Eon by Greg Bear ...Imagine a hollowed-out asteroid in Earth orbit, that's 300 miles long on the outside, but infinitely big on the inside...
...To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Phillip José Farmer. I haven't even heard of the guy before - but I was pretty much blown away by this book:....
Boerseun, my good buddy!
Welcome! Here, have a seat and a drop of this fine Irish whiskey.
You have picked two awesome books.
I read Eon
only about two years ago. It would be on my list of "bests" except for the fact that the asteroid was hollowed out by Humans, who then sent it into the past to serve as a rescue vehicle for after WWIII, which the future Humans knew about, of course -- since THEY survived only because of the asteroid which had been there as a "lifeboat" for THEM after THEIR WWIII... The cause-effect difficulties will become clear after a few minutes of thought. But the story itself is damned well done. Mind-bending.
Philip Jose Farmer was the first SF author to put explicit sex in a SF novel ("The Lover
"). It wasn't pornographic by any means, but nobody, not even R.A.Heinlein had done more than hint at human procreation until then. The protagonist is a well-respected member of Earth's religious-bureaucracy-tyranny. Sex is all but outlawed. He is sent to one of our space colonies to investigate an accident. There he encounters a woman who is not sure of her name or origins, but she is beautiful. And she exerts a powerful, irresistable sexual attraction upon him. Against his will (and his powerful anti-sex brainwashing), he finds himself repeatedly copulating with her, until he finally gives up all efforts to resist. He decides he will appeal to the Church for a divorce, and marry this perfect woman he has found. Only she isn't a perfect woman. She really isn't a woman at all. She isn't even Human.To Your Scattered Bodies Go
is another mind-bending novel that isn't "hard core SF" because the basic premise is pretty much a fantasy: A race of super-beings decide they shall build a duplicate Earth, only it will contain just one river that will cover the entire planet in a serpentine fashion. These aliens then go backwards in time and insert a "recorder" in every Human that lived since about 10,000 BC. When we die, the entire recorded life history is uploaded into the North Pole of the artificial planet and used to grow a clone, complete with memories. The clone wakes up on The River. This is a fantastic vehicle for story writing, and enables you to pit Mark Twain against Himmler and Alexander the Great against Napolean. I loved the first book in this series, but the others were a drag. I only read the final book to find out who the aliens were. Big woop.