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Retired Topics > Science fiction - Suggestions/Recommendations

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message 1: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Use this thread to request or provide suggestions and recommendations for the various science fiction challenge tasks. Links to useful sites and reading lists are welcome :)


message 2: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Any suggestions for a sci fi thriller? I'm not too keen on Michael Crichton, and that's all I can think of.


message 3: by Crusader (new)

Crusader (crusaderza) | 2453 comments Mod
Strangely he is the name that springs to mind. Prey was very good, also enjoyed Timeline by him.


message 4: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
Maybe something on this list:
http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show?s...

Its not all accurate tho

Or this one: http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show?s...


message 5: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Hmm, don't trust those lists - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is NOT sci fi no matter what Lisbeth can do with her iPhone.

However, I checked out the list of 100 Thrillers that Emma nominated for a themed challenge, and there are some sf novels there: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

Contact by Carl Sagan is there too, Crusader :)


message 6: by Lu (last edited Oct 14, 2010 10:31AM) (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
Yea i only start trusting them when they have 200+ people that have them on a list


message 7: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
Last Update:


1. Sci fi based on mythology
2. Biopunk
3. Read a book classified as Steampunk
4. Read a Sci-Fi Thriller
5. Read some Space Opera
6. Read something by Isaac Asimov
7. Read a book that has a Alien or Aliens (people from another planet, from space) of some kind in it
8. Cyberpunk
9. Short stories. SF is a big short story genre, with some of the most exciting, inventive tales out there, so read a collection of sf short stories.
10. Read a Sci-Fi dystopia
11. Read hard sci-fi: Hard science fiction is a category of science fiction characterized by an emphasis on scientific or technical detail, or on scientific accuracy, or on both
12. Read military sci-fi
13. Read a sci-fi that a prominent movie was based on
14. Read Romance and Sexuality in sci-fi
15. Read a sci-fi published between 2000-2010
16. Read a sci-fi that has Robots/Companion bots etc. in them
17. Read a Sci-fi that has a authoritarian state/government
18. Read a Sci-Fi set on both Earth and another planet
19. Read a YA Sci-Fi
20. Sci fi about an ecological disaster (on Earth or any other planet)
21. Read sci fi that's won either the Hugo or the Nebula award
22. Read a sci-fi book which involves or includes elements of nature (i.e. plants or animals)
23. Read a sci-fi book which involves or includes time travel
24. Read an alternate history novel
25. Read any Golden Age Sci-fi author (excluding Asimov)(big list in nomination thread)


message 8: by Monique (new)

Monique (moniqueurbanisedgeek) Leviathan for steampunk. I suppose it can also count for YA. :)
The Hunger Games and it's sequels could count for a few things here... dystopia, YA, authoritarian state/gov...

I have a question. Would something like Time Traveler's Wife be considered sci-fi? Very mild, but it has elements of it.


message 9: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith I've always heard The Time Traveler's Wife referred to as sf. I haven't read it though.


message 10: by Lauren (last edited Oct 18, 2010 02:42AM) (new)

Lauren Smith Biopunk
Dawn by Octavia Butler. This is the first of a trilogy, and the other two books qualify as biopunk too.
Black Man by Richard Morgan (US editions are titled 'Thirteen)
Moxyland by Lauren Beukes
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (also this year's Nebula Award winner)
Ribofunk by Paul Di Filippo
The Movement of Mountains and The Brains of Rats by Michael Blumlein
Clade and Crache by Mark Budz
White Devils by Paul J. McAuley
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood


message 11: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
Is this a sci-fi?

Delirium


message 12: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
And The Subtle Knife?


message 13: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Delirium is sci fi, and The Subtle Knife mixes sci fi with fantasy.


message 14: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
Sweet thanks :)


message 15: by Emma (new)

Emma (emmauk007) | 1081 comments I could do with some suggestions on all of the topics. Unless you are seriously into Sci-Fi no one is going to have a clue what books to read and they are going to spend forever just trying to find the books let alone read them.Because I dont read Sci-Fi or alteast I am trying to venture into this genre still, I have no idea what books would be set on earth and another planet for example,no idea what book includes time travel,or military sci fi. The only easy one to find would be the oens that have won awards as I can easily google that, its not so easy with the rest. It just seems really complicated so could do with some pointers please as I would like to participate in the challenge.

Please help! :-)


message 16: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
Emma i'm working on my list atm and i think there will definitely be books you would like

Will be working on it for the next few days, but i'm sure you will find something!

I'm also going to peek at other lists and find some suggestions :)


message 17: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Emma, I'm working on some suggestion lists, but in the meantime you can browse using Goodreads tags for the sci fi subgenres - cyberpunk, hard sf, military sf, alternate history. Time travel might be tagged as well. I'll take a look at your to-read list and see if you've got any sci fi there already.

On a general note, to Crusader and any lurking sci fi fans, please can you post some suggestions of 'sci fi for beginners'? Thanks!


message 18: by Emma (last edited Oct 16, 2010 10:16AM) (new)

Emma (emmauk007) | 1081 comments Thanks Lauren, I am looking at lists now and I have come up with a few,but not sure which number they would come under.

1. Sci fi based on mythology – Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley (Arthurian Legend)
2. Biopunk
3. Read a book classified as Steampunk
4. Read a Sci-Fi Thriller – Demolished Man – Alfred Bester
5. Read some Space Opera - Consider Phlebas – Iain M Banks
6. Read something by Isaac Asimov - Foundation
7. Read a book that has a Alien or Aliens (people from another planet, from space) of some kind in it
8. Cyberpunk – Schismmatrix – Bruce Sterling
9. Short stories. SF is a big short story genre, with some of the most exciting, inventive tales out there, so read a collection of sf short stories.
10. Read a Sci-Fi dystopia – Oryx & Crake – Margaret Atwood
11. Read hard sci-fi: Hard science fiction is a category of science fiction characterized by an emphasis on scientific or technical detail, or on scientific accuracy, or on both
12. Read military sci-fi – Old mans War – John Scalzi
13. Read a sci-fi that a prominent movie was based on
14. Read Romance and Sexuality in sci-fi – Excession – Iain Banks
15. Read a sci-fi published between 2000-2010 - Under The Dome - Stephen King
16. Read a sci-fi that has Robots- Do Androids dream of electric sheep – Phillip Dick
17. Read a Sci-fi that has a authoritarian state/government
18. Read a Sci-Fi set on both Earth and another planet
19. Read a YA Sci-Fi – Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
20. Sci fi about an ecological disaster (on Earth or any other planet)
21. Hugo or the Nebula award-The moon is a harsh mistress – Robert Henlein
22. Read a sci-fi book which involves or includes elements of nature (i.e. plants or animals)
23. Read a sci-fi book which involves or includes time travel
24. Read an alternate history novel
25. Read any Golden Age Sci-fi author –2001 a space Odyssey – Arthur C Clarke

Any idea where I could fit these books into the challenge, and I might need some corrections on the books I have chosen as I went off some lists on the net.

1984 George Orwell
Wheel of Time- Robert Jordan
Dune – Frank Herbert
Enders Game – Orson Scott Card
A Game Of Thrones – George R.R.Martin
Stranger in a strange land – Robert Heinlein
Sundiver – David Brin
Gateway – Heechee Saga – Frederick Pohl
A fire upon the deep – Vernor Vinge
A wrinkle in time – Madeleine Engle


message 19: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Emma, here are some sci fi novels from your to-read list:
Oryx and Crake - dystopia, published 2000-2010, involves elements of nature), biopunk
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - published 2000-2010
1984 - authoritarian state
Dune - space opera. If it turns out that you like Iain M. Banks, you can also use any of his sci fi novels for space opera.
Jurassic Park - sci fi thriller
Uglies - YA sf, romance and sexuality, dystopia
Under the Dome - published 2000-2010
The Handmaid's Tale - dystopia, romance and sexuality, made into a movie


message 20: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith If you're not keen on reading romance, check out these reading lists for books on sf and sexuality: http://www.feministsf.org/bibs/
The lists are divided into subjects such as lesbian/gay/transgender sf, re-envisioned gender, alternative sexuality (eg. androgyny, genetically modified gender, alien gender), reproductive technology.

Also, check out the winners of the James Tiptree Award: http://tiptree.org/
The award is given to speculative fiction that explores gender and sexuality. Just be sure to pick a sci fi novel.


message 21: by Emma (new)

Emma (emmauk007) | 1081 comments Lauren wrote: "Emma, here are some sci fi novels from your to-read list:
Oryx and Crake - dystopia, published 2000-2010, involves elements of nature), biopunk
[book:World War Z: An Oral History of th..."


Thanks so much Lauren as there are a few on there that I would definately like to read. To be honest I thought finding these books was going to be really difficult, but when I checked on listmania on Amazon there were some really good Sci-Fi books to choose from.

I will add the ones to my list now. thanks so much to everyone for the help :-)


message 22: by Crusader (new)

Crusader (crusaderza) | 2453 comments Mod
Lauren wrote: "On a general note, to Crusader and any lurking sci fi fans, please can you post some suggestions of 'sci fi for beginners'? Thanks! "

Now, that must be the most difficult thing to do. I always loved sci-fi so never approached it from an outsiders viewpoint and making any specific suggestions is doubly as difficult.

This site has some ideas


message 23: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Emma wrote: "Thanks Lauren, I am looking at lists now and I have come up with a few,but not sure which number they would come under."

Mists of Avalon - not sci fi, but a good choice for Arthurian legend in the mythology challenge

I haven't read Old Man's War, but I can say that for military sci fi, Ender's Game is a page-turner. I had some issues with it, but it's a good read.

Wheel of Time - not sci fi
A Game of Thrones - not sci fi
Sundiver - space opera
Gateway - space opera, possibly aliens, Hugo winner
A Fire Upon the Deep - space opera. Hugo winner, aliens
A Wrinkle in Time - YA, time travel


message 24: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Crusader wrote: "This site has some ideas ."

Wow, that site has some really hard reads! The Female Man is hard-core, postmodern feminist sf (one of my favourites, but not for beginners), Neuromancer is dense with tech-speak, Orlando I would never call sci fi, but Virginia Woolf is very hard to read (it took me 3 months to get through Orlando, and it's only about 190 pages).

I think that list's also a bit more like an overview of the genre, than a list of 'easy' reads or gentle introductions to those who aren't used to reading sf, with all its world building and general strangeness.


message 25: by Crusader (new)

Crusader (crusaderza) | 2453 comments Mod
I agree completely Lauren. There's quite a few of the books they suggest that I haven't started reading yet.

I'm really not sure which books to suggest as easy reads. Most of the books I loved are quite hefty tomes themselves.


message 26: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
Ok my head is buzzing lol, i don't know what to put where.

What type of sci-fi would this classify as:
Survival


message 27: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
And this one Across the Universe


message 28: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Survival - Aliens. Also, if they travel to another planet, it will qualify for set on Earth and another planet.

Across the Universe - YA or space opera


message 29: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
Lauren wrote: "Survival - Aliens. Also, if they travel to another planet, it will qualify for set on Earth and another planet.

Read some reviews, and it seems it does :)


message 30: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
Ok i need some help with these (if they can double as something else on a another challenge even better):

Sci fi based on mythology
Short stories
Hard sci-fi
Sci fi about an ecological disaster (on Earth or any other planet)
Read sci fi that's won either the Hugo or the Nebula award
Read a sci-fi book which involves or includes time travel
Read an alternate history novel


message 31: by Lu (last edited Oct 16, 2010 11:57PM) (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
Here Comes a Candle by Fredric Brown (shadow) Here Comes a Candle by Fredric Brown (lit candle)

This book is also "Read any Golden Age Sci-fi author"

And maybe Short Stories?


message 32: by Crusader (new)

Crusader (crusaderza) | 2453 comments Mod
I didn't look too closely at the complete list of award winners since I had a few on my to-read list:

Hugo's:
2007 - Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge
2006 - Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
2003 - Hominids by Robert J Sawyer
2000 - A deepness in the sky by Vernor Vinge
1998 - Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman
1997 - Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
1996 - The diamond age by Neal Stephenson
1994 - Green Mars
1993 - A fire upon the deep Vernor Vinge

Nebula
Seeker by Jack McDevitt
The Speed of Dark by Elizabet Moon
The Quantum Rose by Catherine Asaro


message 33: by Crusader (new)

Crusader (crusaderza) | 2453 comments Mod
Came across this quote and to me it nicely captures the soul of what science fiction is.

"Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it's the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself. ...Science fiction is central to everything we've ever done, and people who make fun of science fiction writers don't know what they're talking about."

— Ray Bradbury



message 34: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Great quote Crusader.

Sci fi based on mythology:
Ilium and its sequel Olympos by Dan Simmons. Can also be used for the Epic Challenge
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (Sumerian mythology)
The Strain by Guillermo del Toro (vampires - mythical creatures)
Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler (vampire)
Operation Chaos: A Novel by Poul Anderson (werewolves)
Hyperion by Dan Simmons (Greek mythology, biblical mythology)


message 35: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
Thanks so much Lauren!!

Any advise on post nr 31?


message 36: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Short stories

I recommend one of The Year's Best series, edited by Gardner Dozois. They're quite good, and you can find free e-books here: http://www.truly-free.org/, as well as 2 others. If you'd prefer to buy a copy, they're fairly cheap (about R70 new at EB, probably less online)

Others:
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, Crown of Stars, Ten Thousand Light-Years From Home, all by James Tiptree Jr. who IMO, is one of THE best short stories writers, sci fi or not.

Burning Chrome by William Gibson (includes Johnny Mnemonic)

Steampunk edited by Ann Vandermeer

Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology

There a tons of anthologies out there though these ones are just from my library. They tend to go according to theme (eg. Golden Age sf, cyberpunk, space opera, etc.), author, or they're annual collections. Browse the sci fi shelves at a bookstore or take a google to find something you think you'd like.


message 37: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
Thanks for the suggestions!!

Does this count? Here Comes a Candle


message 38: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith No, that doesn't look like sci fi.


message 39: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
But it counts for Read any Golden Age Sci-fi author?


message 40: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Not if it isn't sci fi that he's writing.


message 41: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
kk :(


message 42: by Monique (new)

Monique (moniqueurbanisedgeek) I got a space opera one for you guys...
The Risen Empire


message 43: by Lauren (last edited Oct 18, 2010 02:08AM) (new)

Lauren Smith Cyberpunk

List of works: http://project.cyberpunk.ru/idb/books...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...
http://www.librarything.com/tag/cyber...
http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/c...

Cyberpunk novels are often set in dystopias, so novels from these lists could be used for that task as well, but please check.

Task crossovers:
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson - can be read for Ancient Near Eastern mythology, cover with a flag on it, cover with a silhouette
Moxyland by Lauren Beukes - can be read for SA novel in Patchwork
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick - can be read for film adaptation (it was filmed as Blade Runner), cover with an animal on it, cover with an obscured face
Keeping It Real by Justina Robson - soft option for sf beginners, mixes cyberpunk with fantasy and a little romance. Can be read for cover with a solitary woman on the cover, or cover with mythical creature (elf)
Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan. Cyberpunk meets noir detective novel. Can be read for cover covered in words
Market Forces by Richard Morgan. Could also qualify for cover covered in words. Good option if you're into cars, but you don't have to be.


message 44: by Emma (new)

Emma (emmauk007) | 1081 comments Ok I need some Panado. :-)


message 45: by Lauren (last edited Oct 18, 2010 02:21AM) (new)

Lauren Smith Space Opera

Lists:
http://www.librarything.com/tag/space...
http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show?s...

By virtue of the fact that space opera is defined by space travel, most of these novels will feature aliens.

Recommendations/Task crossovers
The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks (also cover with silhouette)
The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut (also involves time travel, set on both Earth and another planet)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. Any one of the 5 novels. Novels 1, 3, 4 and 5 are set on both Earth and another planet. 1, 2, and 3 involve time travel (4 and 5 might too, but I can't recall). Book 4 involves a romance. Book 1 was made into a movie.
Hyperion by Dan Simmons. Cover with a silhouette. There are rumours of a film, but I hope to God they don't make it because they WILL fuck it up.


message 46: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
Ok i need 2 more suggestions for sci-fi
Lol i'm very picking :P

I need:
1. Hard sci-fi
2. Read an alternate history novel

Also do these classify as biopunk?

Fairyland
Never Let Me Go (also dystopia)
Mammoth (also time-travel)
School's Out - Forever


message 47: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Hard sci fi is not my genre of choice, so still searching there. Ditto alternate history, but check out The Eyre Affair (part fantasy).

Don't have time to check the novels right now, but biopunk should have humans who are genetically modified for either social control or profit, and there should be an element of revolt against this system.


message 48: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
K cool will read They Eyre Affair for alternate history :)

Ok School's Out - Forever definitely counts then. Also hear that Never Let Me Go counts (but don't want to give anything away)


message 49: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Ok cool :) Just be sure that it's genetic modification (biotechnology) not modification with cyberware (hardware, machine parts), in which case it would be cyberpunk, not biopunk.


message 50: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12658 comments Mod
ah ok thanks :)


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