Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Best SF Novels Ever Written


  • Please log in to reply
83 replies to this topic

#69 Pyrotex

Pyrotex

    Slaying Bad Memes

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5702 posts

Posted 13 July 2006 - 12:08 PM

...Contact...Spacecat was one of the first SF books I ever read...

You are the ONLY person I have ever met who even HEARD of the "spacecat" science fiction books for children. I read "Space Cat" and "Space Cat Goes to Mars". Were there any others???

The art work in those books was delightful. I read them when I was in the 4th grade.

#70 Nootropic

Nootropic

    Questioning

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 178 posts

Posted 13 July 2006 - 12:58 PM

Oh...well, hold on for a second. Actually, I read a book about cat that goes into space, but interestingly enough is called Spacebread. For the longest time I remembered it as "Spacecat" but it's Spacebread as I have now confirmed. Heh, my memory likes to trick me sometimes.

#71 haloman

haloman

    Thinking

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts

Posted 06 October 2006 - 05:24 PM

Has to be halo novels with the death and blood and um... oh the space battles really good books.

#72 Pyrotex

Pyrotex

    Slaying Bad Memes

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5702 posts

Posted 07 October 2006 - 06:18 PM

I'm baaaa-aack!

City by Clifford D. Simak.
Simak is best known for his short stories with terrific twists.
In his novel, City, he takes several of his short stories that have a similar theme or similar backgrounds and strings them together, surrounded by a shell-plot that holds them together, and adds an introduction and an extended afterword that successfully create an epic of Mankind's struggle--and failure--to explore space and embrace the challenges of an infinite universe. Chilling.

#73 Michaelangelica

Michaelangelica

    Creating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7797 posts

Posted 08 October 2006 - 02:38 AM

The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle.

Has anyone mentioned E Doc Smith (probably not? very low brow, but fun)

Would any of T. Prattchet's books qualify as Science Fiction perhaps "Good Omens which he wrote with Neil Gayman?

#74 Pyrotex

Pyrotex

    Slaying Bad Memes

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5702 posts

Posted 09 October 2006 - 03:18 PM

The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle....

yesyesyesyes!

I have never read that book--until two weeks ago! I have a LOT of time on my hands these days and found a paperback copy in a box of my wife's books.
Well done book. The science in it is spelled out in detail. One footnote even contains the calculus that proves a point made by one of the characters in the book!

#75 maikeru

maikeru

    Explaining

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 794 posts

Posted 31 October 2006 - 08:30 PM

The New Sun tetralogy by Gene Wolfe.

Some time in the distant future, the sun begins to die and Urth descends into the long night. Urth's rulers and teeming masses have fled to the stars, and in their wake, they've left behind a desperate few in a world held in the dark ages. In this dying world, a young man grows up among the Seekers for Truth and Penitence, also called the Torturers, and discovers that all is not as seems in the Republic, that ships may travel between worlds and ages, and that the Autarch and Conciliator are more than they appear to be.

The Fifth Head of Cerberus also by Gene Wolfe

An anthropologist visits a planet where human settlers have arrived and replaced the aboriginal alien lifeforms...or have they? Is Marsh who he says he is? What is the difference between the conquerors and the conquered?

Now for some oldies...

I have a fondness for anything by Jules Verne, such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or Around the World in 80 Days. H.G. Wells had some great books. War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man. More science-fiction adventure and fantasy, they still provided me a lot of wonder and excitement in my childhood. Then I moved onto Asimov, Clarke, and others as I got older. I have to admit I don't read as much SF as I used to.
  • Pyrotex likes this

#76 Moontanman

Moontanman

    Unobtainium...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9029 posts

Posted 03 February 2009 - 11:32 PM

The first Science fiction book I ever read and it's sequel, they had a big impact on me and I have loved science fiction ever since."When Worlds Collide" and the sequel "After Worlds Collide" Written 1933 but still really great books.

When Worlds Collide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

#77 Boerseun

Boerseun

    Phantom Cow of Justice

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6062 posts

Posted 04 February 2009 - 01:24 AM

I'm baaaa-aack!

City by Clifford D. Simak.
Simak is best known for his short stories with terrific twists.
In his novel, City, he takes several of his short stories that have a similar theme or similar backgrounds and strings them together, surrounded by a shell-plot that holds them together, and adds an introduction and an extended afterword that successfully create an epic of Mankind's struggle--and failure--to explore space and embrace the challenges of an infinite universe. Chilling.

Wasn't "City" the one about dogs having taken over from humanity? And them talking about the mythical "humans" who lived in "cities" thousands of years ago - a "city" being an unthinkable concept to dogs?

Just checking - if it's the same book, I enjoyed it thoroughly!

#78 Boerseun

Boerseun

    Phantom Cow of Justice

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6062 posts

Posted 04 February 2009 - 01:48 AM

Eon by Greg Bear is probably one of my all-time faves.

The book does tend to take itself a little too serious at times, but it presents a couple of mind-bending concepts regarding space, time and causality. Imagine a hollowed-out asteroid in Earth orbit, that's 300 miles long on the outside, but infinitely big on the inside...

The sequel, Eternity, didn't quite do it for me. But Eon totallyrocked, and comes highly recommended!

Also, I recently ran into 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:

Imagine waking up Matrix-Style, covered in snot and plugged into a grid together with other bodies, rotating in some sort of a force field like chickens on a spit. Then passing out again, and then waking up in a valley in which a river flows. The valley is bordered by 20,000m high impassable mountains. The valley, seemingly endless in both directions, is populated by every human who ever lived! You team up with a primitive cave-man and a guy from the early 21st century. The main character himself is a 19th century Victorian explorer. Soon, wars break out as political entities start to establish themselves, with Heinrich Himmler building a quasi-Nazi state using the help of 12th century meso-American slaves! And when, through some misfortune, any of the characters were to die, you just wake up in some random stretch of the river again, seemingly for the rest of eternity...

Sounds a bit dodgy, but at the end (which I won't spoil) the entire thing makes perfect sense. Crazy, but in an awesome way!

Pyro, you seem to be plugged in to the Sci-Fi scene - what's your opinion of Philip Farmer?

By the way - I don't quite know what the legalities regarding this is, but there's a guy who swears his e-books are legit in that he "borrows" it to you, and you then return it by "deleting" it off your computer. He also limits you to "borrow" only five books from him per week. Kinda like a library. So, it may just be legit. But visit www.truly-free.org and decide for yourself. Both the above books are available there, and although some of his books have some serious OCR artefacts, there are quite a couple of good and rare finds there.

#79 Pyrotex

Pyrotex

    Slaying Bad Memes

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5702 posts

Posted 04 February 2009 - 01:46 PM

Wasn't "City" the one about dogs having taken over from humanity? ...!

Right you are, mate!
The frame story protagonists are a family of intelligent "dogs" -- and an ancient robot, who used to be the robo-butler of a family of humans who lived thousands of years ago. One of those humans had been a doctor who experimented on his pet dogs. The intelligent "dogs" are the descendents of those genetically enhanced canines. Over the course of the book, we learn that Mankind reached for the Stars, but fear and self-recrimination won out. Millions of surviving humans spend the centuries in computer controlled cryo-tanks, living dream lives in simulated realities; or have been transformed into super-gargoyles, living in the paradise-hell of Jupiter's abyssal "surface". On Earth, only the "dogs" remain. And one mentor robot who tells them stories of the far distant past.

And the ants. Who have learned to smelt iron...

#80 Tormod

Tormod

    Hypographer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14353 posts

Posted 04 February 2009 - 02:04 PM

Greg Bear's SF gets a thumbs-up from me - talk about massive concepts! His fantasy stuff is more shaky IMHO.

I recently read Anathem by Neal Stephenson. It instantly placed itself on my Top 10 list (which is a pretty crowded list as it is).

Currently reading The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan. Can't say I'm much impressed by this apparent fantasy-which-wants-to-be-SF story. Hopefully it will grow on me.

Oh, for a great read: Just about anything by Charles Stross!

#81 Pyrotex

Pyrotex

    Slaying Bad Memes

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5702 posts

Posted 04 February 2009 - 02:14 PM

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.

#82 Moontanman

Moontanman

    Unobtainium...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9029 posts

Posted 04 February 2009 - 04:43 PM

S.M. Stirling "The Domination" The book will make you feel dirty for liking the bad guys! It'll tear at your own sense of right and wrong and make you want to be one of the bad guys. It's great book, as is its sequel "Drakon"; they make you wonder how we would really fare in a competition with a truly aggressive moral-less society.

#83 Donk

Donk

    Understanding

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 338 posts

Posted 05 February 2009 - 07:58 PM

I've read about three-quarters of the titles mentioned so far (I have most of them on my shelves right now). Just finished re-re-reading David Brin's Uplift Series. I lost the last book in the sequence (Heaven's Reach) in a house move a couple of years ago and was given a replacement at Christmas :sherlock:

I'll be needing a new copy of Earth (Brin again). Probably my current favourite, and threatening to fall apart. Set in the near future, humanity recovering from an environmental catastrophe which could have wiped us out if we hadn't woken up in time. Interspersed with pieces showing the likely evolution of the internet - considering Brin wrote it in 1990, his predictions have been pretty much spot on. The core plot (pun intended) is a black hole that has been carelessly dropped into the earth, and which could eat the planet in short order.

Anyone remember the Unorthodox Engineers series of short stories by Colin Kapp? "You have a man on your team who specialises in theft? What's his job title?" "Quartermaster!" :turtle:

I have most of the output of the Big Three of my day - Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein. Asimov wrote better puzzles, Clarke wrote better science, Heinlein wrote better people. I'd agree with a previous post that Larry Niven manages to combine the best writing traits of all of them. Special thanks to Larry for writing Fallen Angels, where us SF fans get a starring role!

And a couple of oldies: A Martian Odyssey and The New Adam by Stanley G Weinbaum. Weinbaum died in 1935 - many authors, including Asimov, said that they were inspired by his work.

#84 Tormod

Tormod

    Hypographer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14353 posts

Posted 18 October 2010 - 06:07 PM

Has anyone read Greg Bears new "Hull3" which is out now? I'm waiting for the Kindle edition which is coming up on my 40th birthday so that's gotta be a good match. :D