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What Else Are You Reading? > New to Scifi/Fantasy. Needing Suggestions

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message 1: by Connie (new)

Connie (conster) | 6 comments Hey fellow Swordees and Laserers,

I've read a handful of fantasy back when I was in middle school and had a lot of time (it was also really convenient that I lived close to a library at the time). But for the last few years I haven't had a lot of time for myself.

I got myself a kindle a month ago, so it's a lot easier for me to read a few pages when I'm riding the bus or right before I head to bed.

I want to know what you guys would suggest for me to read because I haven't really read too many Scifi books. I have a few books in my to-read list (mostly suggestions I catch from the Tuesday Night Hangouts and Sword and Laser on GeekAndSundry).

message 2: by Alex (new)

Alex Ristea (alexristea) | 654 comments I'll recommend you a few that are popular nowadays (so that you're in the know) and that are my personal favs (so that you read awesome stuff).

Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Game of Thrones by George R R Martin
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

Also, this list is pretty accurate:

message 3: by Daniel (last edited Nov 28, 2012 09:23PM) (new)

Daniel McMillan (Nerdtek) | 19 comments Definitely would recommend Neal Stephenson on the Sci Fi end of things. Snow Crash and The Diamond Age. Plus William Gibson Neuromancer and the rest of the Sprawl books. Some of his newer stuff is really intriguing. If you're looking for classic Sci Fi. Arthur C. Clarke 2001: A Space Odyssey of course, and Rendezvous With Rama. Of course Robert A. Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land this one is an absolute must read. I would also recommend his Starship Troopers. Ray Bradbury and the must read book about censorship Fahrenheit 451 I also quite enjoyed The Martian Chronicles and the awesome time travel paradox story A Sound of Thunder found in A Sound of Thunder and Other Stories. Slan by A.E. van Vogt a Golden age Sci Fi book about prejudice. There's a ton of Isaac Asimov books that I could recommend but there's so many of them I don't have room to list them all. That would give you a good overall introduction to Sci Fi there is a lot more authors and books though. Anne McCaffrey,Frank Herbert,Larry Niven just to name a few more authors.

message 4: by Connie (new)

Connie (conster) | 6 comments Thank you both, Alex and Daniel. I've started adding a majority of these books to my to-read list and I'm loving the variety :)

message 5: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5164 comments Mod
Both Alex and Daniel have some really great suggestions already.

It can be really hard to suggest Sci-Fi/Fantasy books, without suggesting very long series, especially in the Fantasy setting.

I've tried to come up with my top 3 stand-alone* (some of the books have sequels/follow-ons, etc but none of them I would deem critical to reading and enjoying these books unless you liked them so much)

1. Ender's Game
2. Snow Crash
3. Ready Player One

1. The Hobbit (which we're reading in December!)
2. American Gods
3. The Eyes of the Dragon

Overall my top 3 series are:
1. The Dresden Files - Jim Butcher (Urban Fantasy)
2. The Dark Tower - Stephen King (Hard to classify exactly. I'll just say non-traditional fantasy with some horror and sci-fi mixed in)
3. Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan (Fantasy)

I guess those are all Fantasy, but then I'm more sword than laser. I'd also second Alex's suggestions of Song of Ice & Fire (Game of Thrones) and Mistborn as well.

If I had to pick something sci-fi, I'd probably say some of the Ender books. I'm sure there are better series out there, but I'm not as well read in sci-fi.

I like the books in the Shadow Sage more than the Ender's Saga though.

message 6: by Felicia (new)

Felicia Some sci-fi/fantasy books that I have enjoyed:

Dune - fantastic sci-fi classic
A Game of Thrones (Song of Ice and Fire series) - enjoyable (and very extensive) fantasy epic
Assassin's Apprentice (the Farseer trilogy) - good, fairly easy to read fantasy

message 7: by Daniel (new)

Daniel McMillan (Nerdtek) | 19 comments Oh yeah if you like Arthurian stuff The Mists of Avalon is a great read!

message 8: by Dharmakirti (new)

Dharmakirti | 942 comments Some great books that haven't been mentioned yet:

Alif the Unseen - one of my favorite books from 2012.

The Darkness that Comes Before,The Warrior Prophet, The Thousandfold Thought, The Judging Eye, White Luck Warrior - these books comprise R. Scott Bakker's ongoing Second Apocalypse series. They are dark, dense, literate, philosophical fantasy and amongst my favorite books in the genre by one of my favorite authors.

C.S. Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy - Black Sun Rising, When True Night Falls and Crown of Shadows

C.S. Friedman's Magister Trilogoy - Feast of Souls, Wings of Wrath and Legacy of Kings

message 9: by Liz (new)

Liz | 13 comments Alex wrote: "I'll recommend you a few that are popular nowadays (so that you're in the know) and that are my personal favs (so that you read awesome stuff).

Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Game of Thrones..."

I second everything he just said, though I'd like to add that Brandon Sanderson - author of the aforementioned Mistborn trilogy, is both prolific and a genius, and you should consider reading ALL his novels, not just Mistborn. Specifically "The Way of Kings" and "Elantris". Elantris is a standalone, in case you don't have the stamina at any one time to read a 10 volume Scifi/Fantasy series.

message 10: by Ryne (new)

Ryne | 68 comments In fantasy I'd have to suggest my favorite book, Sabriel. It's different than the traditional Tolkien fantasy and a bit darker in tone. Another favorite of mine is The Haunting of Alzaibel Cray, a horror fantasy story that felt fresha nd unique in it's own right.

message 11: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4744 comments Connie wrote: "I want to know what you guys would suggest for me to read because I haven't really read too many Scifi books. I have a few books in my to-read list (mostly suggestions I catch from the Tuesday Night Hangouts and Sword and Laser on GeekAndSundry)."

There are some good recommendations here already (and some terrible ones), but I'd like to know which books you already love or hate in order to give you a more nuanced recommendation. I can't really get a sense of what you like from your book list.

message 12: by Gabrielle (new)

Gabrielle | 11 comments Connie wrote: "Hey fellow Swordees and Laserers,

I've read a handful of fantasy back when I was in middle school and had a lot of time (it was also really convenient that I lived close to a library at the time)...."

May I suggest


The Book of Heroes

also I subscribe to Clarkesworld magazine on kindle, it's good, always with 3 fiction stories most is scifi and 3 nonfiction

enjoy reading!

message 13: by Daniel (last edited Dec 06, 2012 02:30PM) (new)

Daniel Palmer | 35 comments Like Trike I debated giving recommendations not knowing what you like. After almost 40 years of reading fantasy I know that I could easily give you a list of 100 of my favorite books, but that doesn't mean you would like any of them.

Even so, I am going to list a few authors that I think are among the best in genre and just shouldn't be missed as well as a couple of newer authors I just

Pretty much anything written by Alan Dean Foster. His books aren't long so they make great commuter reads. He is more science fiction than fantasy though.

Piers Anthony's Xanth books. Humorous fantasy (the books are filled with puns). He is a prolific author with a lengthy career and I have yet to read anything of his (I have probably read 25-30 of his books) that I didn't like.

If you are a math/science geek you might try John C. Wright and his Orphans of Chaos series. Warning, it is hard sci fi with some magic and fantasy thrown in.

If you would like to try the Urban Fantasy genre, which is generally set in modern day US there are several really good authors: Ilona Andrews, Kim Harrison, Devon Monk.

You want some epic sword and sorcery in the vein of Tolkien, try the three series by David Eddings: The Mallorion, the Belgariad, and the Elenium.

message 14: by Glshade (new)

Glshade | 6 comments I'll throw in a few here too.....

I'll second the Clarkesworld suggestion and add Lightspeed/Fantasy magazine too that.

I did not see the writers Ian Banks mentioned above so Consider Phlebas by his is a great stand alone set in a much larger series and Alastair Reynolds' Chasm City is another of my recent hard scifi/space opera go to recommendations.

In the fantasy genre there lots I could recommend so Ill go with a couple overlooked names. Daniel Abraham is someone to definitely put on your list... Either his long price quartet or the Coin and the dagger series he is writing for Orbit books. Jon Courtney Grimwood is another cool and sometimes overlooked writer.... There is a series that starts with the book The Fallen Blade set in 1500's Venice involving assassins, politics, vampires, werewolves and other human and inhuman things that go bump in the night.

Again could go on .. So I'll leave it here

message 15: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 587 comments My first SciFi book was Leviathan's Wake. I only read it because it was a club pick and loved it so much I read Caliban's War right away. I recommend them to everyone.

message 17: by Rich (new)

Rich (JustAnotherGringo) | 98 comments I know that this thread is getting a.little dusty, but I'd recommend reading some short story compilations first to get an idea of what authors or subgenres you might find most interesting. I'm not certain what's available out there in e-read land, but there must be some "best short stories" sorts of books you can find. Perhaps a collection of world fantasy award winning short fiction?

message 18: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 5096 comments Jim Moon says the humor in Harry Potter gives it a universal appeal, and the books 'grow up' as Harry does.

message 19: by ladymurmur (new)

ladymurmur | 145 comments For new to fantasy and sci-fi, my initial recommendations are both by the same author - Elizabeth Moon.
Sci-fi - Hunting Party
Fantasy - The Deed of Paksenarrion

There are SO many good options in all the various flavors of both the genres. If you find a direction or style that particularly appeals to you, I have no doubt folks can provide you with numerous targeted recommendations. I may be biased, but I think you're in for a fun ride as you explore your options!

message 20: by Yannis (new)

Yannis (JohnyGs) | 7 comments It's funny how when a beginner asks for where to start people just recommend their favorite books. I mean, the very first reply recommends Gardens of the Moon! Sure,it's a great fantasy book but it's definitely not good to start with since it's so messy and complicated (and big).
That said I can't really do the same thing I just said it's not the best thing to do. I guess I need more info about what books Conniw has read(and enjoyed...or not) from the genre, if I should suggest SF/fantasy(though SF was mentioned but perhaps both were meant) etc.

message 21: by Otto (last edited Dec 26, 2012 09:47AM) (new)

Otto (andrewlinke) | 110 comments Lots of great suggestions here already (I might snag a few I haven't read yet myself), but I had to add another recommendation for the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix.




I read them last year on recommendation from a friend and have to say that this is one of my favorite fantasy universes now. The world is essentially WW1 UK, with Scotland and part of northern England cut off from the south by a magical wall. North of the wall necromancers are attempting to bring about the destruction of the whole world, while south of the wall their minions are causing all sorts of political unrest.

message 22: by Troy (new)

Troy Jackson | 25 comments Some excellent suggestions by others here. I'm sure these are repeats, but these are ones I always treasured:

The Hobbit
Lord of the Rings
The Wheel of Time series
Dragonlance series
The Belgariad series

message 23: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 5096 comments Richard K. Morgan's 2 fantasy books sound gritty, starting with Steel Remains.

message 24: by Todd (new)

Todd (Motorcycleman) | 31 comments Game of Thrones is a must. The Dying Earth by jack vance is short and beautifully done, part sci fi part fantasy. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is the inspiration for Blade Runner, which means it is super awesome not to mention important.

message 25: by Connie (new)

Connie (conster) | 6 comments I'm slowing adding all of these into my to-read list :D Thanks everyone! It's kind of difficult to narrow down suggestions because I haven't read books in a long time. I have never even touched the more popular books like Harry Potter/LOTR/Narnia.

message 26: by Brian (last edited Jan 05, 2013 02:33PM) (new)

Brian (maeglin73) | 20 comments Some alternate history favorites I haven't seen mentioned yet:

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire series) - Naomi Novik
Bitter Seeds (Milkweed Triptych trilogy) - Ian Tregillis

Not quite up to date on either series yet, myself, as I'm weaving them among the rest of my to-read list.

message 27: by Ray (new)

Ray | 33 comments Here are some Fantasy Recommendations. Some of them have already been repeated. Many of these are series so I am just going to name the actual series/trilogy/etc rather than book names unless the book is a standalone.

Patrick Rothfuss - The Kingkiller Chronicles
R. Scott Bakker - The Second Apocalypse (Prince of Nothing Trilogy (complete) and The Aspect-Emperor Trilogy: Book three to be released this year)
Tad Williams - Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn Trilogy
China Mieville - Bas-Lag Books (start with Perdido Street Station)
China Mieville - Kraken and The City and The City
Robin Hobb - Farseer and Tawny Man Trilogies
Joe Abercrombie - The First Law Trilogy
Neil Gaiman - American Gods, Stardust
Peter S. Beagle - The Last Unicorn
Gene Wolfe - The Book of the New Sun (science-fantasy-ish)
Lev Grossman - The Magicians and The Magician-King
Sean Russell - The Swans War Trilogy
C.J. Cherryh - The Fortress Series

message 28: by Rich (new)

Rich (JustAnotherGringo) | 98 comments Connie, one other general piece of advice I'd throw out there (again) is that many of the recommendations thrown your way are for series. Many authors out there still write stand alone novels (really!). As you're starting back in to the reading gig you might start out on stand alones, so that you can read a more expansive breadth of styles and authors before committing to a series. Good luck and have fun.

message 29: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Centeno | 4 comments The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld is one of my favorite scifi series.. Dilvish the Damned is an oldie but a goody fantasy. Percy Jackson and the Olympians is one of the bigger "Harry Potter" level book series that I absolutely love.

message 30: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Ann (pastelcupcake) | 1 comments Weaveworld or Abarat are both amazing books by Clive Barker. I haven't read Imagica yet but I've heard it's equally awesome.

Wizards of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin is a favorite series of mine since forever.

The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O'Shea is a beautiful story and I can reread it infinite amounts of times and still enjoy it.

The His Dark Materials books by Philip Pullman are a very well written, enjoyable and believable fantasy story.

I would also suggest reading anything by Anne McCaffery as she has written sooooooo many books, lots of fantasy, lots of sci-fi, and most where the two genres meet in the middle somewhat.

Even more than Anne McCaffery, YOU REALLY MUST read all of Terry Pratchetts books. Yes, all of them. (I know I haven't read all of them myself, but I intend to. There are a lot of them though.) Trust me on this.

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