Thu 14 Nov, 2002 01:12 pm
Let's talk about science fiction books!
Just checking in. LOVE scifi. Right now I'm off in fiction, but Asimov's Nine Tomorrows is on the bedside table.
Maybe to get something started, a list of some of my favorite science fiction:
"The Demolished Man" by Alfred Bester
"The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury
"Slan" by A. E. van Vogt
"Mission of Gravity" by Hal Clement
"Dune" by Frank Herbert
"Santaroga Barrier" by Frank Herbert
"Ice World" by Hal Clement
"Gravy Planet" aka "The Space Merchants" by Pohl/Kornbluth
"The Green Hills of Earth" by Robert Heinlein
"Childhood's End" by Arthur C. Clarke
"The Caves of Steel" by Isaac Azimov
"Foundation" series by Isaac Azimov
More than a Sci-fi fan, I'm -as lightwizard knows- a fan of Phillip K. Dick.
My favorite science fiction novel is Dick's Ubik.
Number two would be Asimov's The Naked Sun.
And the thir novel, Stanislaw Lem's Solaris.
BTW, I think both Ubik and The Naked Sun should be quite easy to film. Instead, I find Solaris to be almost unfilmable, if you want to stay true to the book (which is a poetic description of a planet that is also a live being). Yet, it was filmed (and a great picture, indeed) and a remake is about to hit the theaters.
As for Science Fiction short stories, I'd put Brian Aldiss next to Asimov and Dick in the podium.
My favorite science fiction short story: "Harrison Bergeron", by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Number two: "Flower Blossom", Brian Aldiss .
Number three (it may change tomorrow): "The Preserving Machine", Phillip K. Dick.
I'm a hugh Larry Niven fan. I love all his and his co-authored books
I like Niven seasoned with Jerry Pournelle.
Does anyone read John Barns? His Mother of Storms was first rate.
Robert Asprin is not only funny, but has a solid grasp of human nature.
Sci-fi is one subject that I do not read very often. However I loved the Orsen Scott Card books I read Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow. My dog Bean and cat Carlotta are named for characters in Ender's Game.
Roger - Pournelle's a good one.
JD - I liked the Ender's books ok. Some anthropological spin there.
Philip Jose Farmer was one of my favorites.
Thanks for the nice list LightWizarD.
Was the mathematics in Foundation trilogy Grandparent to todays Chaos Theory ?
Although I've never been a consistent reader of the genre, science-fiction will grab me from time to time and not let go - and it's also given me some of the most memorable reading of my life.
Whenever I'm asked what my all-time favourite novel is, my answer is that it's a tie between The War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells, and I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. I love both novels equally - The War Of The Worlds is still exciting, terrifying and thought-provoking more than a hundred years after it was first published; and I Am Legend has an irresistable premise - the last man on Earth, in a world of vampires - and is a powerful story about survival and loneliness.
Other science-fiction novels which have blown me away include the following:
* The Forever War - Joe Haldeman
* Tiger! Tiger! - Alfred Bester
* The World In Winter - John Christopher (who also wrote The Tripods Trilogy, my favourite reading during early adolescence)
As well, I'll go through crazes for specific authors. During my early 20s, I was a big Harlan Ellison fan, and a few years ago I went through an Allen Steele phase, thanks to his works like Orbital Decay and especially Labyrinth Of Night.
Hey, welcome, Killraven! :-D
I find I love the older examples of the genre, The Martian Chronicles, for example, which I've reread I don't know how many times.
One of my own favorite sci-fi authors is William Gibson. I highly recommed any of the following:
"Destination Void" Frank Herbert
I absolutely loved the 'Hyperion' books by Dan Simmons.
Perhaps I'm an idiot, but I keep discovering new aspects about these 4 books each time I read them (and I read them at least 3 times).
As a kid I loved to read all Tanith Lee work, closely followed by Jack Vance. Liked Niven's Ringworld series as well...
But Sci-Fi isn't the subject I read most of, so a lot of the titles mentioned are unfamiliar. I'm really intrigued by the book Killraven mentions, I am Legend.
I enjoyed Ben Bova's Mars novels. I tried Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars books but couldn't get into them for some reason. I'll try again someday.
Anybody know the pioneering sci-fi of Olaf Stapledon? LAST AND FIRST MEN and STAR MAKER are classics, fully the equal of anything that's been writen in the genre since...
Indeed I have read the Stapledon, those you mention and his Sirius and the truly marvelous Odd John. His far ranging futurism is the inspiration for some of the greatest science fiction, stories of incredible scope often ending in the far distant future with a humankind vastly tranformed.
Other wonderful works in this idiom would include the very popular if (IMO)
somewhat dated Foundation Trilogy by Asimov, the not often mentioned but wonderful Cities in Flight novels of James Blish. The pinnacle of this style of high futurism is considered by many to by Jack Vance's Dying Earth novels, recently reprinted in one massive volume. Well worth any science fiction fan's attention. And, in recent years, the remarkable Urth of the New Sun novels of the mercurial and lyrical gene Wolfe.
I also loved the four "Hyperion" books by Simmons. My only problem is that they were written too well - his description of the daughter with the merlin disease just made me feel awful. I have a 17 year old daughter myself, and put myself in the place of the father in the book too easily.
Lately I've been reading a new British author, Alastair Reynolds. I had to order his books (four to date) from Amazon UK, but the extra postage was worth it.
scifi does it include fantasy?
I love Anne McCaffrey, Sci Fi and Dragonrider et al
Terry Pratchett - all of the disc world novels
Urusla le Guinn A Wizard of Earthsea