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Topic: Can anyone reccommend me good SciFi books?

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Subject: Can anyone reccommend me good SciFi books?
Date Posted: 4/14/2008 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/13/2007
Posts: 5
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I mostly read fantasy stuff, but I'd like to get into scifi more. I used to read a lot of kids' scifi when I was little, and I read a couple Star Wars books. That and a bunch of Orson Scott Card are the only things in that genre I've ever read.

I'm not really into military-type books, the ones that focus on wars and the tactics in them. It's alright if it's set in a war, but I tend to skip over the strategy parts.


Please tell me what I should read. New or old are both good. If you could tell me some books or authors and briefly what they're about I'd really appreciate it!

Date Posted: 4/15/2008 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2008
Posts: 111
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I also tend to read fantasy, but for Science Fiction I really liked Childhood's End by Arthur Clarke. It is about how humans are evolving to a new type of being and aliens come to assist humanity in the transformation.

Date Posted: 4/15/2008 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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If you like Fantasy, but would like to sneak into Science Fiction, give Anne McCaffrey's PERN series a try!

They were published in this order:      

  • 1968                 Dragonflight
  • 1971                 Dragonquest
  • 1976                 Dragonsong
  • 1977                 Dragonsinger
  • 1978                 Dragondrums
  • 1979                 The White Dragon
  • 1983                 Moreta, Dragonlady of Pern
  • 1986                 Nerilka's Story
  • 1988                 Dragonsdawn
  • 1989                 Renegades of Pern
  • 1991                 All The Weyrs of Pern
  • 1993                 Chronicles of Pern: First Fall
  • 1994                 The Dolphins of Pern
  • 1996                 Red Star Rising/Dragonseye
  • 1998                 The Masterharper of Pern
  • 2001                 The Skies of Pern
  • 2003                 Dragon's Kin (with Todd McCaffrey) 
  • 2005                 Dragonsblood (by Todd McCaffrey)

Or for SF Romance, try the Liaden series of books by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller (a husband and wife team)

Publication order

  • Agent of Change
  • Conflict of Honors
  • Carpe Diem
  • Plan B  
  • Local Custom
  • Scout's Progress
  • I Dare


Omnibus volumes

Partners in Necessity (contains Conflict of Honors, Agent of Change, and Carpe Diem)

Pilots Choice (contains Local Custom and Scout's Progress)

Date Posted: 4/16/2008 1:26 AM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
Posts: 8
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Try the Darkover Novels by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  They have that little element of Fanasty mixed in with  Science Fiction.  Anything by Ray Bradbury and of course Robert Heinlein; The Cat Who Walked Thru Walls is fun and if you want somehting more "hard core SciFi" but not TOO technical, try Philip Dick.  Though some of his stories are hard to get into. And I agree with Cora R about Childhoods End.  It's one of the few hardcover books that I have kept and read more than once.

Enjoy your journey!


Last Edited on: 4/16/08 1:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/18/2008 12:25 AM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2006
Posts: 12
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David Brin, the first 3 books of the Uplift series: Sundiver, Startide Rising, The Uplift War.  The third one is my favorite, and they're generally independent, just set in the same universe.  In that universe, Earth is a latecomer to the galactic scene, and as such is a very low ranking clan.  Clan, because we have two "client" species: genetically engineered dolphins and chimps, both of which have been brought up to human level intelligence.

Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash.  One of the better "Cyberpunk" books out there.

Vernor Vinge, The Peace War.  A future where a group of scientists discovered a weapon that can put an inpenetrable bubble around an area, and used it to seize power.  That was a number of years ago, and now a rebellion is forming.

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy.  A humourous science fiction book.

Date Posted: 4/18/2008 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/13/2007
Posts: 5
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Thanks for the suggestions! I'll run by the library (and use some credits here ^^) and check some of them out! I've already read many of the Pern books, and the Hitchhiker's Guide, so I trust all your suggestions :)

Date Posted: 5/17/2008 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2007
Posts: 543
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Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton. (Space-opera sci-fi. Humanity has colonized hundreds of worlds. They don't travel by starships, but by wormholes. An astronomer discovers a star that suddenly disappears light-years away and a ship is built to investigate what happened). If you like sci-fi romance try: An Accidental Goddess and Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair.
Date Posted: 5/18/2008 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 454
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One I really liked was The Merchant Prince, I thought it really good and I don't even like most Sci-Fi!

Brief Description:

Despite his lack of physical stature, the five-foot-tall John Dee was a towering figure in Renaissance Europe: to royalty, enemy to the vicious de Medici clan -- and confidant of Dyckson, a member of the alien race known as the Roc.

Ancient and wise, the Roc have come to Earth to observe the evolution of humanity, not to interfere. But during the course of his studies, Dyckson has come to call Dee friend. When the de Medicis arrest Dee in Venice, Dyckson chooses to save his friend from prison and leave him in suspended animation until the year 2099. The "philosopher of Albion" wakes in a confusing future where humanity is on the brink of developing the ultimate weapon -- a weapon that will mean the destruction of the human race!

The only thing that can prevent Armageddon is a genius from the past -- but can even the great John Dee save humanity from itself?

Date Posted: 6/4/2008 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 413
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I'm reading The Snow Queen Cycle by Joan D. Vinge.  The first book one the Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.  A really strong series.  I'm on book 2 and it is atleast as good as the first.  Strong writing, strong characters, complex world that isn't difficult to understand though....

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2007
Posts: 496
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I really like the StarDoc series by SL Viehl. It is like ER in space but with lots of action, intrigue and romance. There is some technology but most of it is geared towards the medical side and it doesn't bog the books down.
Date Posted: 6/13/2008 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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I've read the SL Viehl books - - you should really give James White's Sector General series a try.

In my opinion (hey, we all like different stuff!) Sector General is much much MUCH better.

Hospital Station (1962)

Star Surgeon

Major Operation

Ambulance Ship

Sector General

Star Healer

Code Blue – Emergency

The Genocidal Healer

The Galactic Gourmet

Final Diagnosis

Mind Changer

Double Contact (1999)


James died of an unexpected stroke on August 23, 1999.




Tales of Sector General

Compilation of The Galactic Gourmet, Final Diagnosis and Mind Changer


Beginning Operations

Compilation of Hospital Station, Star Surgeon and Major Operation


Alien Emergencies

Compilation of Ambulance Ship, Sector General and Star Healer


Date Posted: 7/4/2008 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2008
Posts: 4
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Ok, no heavy strategy ...

"Light" scifi ...

Try "Hunting Party" (start of a series) by Elizabeth Moon.  Anne McCaffrey has few good ones "Dinosaur Planet", the "brainship" series - which relate to character growth of a "person" who is transplanted into a space ship.

Date Posted: 7/5/2008 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 49
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I prefer the Sector General books to the StarDoc books as well, unfortunately. I had hoped for better when I read the first Viehl, but the drama comes out of the main character's nature rather than the medical situations, and she's too much of a Mary Sue. But Karen, if you like White's stuff, have you read my other medical favorites and classics, Star Surgeon by  Alan Nourse and The Med Series by Murray Leinster. I wish there were more books like these, updated.

I also strongly support your recommendation of the Liaden books by Lee and Miller.

James, I second the Hunting Party series by Elizabeth Moon as good stories.

And, as always, I recommend Lois McMaster Bujold's books. Start with Shards of Honor.

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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Rhonda -

I read an omnibus of Leinster's Med ship stories - and I probably shouldn't have read them that way. I got SO tired of Calhoun explaining things over and over, like an info dump :-) I should have read one story a month. I was disappointed that the stories really weren't about alien medical problems and solutions, more about greedy people using the health crises for their own advantage (The Texan landgrab, for example). I could have used a whole story about Murgatroyd, though! :-)

Off to check out Nourse's Star Surgeon ... thanks for the head's up!

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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I'd like to second the nominations of Robert A. Heinlein (esp. Stranger in a Strange Land),  Ray Bradbury (esp. The Martian Chronicles), and Douglas Adams (esp. The Hitch-hiker's Guide To The Galaxy) , and add a recommendation of Walter M. Miller, Jr.'s A Canticle for Leibowitz .

Date Posted: 8/7/2008 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2006
Posts: 3
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A bunch of excellent books have been mentioned so far.

I am currently reading the Riverworld series by Philip Jose Farmer.  The books in this series are:  To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971), The Fabulous Riverboat (1971), The Dark Design (1977), The Magic Labyrinth (1980) and  Gods of Riverworld. (1983)


Date Posted: 8/9/2008 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2008
Posts: 118
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To add some more books, not being completely sure which are considered fantasy and which are truly sci-fi, I would recommend the following: The Excalibur Alternative by David Weber Oath of Swords by David Weber 1632 by Eric Flint The Warlock in Spite of Himself by Christopher Stasheff Uplift War by David Brin any book by Lois McMaster Bujold and for fun although it is not Sci-Fi but more fantasy try Terry Pratchett. I have lots of mystery and fantasy/sci-fiction on my bookshelf but these are all keepers. Maybe other people are willing to get rid of their copies. I do have lots of Darkover books that I would be willing to deal on if anyone is interested.
Subject: Quantico
Date Posted: 8/27/2008 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2008
Posts: 18
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by Greg Bear

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 8/27/2008 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I like it all...

I am more into hard SF, but I've been reading the Patternist series by Octavia Butler, which is different, but very good. 

Date Posted: 9/6/2008 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2008
Posts: 14
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Frank Herbert's "Dune" series should be on this list as well.

Date Posted: 9/6/2008 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2006
Posts: 11
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I just finished a trilogy that I really liked. It's quite different from the usual Sci-Fi and Fantasy fare. There is a bit of high tech with intrigue, some steampunk, battles and just plain good reading. It may not be just what you are looking for, but it's definitely worth checking out.

Karl Schroeder


There are so many good books and authors out there. Many have been mentioned and here are a few more for you.

Any and all of Andre Norton.

Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series.

Greg Bear, Roger Zelazny, C J Cherryh (Forty Thousand in Gehenna), A King of Infinite Space by Allen Steele

Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke (the series can by on the technical side, but it's fantastic!)

And for a cool steampunk story, Whitechapel Gods by SM Peters.

There are many more where these came from!


Last Edited on: 9/6/08 4:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/7/2008 10:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2008
Posts: 6
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Anything by Mercedes Lackay is always a good read..   Mostly Fantasy, so SF.   Here huge series of the world of Vandarmar  is my all time favorite.

Magic's Promise , Magic's Price,  Magic's Pawn are the 1st 2 books written.  If you haven't tried, go for it!




Date Posted: 9/8/2008 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 9/7/2008
Posts: 2
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Larry Niven, the ringworld series is great

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2008
Posts: 1
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One book that is sci/fi/ horror/ action is The Taking by Dean Koontz. This book gave me chills all the while still had that sci/fi plot as well.

Subject: Saje Williams
Date Posted: 10/19/2008 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2008
Posts: 20
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Has anyone seen Saje Williams' stuff. Great urban fantasy stuff. It's based in the area that I live (Seattle, Tacoma, Portland).  I really liked his book Loki's Sin and Tales from the Magitech Lounge.