SciFi and Fantasy Book Club discussion

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message 1: by Laurel (new)

Laurel I am a self professed fantasy junkie - have read all the major works, love to discover new authors, and naturally gravitate to the fantasy section of the store, (sadly, often in the corner). Having said that, this group has made me curious about sci fi. I've ordered Neuromancer and Ender's Game, but I don't know where to go next. Anyone with some suggestions?


message 2: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) You might want to try some of Catherine Asaro's work. Her books are science fiction with a fantasy feel. In Conquest Born by C.S. Friedman would probably appeal to you too.

I have to admit that I really hated "Neuromancer". I know that's heresy, but I thought it was awful. However, I did like William Gibson's Pattern Recognition and The Difference Engine.


message 3: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 255 comments Sargasso of Space is good, old-fashioned SF fun. It's worth a look if you can still find it at the library.


message 4: by Brad (last edited Nov 27, 2008 06:48AM) (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 1640 comments I think the obvious place to go for a fantasy fanatic is to go to who you know -- therefore, Ursula LeGuin. Two of the finest sci-fi novels ever written are hers: The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed. Hope you like them.


message 5: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) Brad is absolutely right. "The Left Hand of Darkness" is a science fiction must-read. I've never read "The Dispossessed", but I do have a copy. I need to get to that.


message 6: by Brooke (new)

Brooke A question about The Left Hand of Darkness - A Wizard of Earthsea left me pretty lukewarm towards LeGuin, should I still give Left Hand a shot? Is it different in style/tone?


message 7: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 1640 comments Left Hand is a bit dense at the beginning, mostly because of the way LeGuin uses language to define her gender themes (although the rewards are immense once the density slips away), and it's been a loooooonnng time since I read Earthsea, but if I remember correctly the tone is completely different. Certainly the themes and message are totally different.


message 8: by Brad (last edited Nov 27, 2008 08:13AM) (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 1640 comments Good suggestion, BunWat. Starting with either of those, if they became something one enjoyed, would undoubtedly lead back to the others too.


message 9: by JuliAnna (last edited Nov 27, 2008 08:49AM) (new)

JuliAnna | 53 comments I think Connie Willis would be an excellent place to start for a fantasy buff. I would recommend starting with either The Doomsday Book (if you like big thick books and Medieval England) or To Say Nothing of the Dog (which has a more literary feel).

I love Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan series, but I never know where to advise folks to start. Definitely don't start with Falling Free, as it lacks much of what is most wonderful about the series.

I wouldn't rule out LeGuin's science fiction based on your feelings about Earthsea. I find the tone and style of her books vary greatly depending on her subject and purpose.

I would also recommend Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age.


message 10: by TeraD (last edited Feb 25, 2009 02:08AM) (new)

TeraD (teradugan) Dune by Frank Herbert is a must and Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson is terrific.


message 11: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Thanks everyone - these sound great. Please tell me about more!


message 12: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) Libbie, I don't think "Left Hand of Darkness" would be too weird at all for someone who is familiar with the fantasy genre. I think it's really an excellent cross-over novel.


message 13: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) L.E. Modesitt Jr. is a good fantasy author. His Recluse series is excellent.

Eddings David did well on the Belgariad (5 books), although it wouldn't hurt to skip the rest of the books in that series. I also liked the Elenium. Not Chaucer, but good, quick reads.


message 14: by Ruby (new)

Ruby Hollyberry | 66 comments Jane Lindskold writes both F & SF - my fave of hers is more SF: Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls.

I also try to make everyone read Dune, and Snow Crash and Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson.

Melissa Scott is a fantastic SF writer. Mighty Good Road is probably the best introduction to her books, and to SF in general of her books, although the more complicated Night Sky Mine is my fave.

I don't care for LeGuin at all, myself. A better writer along the same lines I think is Sydney J. Van Scyoc. The Darkchild trilogy (Darkchild is the first), Sunwaifs, and Starmother are my faves. They read much like fantasy except they are set on other worlds settled by humans.

A fun and funny sci fi writer whose books are very approachable is Alan Dean Foster. I highly recommend the Icerigger trilogy, Cyber Way, Codgerspace, Sentenced to Prism, or The End of the Matter.

My mother did not used to read sci fi, and I seduced her into it using mainly Elizabeth Moon's space opera series - start with Once a Hero and you'll never go back. Remnant Population, as someone mentioned, is also awesome.


message 15: by Ruby (new)

Ruby Hollyberry | 66 comments I forgot to mention, of all people, the amazing ANDRE NORTON. :) With her stuff it is sometimes hard to separate F from SF. Anybody who reads Forerunner or the original Witch World will be hooked on her permanently. Which ain't so bad considering she wrote it seems like hundreds of novels. Year of the Unicorn is another fave of mine.


message 16: by Sue (new)

Sue Bowling (sueannbowling) | 36 comments Someday I'm going to have to pull my 8' or so of Andre Norton paperbacks off their physical shelf and put them on my Goodreads shelf. I've been reading her stuff since the 50's and know I haven't seen all of it.


message 18: by stormhawk (new)

stormhawk | 412 comments McCaffrey's Pern books start as a perfectly good fantasy series and transition into a science fiction series. Read Dragonflight/Dragonquest/White Dragon and then Dragonsong/Dragonsinger/Dragondrums

Bradley's Darkover books do the same, although I'd suggest reading them in world history order rather than publication date order.


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Difference Engine (other topics)
Pattern Recognition (other topics)
In Conquest Born (other topics)
Sargasso Of Space (other topics)
The Dispossessed (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Catherine Asaro (other topics)
David Eddings (other topics)
L.E. Modesitt Jr. (other topics)
Tanya Huff (other topics)
C.J. Cherryh (other topics)
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