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SciFi Readers?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by cjvfr, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Hi All,

    Lots of IT heads here and IT heads have a predisposition to SciFI fiction. What are your favourites of all space and time?

    Guide to NPR's top 100 SciFi and Fantasy Books
  2. The "Bio of a Space Tyrant" series by Piers Anthony: sex, drugs and space politics set mostly around Jupiter and its moons.
    Every time I pick it up I chew through the entire series (around 3500 pages) in under a week, losing sleep and weight along the way.

    EDIT: Not surprised Piers isn't on that list, since I understand he ended up a drunk owing plenty of money. His stuff is only available from print-on-demand places now, for around $200 a copy...
    Anything by Bradbury still stands up though, so I'm happy to see plenty of his stuff there...
  3. i just noticed that im more of a fantasy fan..............
  4. Thats alright we'll forgive you. ;)

    The Kim Stanley Robinson Mars trilogy has to be one of my favourite from the accuracy of technical detail on Terraforming and the interplay of the different Political groups that form in a possible new Mars society. One that they don't mention which as a techhead fascinated me when I first read it "cough cough" years ago is a Canticle for Leibowitz
  5. Canticle for Leibowitz is excellent.

    Love everything William Gibson has written, including his recent non-science-fiction novels, Bruce Sterling's older stuff, Neal Stephenson.

    Love Iain M Banks.

    Recently read Hannu Rajaniemi's 'The Quantum Thief' and enjoyed it a lot.

    I did read lots of 'golden age' sf as a teen, all my Asimov and Heinlein and a heap more.

    So yeah. ;)
  6. Golden age scifi rocks. I particularly love Robert A Heinlein.

    Favourite scifi today - Peter F Hamilton.

    If you want to try some good Australian scifi (not as common as I'd like) then Sean McMullen is very worth a look. You don't have to know your history to enjoy it, but those who do will stumble across gems like the fettles joining up the railways in a post apocalyptic world 1000 years on, and having a brawl over who is using the wrong gauge. It'd be funny and weird, unless you knew it had already happened, which makes it hysterical. The books are full of little touches like that. For what it's worth, I think the first one (Souls in the great machine) is the best. IT people especially will love it. In some respects it echoes a Canticle for Leibowitz, as people begin to piece together technology from ashes. We have a lady librarian in central victoria, who fights duels with a match-lock pistol, getting ready to take over the world. Her secret weapon is a computer - the first working Von Neuman machine on earth for a thousand years. It's made up largely of wires and levers and hundreds of human operators, who perform the role of registers and accumulators and all the constituent bits of a microprocessor. The better you know computers, the more you'll love it.

    David Zindel's Neverness is a joy. It's supposed to be the first in a series, although I've never seen the others.

    Frank Herbert's classic Dune. Dune is to scifi what Lord of the Rings is to fantasy - the first legitimate and credible work of serious adult literature in the genre. A classic. Still perhaps the greatest work in the field. They've tried to make a movie, and a mini-series of it, neither of which quite fly. To understand it, you've got to read it, and understanding is what it's all about. I've read it at least ten times over the last 35 years, and I still find things in it that I never noticed before. The story changed dramatically for me after Sept 11 - whole new ways of looking at it flowed out of the pages ...

    Greg Bear, especially Eon. Just ... wow! What an imagination. What a story - what unforgettable characters! Patricia Luisa Vasquez, perfectly ordinary little hispanic girl, all the usual adolescent female problems and insecurities, who also just happens to be the finest mathematical mind in this or many other universes. Or Pavel Minski, the upwardly mobile cosmonaut, the all time world champion of self improvement.
  7. for current stuff anything by Peter F Hamilton, Kevin J Anderson's Saga of the Seven Suns, most Greg Bear especially the Eon series, David Brin's Uplift series, John Varley (no relation) Gaea series

    older stuff - well, I'm packing the Kindle with all the free out of copyright stuff - Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Andre Norton etc
  8. but with much less walking.

    Yep DUNE is a favourite of mine for sure.

    I am also a huge fan of Aasimov's robot stuff "laws of robotics" etc its great.

    Edit: Oh and The Martian Chronicles
  9. I have a fair collection of Arthur C Clarke, but also a variety of other stuff. Asimov too.
  10. Anything by Asimov, the Dune series.

    Anything by David Gerrold (wrote the "War against the Chtorr" series as well as some Star Trek episodes) and whilst more "fantasy" than Sci - fi, Robert Jordans "Wheel of Time" series.
  11. Ah yes, the Nights Dawn Trilogy dragged me in, I consumed them back to back over a month or so. The changes brought about by the Adamist/Edenist societal split intrigued me.
  12. The E.E."Doc" Smith Lensman series also warrants a look. I've read one (or maybe two), and checking out a few more is on the to do list.

    Some of the good works by various authors from the Fifties and Sixties is astonishingly good stuff.
  13. Over the years I've managed to accumulate something like 10,000 science fiction and fantasy paperbacks and I've bought another 2,000 in ebook format.

    Asking me what my favourite SF author is is rather like asking a junkie what their favourite smack is.

    "Hi my name is Geoff and I'm a science fiction junkie".

    Having said that...

    Issac Asimov
    robert A Heinlein
    Larry Niven
    E.E. Doc Smith
    Peter F Hamilton
    Kevin J Anderson
    Greg Bear
    David Brin
    Anne McCaffrey

    all have books that would make my top 50 if I could ever be bothered compiling a list :)
  14. I'm slowly building up my collection of Hugo Award winners, I have most of them now, favourites so far are 'A Canticle for Leibowitz', and anything by Heinlein or Philip K Dick. I also really like 'American Gods' by Neil Gaiman.
  15. Where do I start?

    Currently one of my favourites is Charles Strosser. Especially the "laundry" series which reference some classic spy novels.

    The first one - The Atrocity Archives is rather like Len Deighton meets H.P. Lovecraft. And for those IT people who may once have been (or indeed still are) inhabitants of The Scary Devil Monastery he's one of us.

    The second one (The Jennifer Morgue) has Ian Fleming references. The third (The Fuller Memorandum) references the Quiller novels of Adam Hall.

    Otherwise I've also got rather a large library of far more books than I should.

    I agree with the Sean McMullen reference - the rotten sod cost me a trip to Japan. Years ago at an IT conference we both presented papers - and his just beat out the one I did. The award for the best paper was a trip to Japan, five star hotels and visiting various technology sites.

    When they found out he wrote science fiction they changed the agenda, and included a visit to their space launch facilities. He was one of only a very very few non-Japanese to even get in there...

    It's nice to see a Cthorr reference too, Tramp. David Gerrold has long been a favourite although I was abit annoyed by the inconclusive ending to the Cthorr series..

    FOr those of you who want free electronic books - The Baen Free Library many many excellent books available for download .

    Most recently I've been reading the Destroyermen series by Taylor Andersen. I've got a distinct preference for alternate history and military SF so people like Harry Turtledove and Eric Flint, David Weber and John Ringo* also feature high on my lists.

    *Although Ringo's politics and American drum beating do give me the shits, his stories are really good.

    Locally, I'm also a John Birmingham fan - his Axis of Time trilogy as well as the newer series that starts with Without Warning I've also enjoyed.

    ps. People might find it interesting to know that Marcus Wigan was also a founding member of the Oxford University Science Fiction society.
  16. Tried John Ringos "Dance with the Devil"? Part of an Evil aliens invade series... great book and there is one in the same series where they reincarnate Hitlers SS to fight the beasties... has to be read to be understood.

    Re: David Gerrold, he has said he WILL finish the series... I keep looking at his site from time to time.

    Re: Military / Sci Fi.... Try the WW2.1 series.... this is set around what would happen if the USS Nimitz went back to 1941.... Imagine a 21st century battleship vs the Japanese....

    Edit: I didn't realise the WW2.1 series WAS the axis of time series....
  17. Can you let me know where / when the meetings are......?:-s
  18. http://www.msfc.sf.org.au/?page=meetings :)

    They're in Brunswick and I really should go to their meetings one day.
  19. Neal Stephenson dabbles in several genres, but his 2008 novel Anathem is a true mind-bender. It's a true modern example of 'speculative' fiction, in that it deals with some cutting edge science as the framework for some pretty action-filled story-telling. Recommended.
    A large slice of my youth was devoured by Harlan Ellison, Frank Herbert and Theodore Sturgeon.