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What are some of your favorite science-fiction novels?

  1. Feb 10, 2012 #1
    I'm going to be making a list of good ones to purchase for summer reading. I would like to see what are some people's favorite books here.

    If you can put a short description or say why you liked it, that would save me the trouble of reading a plot synopsis on wiki.

    Go, go, go!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2012 #2

    Ryan_m_b

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    Pushing Ice by Alistair Reynolds
    - My favourite author overall, writes epic hard-SF space opera. Pushing ice follows a comet mining crew in the asteroid belt who happen to be the only ship in a position to pursue the moon of Janus when it suddenly breaks out of Saturn orbit and heads for interstellar space (revealing that it was never a moon in the first place). An amazing castaway plot ensues.

    Hyperion/Endymion series by Dan Simmons
    - Softer SF but very good on creating artful worlds and characters. Set in a future world where mankind is spread across the stars thanks to farcasters (wormhole like portals). The Hegemony of Man faces invasion from the barbarian Ouster swarms and sends a group of pilgrimages on a date with destiny. I can't say anymore (or anything about Endymion) without spoilers but expect a healthy dose of space battles, high-technology and conspiracy.

    Anything by Charles Stross
    - The man's amazing
     
  4. Feb 10, 2012 #3
    The Hyperion Cantos was definitely one of my absolute favorite sci fi book series ever. There was more than one occasion where, well, to use an old phrase, my head 'asploded.

    His other books Ilium and Olympos though... eh... strangely they were no where near as good. They were a little too far fetched and almost a little too corny.
     
  5. Feb 10, 2012 #4

    jim hardy

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    "Widget, Wadget and Boff" by Theodore Sturgeon - dont know if it's a long short story or a short novel...
     
  6. Feb 10, 2012 #5
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I'd just like to add that the Ender's Game series is really good imo (even though it concentrates more on characters than science).

    I purchased Anathem a while back but haven't read a page yet, so I'm going to save that for later.
     
  7. Feb 10, 2012 #6
    How about the latest cost estimates for the Webb telescope.?
     
  8. Feb 10, 2012 #7

    jtbell

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    Or the plans for the Superconducting Supercollider.
     
  9. Feb 10, 2012 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    I got a real chuckle out of Shottle Bop, a short story by Sturgeon.

    My favorite SF Novel was probably Childhood's End.
     
  10. Feb 10, 2012 #9

    DaveC426913

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    Ringworld - Niven.


    I tried to read Hyperion. Got a few chapters in, reading about a child getting younger with each passing day, moving backward in time - rolled my eyes and closed the book.
     
  11. Feb 11, 2012 #10
    Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

    Victorian era with nanotech, kind of cyberpunk in parts, very odd book, but very enjoyable at the same time.

    Also, I'm about 1/3 though Anathem, it is awesome so far.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  12. Feb 11, 2012 #11

    Ryan_m_b

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    I picked up and put down Hyperion a few times for that reason however once I got passed that and got into it I really enjoyed it. With Rebecca (?) ageing "backwards" I liked that eventually because all the best scientists had no idea what was happening and all admitted that it was violating all their current theories of physics.
    Diamond age is a bizzare book, I'd describe it as nano-cyber-steampunk. You've got neo-Victorian society, proletariats, nanofactories etc. Very odd.
     
  13. Feb 11, 2012 #12

    phyzguy

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    A second vote for Niven's Ringworld.

    I also liked Tau Zero by Poul Anderson.
     
  14. Feb 11, 2012 #13
    What about some that are light, goofy, convoluted, entertaining, easy to read,funny and don't have creepy creatures, collecting booty, and fighting in 90% of the book. And no glaringly bad science please (A family member has requested some of these) they like Hitchhiler's Guide to the Galaxy and Anne McCaffrey dragon rider but funnier than her stuff.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  15. Feb 11, 2012 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    I was going to cite this as my number 2.

    Even now I have sci-fi novels on my shelf that I barely remember reading. But I clearly remember Childhood's End, and Ringworld.

    2010 and 2061 were fun for the sake of continuity.
     
  16. Feb 11, 2012 #15

    jim hardy

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    Books to make one laugh out loud?
    Vonnegut's Venus on the Half Shell
    Sturgeon's Ether Breather tales, three of them if i recall
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  17. Feb 11, 2012 #16

    turbo

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    My favorite novel was Ender's Game by Orson Scott card, and its sequels. Dune was pretty good, too.
     
  18. Feb 11, 2012 #17
    My favorite of all time is Glen Cook's Passage At Arms. I guess his Starfisher's trilogy is related slightly but I haven't read it. Passage evokes the close quarters feel of submarine warfare for a spaceship crew, which is a damn good comparison I'd imagine. I recommend it fully.

    Old Man's War by John Scalzi is a fun and quick read. Basically, cloning technology gets to the point that all soldiers are drafted at the age of 75 and slapped into a new body. Humanity is at odds with 100's of other species. Witty dialogue (including a cheesy/funny physics high school teacher).

    If you read Dune, get the original series, just skip Frank's son's prequels altogether, they're disappointing. I thought it was alright.

    Starship Troopers has many fans (by the same guy that wrote Stranger in a Strange Land) and isn't quite like the movie really (so don't judge by that).

    Robot Dreams is a good place to start with Asimov.

    Eternity Artifact is L. E. Modesitt Jr.'s best in my opinion.
     
  19. Feb 11, 2012 #18

    turbo

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    If one is interested in SF humor, the Retief series a great place to start.
     
  20. Feb 12, 2012 #19
    Some of the decent ones to try if you run out:

    Schild's Ladder by Greg Egan (very hard SF. Actually quite a bit of math in there).
    Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
    The Commonwealth Saga and the Void Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton
     
  21. Feb 12, 2012 #20
    Awsome thread :biggrin:,

    mine is: Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (20,000 leagues under the sea) by: Jules Verne,

    my favorite scifi author :D. Awsomioooooo. :)

    going to read soon journey to the center of the earth, and the mysterious island.
     
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