Friday, March 10, 2006


Favorite science-fiction novel?

What's your favorite science-fiction novel of all time? Which science-fiction novel would you recommend that we read if we want to stretch our minds or ignite our souls?

From Mark:

> Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Douglas Adams
> Mostly Harmless, Douglas Adams
> Foundation, Isaac Asimov
> Foundation's Edge, Isaac Asimov
> Nightfall, by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg
> A Princess of Mars, Edgar Rice Burroughs
> The Warlord of Mars, Edgar Rice Burroughs
> Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
> Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus, Orson Scott Card
> The Worthing Saga, Orson Scott Card
> To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip José Farmer
> Midnight at the Well of Souls, Jack Chalker
> Dune, Frank Herbert
> God Emperor of Dune, Frank Herbert
> White Plague, Frank Herbert
> 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne
> The Time Machine, H. G. Wells
From Stephen:

For epicness & big ideas

The Diamond Age, Neal Stephenson

For amusement/cleverness

What Entropy Means To Me, Geo. Alec Effinger

for BIG, trippy ideas

Howard Hendrix's books

I think that the sci-fi genre is really a bunch of genres, namely
spaceopera, fantasy, hard sci-fi, noir, dytopias -- so I trying to
pick a "best" is just too hard.
"Brave New World" - A. Huxley
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Douglas Adams
Ilium, by Dan simmons and Time by steven Baxter are two I have read recently. stay away from Harry Harrison.
"Dune," by Frank Herbert is my favorite.

I'd recommend "Stranger in a Strange Land," by Robert Heinlein and "1984" by George Orwell. I'm surprised no one has mentioned them.
Hyperion - Dan Simmons
Dune - Frank Herbert
The Old Testament.
"Towing Jehovah" by James Marrow
Neuromancer by William Gibson

the roots of cyber-punk
not exactly fiction: Gravity's Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon
not exactly science: The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series and Brave New World.
Stranger in a Strange Land.
You Grok?
The entire Gene Wolfe New/Long/Short Sun series. Unbelievably good use of the unreliable narrator making us think for ourselves about life, the universe and everything.

Peace - Gene Wolfe. Although not strictly SF, so good that it could be.
Hello, don't know how old this site is, or if anyone will ever see this, but, if you can find this book, and read it correctly, it can show you wonders and change everything you believe. The title is "From the Legend of Biel" author's name Mary Stanton, published by Ace Books division of Charter Communications inc. 1120 Ave. of the Americas NY NY. Paperback cover says, Ace Science Fiction Special 1. The story purports to be the story of first contact with alien intelligence on another world ... but may be something quite different. Good luck finding and correctly reading this book! Bye
thanks to Mary Stanton for the plugg, for similar purpose also select

The Televisionary Oracle

by Rob Brezsny

or Rapunzel Blavatsky's oracular work PRONOIA
Orwell's "1984" (serious) and Doug;as Adams' "Hitchhiker's" trilogy (fun)
"Eon" and "Eternity", Greg Bear
"The Two Faces of Tomorrow", James P. Hogan
the "Wheel of Time" series, Robert Jordan
the "Pliocene Exile" series, Julian May
I don't know about one of the previous posters, but Bill, The Galactic Hero is one I remember from childhood, and I think Harry Harrison was the author. It was a biting satire of war and politics.

A Stitch in Time by Madeline L'Engle was another one. All about kids who get tangled up in a tesseract -- and it explained what a tesseract is.

Heinlein's Have Spacesuit, Will Travel is another.

As someone said, there are really so many subgenres, it's silly to try to pick a single 'best of'.
frazzler you read the books i always want to read
i have to choose Dune and Dune Messiah because a impresson of drug controlled planet , masses of ignorant and an ugly empire all have turned that fiction into evolving fact for me.
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
The Mote in God's Eye, Larry Niven
The best science fiction writer you've heard of, but never heard of, is Walter Tevis -- author of The Hustler, The Color of Money, and The Man Who Fell to Earth. But I'd suggest you read "Mockingbird," an astounding fable of a future where no one can read (well, almost no one...). Follow up with Ted Chiang's remarkable "Story of Your Life & Other Stories," and then curl up on a desert isle with Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep."
The Bible
Lucifers Hammer, Larry Niven
From Godfried:
>The Algebraist, Iain M Banks
>Consider Phlebus, Iain M Banks
>Startide Rising, David Brin
>Hyperion series, Dan Simmons
I second Heinlein's

Stranger in a Strange Land

but would stipulate the posthumously released unabridged version.

The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World

ain't bad, either. -Harlan Ellison
A Fire upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge
Contact - Carl Sagan
Nor Crystal Tears, Alan Dean Foster
the vampyre seires by brian lumly, the wild card series by george r.r. martin, midnights dawn by peter f. hamilton
Greg Bear authored a short series of books beginning with one called Eon. It has remained one of my most favorite sci fi books of all time.
Hi! Love you blog articles.
A passionate fan for years so I started my own blog :-)
Although there are others I enjoyed more, probably the all-around best is "Ender's Game."
Earth Abides

By George R. Stewart. I have read it 5 times. Find it ,read it and think about it.
I've read a lot of science fiction & this is like trying to pick a favorite movie or song. I don't even know how.

I'll comment by saying one of the many "must reads" is a short story titled "Flowers for Algeron".
The Sword of Shannara. I don't care what some people say; I think when fiction gets good enough it becomes science fiction. This book is my all time favorate. Otherland is good too, if you can stand something that's over 3000 pages...
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series
Ender's Game/Shadow
Philip Dick and Ray Bradbury short stories
Every few years or so I'm compelled re-read three sets of novels:
LOTR- Tolkein (I know, not SciFi)
Dune novels - Herbert
The Foundation/Robot novels - Asimov
philip dick's eye in the sky and maze of death must be up there - ideas, plot, denouements: everything gels in these.
Here's something off the charts. I'm not sure if it's fiction or non-fiction, "How to design a Universal Artificial Intelligence" by Wil Holland. ??
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Heinlien
Riddley Walker, Russell Hoban
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