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#1 Posted by Breadfan (6586 posts) -

I've never really read any science fiction before (unless you'd classify Kurt Vonnegut into this distinction), and I'm assuming books such as Ender's Game and Dune are among some books to check out. The extended universe of Star Wars seems to be somewhat insane, based on occasional Wikipedia browsing, but how is Heir to the Empire?

Some more recent titles would also be appreciated.

#2 Posted by Sergio (1772 posts) -

Hard sci-fi or sci-fi in general?

#3 Edited by Breadfan (6586 posts) -

@sergio: Either. I'm up for checking out anything.

#4 Edited by Jazzycola (662 posts) -

Rho Agenda Trilogy. Probably some of the best books I have ever read (granted I haven't read that many books but still). The Second Ship is the first of the trilogy.

#5 Edited by pyromagnestir (3946 posts) -
  • Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons
  • Blindsight by Peter Watts
  • the culture series, particularly The Player of Games and The Use of Weapons by Iain M Banks

I should probably know more than that... Oh! Anathem by Neal Stephenson.

edit: And oh! Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy!

Online
#6 Posted by Anund (849 posts) -

Gaunt's Ghosts by Dan Abnett. Set in the Warhammer 40k universe. Or the Eisenhorn trilogy, same writer, same universe :)

#7 Posted by Slay3r1583 (583 posts) -

@breadfan: You've never read Dune? Get off the internet right now and go read it. That is probably my favorite book ever.

#8 Posted by MildMolasses (3194 posts) -

Anything by Phillip K Dick

#9 Posted by wrecks (2125 posts) -

Legacy of Heorot & Beowulf's Children, The Integral Trees & The Smoke Ring, Ringworld or really any number of great books by Larry Niven.

#10 Posted by planetfunksquad (368 posts) -

Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut is great. Its not sci-fi in the Philip K Dick sense but it definitely has a sci-fi element to it.

#12 Edited by JusticeJanitor (143 posts) -

Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons

I just read those. Loved it.

#13 Edited by PenguinDust (12414 posts) -

Otherland by Tad Williams. 4 books, one epic sci-fi/cyberpunkish tale.

#14 Posted by BillyTheKid (484 posts) -

Ready Player One, not really over the top Sci-Fi , but still a fairly decent nerdgasm.

#15 Edited by Seppli (9735 posts) -
#16 Posted by bananaz (250 posts) -

Horus Rising by Dan Abnett (Warhammer 40k)

Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber

Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

Also Dune. Read Dune. The other 5 Dune books by Frank Herbert are cool too.

#17 Posted by thebeastwithtwobacks (137 posts) -

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. Actually written by two guys one of which was George R.R. Martin's assistant.

#18 Posted by llamaegg (208 posts) -

Dune? Dune. Duuuuune!

Ever sense I've been introduced to Dune at the age of 13, I've been re-reading the series every year, and it still hasn't gotten stale some 13 years later.

#19 Edited by LaszloKovacs (1133 posts) -

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.

Even if you ignore the whole "obvious allegory of the Vietnam War" thing (which is interesting on its own), it's a classic of hard sci-fi.

If you'd rather something near-future and speculative, I really recommend Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (although I'm sure there are plenty of people who would disagree with me on that).

Or just read some William Gibson, man, I dunno.

#20 Posted by Aurelito (721 posts) -

I suggest you start at first, read works of H. G. Wells. Then Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and then Terry Pratchett. Most of them are very soft sci-fi works, I wouldn't suggest hard sci-fi that's a bunch of nerd crap. You might also want to look into Star Wars expanded universe, it seems to have everything.

#21 Posted by ripelivejam (2783 posts) -
#22 Edited by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -

A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge. Seminal space opera with great concepts and great aliens, one of my favourite books ever. His characterisation wasn't too great in this book, but he redressed that by going more character-focused in his next book set in that universe, A Deepness in the Sky.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson is where it's at for cyberpunk, imo. Although unrelated in style, I've also always suspected that Kojima read this while creating MGS1, what with the Raven character and the references in both stories to Aleutians.

I recently checked out the first 3 books of Iain M. Banks 'Culture' series and I'd say The Player of Games is the best of those. Personally I'm not a fan of Dan Simmons.

#23 Posted by SerHulse (680 posts) -

You know, there are a few really quite excellent books set in the Warhammer 40K universe; I would recommend:

There are also a few from the Horus Heresy series specifically, you don't need to read all of them to get the story as a lot of them just happen to take place around the same time:

#24 Posted by MikeJFlick (423 posts) -

Solaris, great book, although if you saw the movie it may spoil it for you.

#25 Edited by Tennmuerti (7720 posts) -

I swear I should copy and paste these somewhere, to stop having to remember/retype them again when duders ask for suggestions now and again :P

  • Robot Series - Isaac Asimov (a good primer on AI related sci-fi, also very light stuff so easy to start getting into sci-fi with)
  • Foundation Series - Isaac Asimoc (separate from above, but are in fact in the same universe timeline, so it's cool if you know the references)
  • Night's Dawn Trilogy - Peter F. Hamilton (my personal number one sci-fi trilogy)
  • Fallen Dragon - Peter F. Hamilton (good if you want to check out his style without getting into the bigger trilogies)
  • Commonwealth Saga/Void Trilogy - Peter F. Hamilton
  • Dune (original trilogy, books 1,2,3) - Frank Herbert (careful Dune books are a bit on the heavy side, but worth it)
  • Culture Series (there are a lot) - Iain M. Banks, (if you want a more introductory one go The Player of Games, but the pinnacle is imo Excession)
  • can recommend some Russian sci-fi but don't think it'll be relevant for you

PS: staunchly against Arthur C. Clarke, 2001 Space Odyssey is a bad book, but that's just me

#26 Posted by ebombs (1 posts) -

Like a few others I would say Dune is a great place to start, I also recommend:

  • Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
  • Gateway by Frederik Pohl
  • Ringworld by Larry Niven
  • The Redemption Ark Trilogy by Alastair Reynolds

Somewhat ashamed of that last one.

#27 Edited by Breadfan (6586 posts) -

Awesome, thanks for the recommendations.

#28 Edited by MarkWahlberg (4493 posts) -

While I'm sure you're going to get plenty of good recommendations on here, I just want to point out that H.G. Wells and Jules Verne both wrote some pretty good shit back in the day. War of the Worlds and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea are their best known works, respectively, and are probably good places to start.

#29 Posted by believer258 (11035 posts) -

Foundation, I Robot, Altered Carbon, and maybe Ender's Game.

In that order.

#30 Posted by Mister9001 (15 posts) -

Anything Halo ever.

Ghost of Onyx and Fall of Reach are a must-read for Halo fans though.

Oh, and Star Wars novels. Those have like, an 80% chance of being good whichever novel you select.

#31 Edited by Breadfan (6586 posts) -

While I'm sure you're going to get plenty of good recommendations on here, I just want to point out that H.G. Wells and Jules Verne both wrote some pretty good shit back in the day. War of the Worlds and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea are their best known works, respectively, and are probably good places to start.

I've been meaning to read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I'll have to give that a read.

I tend to avoid video game related books, but has anyone read the Starcraft books?

#32 Posted by casper_ (882 posts) -

hard sci fi: rendevous with rama or childhood's end by arthur c. clarke

space opera: dune series.

also h.g. wells wrote a ton of great stuff you probably already know about.

that's about all i got.

#33 Posted by BaneFireLord (2878 posts) -

The Diamond Age and Anathem by Neal Stephenson are both pretty good (although Diamond Age has a REALLY unsatisfying ending and Anathem gets a little up its own ass in places with its renaming of basic philosophical and scientific concepts). Also, while far more pulpy than Stephenson's stuff, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton is one of my favorite books of all time.

#34 Posted by DrxLecter (122 posts) -

If you want something a bit more heavy, Neuromancer.

If you want something more fun, Snow Crash.

#35 Posted by ManU_Fan10ne (662 posts) -

@slay3r1583 said:

@breadfan: You've never read Dune? Get off the internet right now and go read it. That is probably my favorite book ever.

This.

@llamaegg said:

Dune? Dune. Duuuuune!

Ever sense I've been introduced to Dune at the age of 13, I've been re-reading the series every year, and it still hasn't gotten stale some 13 years later.

This.

And this: Dune.

If you want something not as serious (or as awesome) as Dune, try Ender's Game. The rest of the Ender's Game book are not that good though.

#36 Edited by HerbieBug (3838 posts) -

I don't recommend Anathem as an introduction to Neal Stephenson. Read Cryptonomicon first. If you enjoy it, then Anathem should appeal as well. Stephenson isn't for everybody. Some find him offputting. I am a big fan of most of his stuff but I understand the reasons why some people don't care for him.

Few not mentioned yet:

Eon by Greg Bear

A Fire Upon The Deep and A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge

The Scar by China Mieville - this is not sci-fi... exactly. well it is and it isn't. yeah. it's good. steampunk environs with umm, other, stuff. just read it.

The Mote in God's Eye by Niven and Pournelle

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester - I strongly and emphatically recommend this book to all sci fi novel enthusiasts. It is goddamn slap you in the face awesome +1.

Foundation trilogy by Asimov - Mandatory reading.

#37 Posted by ripelivejam (2783 posts) -

ASOIAF

reveal in 7th book will be that it was our world way in the future all the time. Valyria's Doom was a massive asteroid collision that skewed the earth's axis/orbit out of whack and caused the lengthy seasons. Magic/dragons were brought into existence by the meteorite's strange properties.

#38 Posted by Sergio (1772 posts) -

Many I would recommend were already mentioned, so I'll just add Red Mars.

#39 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (4427 posts) -

Slaughterhouse Five is pretty good.

#40 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

Altered Carbon is awesome

#41 Edited by psylah (2153 posts) -

Stephen Baxter writes some pretty hard Sci-Fi, including mega-stellar (seriously, huge) constructs and massive timescales.

I read this one:

http://images.wikia.com/scifi/images/1/12/Stephen_Baxter_-_Xeelee_04_-_Ring_-_cover_front_(b).jpg

I really enjoyed it, and it's a part of a series that stands on its own from start to finish.

Each of the books share common themes (races, universal events, characters) but you can read them in any order. The collection is called Xeelee Sequence.

#42 Edited by AmatureIdiot (980 posts) -

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Metro 2033 By Dmitry Glukhovsky ( I much prefered it to the game) are two books I would highly recommend.

#43 Posted by TooSweet (361 posts) -

I'll try to remember what I've liked but some have been mentioned here:

The Stars My Destination & The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester

A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge

The Foundation Trilogy - Isaac Asimov

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

Miles Vorkosigan Books by Lois McMaster Bujold, I seriously can't recommend these enough. I read through most of them twice and it was just as good the second time around. Before this stories there are three short stories detailing how his parents met in Cordelia's Honor. Also a good book. Miles is their son and he is born with severe defects do to a poison gas attack against his family. The dude grows up into one ballsy dude. I think I'm going to go read these again.

Enjoy!

#44 Posted by RazielCuts (2711 posts) -

< - One of my favs.

I've also been meaning to get around to reading Ringworld which apparently Halo drew a lot of inspiration from.

#45 Edited by CrossTheAtlantic (1145 posts) -

Did no one seriously suggest UBIK?

Read it.

#46 Edited by Breadfan (6586 posts) -

ASOIAF

reveal in 7th book will be that it was our world way in the future all the time. Valyria's Doom was a massive asteroid collision that skewed the earth's axis/orbit out of whack and caused the lengthy seasons. Magic/dragons were brought into existence by the meteorite's strange properties.

Is this before or after Hodor commandeers Stannis Baratheon's mech?

#47 Edited by Sanity (1852 posts) -

Give 1984 a try if you never read it. Its not exactly sc-fi, but sorta in that ball park and i think everyone should read it once.

#48 Posted by fisk0 (3270 posts) -

Maybe not for everyone, but I found Carl Sagan's Contact pretty fascinating. I know Ray Bradbury hated the term sci-fi, but I think The Martian Chronicles and a bunch of his other novels and short stories are worth reading as well. Neuromancer has already been mentioned, how about Neil Stephenson's Snowcrash?

An old time classic that I still think holds up quite well is H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds from 1898.

#49 Posted by Azteck (7447 posts) -

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, 1984, The Neuromancer,

#50 Edited by flindip (517 posts) -

Dune is a great read. The only problem is that the series gets sillier/stupider as it goes along. First two books though are really solid. Third one is good but has some issues(that is when it starts down the crazy stuff. After that it gets pretty silly.