Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Science Fiction

  1. Ender's Game (And all accompanying series)- OSC

    5 vote(s)
  2. Foundation/The Gods Themselves/Nightfall- Asimov

    10 vote(s)
  3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (and the rest of the years) - Arthur C. Clarke

    4 vote(s)
  4. Pastwatch-OSC

    0 vote(s)
  5. Contact-Carl Sagan

    2 vote(s)
  6. The Light of Other Days- Arthur Clarke and Baxter

    1 vote(s)
  7. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-Douglas Adams

    9 vote(s)
  8. Classic Sci-Fi (The Time Machine, etc.)

    1 vote(s)
  9. Sci-Fi Mags

    0 vote(s)
  1. Sep 21, 2003 #1
    What are some of your favourite Sci-Fi books? (Throw in Fantasy, if you wish, but try and keep it to Sci-Fi. ;) )
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2003 #2
    star wars!

    how could you not put in star wars?!?!?

    anyways. the NJO (new jedi order) series are ok. i wouldn't say they are the height of star wars novels, but it is hard for me to give a fair opinion because i'm a star wars nut.
  4. Sep 21, 2003 #3

    And I did forget all televised media. :/

    Obviously, if your preference is Star Wars, Star Trek, etc. say so.
  5. Sep 26, 2003 #4
    Stanislaw Lem.
  6. Sep 27, 2003 #5
    Lem is a rude individual who mindlessly attacks anything he doesn't understand. But that's just the opinion of the science fiction community.

  7. Sep 29, 2003 #6
    Even if this were true, what relevance does it have to his own science fiction?
  8. Sep 30, 2003 #7
    Nothing at all, that was just more or less an explanation of why I hadn't put him up there.

    As a writer, though, he's not bad, I'll admit. I just can't, in any way, stand him.
  9. Oct 1, 2003 #8
    OK, but consider this. Heidegger was a f***ing Nazi, but his philosophical work was brilliant. Lewis Carroll (probably) had a sexual attraction for little girls, but his fiction was marvellous. Lovecraft was a racist son of a b*tch, but his writings were amazingly imaginative. I think you should seperate Lem the man from Lem the writer.
  10. Oct 3, 2003 #9
    XD Well, I do, to a point. He was kicked out of the Sci-Fi establishment..so..I can't professionally acknowledge any great love of him. But your point is well taken.
  11. Oct 5, 2003 #10


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  12. Oct 5, 2003 #11


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    there is something slightly jarring about this
    maybe it would be better to say he (probably) indulged his attraction to little girls---that is, let it get away with him
    I esteem little girls highly myself and would be loathe to despise a man simply because they aroused his libido. What matters
    is behavior---which in Carrolls case was admittedly a mite kinky.

    why arent there more cragwolf posts in the main science parts of the board, its actually sleepy in some parts of astronomy and you could stir up some discussion
  13. Oct 6, 2003 #12
    It's sleepy in quite a lot of places. I've been trying to bring more people down into Book Reviews, and it seems to be slightly suceeding.

    On another note, what about Diaspora? Isn't that a term used for Jews outside of Isreal? (not terribly familiar with it)
  14. Oct 7, 2003 #13


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Diaspora, by Greg Egan. One reviewer wrote: " Been awhile since you've read any hard science fiction? I mean, really hard sci-fi? Well, if your brain is ready for a workout, you must give Diaspora a try. "

    An extract from another review: "There is plenty of "hard" science fiction around, but Diaspora makes most of it feel like talc. An explanation of the Gauss-Bonnet theorem and an introduction to gravitational astronomy are just warmups -- not only does Egan speculate about 6-dimensional physics and visualisation in 5-space, but he makes a serious attempt to explain the mathematical concepts of "manifold", "embedding", and "fibre bundle"! Some of the physics is invented, but the basic ideas closely reflect real modern theoretical physics."

    Greg's home page:
  15. Oct 7, 2003 #14


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Science is a comedy (Hitchhikers Guide) even if it destroys all life on the planet (Cats Cradle--Vonnegut) and although the world views of twentienth century science are bizarre (Italo Calvino/Jorge Borges) people still look to science to satisfy their intellectual and spiritual needs: In Marquez Hundred Years of Solitude there is a man who tries to take photographs of God.
    He sets up a camera in various rooms of his house, arranged to snap a picture at random times, because he believes what he is told, namely God is everywhere, but that human eyes cannot behold the Deity, but a camera because it is Scientific should be able to. this guy is a great character---he has experiences with a magnet and a magnifying glass too. Gypsies are always passing through town and selling him the latest Scientific Development.

    People who look for God at the Big Bang are like that guy. they think that cosmology is a scientific device which will take a picture of God for them while they are in some other room of the house and not paying attention. Big Bang theory or quantum theory will somehow give them evidence of the divine or the soul.

    When I read science fiction I expect it to tell me something about science as a human bemusement and obsession (not about possible future technologies and colonization romance----I am already impatient enough for life to be spread to other stars that I dont need dramatizations) so although Italo Calvino's "Cosmicomics" is not bad I vote for "Hundred Years of Solitude"
  16. Oct 7, 2003 #15


    User Avatar

    So long as they are paying with good money....
  17. Oct 8, 2003 #16
    I have to say one of my favorite science fiction book of all times has to be Dune by Frank Herbert...well, Star Trek ranks up there too... so does the Xanth series by Piers Anthony and Myth series by Robert Asprin... Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy by Douglas Adams... so many to name...I don't know anymore...
  18. Oct 8, 2003 #17
    Well, I feel rather stupid, forgetting to put Dune up there! I've read the first book, but unfortunatly never got around the rest in the series. I really should.

    And anything by Piers Anthony is generally excellent. :)
  19. Oct 14, 2003 #18
    Well exactly. I don't think sexual preference(s) can be chosen: it just happens. But sexual behaviour can be controlled. And if the preference (fantasy, perversion, call it what you will) involves little girls, then there is a moral obligation not to turn it into a behaviour! I think Lewis Carroll managed to stay moral in this respect. And possibly this repression was a source of energy that he directed towards his wonderful fiction. Oops! I'm rambling OT. Sorry.

    Sorry, sorry, crisis of confidence, inner demons, that sort of thing. I may be back soon.
  20. Oct 14, 2003 #19
    Just to return to the subject of this thread ... some more science fiction authors whose books I have enjoyed (don't actually read sci fi anymore):

    Jules Verne
    H G Wells
    J G Ballard
    Phillip K Dick
    Olaf Stapledon
    Michael Moorcock
    Gene Wolfe
    Anthony Burgess
    Samuel Delaney
    Boris/Arkady Strugatsky
  21. Nov 1, 2003 #20
    To answer the original thread:

    1. Eon by Greg Bear
    2. Cuckoo's Egg C.J. Cherry
    3. Many books in the series regarding the Dragon Riders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
    4. Rendevous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

    5. The classic Dune series from Dune to Chapterhouse: Dune by Frank Herbert

    6. Songs of Distant Earth by Arthur C. Clarke
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook