Author Topic: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......  (Read 13792 times)

Offline Diamondback

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2013, 12:12:09 PM »
Not exactly WHIF-bait, but I like Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International (Skippy's Hind is on the workbench in 1/48) and Grimnoir Chronicles series. (I take that back, Grimnoir has pirates and ninjas on Zeppelins...)

Offline Klaus Wachsmuth

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2013, 10:04:13 AM »
David Weber and Steve White collaborated on four novels that were based on Task Force Games' STARFIRE boardgame series created in 1979 (now currently published by Starfire Design Studio). They are, in publication order, Insurrection (1990), Crusade (1992), In Death Ground (1997), and The Shiva Option (2002). Several years later, the stories were re-released in the correct chronological order of events, published as two omnibus editions: The Stars At War (2004 - Crusade and In Death Ground), and The Stars At War II (2005 - The Shiva Option and Insurrection). Two follow-up novels, Exodus (2006 - Steve White and Shirley Meier) and Extremis (2011 - Steven White and Charles E. Gannon), missed the boat entirely IMHO.

Taken from Wkipedia, these are the four major reaces involved in the novels:

Arachnid Omnivoracity - As the name implies, the Omnivoracity was made up of large creatures with a resemblance to spiders. While the Arachnids were intelligent, communication with them was found to be completely impossible. As a result, little is known about them other than the fact that they were quite advanced, and considered all other intelligent races to be food sources (and, in fact, treated captured subject populations much the way a herder treats sheep or cows). The first encounter between Terran Federation and Arachnid vessels led to Interstellar War 4. The attitude of the Arachnids toward other races made peace impossible, and all known Arachnid worlds were destroyed by bombardment from space by the combined fleets of the Alliance - save one small colony hidden, isolated from its homeworld by a hidden warp point. Interstellar War 4 and the fate of the Arachnids is described in the novels In Death Ground and The Shiva Option.

Khanate of Orion - A race of humanoid felines that believes strongly in honor and fighting, the Khanate was the first empire encountered by the Terran Federation. The Khanate and the Federation clashed during Interstellar Wars 1 and 2, but new leadership and a common enemy during Interstellar War 3 brought the two enemies together as allies. They have remained on good terms since that time.

Terran Federation - The Terran Federation is composed of humans from Earth. The Federation enforces a strict non-interventionist policy in the affairs of pre-starflight races within its borders, and as a result, humans are the only race represented by the Federation. The Federation has fought one civil war, as detailed in the novel Insurrection.

Thebans - An alien race from the other side of an unexplored warp point near the Federation/Khanate border. Due to an odd confluence of events, the Thebans worshiped the planet Earth as "Holy Terra", and claimed to be Terrans. They embarked on a vicious campaign to "free" humanity and "return" them to the worship of Holy Terra. Despite initial Theban successes, the Federation ultimately prevailed. The peace treaty following the war invoked severe limits on the Thebans, and prohibited them from building their own starships. Details on the Theban War can be found in the novel Crusade.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 10:06:44 AM by Klaus Wachsmuth »

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Offline jschmus

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2013, 11:17:52 AM »
My favorite SF series, by far, has been Iain M. Bank's "Culture" series of books. They rekindled my love for SF: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_series


The books are all self contained, so they can be read in any order, although it's best to read them in the order they were published, since some books reference events or characters from previous books.

"Consider Phlebas" is the first book in the series; it's one of my favorites, but some people prefer to start with the next book " Player of Games" or even what is considered the best book in the series "Use of Weapons".


I've read three of these recently: "Matter", "Use of Weapons" and "The Hydrogen Sonata".  The ending of "Use of Weapons" totally wrecked me for days.  I was so convinced I knew what was going on, and then Banks ripped the rug out from under me.
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2013, 11:33:50 AM »
I've read three of these recently: "Matter", "Use of Weapons" and "The Hydrogen Sonata".  The ending of "Use of Weapons" totally wrecked me for days.  I was so convinced I knew what was going on, and then Banks ripped the rug out from under me.

J, I had the same reaction to "Use of Weapons"; but if you re-read it, there are subtle hints along the way as to what's going on. It's definitely an intense novel. "Dizzy" Sma (sans drone) appears in an earlier short story; it's the only time that the Earth is at the center of a Culture story, although it's mentioned (or humans are) in passing in "Consider Phlebas" and "the Hydrogen Sonata")

You should read "Surface Detail" now. You'll also get a surprise at the end.

Offline Gingie

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2013, 10:05:43 PM »
I don't think I've read or even heard of a single book in this thread!  :o Other than Redshirts which was a bit  :icon_sleep:

My Sci-fi is limited to The Forever War, Starship Troopers, Day of The Triffids...

Offline raafif

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2013, 05:47:49 AM »
The end of "Day the Earth stood Still" is a great read because the famous movie didn't really pick up on the twist - just a suggestion of it.  I won't give it away, unless you ask me to ;)  Otherwise the movie was quite true to the book.

Offline Frank3k

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #31 on: October 23, 2013, 06:27:04 AM »
The end of "Day the Earth stood Still" is a great read because the famous movie didn't really pick up on the twist - just a suggestion of it.  I won't give it away, unless you ask me to ;)  Otherwise the movie was quite true to the book.


Here's the original: "Farewell to the Master": http://thenostalgialeague.com/olmag/bates-farewell-to-the-master.html

Offline elmayerle

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2013, 09:01:04 AM »
The end of "Day the Earth stood Still" is a great read because the famous movie didn't really pick up on the twist - just a suggestion of it.  I won't give it away, unless you ask me to ;)  Otherwise the movie was quite true to the book.
Much the way the novelization of Forbidden Planet added a bit of twist not seen in the movie; but of nowhere near as much import.

Offline Frank3k

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2013, 12:31:18 PM »
Much the way the novelization of Forbidden Planet added a bit of twist not seen in the movie; but of nowhere near as much import.

That was an awful hack of a novel. It added a few extras to the story, but was about as entertaining as reading the phone book.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2013, 12:45:07 PM »
Much the way the novelization of Forbidden Planet added a bit of twist not seen in the movie; but of nowhere near as much import.

That was an awful hack of a novel. It added a few extras to the story, but was about as entertaining as reading the phone book.
Well, ti's been a fair while since I read it, so I can't comment further.  Truly, all novelizations are not equally well done, a lot depends on matching author and style.  James Blish is/was a superb writer in his own right Cities in Flight series, Jack of Eagles, and the After Such Knowledge series for example, but his adaptations of the original ST:TOS episodes lack something; Alan Dean Foster was far better suited as shown by his work on printed versions of the animated episodes.  For an original writer who was there early on and had much effect on the sf field, I recommend works by Murray Leinster, even his mediocre work is a good read and he's definitely written a number of classics. *chuckle* He ended up doing the novels based on The Time Tunnel tv show because he already had a novel out there with that title.  I'll admit to being particularly partial to his Med Ship series and the other stories that shared that "landing grid" universe; The OTher Side of Nowhere  and "i[The Pirates of Zen[/i] being particularly fun romps.

Offline mrvr6

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2013, 06:54:08 PM »
the culture novels
the discworld books

should keep you going for a few years lol

Offline tsrjoe

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2013, 08:53:10 PM »
Stephen Baxter's 'Titan ... waw a must read  8) the darkest piece of sf. writing iv ever read (his 'Moonseed' and 'Voyage' novels are really good too)

cheers, Joe

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #37 on: October 24, 2013, 02:42:30 AM »
Stephen Baxter's 'Titan ... waw a must read  8) the darkest piece of sf. writing iv ever read (his 'Moonseed' and 'Voyage' novels are really good too)

cheers, Joe

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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #38 on: October 25, 2013, 01:40:10 AM »
My Sci-fi is limited to The Forever War, Starship Troopers, Day of The Triffids...

The first 2 are, imo, great stories. DotT.... good but not great.

Any of Pratchett's Disc World books. As far as I'm concerned he's the greatest writer ever.

David Drake's Hammer's Slammers stories are, also, good reads.

I'm generally a bit of a classics fan of SF, Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov, etc., followed by the 70's/80's generation; Dick, Haldeman, Niven, Pournelle, Drake, etc.

Not having my library here to trigger my brain I can't remember too many of my favourite novels/stories (Really!) but The Forever War, Starship Troopers & I, Robot stand out, as do the stories All My Sins Remembered (I'm pretty sure that was a collection of stories, too, including the title story) & We Can Remember It For You, Wholesale.

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Offline perttime

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2013, 02:43:25 AM »
What about something less "space"? Cyberpunk.
Start with William Gibson's Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive.

Offline Gingie

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #40 on: October 25, 2013, 07:23:35 AM »
There was another one, Seeds of War or something, children who were bred for fighting, that was quite good. And one about a giant man-made ring around the sun. Man, this is going back 25 years when I was in college. Have not had much time to read fiction. And since they installed TV screens on airlines, the last bastion of my book-reading-for-fun is under attack :-)

Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2013, 07:45:57 AM »
There was another one, Seeds of War or something, children who were bred for fighting, that was quite good. And one about a giant man-made ring around the sun. Man, this is going back 25 years when I was in college. Have not had much time to read fiction. And since they installed TV screens on airlines, the last bastion of my book-reading-for-fun is under attack :-)


That would be Ring World by Larry Niven.

Another classic Niven Pournelle collaboration was Footfall. 

Imagine the 16" guns of the New Jersey used in a space battle. Take that you arrogant Elephants. 

Here are images of the Michael:



http://www.up-ship.com/apr/michael.htm

Build this bad boy in 1/72. 



« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 08:09:22 AM by The Big Gimper »
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #42 on: October 25, 2013, 12:01:45 PM »
A good Niven short story is "Inconstant Moon".
Niven is fond of setting some of his stories in West LA;  parts of this story are set in Westwood (my neighborhood) and I can identify most of the locations (although several are long gone). I can see the building in the story from my living room (the same building is featured in "Lucifer's Hammer" - when the surfer crashes into the top of the building).

Offline elmayerle

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2013, 12:40:41 PM »
I rather imagine that Lucifer's Hammer had a number of familiar locales and, likely, a few familiar personalities (I'm pretty sure I recognized the televangelist that showed up).  Considering that Niven and Pournelle both live in the LA area, their setting stories in that are is hardly surprising (I'm sure you'll recognize the locale of a short story, "Kenyon's to the Keep").

Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #44 on: June 12, 2021, 01:28:35 AM »
The MurderBot Diaries by Martha Wells.

Once a SecUnit hacks their governor module, all bets are off.  Fun reads from a construct that is always saving stupid humans, addicted to soap operas and loves to drop the F-bomb.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Murderbot_Diaries



https://www.tor.com/2017/05/01/book-reviews-all-systems-red-by-martha-wells/
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 01:35:15 AM by The Big Gimper »
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Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #45 on: June 12, 2021, 01:30:08 AM »
Some free short reads.

The Secret Life of Bots by SUZANNE PALMER
2018 WINNER: HUGO AWARD FOR BEST NOVELETTE, 2018 FINALIST: THEODORE A. STURGEON MEMORIAL AWARD, 2018 FINALIST: WFSA SMALL PRESS AWARD

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/palmer_09_17/
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Offline The Big Gimper

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« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 01:59:20 AM by The Big Gimper »
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Offline The Big Gimper

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Offline Frank3k

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #48 on: June 12, 2021, 04:49:51 AM »
The Murderbot series is a lot of fun.

I would enjoy sitting near Murderbot, staring at walls together (but not making eye contact! That's too uncomfortable) and not saying anything.

"Asshole Research Transport" AKA ART is the best AI asshole since Skaffen Amtiskaw from Iain Banks "Use of Weapons"

The "Hooded Swan" /Star Pilot Grainger series by Brian Stableford dates from the 1970s, but all six books are a great read. Graiger starts out as a complete ass, but he has an alien parasite that keeps reminding him of the fact - in addition to getting him out of trouble on occasion.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: SF and Fantasy novels we have read and could recommend.......
« Reply #49 on: June 13, 2021, 06:14:58 AM »
David Weber has an interesting novel, Path of the Fury which drops a Fury from Greek Mythology into a SF-nal universe at war and things get interesting.  He is now writing a prequel series showing how that universe came about and the first novel, Governor looks quite interesting.