Science fiction recommendations please

(58 Posts)
MrsFTHC Sat 27-Jul-13 23:08:21

Hi, I'm looking for science fiction book recommendations, the problem is I've never really read any so I can't say what kind of thing I like, can anyone help with any suggestions? Probably something fairly short to start with to see if I enjoy it thenI can always look for more by the same author. Thanks

Oodelaranana Sat 27-Jul-13 23:13:28

What other kind of books do you like? That might help with making suggestions. Why are you interested in reading some science fiction?

Vatta Sat 27-Jul-13 23:15:34

It's a very broad category. Maybe try a collection of short stories to see what kind you like? Eg www.amazon.co.uk/Science-Fiction-Omnibus-Brian-Aldiss/dp/0141188928/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374963194&sr=8-1&keywords=Science+fiction+omnibus

MrsFTHC Sat 27-Jul-13 23:24:02

Sorry I realise I'm not being very helpful, I'd like to read some science fiction because I like time travel, stuff from other planets, that kind of thing. I know I'm being really vague, I'm not trying to be I just can't quite pinpoint what it is I like. I enjoy stuff that is quite dark and scary, but not gory. I like a good human story where I can relate to the character's feelings and emotions. I'll have a look at some short stories to see if I can narrow it down a bit, thanks for trying to help

Snorbs Sat 27-Jul-13 23:34:26

Try Downbelow Station by C. J. Cherryh.

I really like Sheri Tepper's books, especially Grass, Beauty and Gibbon's Decline and Fall; cracking good tales with strong feminist undercurrents. Elizabeth Moon's Remnant Population is a lovely, uplifting sci-fi novel that you might enjoy - it has its moments of suspense as well. Also Lethe by Tricia Sullivan.

Vatta Sun 28-Jul-13 00:19:21

If you don't like gory, I would not read sheri tepper, I read beauty ten years ago and some of the gory descriptions still pop into my mind and bother me sometimes!

I agree with the Elizabeth moon recommendation though.

ValentineWiggins Sun 28-Jul-13 00:23:00

Enders game...and read it before the film comes out!

Vatta Sun 28-Jul-13 00:28:40

Omg yes Ender's game is amazing!

I also rate Cities in Flight, tiger tiger (also published as the stars my destination), the hope sequence by feintuch, The vorkosigan sequence by bujold, orphans of the sky by Heinlein, the sea and summer by George turner. Random list of my faves, but hope it helps.

If you look for the masterworks sf series, they republished a load of science fiction classics.

DuchessofMalfi Sun 28-Jul-13 06:49:52

How about something by the grandfather of science fiction - H G Wells? I read The War of the Worlds recently and enjoyed it and I wouldn't normally pick a sci-fi book to read. It is very good without being too complicated.

Try The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey. It's a YA book so very accessible. I'm a hardcore SF fan and I loved it.

Oodelaranana Sun 28-Jul-13 17:47:46

Try John Wyndham The Crysalids. It has a good human story, is well written and has stood the test of time. It was one of the books that made me interested in science fiction.

'Ender's Game' is fantastic, except for the ending imho.
'Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep' is good and I enjoyed, 'The War Of The Worlds' (again, apart from the ending).
John Wyndham is generally v readable.

lljkk Sun 28-Jul-13 20:31:39

Philip K. Dick for sure.
Anyone read the scifi by Iain Banks?

ChunkyPickle Sun 28-Jul-13 20:35:38

If you've got an e-reader I recently read a pretty good one called Wool -I liked the suspense of it. (OMG, I just found out there's some more to read - I'd only read the first 3)

I'm currently working my way through the Iain M Banks Culture series (I think you can read them in any order) which I'm finding not too hard going but not too simple either.

CoteDAzur Sun 28-Jul-13 20:54:55

Have you read any "old school" sci-fi like 2001: A Space Odyssey , Stranger In A Strange Land, and Foundation books? The authors of these 3 books (Arthur C Clarke, Robert Heinlein, and Isaac Asimov) were all scientists and quite a few of their books are classics.

The classic book of sci-fi, which you have to read if you haven't already, is Dune. Forget the movie and the tv series, this is one book you must read.

I really like Philip K Dick, too. His wit & mind-boggling plots are truly singular.

Sci-fi has taken a different turn in the last 20 years or so, starting with William Gibson's book Neuromancer (where he coined the term "cyberspace"). His initial books are very good (Idoru , Mona Lisa Overdrive etc) although he went off the rails with the last few, imho.

Then came Neal Stephenson and he is now probably the most consistently brilliant sci-fi writer out there. His Snow Crash was selected into Time magazine's "100 Best English Language Books of All Time" list (there wasn't much sci-fi there). Among his books, Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon, and more recently Anathem are all masterpieces.

CoteDAzur Sun 28-Jul-13 20:58:37

Remus - Ender's Game has a sequel where the ending is explained & continued. (It has quite a few sequels, actually but I stopped reading after #3)

Hi Cote. I hoped you'd show up on here. I have finally bought 'Dune' and intend to start it tomorrow. Watch this space. smile

I don't fancy the, 'Ender's Game' sequels, as it was the battle stuff / kid relationship stuff which interested me.

CoteDAzur Sun 28-Jul-13 21:06:06

Ah, I just asked about Dune on your other thread.

yegodsandlittlefishes Sun 28-Jul-13 21:06:39

The best of Harry Harrison (short stories) is a good place to start.

CoteDAzur Sun 28-Jul-13 21:09:21

Meanwhile, I recently read an amazing near-future sci-fi book called Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Really awesome.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 28-Jul-13 21:13:37
CoteDAzur Sun 28-Jul-13 21:26:00

I have to say I wasn't impressed by Wool. It is a pretty OK first novel, but not among the best sci-fi out there at all.

You really need to want to suspend your disbelief to get over the glaring inconsistencies and lack of credible detail, imho. (Apologies to its fans)

Wool is good, but it takes Howey a while to get into his stride. Shift is better.

I wouldn't recommend Wool for a first adventure into Sci-Fi.

I couldn't read, 'Wool.' Too clunky. It failed my 30 page rule.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now