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Haglund
2003-Oct-09, 05:46 PM
A few books in the SF genre that I thought others here would like:

Rendezvous with Rama / Rama II / Garden of Rama / Rama Revealed. This series of four books by Arthur C Clarke are some of the best in SF that I've read so far. It's about our first contact with an alien intelligence, whose technology is far superior than ours. There was to be a movie based on this series, but it may have been cancelled.

2001 / 2010 / 2061. Also by Clarke. I guess most of you have seen 2001 and maybe also 2010? Both great movies. The books are excellent as well, again Clarke shows great imagination in coming up with fascinating ideas. There is also a book "3001", but it is not by far as good as the three first ones.

Contact, by Carl Sagan. This book is also on the first contact theme. Astronomers finally receive a radio message from outer space. A very interesting message, it turns out. This was also made into a movie, one of my favourite movies of all time, btw.

Josh
2003-Oct-10, 03:39 AM
The whole Rama series is fantastic!

I'm also fond of Clarkes short stories. Anyone else read them? I continue to have dreams about waking up with insects hovering above me. after reading one particular short story many many years ago. I hope he's happy, he's had a lasting effect on me.

Haglund
2003-Oct-10, 08:28 AM
Absolutely, the Rama is really good which is why I'm hoping for a movie (although the perfect thing to do would be to make four full length movies, one of each book). Well, one can dream, right. I haven't read much of his short stories though. If one likes to read comics, which I never really do nowadays, I can recommend the great french sci-fi comic "Valerian" (not sure what the english versions are called), which is about two "spacetime agents" in a distant future around 29th century. Great adventures and characters, imaginative aliens and settings, and really well drawn.

KB3HTS
2003-Oct-10, 01:22 PM
I recently worked my way through "Across the Sea of Stars," a collection of Clarke's short stories, and am now going through "The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke." And I want to finish all 966 pages of it! B) I'm on 50-something right now... needless to say my teachers have been giving me looks. I think they're trying to figure out why I have issues reading through their textbook assignments for homework yet have no problem reading a book that is slightly lighter then carrying a few bricks. :lol:

Haglund
2003-Oct-10, 06:30 PM
Funny how that is, right? The same with me, I like to read and to learn, I just wasn't a big fan of school, hehe.

DippyHippy
2003-Oct-12, 02:40 AM
I really enjoyed Clarke's 2010: Odyssey Two, Childhood's End and - best of all - The Songs Of Distant Earth.

2010 has, of course, already been made into a film while the other two have been optioned numerous times. I believe Morgan Freeman currently holds the rights to Childhood's End.

I really didn't like 3001... I know Clarke didn't want to write another but that Kubrick pestered him to do it because he wanted to release a 2001 sequel in the year 2001. In the end, I think they just waved enough money in front of Clarke and that was the only reason he wrote it. And it shows.

I wasn't overly keen on 2061 either...

There have been several sci-fi favourites I'd like to see made into movies:

The Forge Of God by Greg Bear is a superb apocalyptic tale... I don't want to give too much away, but two sets of aliens land on planet Earth and present themselves to mankind, almost simultaneously. One set prophecises nothing but good things whereas the others claim they are lying and that the Earth is about to be destroyed. In the meantine, Europa mysteriously disappears...

The sequel, Anvil Of Stars, was interesting but nothing like the original. The sequel was basically Lord Of The Flies in space.

The other book I would have liked to have seen as a movie (it's a bit late now LOL) is Millennium, by Ben Bova... it's about a man, Kinsman, who convinces his Russian counterpart and friend to aid him in a revolution and to declare the shared Soviet / American moonbase as an independent nation, Selene. They do this in order to prevent a war on Earth.

It's set in the last days of 1999 and given that it was written during the Cold War, it means it's a little out of date now...

Other than that, I love Philip K Dick... I haven't read too many of his novels, but I've read all his short stories... a number of his stories have been made into films, specifically Minority Report, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale (Total Recall - albeit quite loosely), Second Variety (Screamers) and most famously, his book Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep was made into Blade Runner.

jkmccrann
2005-Dec-01, 08:11 AM
I really enjoyed the Kim Stanley Robinson Mars trilogy. Although some aspects of the third instalment perhaps seemed a little far-fetched, I guess one can truly only speculate about how living in a terra-forming environment would effect everyone.

I especially liked how he incorporated the changed conditions on Mars into the evolution of a new species of humans, Martians. As their bodies adapt to the environment and reduced gravity on Mars their height increases to compensate for this. I especially found that interesting, and at the time I read the trilogy its something I'd never really considered about colonising other worlds, exactly how altered conditions would effect us, but it certainly opened my mind up to those possibilities.

I also enjoyed the Dune series by Frank Herbert as an exercise in mythology. I found the political intrigue and goings-on in this series very interesting and a good read. It reminded me of Ancient Egypt a lot, for obvious reasons, and really that for me has a lot of romantic capital in my imagination.

Also, the 10 book series by L. Ron Hubbard with Soltan Gris as the lead character, an alien spy sent to Earth from far far away was absolutely hilarious! Soltan comes from far far away and settles in Turkey where he indulges himself in many illegal activites to fund his operation, gun-running, drug running, consorting with ladies of the night and of course excessive consumption of alcohol. He's basically a depraved fool, but the series was one of the funniest things I've ever read. Anyone else read it?

Gullible Jones
2005-Dec-01, 11:34 AM
Just a warning... The Rama series has the worst letdown of an ending I have ever seen.

Anyway, stuff I strongly recommend...

- The stories from Greg Bear's Queen of Angels universe. Queen of Angels and Heads I haven't read, but they're probably good. Moving Mars is very good, and Slant is... well, amazing.

- All of Ursula Le Guin's Ekumen stories. I'd say those are pretty much the height of speculative fiction.

Enzp
2005-Dec-01, 12:04 PM
I'd say so too. When I came to the end of the first Rama book, I wanted to throw it across the room. Nothing was resolved.

Swift
2005-Dec-01, 03:41 PM
I love John Varley's stuff. I would highly recommend the Titan trilogy and his early short stories.
Larry Niven's Known Space stuff is still great, even though much of it is decades old. How could you not be fascinated by Puppeteers and Kzin?

Monique
2005-Dec-01, 06:53 PM
"The Enemy Papers"
by Barry B. Longyear

Is three books in one:
- Enemy Mine
- The Tomorrow Testament
- The Last Enemy

Also contain:
- The Talman -- interesting holy book for Drack race

Is discussion of life philosophy used by Drac race. Interesting attempt to reconcile aspects of science with aspects of mysticism.

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Dec-01, 06:58 PM
I'd reccomend "The Hard SF Renaissance." Big bloody book full of hard SF short stories.

turbo-1
2005-Dec-01, 07:09 PM
No recommendations for Theodore Sturgeon or Robert Heinlein? I must be too old.

Then how about William Gibson's "Neuromancer", "Count Zero", and "Mona Lisa Overdrive"?

Dave Mitsky
2005-Dec-01, 07:26 PM
I won't go into the many science fiction writers who are worthy of recommendation at this time but will mention that I'm currently reading _The Legacy of Heorot_ by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Steven Barnes. It's the first science fiction novel I've read in quite a long time (the last being the fascinating _The Light of Other Days_ by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter). While not without its flaws, I'm enjoying this story of the first human extrasolar colony quite a bit so far.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legacy_of_Heorot

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Light_of_Other_Days

Dave Mitsky

Monique
2005-Dec-01, 08:02 PM
No recommendations for Theodore Sturgeon or Robert Heinlein? I must be too old.

Then how about William Gibson's "Neuromancer", "Count Zero", and "Mona Lisa Overdrive"?
I recommend "Stranger in a Strange Land". Is excellent discussion of cultural differences. It discuss how culture and ideas of morality make for "clash of cultures".

Gullible Jones
2005-Dec-01, 08:15 PM
Neuromancer is cool, though I don't think it's as insightful as Slant, and it has a bunch of technological inaccuracies. Fun reading though.

Count Zero I haven't read.

Mona Lisa Overdrive was IMHO pointless. Molly plays therapist for some Yakuza guy's daughter, prevents a kidnapping plot (via her own), rescues a prostitute from a crappy life, and helps a lonely guy with an engineering talent realize that his destiny is to fall in love instead of building giant robots, all the while kicking ridiculous quantities of black-hat butt and revealing nothing at all about who she is, where she came from, or how the hell she had a clue what was going on. Yes, she was an interesting character in Neuromancer, but mysterious cyborgs with destructive tendencies get old rather fast.

Swift
2005-Dec-01, 11:59 PM
I recommend "Stranger in a Strange Land". Is excellent discussion of cultural differences. It discuss how culture and ideas of morality make for "clash of cultures".
Definitely a classic, though my favorite Heinlein is "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress".

GDwarf
2005-Dec-02, 12:15 AM
Just finished reading The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, which is apparently a collection of the top sci-fi stories pre 1965 as voted by the Sci-Fi writers guild of America during 1970s.

There are some really neat stories in it, The nine billion names of God was a good one, as was Flowers for Algernon,





***Spoilers***I felt truly sorry for the protagonist when he realised what would happen to him, and his description of the loss of his intelligence was quite striking. ***End of Spoilers***





Heck, all of them were good, although some of them have been copied so much that they've become cliche.

LurchGS
2005-Dec-02, 12:16 AM
Definitely a classic, though my favorite Heinlein is "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress".


It's right there at the top, yeah

I like Niven, Drake, Heinlein, Asimov (short stories only - only good novel was "The Gods Themselves"), L Neil SMith (juveniles), Webber.. argh! the list is long, long...

but then so is the list of "I'll never read again". Like Piers Anthony (Xanth just turned my stomach)

Gullible Jones
2005-Dec-02, 03:11 AM
Ohh... Another by Greg Bear, Legacy. Olmy Ap Senon really comes to life as a character, as does the world of Lamarckia. Really visionary stuff.

How about some Roger Zelazny while we're at it? I think I'll throw in Lord of Light. That story is an epic if ever there was one, and has one of the most interesting central characters to boot.

Also, a short story by Philip K. Dick, Faith of Our Fathers. It has to rank among the most unreal and nightmarish stories I've ever read. I won't tell you anything more about it; just read it.

turbo-1
2005-Dec-02, 03:31 AM
Just finished reading The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, which is apparently a collection of the top sci-fi stories pre 1965 as voted by the Sci-Fi writers guild of America during 1970s.

There are some really neat stories in it, The nine billion names of God was a good one, as was Flowers for Algernon,That story was made into a move titled "Charly" - one of the most compelling sci-fi movies ever to come out of Hollywood. If you haven't seen it, rent it. You may have to get it on VHS and take it to your parent's house to watch it on their antique VCR. Do not hesitate - they will love it, too.

Swift
2005-Dec-02, 04:56 AM
There are some really neat stories in it, The nine billion names of God was a good one, as was Flowers for Algernon,

I love Flowers for Algernon, it was so wonderful and sad. As turbo-1 said, Charly was a very good movie, but I haven't seen it in years. Why doesn't the SciFi channel show that, instead of another stupid giant snake movie? :mad:

TheBlackCat
2005-Dec-02, 05:27 AM
There are some really neat stories in it, The nine billion names of God was a good one,

Lol, reminds of the TV mini-series Por El Nombre de Dios. Not exactly a high-quality show, and I only caught bits and piecies, but it was entertaining nonetheless. I doubt they are connected though. El Nombre is about a woman who is fated to have a baby with the 500th name of God on it, and the battle between the child's immortal father who is trying to protect the mother and an immortal inquisitor who is trying to preven its birth. Dios only had 500 names in that show, though. I guess it could be compared to an extended version of Invincible in terms of quality and budget.

Edit: apparently I didn't remember the show very well, I looked it up and corrected the plot here.

ngc3314
2005-Dec-02, 02:57 PM
Clarke has long been my favorite author, so it may be funny that of his whole ouevre, the Rama series did least for me. Now his early short stories, they were poetry.

Almost anything by Poul Andersen. Some of hs descriptions can be spine-tingling.

And lately, I'll read anything that Stephen Baxter puts out. Sweeping imagination, scope not seen since Olaf Stapledon, and he really stretches to get the science. Right down to having his characters cite Nature papers centuries from now (papers whose existence I've had occasion to discuss with their authors). The Xeelee series manages to include humans encountering Population III stars, of which I may have been among the few dozen readers to recognize at first appearance.

turbo-1
2005-Dec-02, 03:09 PM
"A Mission of Gravity" by Hal Clement is a very entertaining hard-science novel. For political intrique, I'd recommend Frank Herbert's "Dune". If you have seen a screenplay of this, but have not read the book, you're in for a treat.

TheBlackCat
2005-Dec-02, 05:17 PM
The only Michael Chrichton book I have read is Jurassic Park (I love the movie, but the book completely blows it out of the water IMHO). My dad read most of his others and really liked them.

Monique
2005-Dec-02, 08:56 PM
That story was made into a move titled "Charly" - one of the most compelling sci-fi movies ever to come out of Hollywood. If you haven't seen it, rent it. You may have to get it on VHS and take it to your parent's house to watch it on their antique VCR. Do not hesitate - they will love it, too.
Is very good book. My friend Wanderer say parts of book remind him of his life.

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Dec-02, 09:16 PM
Crichton is great! My favourite, though, is Rising Sun. Not sf, but a great read.

Gullible Jones
2005-Dec-02, 10:07 PM
Stephen Baxter gives interesting plots, but the science is sometimes a bit shaky. Rigid structures the size of galactic clusters would, for example, pose some rather tough issues (gravitational collapse, shearing forces, etc.), and the Carter argument was quite unbelievable. His take on FTL/time travel is interesting, though.

Let's see... Not all SF, but what about Jack Vance? His science-fantasy stuff is pretty much the most original I've ever seen.

I'll go so far as to recommend a single story by Gregory Benford: Against Infinity. I haven't a clue why that book is so good, because all the other Benford stuff I've looked at has had a distinct aura of half-arsed storytelling (and sometimes poor editing).

mugaliens
2005-Dec-03, 12:41 AM
I found both Clark and Asimov to be great first-time writers, but poor series writers. Both the Rama and Foundation series lost my attention. Even the robot stuff left me gasping for input after the second book.

I prefer Niven and Pournelle. Not the best SF writers, but the had consistancy.

TheBlackCat
2005-Dec-03, 01:33 AM
I never read much in the way of traditional Sci-Fi, most of the stuff I read was licensed from other mediums (Aliens, Predator, and Aliens vs Predator Dark Horse comic novelizations, Myst novels). It is kind of odd, now that I think about, reading books based on comics based on movies.

Dave Mitsky
2005-Dec-03, 06:11 AM
Stephen Baxter gives interesting plots, but the science is sometimes a bit shaky. Rigid structures the size of galactic clusters would, for example, pose some rather tough issues (gravitational collapse, shearing forces, etc.), and the Carter argument was quite unbelievable. His take on FTL/time travel is interesting, though.

Let's see... Not all SF, but what about Jack Vance? His science-fantasy stuff is pretty much the most original I've ever seen.

I'll go so far as to recommend a single story by Gregory Benford: Against Infinity. I haven't a clue why that book is so good, because all the other Benford stuff I've looked at has had a distinct aura of half-arsed storytelling (and sometimes poor editing).

I love Jack Vance.

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/jvprofile.htm

Regarding Dr. Gregory Benford, he's been nominated for 4 Hugo Awards and 12 Nebula Awards so somebody must like his writing. He won the Nebula for his novel _Timescape_ . I enjoyed reading _Across the Sea of Suns_ but haven't read any of his other novels.

Dave Mitsky

HenrikOlsen
2005-Dec-04, 11:06 PM
Zelazny's early short stories are amongst my all time favorites, especially Passion Play and A Rose for Ecclesiastes

Monique
2005-Dec-05, 04:39 AM
I recommend Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

Gullible Jones
2005-Dec-05, 05:12 AM
Speaker for the Dead was okay. But I loved Ender's Game. I know people complain about Ender "thinking like an adult", but I found his thoughts to be scarily like mine, albeit rather more ruthless. It's a story of the utter and uncompromising cruelty of our society, our governments, and perhaps above all our children, and from my experience it seems quite accurate. The nature of Peter Wiggins rings especially true - I've met kids like him, though generally not quite as depraved.

archman
2005-Dec-05, 05:35 AM
My all-time favorite is "The Gripping Hand". But the prequel, "The Mote in God's Eye" was pretty good too.

Those 3 Star Wolf novels by David Gerrold aren't too shabby, either. The Chtorr series are also good, but they're not really "space scifi".

David Brin's "Sundiver", "StarTide Rising", and "The Uplift War" were also fairly nice.

ASEI
2005-Dec-05, 05:54 AM
Ben Bova's works are pretty good.

Orson Scott Card's Ender series is very good, especially the earlier co-novels Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow.

Dave Mitsky
2005-Dec-05, 10:24 AM
Speaker for the Dead was okay. But I loved Ender's Game. I know people complain about Ender "thinking like an adult", but I found his thoughts to be scarily like mine, albeit rather more ruthless.

I agree. _Ender's Game_ was one of the best interstellar war novels ever written. Two of my other favorites in that genre are _The Forever War_ by Joe Haldeman (who I met at the Winter Star Party some ten years ago) and _Starship Troopers_ by Robert Heinlein.

http://explorers.whyte.com/sf/ender.htm

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/forever.htm

http://www.sfreviews.net/starshiptroopers.html

Dave Mitsky