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Offline msmpls

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Gimme your recommendations!
« on: April 16, 2007, 11:13:18 AM »
For years I was a snob and only read books by one author: Joyce Carol Oates. Then I got my school on for a bit and didn't read anything but textbooks. Now I've gotten back into my old bibliophilic ways and I need some recommendations for good science fiction/fantasy books.

Here's what I know I like:
Oates - Gritty and real. She cuts to the heart of human emotion and experience. Extremely prolific novelist whose characters are usually outsiders with no desire to run with the "in-crowd". Lots of violence, death and misery...a great read all around.
Card - Ender's Game. Fast paced and compelling with characters that were easy to relate to. Not terribly much jargon (I sometimes get confused with cyberpunk books because the tech terminology goes over my head. What can I say? I'm pretty old fashioned). I liked the dystopian setting..anything ripe with politcal overtones is groovy.
Heinlein - pretty much the same reasons I like Card. I dig the "hard" science fiction aspect of his work. (As a nursing major for two years I totally appreciate the scientific approach. I also liked how his work centers heavily on social themes.

Here's what I would prefer to avoid:
Series (at least lengthy series, trilogies are cool) - I like everything in a neat little package. One book is fine, thank you. I don't need to read fifty of them with the same characters.
Typical "hero saves the damsel in distress" - it's sexist and boring and I don't have time for that shit.

Well that's pretty much it. I'm totally open to all suggestions (except what's listed above) but if possible recommend books that are easily available in paperback at my local sci-fi bookstore (rather than newly released material).

Thanks in advance!!!
there, there my dear. Few corpses are worth tears.


Offline mrbasehart

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Re: Gimme your recommendations!
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2007, 01:30:39 PM »
Richard K Morgan does a nice line in crossing Noir with Sci-Fi, though his first book, Altered Carbon, is by far his best.  John Meaney's To Hold Infinity is pretty cool, too.


Offline MarkAndrew

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Re: Gimme your recommendations!
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2007, 01:37:36 PM »

Here's what I would prefer to avoid:
Series (at least lengthy series, trilogies are cool) - I like everything in a neat little package. One book is fine, thank you. I don't need to read fifty of them with the same characters.
Typical "hero saves the damsel in distress" - it's sexist and boring and I don't have time for that shit.


Well you just disqualified a heck of a lot with those two...I guess I'd say "The Lies of Locke Lamorra" and "Mistborn" if you MUST have standalone novels.  Also take a look at Guy G. Kay.


Offline 6079SmithW

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Re: Gimme your recommendations!
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2007, 01:50:08 PM »
ALFRED BESTER

If you like science fiction but find the cliches annoying, he's your man- not only does he play with or avoid them, he deconstructs them marvelously while still telling great stories in a lot of his short fiction

If you like old fashioned sci-fi, you're cool, because his good stuff was all written by the 50's

If you like brevity, you're set, because the man only wrote two good books and one lump of short stories

If you like good authors, he's probably one of the top four or five ever to work in sci-fi, in terms of prose skill alone

Honestly, my father liked The Stars, My Destination and he hasn't read any science fiction in roughly thirty years. It and The Demolished Man are among the few books of the genre I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone, no matter how nerdy they weren't.


Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Gimme your recommendations!
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2007, 11:37:12 PM »
bradbury


Offline AmazingThor

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Re: Gimme your recommendations!
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2007, 03:44:05 AM »
If you like more hard sci-fi, Cordwainer Smith has a ton of short stories. Also Cyril M. Kornbluth.


Offline Sharktopus

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Re: Gimme your recommendations!
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2007, 05:19:29 AM »
I recommend Neil Gaiman's American Gods to people who enjoy fiction that doesn't suck.


Offline msmpls

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Re: Gimme your recommendations!
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2007, 07:25:27 AM »
thanks all, keep 'em coming!
there, there my dear. Few corpses are worth tears.


Offline SmilinJackRoss

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Re: Gimme your recommendations!
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2007, 08:52:44 AM »
I liked the dystopian setting..anything ripe with politcal overtones is groovy.
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Offline msmpls

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Re: Gimme your recommendations!
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2007, 09:49:08 AM »
man oh man I loves me some Margie Atwood! Handmaid's Tale is one of my all time favorites.
Anyone read the sequel to Ender's Game? Speaker for the Dead?
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Offline AmazingThor

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Re: Gimme your recommendations!
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2007, 10:00:01 AM »
I recommend Neil Gaiman's American Gods to people who enjoy fiction that doesn't suck.
Naw, I prefer my fiction to suck. ;D


Offline Brak

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Re: Gimme your recommendations!
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2007, 10:32:18 AM »
I've read Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide and i liked them. For some reason i stopped in the middle of Xenocide and didnt finish it but they both are great books.  I heard that Children of the mind and the other ender books (Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hedgemon) are good as well but i havent had a chance to read them yet.  But if you like Orson Scott Cards writing then you should like the sequels, but they arent as great as Enders Game (can't beat the original)

Ive also heard that Battlefield Earth the book is good, i havent read it myself.  My uncle said that the movie didnt do the book justice at all, hence why it was made a rifftrax since it was so terrible.

If you like fantasy you could try Greg Park's book called Veil of Darkness.  I know that he has a 2nd book out now and the first book for cheap if its still available on amazon.com.  If i think of any others i'll let you know


Offline Sinflux

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Re: Gimme your recommendations!
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2007, 12:46:25 PM »
If you like hard sci-fi I suggest Alastair Reynolds.  Some people find him a little dull but he's my favorite writer.  Revelation Space is favorite but Chasm City has more of a plot.  All of his books are a little tied together but you don't need to read any one to understand the others.
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Offline mrbasehart

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Re: Gimme your recommendations!
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2007, 01:36:04 PM »
If you like hard sci-fi I suggest Alastair Reynolds.  Some people find him a little dull but he's my favorite writer.  Revelation Space is favorite but Chasm City has more of a plot.  All of his books are a little tied together but you don't need to read any one to understand the others.

Chasm City is certainly my favourite of his.  The others tend to meander just a little bit, which is cool if you like to wallow in the universe, but I prefer a little more "drive" in my books.


Offline 6079SmithW

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Re: Gimme your recommendations!
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2007, 01:47:43 PM »
man oh man I loves me some Margie Atwood! Handmaid's Tale is one of my all time favorites.
Anyone read the sequel to Ender's Game? Speaker for the Dead?
Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind are all pretty good, or at least I thought so back when I liked Ender's Game (I tried re-reading it and the shitty prose put me off.) The other sequel series is, the Shadow books, is terrible.