able to read The Guide for the first time. I actually envy you a bit.
#36 Sep 15 2012 at 6:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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If you are enjoying the guide, also pick up some Terry Pratchet, start with "the color of magic" It's not sci fi, but humor on the same scale. Also, the Dirg Gently series that Adams also did is also quite good.
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#37 Sep 16 2012 at 11:26 AM Rating: Good
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I'll definitely have to do that. I thoroughly enjoyed Hitchhiker's. I'm going to read Neuromancer now, just because I read the first chapter as a sample on my phone, so might as well. Haven't decided what will come after that, though.
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#38 Sep 17 2012 at 8:28 AM Rating: Good
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
League of Extrordanary gentlemen would be my immidiate guess, but it apperently would have been wrong since Aurther Conan Doyle never was in that. There is a book from 1974 that might be it, called the "seven percent solution" but it wasn't sci-fi ish at all. There was another author named Gyles Brandreth that wrote something along those lines. the earliest ones would have been about 1996, see if any of these ring a bell? http://www.amazon.com/Oscar-Wilde-Death-Gyles-Brandreth/dp/0719569508

This one is also a theoretical possibility, but its from 2003
http://www.amazon.com/The-Patients-Eyes-Beginnings-Sherlock/dp/0312990987

Is there a chance its a different author name?


It was Ring of Death by Brandeath I think.
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#39 Sep 17 2012 at 9:57 PM Rating: Good
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I'll definitely have to do that. I thoroughly enjoyed Hitchhiker's. I'm going to read Neuromancer now, just because I read the first chapter as a sample on my phone, so might as well. Haven't decided what will come after that, though.


If you pick Dune, then bring your wading boots. Sh*t gets deep.
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#40 Sep 17 2012 at 11:09 PM Rating: Good
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Ha, will do.

I'm a quarter through Neuromancer. I like it, but I'm not in love. The book isn't really detail-rich enough for me. I have no clue what the main character looks like, sounds like. I get a lot of seemingly random details about objects and environments, but I don't often get enough detail as events are happening quickly. It makes me hard to follow, because I feel like evens are happening nonstop without context.

It's not bad, and I am enjoying it, but I shouldn't feel this lost and disconnected from the book 1/4 of the way through. I'm not asking for every room to be thoroughly described, but I don't think it's unfair to expect enough detail that I could realistically visualize what's going on. And I feel like events are often getting skipped, because they wouldn't have been super interesting, but they were important stepping stones from A to F, so when we skip there I feel lost. I'm getting used to it, but it's not a writing style I particularly enjoy or typically read, so my brain keeps looking for B through E and gets confused because they aren't there.

I get why there's a large population that would prefer this style though.

[EDIT]

Did that make sense? I've been drinking...

Edited, Sep 18th 2012 1:10am by idiggory
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#41 Sep 18 2012 at 5:59 PM Rating: Good
Yeah, I get what you're saying. What I've found is that this style of writing is more common in Sci Fi than it is in other genres. Don't really know why, and that's purely anecdotal so might not even be the case, but that's just what I've noticed.

Edited, Sep 18th 2012 8:05pm by IDrownFish
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#42 Sep 18 2012 at 6:43 PM Rating: Decent
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IDrownFish of the Seven Seas wrote:
Yeah, I get what you're saying. What I've found is that this style of writing is more common in Sci Fi than it is in other genres. Don't really know why, and that's purely anecdotal so might not even be the case, but that's just what I've noticed.


I think it's because sci-fi stories often involve non-character concepts that the author wants to explore. So characters are sometimes just used as a method to explore said concepts. You see this a whole hell of a lot with short stories in the genre. The characters are almost a throwaway element, with the "twist" being the main point. Sci-fi lends itself to this more often because it's sci-fi. Let's face it, most authors become sci-fi authors because it's the science that interests them. You see the same thing in fantasy, just not to the same degree or as often.
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#43 Sep 19 2012 at 3:08 AM Rating: Good
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Interesting, I'd say exactly the opposite. The kind of tedious over-description he's asking for is mostly the preserve of bad fantasy. In " ''''''literature''''''' " it's generally only used to convey something - for example, the grey existence of the main character in The Handmaid's Tale.
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#44 Sep 19 2012 at 10:53 AM Rating: Good
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I'm not asking for every single detail, I'm asking for enough to follow the story.

One scene in Neuromancer was particularly egregious. I felt like I was trying to read the arc in the Matrix where Neo and Trinity rescue Morpheus, but the author hadn't yet given me information about the cast's abilities, didn't bother to tell me that there were pillars in the lobby scene, hadn't detailed the program-download plot element, and failed to inform me that Morpheus was being kept in a window-front office in a skyscraper. But you also need to add in a bunch of minor characters central to the plot of the heist that weren't ever introduced and don't seem to be of any particular value.

It was just really poorly written.

The weird thing about this book is that it sometimes spends way too much time dwelling on details, and other times it's like pages upon pages without a single one. For instance, the author sometimes describes locations in rich detail--he'll spend a page or half just discussing that. Yet the loft the main character is now living in, which has been the setting for quite a few scenes, has gotten almost no detailing at all. I know it has a foam mattress and a chemical toilet (whatever that is) in the corner. But not one single detail about what it actually looks like. Yet the place they went to quickly get debugged was

And the number of times he's told me something is plastic is absurd. I'm long since past the point where I'm just assuming every object is plastic unless told otherwise. Each time he uses the word now, it just annoys me.
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#45 Sep 19 2012 at 2:23 PM Rating: Decent
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Honestly, that's just Gibson's style. He tends to write from the perspective of the main character, and thus concentrates his descriptions on things that would be new or interesting to that character. This has an interesting side effect of making the reader have to figure the main character out through the actions of said character as the plot evolves. I can see how this could be annoying if you just want to know why he did this, what he thinks of that, etc.
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#46 Sep 20 2012 at 8:05 AM Rating: Good
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His style's not for me then. I'll finish the book--I do think the world is interesting, and while the plot premise doesn't particularly interest me, it's not bad.

I usually like to feel more submerged in the story than I'm getting from him. I'm sure other people have the opposite reaction, and the kind of writing I enjoy actually keeps them out.
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#47 Sep 20 2012 at 6:44 PM Rating: Good
I'll be interested to hear your take on Dune, then. Later on in the series it picks up I think a similar style. I've never read Neuromancer, though, so I can't say for sure. But the first book at least is a lot more world building. There are times when it's still light on details, but if Herbert included everything then I think Dune would end up being some 32,000 page house of paper.
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#48 Oct 03 2012 at 6:38 PM Rating: Good
Just finished the Dark Tower novels by Stephen King.

I am officially retracting my recommendation.
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#49 Oct 03 2012 at 6:48 PM Rating: Good
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#50 Oct 03 2012 at 6:55 PM Rating: Good
The first five books are pretty good, honestly. Well, four. The fifth goes downhill a bit, then the sixth and seventh go full Mass Effect and do a nose dive into a compost heap.
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#51 Oct 03 2012 at 6:58 PM Rating: Good
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I didn't think the ending of Mass Effect was that bad tbh. Smiley: frown
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