8
   

Fantasy & Science Fiction worth Reading/Re-reading

 
 
Noddy24
 
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2007 02:33 pm
These days most of my reading is for diversion (escape). All the same, I have my standards.

The plot must march forward. I want to be turning the pages to find out what happens next.

There must at least one character that I'd look forward to seeing socially. I don't want to spend time in a world in which everyone is warped or maimed or miserable.

The setting should be plausible and detailed.

I have a personal aversion to most works with ornate, descriptive language if this Rich Beautiful Prose slows down the story or makes all the characters sound alike.

As far as I'm concerned, first-person narratives are approached with a great deal of wariness. I tend to dislike novels written in the present tense.

While not absolutely essential, I'm very partial to happy endings.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 8 • Views: 17,092 • Replies: 234
No top replies

 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2007 02:39 pm
Hmmm.

Have you read "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time?" It's first-person, and there are a lot of flawed characters, but it's basically a mystery and a lot of fun. (I know your title is about science fiction, but I'd put it in the same rough recreational category.)

I can't imagine that I'd recommend any science fiction you wouldn't already know. Ursula LeGuin comes to mind. Have you read "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series? Uber-escape (fun plots plus funNY). Do you like travel writing? That's another that I consider in the same general category. (The leap there is Douglas Adams, author of Hitchhiker's guide, also wrote a good book called, "Last Chance to See," which reminds me of "On Foot Across Borneo" by Redmond O'Hanlon, highly recommended. Gerald Durrell is in that grouping, too. "My Family and Other Animals" always cheers me up. You have rather a lot in common with Gerry's mum, I'd wager. The good parts anyway.)
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2007 02:58 pm
In the last few weeks I've read several books which meet all these requirements.

Scalzi, John: The Android's Dream

When I picked this up, I was hoping for another novel just like Scalzi's Old Man's War. Scalzi is not a One Book Author. This is an adventure story with dimensions.

http://www.amazon.com/Androids-Dream-John-Scalzi/dp/0765309416/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-3638316-7567148?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173818314&sr=1-1

(This and all my other Amazon links on this thread will give a pittance of the book's price to A2K).

Williams, Liz: Snake Agent: A Detective Inspector Chen Novel

Inspector Chen's investigations take place both in "this" world and in a world both oriental and supernatural.

http://www.amazon.com/Snake-Agent-Detective-Inspector-Novels/dp/159780018X

Pratt, Tim: Strange Adventures of Rangergirl

The Wild West isn't dead--just transfigured with hippies and Graphic Art, a sensibly liberated heroine, a handful of wickedly detailed academic types and a great deal of good humor.

http://www.amazon.com/Strange-Adventures-Rangergirl-Bantam-Spectra/dp/0553383388/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-3638316-7567148?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173818642&sr=1-1

Knox, Elizabeth: Dreamhunter: Book One of the Dreamhunter Duet

Elizabeth Knox is a New Zealand author. Dreamhunter is set a hundred years ago in a simpler and more stratified time. In this time and place a small number of select people are able to enter a dimension where dreams can be harvested and sold.

http://www.amazon.com/Strange-Adventures-Rangergirl-Bantam-Spectra/dp/0553383388/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-3638316-7567148?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173818642&sr=1-1

Martinez, A. Lee: In the Company of Ogres

The comedy here is a bit boisterous for my taste. I preferred Gil's All Fright Diner.

http://www.amazon.com/Strange-Adventures-Rangergirl-Bantam-Spectra/dp/0553383388/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-3638316-7567148?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173818642&sr=1-1

The mass market edition comes out in April.

http://www.amazon.com/Gils-All-Fright-Diner-Martinez/dp/0765350017/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-3638316-7567148?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173819387&sr=1-1
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2007 03:07 pm
Soz--

I've read most of your list, but I'll check out the O'Hanlon Borneo Book.

Every year nearly 1000 f/sf novels are published (not counting juveniles). While some of these books are reprints and paperback editions, 1000 books is a lot for an addicted reader with limited time.

I'm hoping to recommend--and give recommendations.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2007 03:22 pm
Ooh, your list looks intriguing. I haven't really been into Sci-Fi since the late 80's/ early 90's, I know there's a lot to catch up on.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2007 04:17 pm
Insect Dreams: The Half Life Of Gregor Samsa
ISBN-10: 1932961097
ISBN-13: 978-1932961096
Just under $11 at Amazon.
It's very different.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2007 04:23 pm
Connie Willis: To Say Nothing of the Dog

Nancy Kress: Beaker's Dozen

Terry Pratchett: The Discworld series (Just started on this myself; some of the best farce I've ever read).

Lois McMaster Bujold: The Curse of Chalion, The Sharing Knife, the Miles Vorkosigan series.

Dave Duncan: The Gilded Chain



More to follow....
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2007 04:32 pm
CThe Mote in God's Eye, Niven & Pournelle (best 1st contact novel I've ever read), Lucifer's Hammer, Niven & Pournelle (excellent, if now slightly dated, disaster novel)

A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Just finished this; very good)


The Year's Best Science Fiction Twenty-third Annual Collection (Year's Best Science Fiction) by Gardner Dozois (I've gotten this every year for the last 10 years, and have never been disappointed)

Angel Station by Walter Jon Williams (Cyberpunk, first contact)
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2007 05:03 pm
Noddy, A while back Ul recommended a book to me. It doesn't meet all you criteria, but it will keep you turning the pages. I found it a great read and recommended to several friends. We then discussed it and argued about it.

It's called THE WALL by Marlen Haushofer.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2007 05:04 pm
This is great, I've got The Time Traveler's Wife on my wish list, glad to see it'll be a good read whenever I get around to actually possessing it.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2007 06:30 pm
some sci-fi i re-read on a regular basis

ursula k leguin - the lathe of heaven

ray bradbury - the martion chronicles

arthur c clarke - childhoods end

douglas adams - the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy (a trilogy in five parts)
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2007 07:54 am
DrewDad--

Quote:
Connie Willis: To Say Nothing of the Dog

Nancy Kress: Beaker's Dozen

Terry Pratchett: The Discworld series (Just started on this myself; some of the best farce I've ever read).

Lois McMaster Bujold: The Curse of Chalion, The Sharing Knife, the Miles Vorkosigan series.

Dave Duncan: The Gilded Chain


All good, reliable authors who can be counted on for a pleasant evening.


Quote:
CThe Mote in God's Eye, Niven & Pournelle (best 1st contact novel I've ever read), Lucifer's Hammer, Niven & Pournelle (excellent, if now slightly dated, disaster novel)

A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Just finished this; very good)


The Year's Best Science Fiction Twenty-third Annual Collection (Year's Best Science Fiction) by Gardner Dozois (I've gotten this every year for the last 10 years, and have never been disappointed)

Angel Station by Walter Jon Williams (Cyberpunk, first contact)


George Martin is trying my patience. I appreciate that the universe of A Game of Thrones is growing more and more complicated. What started as a trilogy is now projected to be a hexology and only four volumes have been published. I believe the fifth volume (another hefty 500 pages) will be out in October.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2007 07:59 am
Roberta--

I've made a note of Haushofer's book and will try to find a copy.
Thank you.

Djjd--

Quote:
ursula k leguin - the lathe of heaven

ray bradbury - the martion chronicles

arthur c clarke - childhoods end

douglas adams - the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy (a trilogy in five parts)


I'm always glad to meet another re-reader. I've never been able to cotton to Douglas Adams--perhaps because the recommendations have been so forceful. Also, his catch phrases have been adopted by some very silly people.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2007 08:08 am
Last night I finished Crystal Soldier by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Evidently it is the first volume of a duology prequel set in the Liaden Universe.

I'm going to order the second volume, Crystal Dragon and I've scoured Amazon Second Hand for the earlier books:

Agent of Cange
Conflict of Honors
Carpe Diem
Plan B
I Dare
Local Custom
Scout's Progress
Balance of Trade


Many of these are out of print--although both Ace (mass market) and Meisha Merlin (trade paperbacks) will be republishing.

Evidently Liaden is a bit of a cult universe. Some first edition paperbacks are priced as high as $44! I have moments of wild extravagance, but $44 for a mass market paperback!
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2007 08:09 am
I found Hitchhiker's Guide to be fun, but the rest of 'em left me cold.



Tim Powers' On Stranger Tides was good.



I re-read good books until I stop finding new insights.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2007 08:26 am
1. Roger Zelazny's Amber Series, which begins with Nine Princes in Amber

2. David Eddings' Belgariad and Malorean which begin with Pawn of Prophecy
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2007 01:31 pm
DrewDad--

Tim Powers can be counted on for a good story. After reading Last Call my views of both Los Vegas and the Fisher King have changed.

Brandon--

I have no sense of direction. Driving on unfamiliar roads--particularly when I'm lost--always offers the possibility of winding up in Amber.

The Eddings early books were delightful. I feel the later ones (Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorcerer were simply cut and paste jobs.

I understand that Leigh Eddings is very ill, recovering from a stroke. Also, that recently David Eddings lit a piece of paper and threw it on his driveway to see whether the puddle of fluid there was flammable. It was. He is going to have to rebuild the garage and part of the house, including his working study.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2007 04:12 pm
DrewDad wrote:
I found Hitchhiker's Guide to be fun, but the rest of 'em left me cold.


i can get that, the first three books in the series are usually enough for me
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2007 04:19 pm
another re-read is jonathan carroll's "the land of laughs"

the authors site can be found here
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2007 04:21 pm
http://www.jonathancarroll.com/covers/land7.jpg
1st US paperback edition


"The Land of Laughs was lit by eyes that saw the lights that no one's seen." To Thomas Abbey, lonely child of a famous movie actor, grown into a restive prep school teacher, this is one of the most memorable lines ever written. It is by Marshall France, the legendary author of children's books who wrote The Land of Laughs, Pool of Stars, Green Dog's Sorrow, and other haunting classics, hid himself away in tiny Galen, Missouri, and died of a heart attack at age 44.

This brilliantly imaginative and frightening novel is set in motion when Tom Abbey and his spirited girlfriend, Saxony Gardner, determine to write France's biography. They arrive in Galen on a slow, cloud-still summer day, both of them expectant and delighted and also a little scared of what they will find. France's enigmatic and reclusive shadow lingers on, and his lovely and mysterious daughter Anna is known to act as a fiercely protective keeper of the flame.

But to their deep surprise, Anna and Galen had been waiting for them--almost too eagerly. Slowly they begin to apprehend not only that this idyllic small Midwestern town and its inhabitants, human and animal, are not what they seem, but that the magic of Marshall France had extended far beyond the printed page.

Chilling possibilities begin to dawn on Tom and Saxony, and on the reader, who will at once revel in the grand tradition of horror stories and in the discovery of a wholly new talent.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Fantasy & Science Fiction worth Reading/Re-reading
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 03/22/2019 at 10:22:30