The Sword and Laser discussion

117 views
Need an idea

Comments Showing 1-31 of 31 (31 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Adam (new)

Adam Gutschenritter (heregrim) | 114 comments Any ideas on a science fiction book for someone who doesn't normally read science fiction?


message 2: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4183 comments AND this is why I think there should be a separate thread for specific recommendations, because nobody can seem to find the older threads where we talk about these things. Having it in ONE thread would be much more useful, big picture-wise.

Alas. Use the search on GR. It's not the best but it's not terrible. And maybe make the thread title more descriptive; I almost didn't click through because I figured it was spam, not a search for a specific query.

And because I'm not a total bee-yatch (today), here are two of the threads I found using search that you might want to try:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 3: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4183 comments Also, what type of sci fi? Hard? Military? Light? Fantastical? Aliens? Technology?

Most new people find it easier if there is some crossover. Video game books (like the Halo books) can be a good bridge, if they like that world. Ready Player One is always a nice light start. Daniel Suarez's books can also be a good place, if they like thrillers...

But really, go check the other threads. Continue a conversation.


message 4: by Rick (last edited Dec 09, 2015 09:29PM) (new)

Rick | 2866 comments Jesus, Terp, it's not a crime to start a new thread when the others are old. Those threads are from 2013 and 2014. Lighten up and don't bite the head off someone who's just asking for help.

Adam - What does this person (you?), like to read? Do they have any hot buttons that will turn them off something? For example, some people bounce off military SF so a recmmendation of, say, Old Man's War wouldn't work. How old are they?

Also, would they be puzzled and turned off by jargon or just read through it? A lot of experienced SF readers are used to odd words and terms, but nonSF readers can find that stuff offputting. For example, I like Neal Asher but his books are steeped in SF tropes and made up terms. Not a starter series of books.

If they might like mil-SF I'd try the above linked Old Man's War.

If they might like first contact with aliens try Learning the World: A Scientific Romance

For one of my faves, try The Player of Games, set in a far-future civilization and part of the Culture series by the late Iain M Banks which is one of the premier works of SF in my view.


message 5: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4183 comments A thread from 2013 or 2014 is actually BETTER than yet another thread on the SAME EXACT TOPIC BUT WITH FEWER DETAILS TO INFORM THE INPUT. This group's been around for 7ish years with a lot of churn, a lot of old members who gave up for one or the other reason or reasons. Maintaining a single thread on this topic (or a given specific topic, as this is trying to be) that can stay alive makes it easier for EVERYBODY to find this answer than to have scattered threads across disparate sub-groups and allows for better overall answers, since it by nature includes responses from members who are no longer active. Making new threads adds clutter and loses the input from the older stuff, even though the answers are no less valid.


message 6: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Is it hot in here or is it just me?


message 7: by Rick (last edited Dec 09, 2015 10:17PM) (new)

Rick | 2866 comments Sorry Terp, but being rude to someone just asking for help is uncalled for, period. I don't really care if you have thing about this. Be nice. If you're in a bad mood... don't post.

You can be pedantic thread police all you want, but jumping down people's throats is far more damaging to a community than not finding an old crappy thread.

Want a sticky on a topic? Fine. Ask a mod to do that.


message 8: by Darren (new)

Darren I don't know, Adam was kind of asking for the phone book... And honestly, Rick, you complaining about rudeness...

Old threads are lose-lose, anyway. Rob gets upset if anyone opens long dead ones, but no one likes to see the same question asked a million times.


message 9: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Nagy | 379 comments Ignore the hate, new question, new thread, don't necro.

But the problem here is you need to provide examples of what they do like. Like what kind of movies do they enjoy? What other genre's of books do they read if any? Name some examples of their favorite books from those genres.


message 10: by Adam (new)

Adam Gutschenritter (heregrim) | 114 comments Ok, so I opened a touchy subject. I'll start by apologizing, I didn't find the other threads while looking at my app which is how I interact on here and didn't think at that moment to run a search, which looking again I don't think is an option, if it is please let me know how so I don't make this mistake again.

Second, I gave just about as much information as I have. The idea is to give my co-worker a book she would never pick out for herself, she mostly reads normal fiction and YA books as a middle school ELA teacher. I figured I was on and would ask for help from people who know a lot more than I do. So I thought to stay away from YA Science Fiction. So yes the phone book is what I am asking for.

If it helps, last year she gave me the 50 shades trilogy for my book....

Finally, I'll go take a look, thank you for pointing them out to me and i'll see what I can find.


message 11: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments If she gave you 50 Shades of Gray she needs counseling, not a book. :p

I don't care for sex in SF as a feature because it's boring, but a quick Google search turned up this page: http://www.popsugar.com/love/YA-Roman...


message 12: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3597 comments Mod
Adam wrote: "If it helps, last year she gave me the 50 shades trilogy for my book...."

Well I'd find an equally shitty book to give her. ;-) Like Twilight


message 13: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 588 comments My first Sci Fi book was Leviathan Wakes.


message 14: by Anne (new)

Anne Schüßler (anneschuessler) | 838 comments Maybe start with some literary Science Fiction like Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven.

The question is where do you want to go, more classic Sci/Fi or doesn't it matter? What are you trying to achieve by getting her into Sci/Fi? The genre as it is now is already far to diverse.

By the way I'm a huge defender of Stephenie Meyer's The Host. Sure, the writing is clunky and all the male love interests have golden hair and sparkly eyes and stuff, but the story is actually quite intriguing and if she gave you Fifty Shades of Grey then maybe the culture shock isn't quite so bad.


message 15: by Joanna Chaplin (new)

Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Anne wrote: "By the way I'm a huge defender of Stephenie Meyer's The Host. "

The Host is a guilty pleasure of mine. I blame the sheer amount of Animorphs in my childhood.


message 16: by Tommy (new)

Tommy Hancock (tommyhancock) | 100 comments I enjoyed The Host as well. Made me think she might have some hope to grow into a solid writer, then she vanished haha. She's like the Last Airbender of cheesy paranormal romance writing haha.


message 17: by Alan (last edited Dec 11, 2015 11:20AM) (new)

Alan | 534 comments I think a recommendations section might be nice and that Terp's post wasn't all that heated or rude.

I get that the idea is to give her something that she'd NEVER pick up herself but is the next step that it's something you think she'll hate (as a gag gift) or something she might like?

Anyway for a female middle school teacher, I think that Ancillary Justice might be a perfect choice. It won pretty much every award there is, is very science fictiony without any science, and the pronoun use alone might intrigue a teacher.
For something that she might bounce off hard but you can still be proud of giving ... Triton. Given that she gave you 50 Shades, Triton might be an interesting comeback.
I'm sorry, one other question --- is it preferable if the choice is a bit um flirty? If so, Triton is a bad choice and instead I might suggest something by Lois McMaster Bujold. There's nothing risque in her books but there are some nice romances and you could pick one that seemed to fit ...


message 18: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 593 comments Joanna wrote: "Anne wrote: "By the way I'm a huge defender of Stephenie Meyer's The Host. "

The Host is a guilty pleasure of mine. I blame the sheer amount of Animorphs in my childh..."


Add my vote for the Host as well. Invasion of the Body Snatchers from the point of view of a Body Snatcher. That's quite clever.


message 19: by Joanna Chaplin (new)

Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Hm, I don't at all consider Ancillary Justice a good choice. It really throws you in the deep end.


message 20: by Gaines (new)

Gaines Post (gainespost) | 202 comments My wife absolutely loved The Host. I haven't read it yet, but liked the movie :-)


message 21: by Matthew (new)

Matthew | 23 comments I would add John Scalzi''s Agent to the Stars to the mix. It's fast-paced, humorous, and one of my favorite first-contact stories. It's set in (at the time) present day reality, so she won't have to deal with a lot of jargon or unusual settings.

My wife suggested Stranger in a Strange Land as something with a sci-fi underpinning that is more literary.

I also like Walter Tevis's The Man Who Fell to Earth. It's a fairly quick read, and, like Stranger in a Strange Land, deals with a central character who's trying to understand and assimilate in (then) modern society (although for different reasons and with different results).


message 22: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 171 comments Adam wrote: "Ok, so I opened a touchy subject. I'll start by apologizing, I didn't find the other threads while looking at my app which is how I interact on here and didn't think at that moment to run a search,..."

Hi Adam,

You do not need to apologize. People squabble on these threads all of the time. Pay it no mind.

You have given me a bit of guidance, Your friend is educated and reads YA for her job. She also seemingly has read Fifty Shades of Grey because she gave it to you.

Since she is a teacher, most of the classic Science Fiction is probably out because she either already read it or at least knows of it and has rejected reading them.

Since she already reads YA, all of the popular YA dystopia is out too because she already read it since she is a middle school teacher and the most popular books is all dystopia.

Since she gave you Fifty Shades of Grey, i will assume she read it and enjoyed it enough to share the book with you. That tells me that she probably does not read much in depth novels probably likes to stay at the beach reads end of the spectrum. I would stay away form both the literary end of the Science Fiction and stay away from the truly niche genre like Military Science Fiction. Of course take the time and look at what else she is reading and see if there is a preference in her styles.

I also suggest a stand alone novel and not the first of a series.

The following suggestions are all easy to read and enjoyable. They are also easy to find.

The Martian

The Accidental Time Machine

Lexicon

Red Planet Blues

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Contact

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

On the Beach


message 23: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1339 comments Or you can add the "for xmas gift 2015" and all is good. Can I give out a late shout out for a second on Leviathan Wakes.


message 24: by Alan (new)

Alan | 534 comments Joanna wrote: "Hm, I don't at all consider Ancillary Justice a good choice. It really throws you in the deep end."

I wouldn't suggest it for an ordinary "here's something to transition into SF" book but if you are explicitly supposed to pick something they'd never buy for themselves, I think it would work. Especially since the difficult parts of the text (pronoun confusion, cuts between diverse perspectives and extended flashbacks) are not particularly challenging for someone who is into mainstream literary fiction.


message 25: by Dan (new)

Dan Koboldt (dankoboldt) | 4 comments I second terpkristin that Ready Player One is a good intro to geeky sci-fi, especially if the person grew up in the 70s/80s.


message 26: by Joanna Chaplin (new)

Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Dan wrote: "I second terpkristin that Ready Player One is a good intro to geeky sci-fi, especially if the person grew up in the 70s/80s."

I was disappointed that I was, like, 5 or so years too young to enjoy it as much as some people seemed to have. But I was still able to enjoy the plot mostly, although I had to skim a little past some of the odes to the various works of that time.


message 27: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 171 comments Joanna wrote: "Dan wrote: "I second terpkristin that Ready Player One is a good intro to geeky sci-fi, especially if the person grew up in the 70s/80s."

I was disappointed that I was, like, 5 or s..."


I really enjoyed the book. However, I grew up in the 70's and came of age in the early 80's. Much of the book is really tuned into the culture of those times. While it was great for me, I always wondered if those younger could really follow the book without the ingrained background required to understand the inside jokes and innuendo. The reason I wondered is because I felt the book was aimed at a younger audience than baby boomers, but used baby boomer cultural icons.


message 28: by John (Nevets) (last edited Dec 17, 2015 08:36PM) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1592 comments I'm a late gen-X'er (born in '77), but still had most of the iconography hit home. The only thing I remember being just a bit before my time, was the truly deep love for RUSH. I enjoy the music, but folks about 5+ years older seem to have a really deep connection to it. I also very much liked, the realitivley simple "quest" plot, and straightforwardness of it all. I've said before that I think it is a good companion to "The Martian", and I think that is probably why. That, and there is the very slight clunkyness of an author with not many books under there belt.


message 29: by Joanna Chaplin (new)

Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments The reason I wondered is because I felt the book was aimed at a younger audience than baby boomers, but used baby boomer cultural icons. "

That was the thing that stretched my credulity. This kid's supposed to probably be only born right now or soon. They imply that the references are interesting for that generation because of the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket promise of the game, but still.


message 30: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 171 comments Joanna wrote: "The reason I wondered is because I felt the book was aimed at a younger audience than baby boomers, but used baby boomer cultural icons. "

That was the thing that stretched my credulity. This kid'..."


Oddly, for the story itself, I have no problem with the kid being infatuated with the cultural icons. He has become an expert much like an Egyptologist studying to the point it is second nature.

My question is more to the idea of a reader born after 1974 and trying to comprehend it all.


message 31: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 171 comments John (Nevets) wrote: "I'm a late gen-X'er (born in '77), but still had most of the iconography hit home. The only thing I remember being just a bit before my time, was the truly deep love for RUSH. I enjoy the music, bu..."

Ahhh... Rush... what a band!!!


back to top