Best sci fi books of all time

Discussion in 'SciFi & Fantasy' started by Magical Realist, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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  3. andy1033 Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    I always found my own mind was the best scifi model, lol

    You all have your own mind, and i am glad i never read comics or saw much tv really.
     
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  5. zgmc Registered Senior Member

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    If your mind is coming up with stuff better than that, you better start writing it down.
     
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  7. zgmc Registered Senior Member

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    I would have Stranger in a Strange Land, and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress ahead of Starship Troopers. I would also include a few more by Asimov.
     
  8. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I find a troubling amount of genre fiction to be poorly-written. They tend to be "idea" stories, which is why the distinction is made between them and "literary" fiction, with the latter being about the craft of writing just as much as the story--sometimes moreso.

    That's why I liked Asimov. He could spin a yarn and show you how it's done.

    I think "Spin" by Robert Charles Wilson should be on the list. It's better-written than 90% of the stuff on there, and it is the very defintion of the "Big Idea" novel. I mean, you know a book is ambitious when all of the stars disappear from the sky in the opening chapter.
     
  9. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    My top few, in no particular order...

    "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card - the film really doesn't do it justice.
    "Dune"
    "Use of Weapons" by the late great Iain M Banks.
    "The Reality Dysfunction" by Peter F Hamilton.
    "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams.
    "Bill, the Galactic Hero" by Harry Harrison
    "A Canticle for Leibowitz" by Walter M. Miller.

    Some "guilty pleasures" include the more pulp series stuff like the "Sten" series, the "Midshipman's Hope" series, the "Honor Harrington" series etc, and I have a large number of A.E. Van Vogt, Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke's works, although difficult to pull out specific "best" books from them.
     
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Imho any list of best SF more than four books long without a single book by U.K. LeGuin is dismissible out of hand. Just sayin'.

    (One of her books just made a list of 25 must-read-in-life fiction compiled at Powell's, the top literary bookstore - that's novels in general, all of them, no genre or category specified)

    Like most such lists those are weighted to famous or historically genre-defining books by famous or genre-defining authors, rather than intrinsically good books, or anything recommendable to strangers without a specifically historical or traditional interest.
     
  11. Arne Saknussemm trying to figure it all out Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, Walter M. Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz Outstanding!

    And they do things like spend years inking in blueprints for circuits meticulously leaving the white lines - because if Saint Leibowitz did it that way he must have had a good reason!

    Here's a bit from a critique.

    Here's a bit more:
    Run, don't walk and get yourself a musty, dog-eared old copy of The Canticle!
     
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    These lists are based on personal preference and can of course only be compiled from books that we have read.
    That said, I found "Left Hand of Darkness" to be rather too dull for my tastes, but that may have been due to being quite young when I read it. It certainly never grabbed me the same way as the others in the list I gave did, even at a young age, no matter how well written, and I have never had an inkling to revisit either that or any other of hers in my collection.

    Lists compiled by individuals such as this speak more to the individual than they perhaps do to the books themselves. But that you would dismiss out of hand any list that doesn't have what you and many others might be considered great books is somewhat silly, IMHO.

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  13. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I thought we were talking Sci-fi, not Fantasy!

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  15. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    I've read that twice already!

    Currently working my way through the novels of Ian M. Banks. The Culture series is amazing.
     
  16. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Some dude created the universe so that to me is science fiction at its highest point.
     
  17. Gremmie "Happiness is a warm gun" Valued Senior Member

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    OK, I'm not mainstream...

    How about William Neal Harrison?

    George Clayton Johnson? And, William F. Nolan?

    How about Anthony Burgess?
     
  18. Arne Saknussemm trying to figure it all out Valued Senior Member

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    William Neal Harrison? I thought he played Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, and before that Doogie Howser?

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    I don't know any of the first three you mentioned. Do tell us more. Why do you like them?

    Anthony Burgess! Well done, Gremmie. A Clockwork Orange! Cutting edge in its day, and now a classic!
     
  19. Arne Saknussemm trying to figure it all out Valued Senior Member

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    But you don't say what you thought of it...
     
  20. Gremmie "Happiness is a warm gun" Valued Senior Member

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    Harrison wrote "Rollerball"...

    Johnson and Nolan, wrote " Logan's Run"...
     
  21. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

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    I've read 9 on the list and of the those, I don't agree with his ranking. I know that it is subjective, but Dune would have been much lower on my list. It is also missing a number of what are regarded as some as the best in SF. Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles (Again, not my cup of tea, but still highly regarded), Clarke's Childhood's End, Niven's Ringworld, Clement's Needle or Mission of Gravity[\u] are a few along with the ones others have mentioned.
     
  22. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    his robot novels were some of the best i ever read.
    i remember reading his entire book on robots in one afternoon while listening to ELO "out of the blue" album.
    the music just seemed to make the book come alive.
    awesome experience.
     
  23. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    I thought the beginning was tremendous, and the idea of monks unknowingly bringing technology into the future, that's brilliant.
     

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