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Author Topic: "Must-Read" Sci Fi books  (Read 24812 times)

elcapitan

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"Must-Read" Sci Fi books
« Reply #50 on: 10 Aug 2006, 07:37 »

My point was that the 30 quid included the festival admission.

16 quid on its own... That's ludicrous.
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onewheelwizzard

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« Reply #51 on: 10 Aug 2006, 12:07 »

Just over the last couple weeks I've been all over Robert Anton Wilson.  I finished "Illuminatus!" reently and I'm working on Schroedinger's Cat.

Very, very, very good stuff.  Read it.  You'll understand why.
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KharBevNor

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« Reply #52 on: 10 Aug 2006, 13:40 »

Illuminatus! completely changed my outlook on life.
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greenMonkey

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« Reply #53 on: 10 Aug 2006, 13:49 »

Quote from: Houdinimachine
It's hard to consider Vonnegut sci fi, even though his work is about as trippy as it comes.



Yeah, he's really just wacked out contemporary fiction.  And I love him for it.
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KharBevNor

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« Reply #54 on: 10 Aug 2006, 13:51 »

I dunno, Slaughterhouse Five was pretty sci-fi.

Elcap: WHAT!? What year was this?
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[22:25] Dovey: i don't get sigquoted much
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onewheelwizzard

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« Reply #55 on: 10 Aug 2006, 14:08 »

Quote from: KharBevNor
Illuminatus! completely changed my outlook on life.


It does that pretty well.

Read some Tom Robbins.  His books are as close to Wilson's as anyone's and he's got a much more interesting command of language and writing.  Wilson's got crazy ideas and writes them into books really well, but Robbins does all that with more poetry.  Illuminatus! would've been a total revelation to me (and in many ways it sorta was) except for the fact that reading Tom Robbins had sorta made a lot of it old news.  And as engaging as Wilson's prose is, Robbins's is way, way more fun.  Wilson makes me think, but Robbins makes me think with a smile on my face.
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Praeserpium Machinarum

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"Must-Read" Sci Fi books
« Reply #56 on: 10 Aug 2006, 15:55 »

Really interesting recommendations everyone!

I just ordered Stranger in a Strange Land(I always wanted to read that one) and Snowcrash from another library. Because they only have translated shit at my library, and scarce at that.
I would probably recommend some Dennis Jürgensen but I don't think he's translated into English.
Generally I don't think any Danish science fiction is published in English, not that we have that many SF writers either.
But I do love Jules Verne and the first Dune book. Slaughterhouse 5 in English which I had difficulties with but I survived.
I read a little of Neuromancer(or Neuromantiker because it was in Danish) and it didn't grab me at all.
I like Philip K. Dick's short stories, especially the one dealing with a warworn battlefield and robots who imitated children and such to infiltrate bunkers.
I can't remember the name of it.

But judging by all these books I still have plenty of reading ahead of me.
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KharBevNor

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« Reply #57 on: 10 Aug 2006, 18:10 »

Quote from: Praeserpium Machinarum

I like Philip K. Dick's short stories, especially the one dealing with a warworn battlefield and robots who imitated children and such to infiltrate bunkers.
I can't remember the name of it.


That's 'The Second Variety'. As I said, it seems to me pretty certainly the basic inspiration for The Terminator and The Matrix.
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[22:25] Dovey: i don't get sigquoted much
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[22:26] Dovey: and at least one of those was a blatant ploy at getting sigquoted

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Praeserpium Machinarum

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« Reply #58 on: 12 Aug 2006, 03:54 »

Oh, well that is a great, if depressing, story.

Didn't the Wachowski brothers nick their ideas from some manga?

Quote
Read some Tom Robbins. His books are as close to Wilson's as anyone's and he's got a much more interesting command of language and writing. Wilson's got crazy ideas and writes them into books really well, but Robbins does all that with more poetry. Illuminatus! would've been a total revelation to me (and in many ways it sorta was) except for the fact that reading Tom Robbins had sorta made a lot of it old news. And as engaging as Wilson's prose is, Robbins's is way, way more fun. Wilson makes me think, but Robbins makes me think with a smile on my face.


I also ordered Tom Robbins - Villa Incognito, is that a good place to start?
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KharBevNor

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« Reply #59 on: 13 Aug 2006, 02:16 »

Quote from: Praeserpium Machinarum
Oh, well that is a great, if depressing, story.

Didn't the Wachowski brothers nick their ideas from some manga?


From my own personal discernment, the Wachowski brothers primary influences were Ghost in the Shell (the manga and film), Terminator,  The Shockwave Rider, and a good dose of William Gibson (for tech) and Philip K. Dick (for paranoia and virtual reality) and a dash of the theory of storytelling as well as HKBO and other manga and anime such as Akira, Lain, Appleseed etc.

They're actually monstrously derivative films. I wish they were just a monstrously derivative film.
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[22:25] Dovey: i don't get sigquoted much
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« Reply #60 on: 14 Aug 2006, 11:21 »

Quote from: Praeserpium Machinarum

I also ordered Tom Robbins - Villa Incognito, is that a good place to start?


Villa Incognito is actually my least favorite of his.  I mean, it's still quite good indeed, and I expect you'll enjoy it.  But definitely get a different one after you're done with it.  I think you'll be more impressed.

It doesn't really matter what order you read them in, but here's a list of how I'd rank them.

Jitterbug Perfume
Skinny Legs and All
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
Still Life With Woodpecker
Another Roadside Attraction
Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates
Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas
Villa Incognito
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ChaosTriangle

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"Must-Read" Sci Fi books
« Reply #61 on: 21 Aug 2006, 11:24 »

Recently came across Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom.  The basic concept: set in the 22nd century, Earth now lives under the Bitchun Society.  Technology has made death, labor, and currency obsolete, the closest thing to money being 'Whuffie," which is a measure of how much people admire and respect you.  Most of the book takes place in Disneyland, where the narrator lives.  It's interesting, and better still, available for free.

You can pick it up here, if you're so inclined.
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Sixleaf

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"Must-Read" Sci Fi books
« Reply #62 on: 21 Aug 2006, 16:07 »

I can't believe no one has mentioned Dawn by Octavia E. Butler.  I couldn't get into the rest of the trilogy, but this one is great.  I've heard some of her other books, outside the trilogy, are good, too, but I haven't read them.

Also, someone mentioned Vonnegut, and someone said "he's not sci-fi."
The Sirens of Titan is very sci-fi, and very very good.  Cat's Cradle has some sci-fi elements, too.  It probably depends on the book.

Someone else mentioned Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.  More fantasy than sci-fi, but very good!  These books changed my life.
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mot83

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"Must-Read" Sci Fi books
« Reply #63 on: 23 Aug 2006, 08:22 »

I would recomend The Forever War by Joe Halderman its best described as Starship Troopers meets catch 22. I havent read any of his other books though.
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Dr. ROFLPWN

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« Reply #64 on: 28 Aug 2006, 21:39 »

I second the nomination of Cat's Cradle as sci-fi. It's got even more elements of the stuff than Slaughterhouse-Five, which kind of was even though it didn't want to be.

Now, for unmentioned ones:

Armor, by John Steakley: This is what Starship Troopers would be if instead of focusing on the political, it looked at one person and the effects of a future war on his poor little mind. It also has a wonderful plot arc that seems to go all over the place but, in reality, is neatly connected.

The Mote in God's Eye, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle: Humanity's first contact with really alien aliens. With lots of very realistic politics and double-dealing. Dialogue isn't the best, but that does not detract from the overall quality.

First Contract, by Greg Costikyan: If aliens were to integrate Earth into the galactic economy...well, this might occur. Wildly amusing, and just as interesting to read.

Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan: The definitive cyberpunk novel of the 21st century. No, really. This guy gives Gibson the run of his life for his accumulated moneys. He manages to make a novel where people who die can just be resurrected thrilling and attention-grabbing.

Agreed on Reynolds, Gibson, Herbert, etc...though I have mad beef with Arthur C. Clarke. I also do not like Dan Simmons. He wrote a wonderful story of interlocking tales and then at the end he hit it with a hammer marked PERSONAL POLITICS. And that made me very sad. Then he went insane and made the Saga of the Evil Catholic Church #392.

...and the Space Trilogy. Oh, I remember those. I read the end of That Hideous Strength and I wanted to find that dead man and light him on fire. And then light the ashes on fire. And so on.

For a dead man I actually like, however...plenty of people have referenced "-ian" things of his, but Howard Phillips Lovecraft is a sci-fi author indeed, good sirs/madams, and one of some repute in my book.
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Fiddler

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Re: "Must-Read" Sci Fi books
« Reply #65 on: 17 Oct 2006, 08:36 »

Quote from: Praeserpium Machinarum
I also ordered Tom Robbins - Villa Incognito, is that a good place to start?

Villa Incognito is actually my least favorite of his.  I mean, it's still quite good indeed, and I expect you'll enjoy it.  But definitely get a different one after you're done with it.  I think you'll be more impressed.

It doesn't really matter what order you read them in, but here's a list of how I'd rank them.

Jitterbug Perfume
Skinny Legs and All
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
Still Life With Woodpecker
Another Roadside Attraction
Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates
Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas
Villa Incognito

Tom Robbins is my favorite author of all time.  All of his books are just plain wonderful and thought provoking.  Wild Ducks Flying Backwards just came out not too long ago and its a collection of his short work and its just absolutetly amazing.  There are tons of 1 or 2 page articles on a huge variety of subjects and they will all pretty much rock your world.   My favorite book though has got to be Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, I mean come on who doesnt love a pyramid headed south american shaman forcing a CIA agent to walk on stilts?
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