Sci-fi books you must read....

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The two that I just reread. Mainly because they were free or almost free ebooks were: Dracula and Frankenstein . Can't remember how long ago I first read them was but I'm glade that I took the time to do it again.
 
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+1 on Neuromancer which is fantastic. If you like your SF nearly possibly not completely beyond the realms of what might (or might not) feasible at some stage in the future, then Red Mars (and sequels) are worth a read.

Slightly off the wall, but a hugely entertaining read is Vurt by Jeff Noon. It's nearly my "if you could only read one SF book" choice.

Finally, Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner is an all time classic. Look it up on google and see if it takes your attention. If it does, then grab a copy - you won't regret it.

Oh, I also have a soft spot for Otherland by Tad Williams, but I met the author once and he was a genuinely nice chap, so I may be biased!
 
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Pretty much any Iain M Banks.

The only two I couldn't get in to are Transition - a non-M novel but very sci-fi from what I can tell - and Against a Dark Background.

I enjoyed The Day of The Triffids by John Wyndham. I've read a few others of his but that's the one that sticks in my mind.
 
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joe mcclaine said:
Gigahurtz said:
joe mcclaine said:
Hitch-Hikers' Guide To The Galaxy is the only one I've read.

Any others would need to be pretty special to come close.

Read "the stars my destination" it was written in 1950s and beat the matrix and all other sci-fi films to the punch. It's fantastic.

Just checked and it looks like I have this on my PC.

Girl at work had one of those DVDs with 10,000 books on it.

It's now on my Kindle and ready to go.

You will not regret it.



Spares by Michael Marshall Smith. Great story, the Michael Bay film "the island" was very, very loosely based on the idea. When I heard they were making a film based on the book I was so excited and then Bay got hold of it LOL.

If you can get it do read it. I read it when I was 18 and it raised a lot of moral questions about our disposable society etc.
 
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Bring argumentative as ever, I don't rate Bester at all - very much of his time, it seems to me - and Against A Dark Background is a favorite, though I didn't like it the first time through.

Anyway, some classics, in no particular order:

CJ Cherryh: Cyteen. Sociology as the S in SF.
Just about anything by Neal Stephenson. Diamond Age or Cryptonomicon for the non-hardcore SF reader, Anathem for the enthusiast. And for the cyberpunks, the one that ended out all by being unfollowable, Snow Crash. (Greatest first 20 pages ever, too.)
Ian M Banks - Use Of Weapons is the standout, I think.
Vernor Vinge: A Fire Upon The Deep
For cyberpunk style in an alternate present, Jon Courtenay Grimwood's Pashazade.
Bruce Sterling: our great prophet? Heavy Weather.
Gibson: I actually think the short stories, Burning Chrome, are even more important than the novels. But you should read the first three, at least.
Nobody does the heady mixture of SF, intelligence, genuine anger and testosterone overload like Richard Morgan. Black Man. Then Altered Carbon. Then the others. (Any man who can write epic fantasy set in a homophobic feudal empire starring a self-loathing gay hero with serious anger management problems and his black lesbian half-alien friend, with swearing all over it, deserves respect just for baiting the deeply conservative fanbase.)
Kim Stanley Robinson: SF's intellectual leftwing individualist, a man who can write novels of unbelievably dense thought and research that still work as stories. Red Mars and its sequels are the classics, 40 Signs Of Rain my favorite.
The great classic nobody read: David Zindell, Neverness.
And one everyone did: A Canticle For Leibowitz.

I'd probably better stop there. For now.
 
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Dr Rick said:
The great classic nobody read: David Zindell, Neverness.
And one everyone did: A Canticle For Leibowitz.

great reply... Very comprehensive! For what it's worth, you have those back to front for me. Neverness was hard going, but really rewarding at the end. That said, I never got on with his other stuff - seemed to focus too much on being clever and forgot that readers might want an interesting story.

I'll look out for A canticle...
 
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Dr Rick said:
Against A Dark Background is a favorite, though I didn't like it the first time through.

I should give it another go really. Last time I got about fifty pages in. I am not the sort to read a whole book to the end even if I dislike it. I'd rather move on to another as life is too short.
 
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I love the fact that basically everybody in it is either deeply unhappy or thoroughly unpleasant much of the time, and that they mostly have good reasons so to be. It's definitely one I can only pick up when in the proper mood, though!

My last favorite of the M books is probably Inversions. Though I have to be in the right mental space to be able to even try to read Feersum Endjinn, for obvious reasons!
 
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Dr Rick said:
My last favorite of the M books is probably Inversions. Though I have to be in the right mental space to be able to even try to read Feersum Endjinn, for obvious reasons!

I found Inversions fascinating. I was lucky enough to read it having no idea it was a Culture novel so it was a brilliant feeling when it dawned on my what was going on.

Feersum Endjinn is nuts. Not just because of the language that's used - that starts to make sense about half way through! - but the virtual reality that it describes. Banks goes on to use this idea for the Hells and virtual wars in his excellent novel Excession.
 
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Excession is my favorite of his (though not his best art imo). I'm not remembering the virtual hells etc though, or there being much virtual about the battles? Infinite Fun Space, certainly. And I love Gravious (the bird). What have I forgotten?

Edit: suspect you mean Surface Detail.
 
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