popmayhem 9:01pm, 9 November 2004
personally i've been trying to get up to speed with philip k. dick and ursula k. le guin, so last sci-fi i've read was le guin's left hand of darkness. just wondering what some of you all would recommend.
steady fold [deleted] 17 years ago
I've recently been reading Philip K. Dick (from my brother's shelf), and I plan on reading more of them. I don't know if I could pick my favorite sci-fi book ever, but one that I really liked was Virtual Light by William Gibson. I just read it a few weeks ago.
popmayhem 17 years ago
o.k. cool. i haven't read any william gibson yet, but he's definitely on my list. thanks for the recommendation.
steady fold [deleted] 16 years ago
I'm currently reading A Scanner Darkly (Philip K Dick), which I really like. I've read one or two others of his recently, but their titles are escaping me at the moment. I know everything by Philip K Dick I've read has been excellent...

William Gibson's Burning Chrome is a collection of short stories. I'd also recommend that.
popmayhem 16 years ago
my girlfriend just recently picked up gibson's burning chrome short story collection, so i'll be reading that in the near future.

i think the next philip k. dick book i'm going to read is the man in the high castle. i, like you, have really been enjoying his work. i just need to find a used copy of it somewhere. . .
Simone Petralia 16 years ago
Recently: Hyperion.

The best of ever: The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.
mshea 16 years ago
I'm cutting through the hugo and Nebula winners. I just finished Childhood's End which I liked a lot.
DWinton 16 years ago
anything by:
philip k. dick
ursula leguin
william gibson (absolutely! especially neuromancer and its sequels)
orson scott card (the ender series, especially 'ender's game', the first one.)
cj cherryh (hard science fiction, science-edged fantasy, or fantasy, depending on the book)
neil stephenson
david brin (especially the 'uplift' series)
iain m. banks (not 'iain banks' which are his non-scifi novels)
connie willis ('domesday book' - I still dream about it sometimes, it was that powerful for me)

if your tastes stray over into fantasy, then anything by patricia mckillip and anything by neil gaiman.

have fun!
futuristic effect [deleted] 16 years ago
I was going to mention Connie Willis's 'Domesday Book' (until I read DWinton's post)! The best I've read recently - has to be a tie between Robert Silverberg's 'Roma Aeterna' (a series of short stories charting the history of a Rome that never fell, right up to the 21st Century), or Neil Asher's 'Gridlinked'. DO put 'Domesday' near the top of your list - probably the best time-travel novel I know off - and also any of the Neil Gaiman 'Weerde' short stories (with Mary Gentle).
ai the destroyer 16 years ago
i'm really really enjoying Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon right now

there were sequels so neuromancer? which ones are they?
DWinton 16 years ago

Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive take place in the same "universe", along with some of the short stories in "Burning Chrome". Some of these have overlapping characters as well, if I remember correctly.

The other "series" would be the SF Bay Bridge set, that would be Virtual Light, Idoru, All Tomorrow's Parties.
Dead Air 15 years ago
River of the Gods by Ian McDonald. Cyberpunk (basically) set in India in 2047 with a huge cast of characters and a writing style that makes them constantly interesting. I can't reccomend it enough. Unfortunately, he's not been published in the U.S. yet, but I got a used copy from Amazon, so he's still available to a good netizen.
a mere excursion 15 years ago
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
DWinton 15 years ago
also, anything by iain m. banks - (his non-scifi is authored as "ian banks" without the "m") - a whole "Culture" universe to explore and each book is unique.
abrupt liquid [deleted] 15 years ago
falena 15 years ago
Two very good books I've read recently are Pat Cadigan's Synners and Elisabeth Vonarburg's Chroniques du Pays des Mères (en français).
Robokat 15 years ago
"The Hacker and the ants" and "Frek and the elixir" by the ever-gnarly Rudy Rucker. Love him!
vintagepaperbacks 15 years ago
Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. Continuing my exploration of the post-apocalyptic sci-fi genre.
Any recommendations?
observant vase [deleted] 15 years ago
Dune. i read it once a year since i was thirteen. never fails to captivate me.
Dead Air 15 years ago
levar, check out the Horseclan novels by Richard Adams
a bit fantasy influenced by definitely post-apocalyptic.

Also in a much more realistic sense, check out the movie On the Beach, and perhaps the book as well (I haven't read the book yet.) Be prepared to have your gut wrenched a bit though as it is a sad one.
vintagepaperbacks 15 years ago
Thanks, DA. I will definitely look into the Horseclan novels. I agree with you on the book On The Beach. Excellent.

Just finished Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. Also, a good example of the genre. Look for the review of it (and many others besides) on my blog:
Chris Landau 15 years ago
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is mildly sci fi, but the parts that are rock my brain big.
It's also written beautifully. He slides from genre to genera. I not sure if everyone would notice this, but it's all about humans use other humans.
Genista 15 years ago
I just finished The Fall of Hyperion, which, though not as good as the original Hyperion, is still a pretty awesome achievement in joining together literature and space opera to form something awesomely odd.
roomy space [deleted] 15 years ago
I am profoundly in love and have always been with Frank Herbert's Dune chronicles, Dick's Ubik and Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep and the whole Foundation Cycle(s) by Asimov. Despite this I think that Lem's Solaris is an absolute Must!
coldmountain 15 years ago
You must, must, must! try Alastair Reynolds. Start with Revelation Space. I cannot recommend him highly enough.
lackadaisical card [deleted] 15 years ago
I have read no SF recently, but the last ones i read were Sladek's Tik-Tok and Rucker's Software. I had read them both many years ago, but wanted to read them again.

John M. Ford's The Dragon Waiting and Geoff Ryman's The Unconquered Country were last readings, but they are more Fantasy I think.
farfalla tokyo 15 years ago
More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
Replay by Ken Grimwood.

Great! Great! Great!
I very strongly recommend if you prefer fantasy-toned SF to hard SF.
echoparkdirt 15 years ago
I've been pretty lazy about deep sci-fi books lately. The last one I was crazy about was the future/alternative history/thriller series "Axis of Time Trilogy" -- by John Birmingham
rut_hog 15 years ago
Check out "The Sheep Look Up" by John Brunner. He believably captures the possibility of ecological and financial collapse, even more prescient since it was originally published in 1972. Not for the easily depressed.

Also, "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman. Almost anything by Larry Niven. I second "A Scanner Darkly" by Philip K. Dick.
Dead Air 15 years ago
I'm currently reading C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner series which is quite good. Very political, as all of her SF seems to be, but perhaps even the most of any. A very anthropological look at the early days (early centuries actually) of human contact with an alien species of humanoids.
unpolarized 15 years ago
Read L. E Modesitt's "The Eternity Artifact". Any of his scifi is definately worth reading, as is his fantasy as well. I also recently reread the Vampire Earth series by E. E. Knight. I would also highly recommend some of these classics:
Joe Haldeman - The Forever War
Orson Scott Card - Ender's Game
David Brin - Earth, Kiln People, and The Uplift Series, especially The Uplift War
James Tiptree Jr. - Brightness Falls From The Air
Lois McMasters Bujold - the Vorkosigan series
Harry Harrison - the Stainless Steel Rat Series
charming snails [deleted] 15 years ago
I haven't been reading much of anything recently but I have many old favourites including Earthworks and the Helliconia series by Brian Aldiss; almost anything SF by Robert Silverberg including Dying Inside (liked his fantasy novels too); Waystation by Clidfford D Simak; Hello Summer, Goodbye by Michael G Coney; and short story collections by Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov.
moleratsgotnofur 15 years ago
Starfish, by Peter Watts. It's the first book in a long time that actually surprised me.
parched key [deleted] 15 years ago
Spin by Robert Charles Wilson was an OK one, I just finished that a few days ago.

My heart beats for the shorter novels from the 40ies to 70ies. Those are mostly pulp but enjoyable ...
Pörvört 14 years ago
philip k dick, anything..
iain m banks, only read 2 of his sf books, liked them
rudy rucker, if i recall correctly (software, hardware,..)
cloudy curve [deleted] 14 years ago
My favorite are K.Dick (i have almost everything from him(^_^)) and Asimov but the last i red was 1984 by Orwell! incredible how this book is still modern in its style and themes...
mike_feldman 14 years ago
Recent authors I've liked are Karl Schroeder Sun of Suns and Charles Stross's Eschaton series and Merchant Princes series.

And if you like your hyperbole exagerated, there's Neal Stephenson. 14 years ago
Anything by Ken McLeod is good. I also enjoyed the Gap series by Stephen Donalson - really gritty stuff.

I liked the earlier books in David Brin's Uplift series, but by the time he got into the galaxy spanning science stuff I lost interest. The books focussing on galactic politics at the pesonal level were much more interesting.

Of the 'classics' Olaf Stapledon is good as are H G Wells, Arthur C Clarke, Clifford Simak, even Heinlein in small doses and avoiding his last ones (except Job, which I did enjoy).
birdtoes 14 years ago
Wow! I see people in this thread talking about some authors and books that I thought *I* only knew - like "Replay" by Ken Grimwood. :)
I love the writing of Ian McCleod, especially his short stories.
A very cool book, which I don't think many people know about, is "Too Too Solid Flesh" by Nick O'Donohoe. Another book I absolutely love is "Oryx and Crake," by Margaret Atwood.
Another - 'Brainrose" by Nancy Kress.
My three favorite Orson Scott Card books are "Ender's Game" (the first of that series), "Xenophobia (the fourth of the Ender's Game series) and "Songmaster."
I think Theodore Sturgeon is wonderful, too.
rightful flag [deleted] Posted 14 years ago. Edited by rightful flag (member) 14 years ago
At the moment, I am reading ZIMA BLUE, Alastair Reynolds first short story collection. I will then turn my attention to GALACTIC NORTH, his second collection, which feature 8 stories from the same universe as his REVELATION SPACE series.

Reynolds has become a favorite author of mine. As an aside, I note that a lot of posters have mentioned PK Dick and Wm. Gibson. Anything written by these authors is worth the time in my opinion.
andrewafoley2005 14 years ago
I just read THE HOLLOW CHOCOLATE BUNNIES OF THE APOCALYPSE by Robert Rankin. One critic described him as "the drinking man's H G Wells.
birdtoes Posted 14 years ago. Edited by birdtoes (member) 14 years ago
Unteleported Man - I just read "Zima Blue," the story. It's so lovely! I didn't know it was from a short story collection. I had never read anything by Reynolds before, and I sure want to read the whole collection.
Dead Air 14 years ago
Wow, I've been on a big Reynolds kick. I look forward to catching up!
shallow apparatus [deleted] 14 years ago
I just finished Reynolds' "Pushing Ice". It's quite ok actually. Deals a lot more with the human (mental) condiction under extreme situations (such as being dragged away by a rogue moon to an alien structure 200 lightyears away). And it conveys the hugeness of the galaxy and the insignificance of mankind very well.
E_Journeys 14 years ago
Haven't read a lot of SF lately, but I recently read Stephen Baxter's Evolution, which blew me away.

Other authors whose work I've enjoyed include (but are by no means limited to) Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, Ursula K. LeGuin, Joanna Russ, Pamela Sargent, Robert Silverberg, James Triptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon), and Gene Wolfe.

I was weaned on the New Wave subgenre. Two stories that bowled me over as a kid and that still retain their kick for me are Norman Spinrad's novella, "The Lost Continent" (Science Against Man, Anthony Cheetham, ed., Avon, 1970) and Harlan Ellison's, "One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty" (Orbit 8, Damon Knight, ed., G.P. Putnam’s, 1970).
Delay Tactics 14 years ago
I am close to finishing Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, I love PKD!

The Unpleasant Profession Of Jonathan Hoag is my all time favourite though. Heinlein's quirky stories are genius!
Dead Air 14 years ago
I've been reading Pure Blood by the late Mike McQuay, and it's excellent.

It reads almost like heroic fantasy as the future world in it is somewhat medieval (i.e. feudal) in structure, but the premise is total SF. It was written in 1985, and yet it totally takes global warming and genetic engineering into account as the causes of society collapsing into feudalism. He was so ahead of his time in many of his books!
mike_feldman 14 years ago
Almost always the best Science Fiction I've read recently is the one I just finished. In this case it's Iain M. Banks "The Algebraist". And the Banks' Culture back catelog is worth exploring ... I'd start with "The State of the Art" and go from there if you like it.
barleymashers 14 years ago
Armor by John Steakley, I read this book over and over again.
I just finally got around to reading Joe Haldeman's "The Forever War" and I really enjoyed it. Same with Brunner's "Shockwave Rider", which I should have read years and years ago.

I just finished re-reading Dune, and I got much, much more into it than I remember on my first reading.
ginormous harmony [deleted] Posted 14 years ago. Edited by ginormous harmony (member) 14 years ago
You'll probably all hate me for this, since all of the above answers seem like really hardcore science fiction, but I just re-read the 5 books of the Hitchiker's Guide "trilogy" and enjoyed them tremendously.

Yeah, I know it's not serious science fiction, but its got some real biting satire and striking insights, etc., etc., blah, blah. I honestly do wonder if when we encounter other races they just might be as wacked-out as the characters in that series. Anyway, I was majorly entertained.
Edwin1710 14 years ago
Richard Morgan's Broken Angels, from the Altered Carbon series. A clever plot in a fully realised universe were technology is debased to the lowest possible level and humans main concern is to safe up enough money to be able to afford a younger clone to down load there conscience in.
Illium and Olympus by Dan Simmons. Martians coming to the aid of the Trojans when the "gods" get angry.
rut_hog 14 years ago
Check out "Counting Heads" by David Marusek. The New York Times reviewer said that it "rehabilitates the whole genre." That may be debatable on several points, but it's a killer read nonetheless.
Immortal89 14 years ago
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. It was assigned to me to read in college. When I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. It was a great read!
moleratsgotnofur 14 years ago
"The Golden Compass", by Philip Pullman. Multidimesional steampunk. It's in the kids section.
flawless chin [deleted] 14 years ago
Olaf Stapeldon's First & Last Men.

Re-reading for the n-th time actually. Old school, yet I'm regularly amazed at how broad the scope is and how Stapeldon anticipates VR, the internet, (several) nuclear arms races - not to mention truly alien extraterrestrials, who are actually distant ancestors of The First Men (us). Just a great book all in all. Highly recommended!
E_Journeys 14 years ago
Recent reads:
1. Speculative Japan, edited by Gene Van Troyer and Grania Davis, Kurodahan Press, 2007. Gives a great cultural and historical perspective -- and several stories stood out for me as being terrific. (Can be ordered through Amazon.)

2. Stephen Baxter's Emperor, the first volume in his Time's Tapestry series. Alternate history in the Roman era with particular focus on Britain. Fantastic word-smithing in an epic that spans several generations, tied together by a prophecy.
heather.sabrina 14 years ago
Anything by James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Sheldon) There's a new biography about her out now that is fascinating. She was such a complex and interesting character.
warmbucket Posted 13 years ago. Edited by warmbucket (member) 13 years ago
Wisdom of the Fox by Turtledove.
jcj7297 13 years ago
right now I am reading belladonna by anne bishop. Her dark jewel trilogy was pretty good as well
Lumiere Noir 13 years ago
Believe it or not...Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley. I've read Science Fiction about as long as I've been reading, and I had never read this novel until recently. It's all ideas, intentionally skimpy on characterization (but these are very empty people, living in an empty time) and almost every time there's a strong emotional hook in the events of the story, Huxley subverts it by describing it obliquely. He wants to shock us and make us think...I'll bet this was powerfully shocking when he wrote it!

I also love Stanislaw Lem and Cordwainer Smith...I love Neil Stephenson's work, and that's mostly what I read in the genera these days...him and Lem.
successful harmony [deleted] 13 years ago
Just finished reading The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe. Three interwoven stories telling the story of the double planets Sainte Anne and Sainte Croix. The native Annese are shape shifters supposedly killed off by the human colonists. Veil's hypothesis suggests that the aborigines have replaced the colonists by permanently taking their form to survive. The worlds created by Wolfe are stunning and the stories convoluted and gripping. I'll have to re-read to get the full gist. I loved it!
enthusiastic potato [deleted] Posted 12 years ago. Edited by enthusiastic potato (member) 12 years ago
A favorite that I return to on a regular basis is "The Cyberiad" by Stanislaw Lem. It's a collection of short stories featuring 2 inventor robots (Trurl and Klapaucious) forever competing against one another in the most bizarre of circumstances. Lem has the ability to create the most compelling stories while adding a healthy dose of wit. The worlds to which the robots travel become so real as do the personalities of the 2 protagonists. As an artist, I always feel compelled to create something after reading these stories.
Just finished reading "Big Planet" by Jack Vance.
sue tortoise 12 years ago
Most recently enjoyed Charlie Stross's 'Halting State' -- near future, high tech, very funny and spot on. Geek fun: a murder (possibly) in an online games finance company set in Edinburgh. I loved it. Prior to that was Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book -- yes it is a) fantasy and b) for kids, but who cares -- like Pratchett's books, this is Exceedingly Good Stuff irrespective of genre labels. Ian McDonald's Brasyl was another recent Good Read. Three stands of alternate history, with characters that you can care about, and a lot of local colour.
Linus Gelber 12 years ago
I'm in the middle of Gene Wolfe's Books of the New Sun - amazing stuff. I read "Knight" and "Wizard" last year and kind of didn't get them, but these linked novels are fantastic - fresh and strange, and with delightful language.

Over the last year I've also devoured the complete works of Jack McDevitt, starting with the Priscilla Hutchins/Academy novels, the first of which is "The Engines of God." First time I've really been excited by a new author's work in a long time. A couple of the standalone novels didn't move me a whole lot, but the Academy books and the Alex Benedict novels were great fun.

In general, McDevitt writes grand adventure set in the future of our old and rather empty galaxy, a vast house in which maybe we've already missed the best parts. A real pleasure to read.
Pörvört 12 years ago
not entirly SF but i enjoyed jeff noon's "vurt"
great account [deleted] 11 years ago
My most recent read was Ursula K. Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven. After watching the PBS telefilm many times since it was first broadcast in 1980 I finally got around to reading the book. I found it to be thoughtful and moralistic sci-fi that is also well-paced and pithy, and I really enjoyed it.
Shutterfever 11 years ago
Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan. Excellent SF crime thriller.
The Pesthouse by Jim Crace. Literary novel set in post-apocalyptic America.
The Book of Dave by Will Self. A new religion in a future Britain, based on the life of a man in the present day.
silorat 11 years ago
I recently got an anthology of Filipino sci fi while traveling there called "Pinoy Amazing Adventures" from PsiCom publishing, and it actually turned out to be super good, one story being one of the best sci fi shorts I've ever read. Haven't been able to find it or anything like it on Amazon or eBay but I found it's available on for less than 2 bucks for the interested.
It was nice to read a sci fi book that doesn't take place in California or New York with the occasional Japan etc.
I'm looking for sci fi taking place in foreign cultures or lands. I've heard good things about
nocaveat.justcavier Posted 10 years ago. Edited by nocaveat.justcavier (member) 10 years ago
Quarantine, by Greg Egan. "As for the stars they were never ours to lose,we've only lost the illusion of their proximity." A novel of quantum catastrophe, hard science fiction fans will go jelly for this one.
NRJP 10 years ago
Spent the Christmas hols re-reading Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain novels. Based in the GW 40K universe, they're quite funny and a good read. Fun working out who some of the characters are based on (there's a Dad's Army PDF unit and I love the Reclaimer's Space Marine Chapter who have a marine named Tobramorie - would love to see one of those figures)
steveblackimages 10 years ago
Just re-read Zelazny's "Lord of Light".
It still gets better every time.
thoughtless straw [deleted] Posted 9 years ago. Edited by thoughtless straw (member) 9 years ago
I'm not an expert on sci-fi novels/etc, but perhaps give the Paratwa triology by Christopher Hinz a try. Please tell me what you make of it. ;>
After all, it's my all time favorite Science Fiction novel. Admittedly, I've not given it a re-read in quite some time due to the fact that I didn't want to ruin the so very excellent first impression. ;>
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