Good sci-fi/fantasy other than STAR WARS.

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Fluke_Groundwalker, Sep 18, 2001.

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  1. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    For my Honors English class, I'm supposed to make up my own unit. I decided to make a sci-fi/fantasy unit. I need 4 or 5 really good non-STAR WARS books. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Bib Fortuna Twi'lek Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1999
    star 10
    The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, all by Phillip Pullman, are very good.
  3. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    I need 5 books from 5 different series, and written by at least 3 different authors.

    From STAR WARS, I've chosen I, Jedi. So, I need 4 more books.
  4. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    A five book series or five individual books?

    George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones is the first volume of what is the absolute best current running fantasy series. It's three books into what will be a six book run.

    For some awesome time travel, Connie Willis' amazing Doomsday Book and its comedic sequel To Say Nothing of the Dog are excellent both for entertainment value, as well as for the amazing research she put into both the science and the history.

    Some amazing sci-fi (although the alien culture is a little too humanlike) -- Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep and its sequel/prequel A Deepness in the Sky are pretty good if you can get into them.

    I don't know if you want to get into long series, but the first four or five books of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, starting with The Eye of the World are excellent, and the rest are pretty good, but the series won't be done for another 5-8 years. Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth, starting with Wizard's First Rule, is exceptionally readable, and each book stands on its own. However, his morals are a bit heavyhanded.

    Other good sci-fi Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, Armor by John Steakley, Hyperion and its sequel, which are really two parts of the same book, are outstanding (by Dan Simmons).

    Of course, no fantasy reader would be complete without Lord of the Rings by Tolkien.

    For excellent contemporary fantasy/sci-fi mix, check out The Iron Dragon's Daughterby Michael Swanwick and Heroes Die and its sequel Blade of Tyshalle by Matthew Woodring Stover. These guys will blow you away.

    There's tons of other good stuff, too, but it's such a bitch sorting the good from the crap.

    It would be helpful if you gave us some examples of books you like so that we could recommend similar books...
  5. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    How did I forget Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun...
  6. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    I like fairly long books, big battles, intricate plot, and I don't want to the book to be childish. I don't mind profanity and/or adult situations.

    I don't like anything too far fetched. Example: A dragon the size of the Empire State Building destroys Mt. Everest, and is then destroyed by a single person. Me no likey.
  7. Darth_Smeagol Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2000
    star 4
    LOTR or the Hobbit would be good for fantasy, and Dune is a really good sci-fi book.
  8. Anakin SkySolo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 1999
    star 4
    Why do you need any from series fiction (like Star Wars or Star Trek) at all?

    The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. Practically gave birth to the modern fantasy genre. LotR is a single novel, not a series, that is usually (but not always) offered in three volumes.

    The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger by Stephen King. Granted, this book introduces his Dark Tower series, but it stands up well on its own. The Dark Tower is a bizarre combination of horror, science fiction, and fantasy with a bit of the western tossed in.

    Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. Perhaps his most controversial novel, the story of Valentine Michael Smith, the human raised by Martians who becomes a Messiah-type figure on his home world, is still a classic.

    A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. A literary classic in its own right. The Catholic Church in the dark ages of post-Holocaust America.

    Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear. A highly controversial look at biotechnology and the mechanisms of evolution. Solid, hard SF.

    Dune by Frank Herbert. Space opera at its finest. The struggle for the planet whose only export, spice, is a necessary part of civilization. Again, the beginning to a longer series, but a book that stands alone by itself.

    That's six books. But they'd provide enough material for almost any SF/Fantasy unit.
  9. Darth Ludicrous Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2000
    star 5
    Read
    Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
    For science-fiction, you can't say enough about this novel.
    Heroes Die, by Matthew Woodring Stover
    This novel will kick you in the nuts with its graphic realism and the seamless link from sci-fi to fantasy. Its obscene, but also entertaining and when you're done reading, you'll feel as dirty as Hari's audience should.
    Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut Jr
    Vonnegut. Weird. Just read it.
    Middle Passage, by Charles Johnson
    Imagine a scifi-fantasy escapist novel about a black man who runs away and accidently joins the crew of a slave ship. That hardly begins to describe this novel which won a national book award, though I don't recall which one.
    Grendel, by John Gardner
    This novel is written from the point of view of poor poor Grendel. See things from his point of view.
  10. exar-tull Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2001
    star 5
  11. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    I like fairly long books, big battles, intricate plot, and I don't want to the book to be childish. I don't mind profanity and/or adult situations.
    These should meet those conditions admirably:
    Lord of the Rings (Tolkien)[The first 100 pages or so were written as for a children's book, the next 1000 are on an adult level]
    A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin)[This is the first of what will be six books. The first three are out, and each is better than the last. This is a must read]
    Dune (Frank Herbert)
    Heroes Die + Blade of Tyshalle (Matthew W. Stover)[Well stated, DL]
    The Eye of the World (Robert Jordan) [Not as good as these others, but it's a current favorite and it will be interesting to see how it compares.]
  12. TheOzhaggis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5

    "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" by Philip K Dick (filmed as Bladerunner).

    Or just about any of his books. Maybe "The Man in The High Castle" or "Valis" ?

    I've even seen Androids taught in a Lit class - and seen notes for it online.


  13. 181st Fighter Wing Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 8, 2000
    star 2
    If you want some sci-fi books set in an extreemly realistic universe that read like Clancy novels, try the BattleTech line. Some good ones to start you out would be Stackpole's Warrior trillogy, and Wolves on the Border and Heir to the Dragon by Rob Charrette.
  14. Gandalf the Grey Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2000
    star 6
    A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. I can?t possibly say enough good things about this series, but I?ll try to restrain myself. Tyrion Lannister alone makes this series worth reading, and in my opinion is quite possibly the greatest fictional character ever. Jon Snow and Daenerys Stormborn are great characters in their own rights, Jon especially. Martin has the most intricate plotline I?ve ever seen in a fantasy series. No ones agenda is quite what it seems, everyone who has an agenda is trying to further it, and everyone has an agenda. The series is quite bloody and grim, definitely not for the faint of heart. Nine year old girls calmly stab people, daughters watch their fathers get beheaded, sons kill their fathers, and nice guys get a blade through the heart for their troubles.
    (currently books 1-3 are available out of a projected seven, so this might not help?)

    The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. It?s the Lord of the Rings. ?Nuff said. (the entire trilogy was originally intended to be one book, so really, it?s one book?). I?ll also very highly recommend the Silmarillion.

    The Fionaver Tapestry OR Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. He?s somewhere between Tolkien and Martin in style. Fionaver is more fun, and Pwyll Twiceborn is one of my favorite fantasy characters, but by the time he wrote Tigana his writing style had noticeably improved. I?d pick one for your purposes (I?d chose Tigana since you only want one book), and then come back later to read the other.

    The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. Fluff, but greatly entertaining fluff. The disproportionate amount of space on the Internet that Wheel of Time pages take up is a good indication of that. Jordan is a great world-builder, surpassing even Tolkien and Martin for the depth of his creation, and as a storyteller he tends to be rather expressive. Reading the Wheel of Time is the closest I?ve felt to watching a blockbuster film while reading. Scenes like the battle of Dumai?s Wells, and all of Rand?s battles, get the adrenaline flowing.
    The first book, The Eye of the World, pretty much stands alone.
  15. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    The Oz Books by L. Frank Baum, Ruth Plumly Thompson, and later Neil and Snow.

    Forty Novels of fun, clean humor, and plenty of nonviolent but still thrilling fantasy actions.

    Truly immortal work
  16. Darth Ludicrous Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2000
    star 5
    Of all the novels I mentioned, Slaughterhouse Five is probably the most difficult to read. You can substitute that with Cat's Cradle also by Kurt Vonnegut Junior.
  17. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    Thanks for the recommendations guys!! Keep 'em coming!!
  18. Galleon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2001
    star 2
    Fred Saberhagen's book of Swords series. great fantasy with big battles.
    Timothy Zahn's Conquerors' Series, Sci-fi simmilar to NJO
    L.Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth, Great Book long but great. The Movie was horrible and has little to nothing to do with the Book.
  19. Darth Ludicrous Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2000
    star 5
    you're welcome. I wouldn't suggest anything I didn't think had actual literary merit.
  20. _JM_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    Asimovs Foundation Trilogy (or indeed almost anything by him).

    Seafort Saga by David Feintuch, rather different from the normal "future with starships".

    Edited to say :
    Jules Verne - went to the moon and the depths of the sea.
    HG Wells - Time Travel and alien invasion.
    To a certain extent Arthur Conan Doyles Professor Challenger books (Dinosaurs, a disintergrator machine and the balance of power, a very literal living Earth several decades before the Gaia hypothesis)
  21. Jedi_Jade-Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 1
    2001 by Arthur C. Clarke is excellent and so is Dune by Frank Herbert.
    You should also include Frankenstein since it was the first sci fi book.
  22. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    Thank you all for your help!! I believe I have finalized the list. It is:

    A book from STAR WARS (still can't decide)
    Dune
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    Heroes Die
    The Eye of the World
  23. JediLord Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2000
    star 4
    anything by r.a. salvatore
    LOTR
    Wheel of Time
    Death Gate Cycle
  24. technomage Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2000
    star 1
    Here's a few of my suggestions:

    (military/space opera sci-fi)
    On Basilisk Station
    Path of the Fury
    Mutineer's Moon
    The Apocalypse Troll
    -by David Weber

    Rama
    -by Arthur C. Clarke

    Officer-Cadet
    The Buchanan Campaign
    -by Rick Shelley

    (fantasy)
    First King of Shannara
    Running With the Demon
    Magic Kingdom for Sale-Sold!
    - by Terry Brooks

    Wizard's First Rule
    -by Terry Goodkind

    Dragon Prince
    Stronghold
    The Ruins of Ambrai
    -by Melanie Rawn

    The Crystal Shard
    Homeland
    The Sword of Bedwyr
    The Demon Awakens
    The Silent Blade
    -by RA Salvatore


    Most of these are just the first books in entire trilogies or series, but since you need them from different sources. . .

    These are some of my favorite books by some not-so-well known authors or major authors who aren't already mentioned. I think that most of the "big-timers" have already been mentioned
  25. Jades Fire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1998
    star 4
    Conqueror's Heritage by Timothy Zahn.
    The best SciFi book I've read to date. It is the second book of the series, and the book starts out in the perspective of the alien conqueror's, and stays there the entire book.

    Dune by Frank Herbert. What SciFi list would be complete without Dune. Tough to get into but once you do, you're hooked.

    The Stand by Stephen King. Personally, I consider this more scifi/fantasy than horror. A story about a virus that wipes out 99.9% of the population of Earth, with a battle between the forces of good and evil for the souls of those remaining. Considered by many to be the best Stephen King book.
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