What are your favorite Science Fiction Novels & Authors?

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Matt Barton
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I was chatting with Paul Reiche III a few days ago, and he's really got me interested in a science fiction/fantasy author named Jack Vance. I haven't read any of his stuff, but according to Paul, he inspired the D&D magic system with spell memorization and such. Paul's also a big fan of Heinlein, another of my favorites, as well as Andre Norton and of course Orson Scott Card.

I haven't been actively reading SF for a LONG time, I'm sad to say. Sure, I'll pick up the occasional Star Trek novel at a thrift shop occasionally and read it, but I'm out of the loop regarding SF and fantasy these days. Have you read any new novels that you can recommend? I'm curious if there are any authors out there writing new books that you consider as good or better than those of Card and Clarke.

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clok1966
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UGLY!
Tuco40 wrote:

He's not new (in fact, he's been dead 9 years now) but does anyone remember George Alec Effinger?

He was the mind behind Westwood Associates "Circuit's Edge" (which I am currently replaying after 20 years). That was actually the last game ever published by Infocom.

Anyway, Effinger was a hell of a writer. I mean who else could think of making a cyberpunk noir detective novel in a Saudi Arabia of the future?

By the way, I'm new here and found this site by way of Mark Vergeer's youtube channel. Keep up the excellent work!!

Welcome and LOVE THE NAME! one of the great western characters of all time.. the original Anti hero you had to root for just cus it was fun :)

Matt Barton
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Wow, lots of nice suggestions

Wow, lots of nice suggestions here.

Rowdy Rob wrote:

I did read a couple of Piers Anthony's "Xanth" novels back in the day and enjoyed them. Then he wrote a bazillion "Xanth" novels and I couldn't keep up.

Ha! I did the same thing. I devoured those as a kid, but quit reading them. I should probably go back and catch up. I've actually seen the author at a talk at USF, and he seemed like a very nice and affable gentleman; quite humble despite his what--hundred or so books? Not a bad role model.

Carmine wrote:

Current Sci-fi though... The Road? Everyone has probably read that by now. Have you checked out Neil Gaiman? He's good sci-fi these days. But no, I'm not aware of anyone that is better than someone like Card unless you consider McCarthy sci-fi for writing The Road.

Yup, read it and loved it. I even bought a copy for my grandpa and he did the same. He ended up giving it to my brother, who also loved it! I've always loved the post-apocalyptic stuff. Even as a kid I loved the "Fire Brats" series of teen novels. My whole family got those and read them, too, including the women.

Regarding short stories, I went through a long period where I was determined to get a short story or novel published. To that end, I read a dozen or so how-to books and then went to work studying published authors. I figured it'd be easier to get a short story published than a novel. So I subscribed to Asimov, Analog, and Fantasy and Science Fiction. They're digests with about a half dozen stories each. To be honest, I didn't like most of the stories--very stylized and just not really striking that chord that my favorite authors did. But anyway, I probably submitted a dozen stories to each of them, only getting form letter rejections. The only one that showed any interest was Fantasy and SF. The administrative assistant there would write little notes saying that he liked it, but wasn't going to publish it. I guess he must have been a really sweet man to bother doing that.

What I find so infuriating about the fiction market is that people DO slip through these gatekeepers. I'll be talking to some random person who's like, "Yeah, I published a story in Asimov's," or "I have a novel out." Huh??? I mean, we're not talking about dedicated writers here. It just seems so random sometimes who gets in and who doesn't. As far as I can tell, you have to be pretty damn lucky and hit just the right gatekeeper who's in just the right mood. Whenever I'd show my stories to people, they'd like them. The school's literary magazine awarded me its top prize! I also got a zine in Tampa to publish one. In other words, maybe I just suck, but it could also be bad luck--a fact that should infuriate anyone.

I sadly had to give up on it after so many years. As you know, I loathe quitting. My personality type is very much like John Locke's from LOST--"Don't tell me what I can't do!!!" Haha...But yeah, very few of us who really want to publish a short story, much less a novel, will ever see that dream come true.

Thankfully, that doesn't prevent me from ENJOYING good science fiction, so keep'em coming.

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Carmine
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I'd recommend reading George

I'd recommend reading George Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series before HBO potentially ruins it. I'm reading a new author by the name of Patrick Rothfuss right now. His first book, Name of the Wind, is really good. Although the level of writing isn't up there with Game of Thrones, it's a very entertaining story and a genuine attempt at breaking the fantasy mold.

Current Sci-fi though... The Road? Everyone has probably read that by now. Have you checked out Neil Gaiman? He's good sci-fi these days. But no, I'm not aware of anyone that is better than someone like Card unless you consider McCarthy sci-fi for writing The Road.

Rowdy Rob
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Not much of a fiction reader, but...

I've never been much into reading fiction, but I have read a few of the classic authors (Heinlein, Asimov, Arthur Clarke, Phillip K. Dick, Frank Herbert, etc.). "I, Robot," "Neuromancer," and "Rendevous with Rama" are standouts that come to mind. I also quite liked "Stranger in a Strange Land." Probably my fave, actually.

I did read a couple of Piers Anthony's "Xanth" novels back in the day and enjoyed them. Then he wrote a bazillion "Xanth" novels and I couldn't keep up.

I did enjoy Tolkien's "The Hobbit" much more than I thought I would (it was surprisingly fast-paced and action-packed!), but I didn't get very far into "The Lord of the Rings" books before I got bored.

The last novel I read was Michael Crichton's "State of Fear." Actually, I'm not sure if it qualifies as sci-fi, but it deals with environmental science and such. It was.... interesting, but I don't know if it was good fiction. It was more like a political indictment and debunking of the environmental/global-warming movement, with a "story" sort of shoehorned in. Seriously, there are graphs, charts, statistics, and everything to make his case in the book! Why he didn't just write a non-fiction book and be done with it, I don't know.

Mostly the sci-fi fiction I've read is in the form of short stories. I've read quite a number of them.

One of my best friends recently sent me the first two books of his four-book sci-fi series to read. He's looking to get them published.

On a side note, is there still a market for science fiction short stories? I know someone (not me) who has written some, and he may have the potential to get published. Just curious.

Tuco40
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He's not new (in fact, he's

He's not new (in fact, he's been dead 9 years now) but does anyone remember George Alec Effinger?

He was the mind behind Westwood Associates "Circuit's Edge" (which I am currently replaying after 20 years). That was actually the last game ever published by Infocom.

Anyway, Effinger was a hell of a writer. I mean who else could think of making a cyberpunk noir detective novel in a Saudi Arabia of the future?

By the way, I'm new here and found this site by way of Mark Vergeer's youtube channel. Keep up the excellent work!!

Mark Vergeer
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Okay.... some Scifi authors I recently read and liked

Larry Niven - Integral Trees / Ringworld /
Valery Freireich - Becoming Human
Stephen Baxter - Voyage / Titan / Moonseed / The Time Ships / Evolution
Adam Roberts - Salt / Stone / On => great conceptual scifi
Ursula K. Le Guin - Earthsea fantasy novels
Frank Herbert - Dune
Jack Vance
HG Wells
Jack London
Mike Resnik - the Land of Nod /
Laura Resnik
Michael Swanwick
Walter Jon Williams
Greg Bear - Eon / City at the end of time
Ian Banks - The algebraist
John Wyndham - Day of the Triffids / The Kraken Wakes / The Midwhich Cuckoos
Eric Nylund - Halo series amongst others
Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Michael Crichton
Tanith Lee
Terry Pratchet - Discworld among other things
Philip K Dick
Stephen King
George Orwell (pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair)
C. S. Lewis
Dean Koontz
Isaac Asimov - many books => famous for his robot laws
J. G. Ballard - The Drowned World / Empire of the Sun
Ray Douglas Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451
Robert A Heinlein
Roald Dahl
James Gunn - The Immortals / Star Bridge / The Burning / The millenium blues
Brian Herbert (Son of Frank Herbert) - Timeweb series (not a fan of the predune thing)
Aldous Huxley

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
My first SciFi book was Andre

My first SciFi book was Andre Norton STAR Mans Son, a end of world type book (many writers credit it as being hte first).. I got it and a Book on the first Nuke sub to go under the antartic (not fanatasy but true). Well my father gave them to me (two books he had as a kid) he loved the real life and hated the fiction.. strange.. Im like him, but not on writing i guess as I prefered the fiction.. growing up in different times. I read alot of Andre Norton's stuff, Witch World, halfblood, etc.. I never knew she was a SHE till just a year or two ago.

personally Im a HUGE robert E Howard fan (conan) its what i grew up with, started me on comics that where not Donald Duck ( i read all the books long before I collected the comics... and I have them ALL up till about 10 years ago).

But If i recomended a great book series It would be the WHEEL OF TIME by Robert Jordan... sadly he passed away and it wont be finished by him. He wrote many of the NON Robert Howard Conan books. One thing, if you ever take a chance on reading the WOT books.. the first one is kinda ... hmm.. bad.. its slow, hard to get into, but hang in there. its a great set of books IMHO.

there are far to many great books.. I could name 50 more i would say are MUST READ.. but like music and everything esle, we all like different things.. so its so hard to know if others would like it. I was facinated with a book series called "dungeon" it was 12 books (edit wiki page says 6, seemd like more), all wrote by different authers.. one started it and the others read what he did and added to it.. nothing planned.. just make the story your own, add characters, kill characters, etc... I liked it as as one person would add a character and you could just tell the next hated them and would kill them off, etc... And it was all in a place where anything could happen... so one guy would explain one thing, and later sombody else felt they "knew better" and would expalin why that was all wrong and this was all right.. very interesting way to see how people think differently when it comes to creativity. I dont thinkit was succesfull and I kinda think it would be hard to come across the books now.. not sure? wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeon_series
it was just a wierd quirky not run of mill books set.

Nous
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Joined: 04/07/2007
Philip Dick, Stanislaw Lem

Philip Dick, Stanislaw Lem and Harlan Ellison are probably three of my favorite authors.

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