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Thread: Commonly Accepted Top 10'ish Sci Fi Books

  1. #31
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    Another of my "Ten Best SF" lists would be:

    Hyperion, Dan Simmons.
    Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K LeGuin
    Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card
    Downbelow Station, C J Cherryh
    Tau Zero, Poul Anderson
    Gateway, Fred Pohl
    Earth, David Brin
    Slow River, Nicola Griffith
    Childhood's End, Arthur C Clarke

    Warning: My choices will vary at random intervals, depending on my daily mood. Some of the books are in series; just because I like one of them doesn't mean I like them all. For example, I did not like most of the Ender books.
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  2. #32
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    I am not sure if you like short works, but the Illustrated Man is one of my favourites. There is a David Brin book called Otherness which is pretty awesome.
    Solfe

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  3. #33
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    Some of the very best writing has always been done in short stories.
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Some of the very best writing has always been done in short stories.
    This is probably true in most genres, but it is especially true in SF, I think.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    There is a David Brin book called Otherness which is pretty awesome.
    I'll second that, as well as the whole thought about short science fiction. I'd say in many ways, I like SF short stories more than novels. Larry Niven's "Known Universe" stories are great. John Varley has also written a lot of great short stories in his "universe".
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  6. #36
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    Many of the good books I've read during the past several years have been gleaned from this forum.

    I didn't see it mentioned and I'm not sure it qualifies as sci-fi, but I really enjoyed "Earth Abides".

  7. #37
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    Well, it did win a fantasy award but I don't think there's anything in it that actually makes it a fantasy book.
    The dog, the dog, he's at it again!

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenek View Post
    I didn't see it mentioned and I'm not sure it qualifies as sci-fi, but I really enjoyed "Earth Abides".
    That's an excellent choice. I believe it was the favourite book of David Pringle, founding editor of Interzone magazine, in case anybody is interested...

  9. #39
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    Greetings, this is my first post. I am an olde sci-fi reader. started before Star Trek.

    Hate to say it but SF has gone down hill. The fireld has been invaded by literary types who presume to tell everyone what science fiction is. For them the science is nearly irrelevant.

    This would be a popular list of 12 speculative fiction works:

    Dune **
    Foundation **#
    Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy ** Junk
    Ender's Game ** @
    Neuromancer **
    Hyperion ** Fantasy/Horror
    Fahrenheit 451 **
    1984
    War of the Worlds
    Stranger in a Strange Land ** @
    Snow Crash **
    Ringworld ** @

    This is my list of 12 real science fiction works

    The Mote in God's Eye **
    The Long Tomorrow **
    Foundation **
    Deathworld 2 **
    The Two Faces of Tomorrow **
    Komarr **
    The Space Merchants **
    Tau Zero **
    Orphans of the Sky **
    Lucifer's Hammer **
    No Blade of Grass (Death of Grass) **
    Citizen of the Galaxy **

    I have read and finished all with **.

    psik

  10. #40
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    The Library of America has come out with a two-volume set of nine classic sf novels from the 1950's. Their choices were:

    Pohl, Frederik. Space merchants.
    Sturgeon, Theodore. More than human.
    Brackett, Leigh. Long tomorrow.
    Matheson, Richard, 1926- Shrinking man.
    Heinlein, Robert A. (Robert Anson), 1907-1988. Double star.
    Bester, Alfred. Stars my destination.
    Blish, James. Case of conscience.
    Budrys, Algis, 1931-2008. Who?
    Leiber, Fritz, 1910-1992. Big time.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  11. #41
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    Occasionally, I think that Double Star was Heinlein's best book. Once in a while, it's Starship Troopers.
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  12. #42
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    The Diamond Age

    V for Vendetta

    Watchmen

  13. #43
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    I left slot 10 open for future use. I will use it on The Delkion by H. M. Hoover. It may fall under young adult but I liked it.
    Solfe

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  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Occasionally, I think that Double Star was Heinlein's best book. Once in a while, it's Starship Troopers.
    It's one of his four Hugo novel winners, along with ST, Stranger in a Strange Land, and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I tended to consider it a notch below the other three, but that may only be because the copy I had growing up had a more generic outer binding than the others.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    It's one of his four Hugo novel winners, along with ST, Stranger in a Strange Land, and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I tended to consider it a notch below the other three, but that may only be because the copy I had growing up had a more generic outer binding than the others.
    Most of the time, I think The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress was his best book. I liked Friday, but I found his other books after TMIaMH to be less than enjoyable.
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  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Most of the time, I think The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress was his best book. I liked Friday, but I found his other books after TMIaMH to be less than enjoyable.
    (My bold.)

    The Moon is a Marsh Histress?

    Sorry, I've had a bad week.

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Most of the time, I think The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress was his best book. I liked Friday, but I found his other books after TMIaMH to be less than enjoyable.
    I agree on all points. He had some serious health problems after writing Mistress and never seemed to recover fully, certainly not in the literary area.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    (My bold.)

    The Moon is a Marsh Histress?

    Sorry, I've had a bad week.
    Bad reaction to initialisms (BRtI)
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  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    So? Does science fiction have to stress the technology above all else?
    No, but it should involve something impossible at the time and place of writing. I agree with HenrikOlsen -- most of Jule Verne's books were not science fiction, but what is today called "technothrillers": adventure stories with technological slant. And some, such as "Fifteen year old captain", were just straight adventure stories.

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    (My bold.)

    The Moon is a Marsh Histress?

    Sorry, I've had a bad week.
    That's the Lovecraft version. Innsmouth in space!

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    11. The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
    12. The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester
    13. A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller, Jr. =======> Tschai
    14. The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov
    15. Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke
    16. A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge
    17. The Caves of Steel/The Naked Sun - Isaac Asimov
    18. The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. LeGuin
    19. Ringworld - Larry Niven
    20. Startide Rising/The Uplift War - David Brin
    21. Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card =====> the Players of games
    This a good list let's improve it ! Number 13 I will put A JackVance Novel : Tschai And for number 21 a modern by Iain M.Banks , the Players of games. And Now it's perfect !

  22. #52
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    [1] 2001: 2010: 2069; 3001: Arthur C Clarke [the whole series]


    [2]The Foundation Trilogy: Isaac Asimov

    [3] Rendezvous With Rama: Arthur C. Clarke

    [4] Childhood's End: Arthur C. Clarke

    [5] The Time Machine: H.G. Wells



    Just to add....
    Greatest movie of all time....[in my opinion of course]
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    I think I saw it 4 times in the first year it was released [1968]
    “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.”
    ― Carl Sagan

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASTRO BOY View Post
    [1] 2001: 2010: 2069; 3001: Arthur C Clarke [the whole series]


    [2]The Foundation Trilogy: Isaac Asimov

    [3] Rendezvous With Rama: Arthur C. Clarke

    [4] Childhood's End: Arthur C. Clarke

    [5] The Time Machine: H.G. Wells



    Just to add....
    Greatest movie of all time....[in my opinion of course]
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    I think I saw it 4 times in the first year it was released [1968]
    I can understand 2, 3, 4 and 5 but not 1. The first Odyssey book was great but the subsequent ones got weaker and weaker.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    The first Odyssey book was great but the subsequent ones got weaker and weaker.

    Agreed....I mean nothing would ever top the original....but I did find it interesting to follow the story line.
    The same applied to the two movies, 2001 and 2010....The sequel was disappointing when compared to the original, but then again, I don't believe any sequel to any movie seuqence has topped the original.
    “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.”
    ― Carl Sagan

  25. #55
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    Out of Interest...First Sci/Fi book I ever read as a tin lid was Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea followed in quick succession by H.G Well's "The Time Machine........
    both read in the 50's
    “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.”
    ― Carl Sagan

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASTRO BOY View Post
    Agreed....I mean nothing would ever top the original....but I did find it interesting to follow the story line.
    The same applied to the two movies, 2001 and 2010....The sequel was disappointing when compared to the original, but then again, I don't believe any sequel to any movie seuqence has topped the original.
    I think Empire Strikes Back is close, I prefer it to the original.

  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by starcanuck64 View Post
    I think Empire Strikes Back is close, I prefer it to the original.
    Agreed. It's rare, though.

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASTRO BOY View Post
    [1] 2001: 2010: 2069; 3001: Arthur C Clarke [the whole series]
    2061. Though 2010 was the last one I read. I thought 2001 was a book (and movie) that shouldn't have a sequel, and the actual sequel confirmed that for me. This was a case where the story didn't fit with what I had imagined, and I liked what I had imagined better.

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  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    2061. Though 2010 was the last one I read. I thought 2001 was a book (and movie) that shouldn't have a sequel, and the actual sequel confirmed that for me. This was a case where the story didn't fit with what I had imagined, and I liked what I had imagined better.
    I'm the same way, there's just some stories that are best left open ended.

  30. #60
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    I did not like 2010, I've not read 2069, and read 3010, but wish I hadn't. I'd not include 2010 as one of his best works (I think his best is probably Childhood's End, but I'm willing to entertain the thought that it's A Fall of Moondust or Rendezvous with Rama).
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