Favorte Science Fiction book other than Star Wars?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Bigshet, Jun 17, 2001.

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  1. CountJared Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2000
    star 3
    Nighthawk_Andy-
    "Finally, doesn't anyone read Iain M Banks? He may not be quite on par with some of the formentioned authors in this post, but the guy has one hell of an imagination."

    I've read several of his books and really liked them. Just finished "Inversions" and that was excellent. "Excession" and "Use Of Weapons" were good. I plan on reading more of his novels in the future. Which one do you think is his best?
  2. Anakin SkySolo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 1999
    star 4
    Favorite science fiction novels--

    Probably too many to count...

    Some favorites:

    The original Foundation trilogy and The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov.

    The City and the Stars and its shorter version, Against the Fall of Night, by Arthur C. Clarke.

    Stranger in a Strange Land, The Door into Summer, Have Space Suit--Will Travel and Red Planet (the original, edited version) by Robert Heinlein.

    Dune by Frank Herbert. Easily one of the best SF novels, I've never liked any of its sequels.

    The Tripods series by John Christopher. Fun when I read it as a kid, I still enjoy it.

    Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter Miller is also a favorite.

    The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold. Perhaps the ultimate time-travel novel. David Gerrold's done far more than Tribbles.

    The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. Strange, but cool.

    Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

    Moving Mars by Greg Bear is a more recent find.

    And many, many fantasy favorites, from Lord of the Rings to Mary Stewart's Merlin/Mordred series and Parke Godwins's Firelord to Good Omens...

    Just a sample...


  3. Nighthawk_Andy Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2001
    star 1
    CountJared- i've only read three, Excession, Look to Windward and Use of Weapons. I like them all for different reasons. I would say it was a close run between UOW and LTW, personally I prefer LTW, because it contains descriptions and situations even more remarkable than UOW (if you can believe that!) :). Also it's Banks most recent Culture novel and follow on from the rest he has done, so I'd definitely reccomend it if you've read the others.

    btw CountJared, did you see the twist at the end of UOW coming? I'd thought about it, but then dismissed it, so I was a bit suprised by the ending.

    Oh and judging by the reaction to Dune on this topic, I guess I'd better start reading it, eh? ;)
  4. Jades Fire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1998
    star 4
    A friend and I were just discussing this the other day. I mentioned that my current favorite was Zahn's "Conquerors' Heritage" because it was presented in such a different manner than the first book in the trilogy, or for that matter, any other SF book I had read previously.

    Very close behind is "DUNE" by Frank Herbert. When I heard DUNE prequels were being written, I was enthused. However when I heard that Brian Herbert was teaming with serial serialist Kevin Anderson, I took pause before rushing out to buy it. Having heard many fan reactions (and most of what I've seen on the Net is not positive), I waited for the paperback, which I bought on a whim, but still haven't read. I will one day. I think I'd rather re-read DUNE and Frank's sequels first and see what I take away from it now that I am older than when I first read them.

    And let me remind people about the recent revelations of 'Richard Manning' of "The Ridgefield Press". In case you missed it, Mr. Manning was a fictious reviewer created by Sony Pictures to "promote" good reviews for their movies. Not only that, but movie studios seem to have roving reporters who are paid by the movie studios to see movies, and thus generate positive reviews. Don't believe me, read Newsweek Magazine's June 11 issue, which outed the fictious Richard Manning.

    Now, I am not saying that publishers are guilty of the same thing. However, movie studios, publishers, and other entertainment companies are all guilty of taking a quote like "an action packed movie" or "a rousing story" out of context in an overall mediocre or negative review, and turning it into a review that sounds positive, when in fact, it was not recommended by the reviewer. The moral of the story, don't believe every little burb you read on a book cover or movie poster was from a positive reviewer.
  5. yoda_does_dallas Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2001
    star 1
    Conquerors trilogy by T. Zhan
    The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy by D. Adams ( I´m sorry he didn´t leave more books!)
  6. Leto II Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2000
    star 6
    Quote:
    In the last 25 years I have read DUNE maybe four times, and my guess is that I will read it again, and still get something new out of it.


    Most definitely. I try to reread it at least once every five years or thereabouts.

    Quote:
    I read "House Atreides" am now reading "House Harkonnen" and chances are very good that I will read the third one when it comes out. One thing I know is that I will never re-read any of them.


    I read so many varying works that I scarcely have time myself to re-visit one or more in particular, excepting the absolute classics, for years hence. But, I would not rule out another perusal, either.

    Quote:
    There is just not enough to them to make it worth it. Frank Herbert's DUNE books had layer after layer that you had to peel away. With Brian and Kev, everything is so close to the surface that you barley have to skim the pages to get everything.


    If you've ever picked up some of Brian Herbert's solo work, including Sudanna, Sudanna and The Race for God (Nebula-nominated), you will observe a fine writer who is, in certain ways, stylistically superior to his father in characterizations and suchlike.

    And it is no real secret that I have felt that Kevin J. Anderson has been grossly undervalued by the Star Wars reading community, despite having numerous non-media fiction accolades awarded for his work by his peers in professional genre circles (Climbing Olympus ranked as the finest novel I had read in all of 1995, or at the very least on a par with The Diamond Age...and no less than Harlan Ellison himself has lauded his short prose as some of the greatest ever written by a modern-day author).

    With this said, I would officially go on record as stating that the two novels published to date in the Dune prequel series, barring a very scant few passages, effectively capture the "flavor" of the late Frank Herbert's writing...but to either completely ape his technique or write in a completely alien to the Dune series style would amount to creative myopia, and I was very pleased indeed to see that the two writers, while sometimes engaging in a clashing of personal method (some passages are quite distinctively Brian Herbert, and others still are very uniquely KJA), managed to form a very unique synthesis which struck out into a completely vivid -- and true-to-form -- depiction of the universe. In many others' estimation, it was what Martha Stewart would call a Good Thing for the collaborators to find their own voices and not completely emulate the style of a dead man.

    It is still very, very much Dune.

    Quote:
    Brian & Kev write just above the level of "The Cat in the Hat." Now I enjoyed "The Cat in the Hat" -- when I was four years old. I guess with the public education system the way it is now, maybe science-fiction has to be written for people who can barley read, but the prequels are just not in the same class as the original "Dune."


    I, very respectfully, would refer you to the passage above.

    (But their jettisoning of much of the Willis McNelly chronology is something entirely else to be discussed... ;))
  7. Bror Jace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 1999
    star 3
    I had a friend at my old job that bought and read these books despite my warnings that KJA is known for going into a franchise and then angering resident fans with less-than-quality books.

    He read the first one, hated it almost as much as I predicted and then told me he'd buy and read the rest. I asked him why and he told me the following:

    "Ever feel like you MUST pick at a scab?"
  8. Leto II Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2000
    star 6
    Quote:
    I had a friend at my old job that bought and read these books despite my warnings that KJA is known for going into a franchise and then angering resident fans with less-than-quality books.

    He read the first one, hated it almost as much as I predicted and then told me he'd buy and read the rest. I asked him why and he told me the following:

    "Ever feel like you MUST pick at a scab?"


    Again, his angering of fans is really subjective opinion only, with many others, readers and critics alike, enjoying his writings in both universes, Dune and Star Wars.

    And his many plaudits in genre prose from both readers and his professional peers bear this out, as well.
  9. Supreme Chancellor Thrawn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 1999
    star 3
    Dune is without a doubt the greatest book I've ever read. Simply brilliant.

    The first two books of the Foundation series were also excellent, although the ones after that seemed to drop off in quality, though they're still worth a read. Also an honorable mention to Zahn's Conqueror's Trilogy, he does a very good job of creating a believable alien society, that isn't just an inverse of human society.

    As for KJA and Brian Herbert's work in the Dune universe, I personally liked House Atreides, just as I liked KJA's Star Wars work, but, I view it at a different level than the original Dune novels. It's kind of like KJA's Star Wars novels are to The Empire Strikes Back. I personally don't think they're bad, but the orignal Dune was such an incredible novel, and Frank Herbert was such an incredible genius writer, that nothing can ever come close to it. Just my $.02
  10. CountJared Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2000
    star 3
    Obviously, Zahn's Conquerers Trilogy is the dark horse in this little poll. Not something I would have expected but it is making a more than decent showing. After so many glowing reviews I'll have to check it out.

    Nighthawk_Andy-
    Didn't have a clue. Not a clue.
  11. Tchewbacca Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2001
    star 1
    i would have to say lost in space. I own the movie and I am reading the books.
  12. Cow_Girl Chapter Rep Niagara ON, CA

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2001
    star 5
    You mean there is other fanfiction besides star wars?
  13. CloneofPhanan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2000
    star 4
    I'm surprised more people haven't mentioned the works of Philip K. Dick, the master of science fiction.
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