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Good sci-fi/fantasy other than STAR WARS.

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

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  1. Darth Ludicrous

    Darth Ludicrous Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 25, 2000
    Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett is also great. It is a stunning comedy of apocalyptic proportions.
  2. Mastadge

    Mastadge Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 4, 1999
    I agree, that was a hilarious book. ineffably so.
  3. Dewlanna Solo

    Dewlanna Solo Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 31, 1999
    Asimov's Caves of Steele is a classic murder mystery set in the future. There are several sequels. Naked under the Sun and Robots of Dawn and I think one other.

    Anne McCaffrey's Pegasus books and the Rowan books are good, these are really 2 series that link together.

    Zahn's Conquerors trilogy is the best SciFi I've read in years. Conqueror's Heritage may be the best SciFi book ever.
    It certainly transported me to another place and time and keep me there for the enite book.

    I've just started Lois McMaster's Bujuld's Vor series Looks like that will be a good series too.

  4. Mavrick889

    Mavrick889 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 27, 1999
    Wow, awsome calls by Darth Ludicrous! Listen to him!

    Anything by Kurt Vonnegut (not all of it is fantasy) is great. Grendel is a wonderful bit.

    And I definately recommend the "Discworld" series if you want to read a long, long, long series of Fantasy books.
  5. Rhaegar

    Rhaegar Jedi Youngling star 2

    Aug 29, 2001
    I cannot recommend highly enough George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy masterpiece. The series, titled A Song of Ice and Fire, is destined to become a classic. I've read the other so-called "masters" of fantasy: Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, Tad Williams and many more. They simply are not in the same class as Mr. Martin. He is so good in fact that I have given a copy of A GAME OF THRONES to people (my parents and my sister) who always frowned on my passion for sci-fi/fantasy books. Needless to say, they are hooked and have demanded the other two books in the series. A truly great piece of writing, and well above the norms of the fantasy genre.
  6. corran_rouge9

    corran_rouge9 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Jul 28, 2001

    I haven't seen anyone else have this yet, and I just have to bring it up! I didn't read them till recently, and actually listened to the first(which is a little slow). However, the 2 and 3rd books in the series are absolutely amazing. They are by Deborah Chester.

    Also have to add endorsement to Lord of the Rings which I finished yesterday; Conquerer's series; and Icarus Hunt. All wonderous books.
  7. Jeremyguy

    Jeremyguy Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 11, 1998
    Many good suggestions here. I'd like to add Elizabeth Haydon's Rhapsody, Mike Stackpole's Talion: Revenant, and Pawn of Prophecy (book 1 of The Belgariad) by David Eddings. Haydon and Eddings have interesting takes on the nature of magic. Talion is, as DL described to me, Stackpole getting Jedi right before he ever wrote Star Wars.
  8. Anakin SkySolo

    Anakin SkySolo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 20, 1999
    I agree about Slaughterhouse Five, or the Children's Crusade by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. That'd also be an excellent book for a literature course. Though I don't find it a difficult read. It jumps around a bit, but it isn't the most convoluted time travel novel I've read. That honor goes to The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold. Excellent novel.

    I'd also suggest The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. Or Childhood's End or The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke. Or The Dispossessed or The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin. And so on...

    On a side issue--

    Gandolf the Grey says--

    Jordan is a great world-builder, surpassing even Tolkien and Martin for the depth of his creation...

    Eru forbid that I should disagree with the Grey Pilgrim himself...however...

    Much as I enjoy The Wheel of Time, I think Tolkien is still the master world-builder (although his world is supposed to a mythical past of our own world...but that's another point). I've seen no one else who gives such careful consideration to how languages evolve and develop in his world, and what that evolution infers for his world's history. Or (for that matter) any other author who has spent as much time developing those fictional languages in the first place.

    Much of the depth of his world lies in the material published after his death--The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and the twelve-volume History of Middle-Earth. And certainly the material isn't all self-consistent, even if you just consider the latter (LotR and after) material alone...

    But I'm still astonished just how cohesive Tolkien's vision of his world remains, and how much detail he preserved regarding history of the twelve thousand years between the awakening of the Elves and the early Fourth Age (along with some details of the preceding forty millenia) along with the details of its many peoples, hundreds of characters, and the histories of all of them.

    So, no, I don't think anyone has quite topped Tolkien in providing depth to his fictional world.
  9. Fluke_Groundwalker

    Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling star 5

    Aug 11, 2001
    All these books sound great!! It's going to be impossible to choose!!
  10. LordMoltar

    LordMoltar Jedi Youngling star 2

    Jul 25, 2001
    Another Sci-Fi/Fantasy mixture that I enjoyed was the "Deathstalker" series by Simon Green. The best way to describe it is it's like "Star Wars", only way more violent and bloodier. It's also a bit cruder and adult in tone, but still highly enjoyable in a high adventure sense.
  11. Mastadge

    Mastadge Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 4, 1999
    Fluke, your list looked good but for one thing: I'd recommend taking off 2001 and putting on Clarke's Rama instead.
  12. Fluke_Groundwalker

    Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling star 5

    Aug 11, 2001
    Ok. Only now, I need to choose a STAR WARS book to put on that list.
  13. Wedge 88

    Wedge 88 Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jul 16, 1999
    Yes. Rendevous with Rama is a lot better than 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  14. Mastadge

    Mastadge Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 4, 1999
    Fluke, for a SW book in a school course, I recommend either Cloak of Deception because it's an intro to the whole Saga, Heir to the Empire because it kind of opened the new SW publishing line, or possible the Han Solo Adventures by Brian Daley because they're lots of fun.
  15. Ramesh

    Ramesh Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 30, 2000
    Re: From STAR WARS, I've chosen I, Jedi. So, I need 4 more books

    I'd suggest
    Dark Force Rising - Zahn
    Starfighters of Adumar - Allston
    Children of the Jedi - Hambly
    Wedge's Gamble - Stackpole

    As for other good sci-fi material, there's loads out there but I personally favour Isaac Asimov.
  16. RNolan

    RNolan Jedi Youngling star 3

    Sep 5, 2000
    Somebody already mention Good Omens by Pratchett and Gaiman, but sci-fi wise The Dark Side of the Sun and Strata both by Terry Pratchett are perhaps more suitable. Fantasy wise he has written the Discworld series (26 novels, 4 computer games, at least 4 diaries and several maps) is probably the best comic-fantasy. The best to try are The Colour of Magic and its sequel The Light Fantastic. These are the most 'fantasy' of the novels, most of the rest being more satire with fantasy trimmings (but still excellent) than comic-fantasy. Guards! Guards! is also quite fantasy though and very good.

  17. Jeremyguy

    Jeremyguy Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 11, 1998
    If we're discussing funny, there's always Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  18. Jeff 42

    Jeff 42 Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 14, 1998
    For a list of 5 books, I'd probably say:

    Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
    Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
    The Gods Themselves, Isaac Asimov
    Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion (actually a single novel, like LotR), Dan Simmons
  19. Gandalf the Grey

    Gandalf the Grey Jedi Knight star 6

    May 14, 2000
    Anakin SkySolo: The published volumes of the Wheel of Time alone comprise more pseudo-history than the whole of the published notes on Tolkien?s Middle Earth. I?ve read that Jordan has hundreds of pages of information on every nation in the world, and their complete history dating back over 3500 years, plus the history of the last half of the Age of Legends. While Jordan ignored language, he paid far closer attention to other details, such as politics, economics, the arts and fashions, and myriad other factors.

    In any case, as I said, in published material alone, Jordan?s opus outweighs Tolkien?s. When you take into account the five years he spent writing the back story (at the rate he used to write, that may be as much as 5000-6000 thousand pages, and he?s certainly added to it since then), the gap grows even wider.

    Fluke: Read Martin. You won't be disapointed. It's the best fantasy series ever.
  20. Rhaegar

    Rhaegar Jedi Youngling star 2

    Aug 29, 2001
    Yes, Gandolf the Grey speaks the truth about Martin. It may sound audacious, but having read virtually every fantasy work ever published, Martin has indeed written the BEST FANTASY SERIES EVER.
  21. Arabwel

    Arabwel Jedi Youngling star 2

    Sep 20, 2001
    Absolutely ANYTHING by R.A. Salvatore EXCEPT Passage to Dawn or Vector Prime (It's his worst... And SW) . I'd recommend Servant of the Shard, has bad guys as 'heroes' and we get some serious plotting...

    (Drow-wannabe, Force-user-wannabe, assassin-wannabe, immie-wannabe...)
  22. lordmaul13

    lordmaul13 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 18, 2000
    Dune must go on your list. It is simply one of the best books that I have ever read. Oh and Chapterhouse Dune (Dune 6) is worth buying just to have the dedication at the end to Beverly Herbert. Very moving.

    I would also add H.G. Well's The Time Machine and/or The War of the Worlds. Both are classics and having just read them I can understand why.

    One I don't think anyone has mentioned is Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Just read it. By the same authors are The Mote in God's Eye (a first contact with alien species story) and it's sequel The Gripping Hand. The Mote (I thought) kind of started slow but I really got into it and I thought the sequel was just as good.

    Absolutely anything by Robert Heinlen. His works include Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land, two more books tied for first place on my list of all time favorites. I haven't read much of his work but having read those two I know I have to read more, a lot more.

    Not really science fiction but a very good read is River God by Wilbur Smith. It's about a slave in ancient Egypt. I almost cried when I finished that book it was so good. It has two sequels neither, in my opinion, as good as River God. They are called The Seventh Scroll and Warlock.

    Another favorite of mine is Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

    If I were looking at my bookshelf in my room I could probably name a lot more. But I'm not :) so I think I'll stop there.


    P.S. Good luck with your project for school.
  23. Darth Ludicrous

    Darth Ludicrous Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 25, 2000
    Fluke, my honest advice is to ditch the Star Wars novel and go with another of the novels we have suggested. There have been very many suggestions that are of literary merit, unfortunately, I do not believe that there is a single Star Wars novel that can be counted among them. I'm afraid reading a Star Wars novel will only undermine your own credibility.
    Try another one of the suggestions we have made.
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