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Sci Fi/ Adventure recommendations


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Science fiction has a lot of genres and sub-genres, and one usually gravitates to the ones that fit their taste. For an absolute beginner, I would recommend a good "hard science fiction" book, like 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. As "hard" science fiction is more rooted in reality, it is easier for most people to come to grips with. Jumping straight in to the mind-bending "soft science fiction" tapestries of Ursula Le Guin or Harlan Ellison would be daunting. Others that might be interesting starting points would be the Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke, or Martian Race by Gregory Benford.

 

Come to think of it, Martian Race might be the best, considering that the series "Mars" is debuting on Nat Geo this season.

 

When he's ready to have his mind blown, there's a lot more to science fiction than just space travel.

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Dune by Frank Herbert and Foundation by Isaac Asimov should be read by anyone, regardless if he's new to SF or a SF connoisseur. Some of Asimov's works are kind of outdated, especially given how we see robots today compared to 50-60 years ago but still they are excellent novels. 

 

Dune is kind of a space opera so it might tickle his fancy better. 

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Science fiction has a lot of genres and sub-genres, and one usually gravitates to the ones that fit their taste. For an absolute beginner, I would recommend a good "hard science fiction" book, like 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. As "hard" science fiction is more rooted in reality, it is easier for most people to come to grips with. Jumping straight in to the mind-bending "soft science fiction" tapestries of Ursula Le Guin or Harlan Ellison would be daunting. Others that might be interesting starting points would be the Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke, or Martian Race by Gregory Benford.

 

Come to think of it, Martian Race might be the best, considering that the series "Mars" is debuting on Nat Geo this season.

 

When he's ready to have his mind blown, there's a lot more to science fiction than just space travel.

 

 

Have him look up Phillip K Dick ;)

 

Edit: he'll never be the same :D

 

 

Dune by Frank Herbert and Foundation by Isaac Asimov should be read by anyone, regardless if he's new to SF or a SF connoisseur. Some of Asimov's works are kind of outdated, especially given how we see robots today compared to 50-60 years ago but still they are excellent novels. 

 

Dune is kind of a space opera so it might tickle his fancy better. 

 

 

Thank you all, OF, Anna and MrCat, I'll forward your recommendations. He LOVES Star Wars and has tried reading some of the books but says the writing is terrible. Hubby is a huge fan of Dune. Should have thought of that one! :blush2: 

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No 2 son (late 20's) has asked if I can find him a good sci fi/adventure type book series involving space travel to different planets, spaceships  etc. Not a genre I'm familiar with so wondered if anyone had some suggestions. Thank you ! :D

 

Hey pops  :D

 

So the words that are leaping out at me there are 'adventure', 'series', 'space travel', 'different planets', and 'spaceships', which all make it a lot more specific.  Has he read science fiction before, or would this be his first?

 

Anyway, the book that got me hooked on SF when I was a teenager was Frank Herbert's Dune.  I've read it four times now.  It's got all those elements you mention, but it's really all about the first book, and I wouldn't particularly recommend reading beyond the initial trilogy.

 

For something more recent there's James S. A. Corey's 'The Expanse' series, starting with Leviathan Wakes.  It's kind of a retro space opera set totally in our own solar system where man has moved out to the other planets, and the subsequent war that develops (for spoilery reasons) between Earth, Mars, and the asteroid belt.  What I like about it is that it's focused on the characters rather than the science, and it's fun in that way.  There's a tv series based on it now, too, which can be found on Netflix.  It's got all the elements you mention although - weirdly, for a series called 'The Expanse' - containing it in our own solar system makes it less, ahem, expansive than others.

 

Others with all those elements that might be worth having a look at:

 

A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge (two of my all-time faves, lost of action and weird aliens and mind-blowing ideas) 

House of Suns and Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds (Chasm City is part of his 'Revelation Space' series and a good starting point)

The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F Hamilton (first in his 'Night's Dawn' trilogy)

 

Anything by Neal Asher set in his Polity Universe (if he wants lots of action)

 

And, of course, Iain M. Banks.  There's all his 'Culture' novels, which are all stand-alones set in the same universe, but I'd also recommend some of his other SF novels, like The Algebraist.

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Hey pops  :D

 

So the words that are leaping out at me there are 'adventure', 'series', 'space travel', 'different planets', and 'spaceships', which all make it a lot more specific.  Has he read science fiction before, or would this be his first?

 

Anyway, the book that got me hooked on SF when I was a teenager was Frank Herbert's Dune.  I've read it four times now.  It's got all those elements you mention, but it's really all about the first book, and I wouldn't particularly recommend reading beyond the initial trilogy.

 

For something more recent there's James S. A. Corey's 'The Expanse' series, starting with Leviathan Wakes.  It's kind of a retro space opera set totally in our own solar system where man has moved out to the other planets, and the subsequent war that develops (for spoilery reasons) between Earth, Mars, and the asteroid belt.  What I like about it is that it's focused on the characters rather than the science, and it's fun in that way.  There's a tv series based on it now, too, which can be found on Netflix.  It's got all the elements you mention although - weirdly, for a series called 'The Expanse' - containing it in our own solar system makes it less, ahem, expansive than others.

 

Others with all those elements that might be worth having a look at:

 

A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge (two of my all-time faves, lost of action and weird aliens and mind-blowing ideas) 

House of Suns and Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds (Chasm City is part of his 'Revelation Space' series and a good starting point)

The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F Hamilton (first in his 'Night's Dawn' trilogy)

 

Anything by Neal Asher set in his Polity Universe (if he wants lots of action)

 

And, of course, Iain M. Banks.  There's all his 'Culture' novels, which are all stand-alones set in the same universe, but I'd also recommend some of his other SF novels, like The Algebraist.

 

 

 

 

Hiya Karsa! How are you doing?? :D Haven't caught up with you in an age. Thank you so much for all your help. I'll send all these recommendations to him. He wants to read them on his kindle so they'll have to be ones that are available there. But just about everything seems to be these days. :smile:

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*waves*

 

 


I really like the Gap Cycle by Stephen Donaldson. It's a bit of a space opera epic. :)

 

I keep meaning to get back to that!  I've only read the first one, and found it quite disturbing.

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Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke is the only book (well, whole series) I've read 3 times now, I absolutely love it! Dune is something I really should try, I think.

 

 

Long time no see, Karsa :)

 

I really like the Gap Cycle by Stephen Donaldson. It's a bit of a space opera epic. :)

 

 

Hi Steve ! :D

 

Another vote for Dune.  :doowapstart:

 

Thank you Michelle, More Reading and Li'l Pixie! :D  Looks like Arthur C Clarke is a very popular choice plus Dune.

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Have him look up Phillip K Dick ;)

 

Edit: he'll never be the same :D

Absolutely... PKD is scifi perfected. Not about the starship battles or the fireworks or the other planets with tentacle monsters but really bends your mind through other dimensions, so to speak.

 

I remember going through really tough times and afterwards read VALIS... yikes. Then I remember Minority Report the film. Great stuff. I grew up watching Total Recall over and over along with a few other films.

 

Quite fascinating, mind-bending themes that flood his stories. They are so brilliant. They are these perfect puzzles for the mind at times.

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Absolutely... PKD is scifi perfected. Not about the starship battles or the fireworks or the other planets with tentacle monsters but really bends your mind through other dimensions, so to speak.

 

I remember going through really tough times and afterwards read VALIS... yikes. Then I remember Minority Report the film. Great stuff. I grew up watching Total Recall over and over along with a few other films.

 

Then one time I mentioned to someone "you have to read Thomas K. Dick, he's amazing. You have to read Golden Man and Shell Game and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep!" I didnt know why I said Thomas instead of Phillip. Then, I read about him and he had this theory that he was simultaneously living as a christian named THOMAS in Rome in 70 A.D. He was a gnostic or something. He experienced similar things I did, but he used lots of drugs I hadnt even heard of at the time. I had an inherited illness. But anywho.

 

Quite fascinating, mind-bending themes that flood his stories. They are so brilliant. They are these perfect puzzles for the mind at times.

 

Thanks Psalmist, two votes for Phillip K Dick then! :D

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Thanks Psalmist, two votes for Phillip K Dick then! :D

Also, in the realm of E.T. themes... it should be duly, duly, duly noted that Arthur C. Clark is quoted as saying:

"One theory which can no longer be taken very seriously is that UFOs are interstellar spaceships."

-New York Times Book Review, 07/27/75

 

And linking it to several other researchers of this field who say:

"UFO manifestations seem to be, by and large, merely minor variations of the age-old demonological phenomenon..."

-John A. Keel, UFOs: Operation Trojan Horse, p. 299

 

Lol, so supernatural and paranormal things along with transhumanism should hit the spot more accurately. Look up "Google Gods" on youtube for a great video on Transhumanism

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is a good one. Bladerunner was based off that. There is this great film called A Scanner Darkly by Linklater, which is based off of the novel of the same name. It is brilliant, unique, though very dark and real.

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Please share your top three, or even 5!

Lol they aren't sci fi: Gone With the Wind, For Whom the Bell Tolls/ The Good Earth and A Scanner Darkly :)

 

I've read a lot of Dick's canon though, I like his short stories too. I'm still not sure what I read when I read Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said lol

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Lol they aren't sci fi: Gone With the Wind, For Whom the Bell Tolls/ The Good Earth and A Scanner Darkly :)

 

I've read a lot of Dick's canon though, I like his short stories too. I'm still not sure what I read when I read Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said lol

Thanks for sharing Anna's revered hall of fame for books. :D

 

Oh yes that one was strange... but if you havent read a book like VALIS, you havent seen nothing yet. I heard a story about Flow My Tears. Phillip had an experience in real life that was exactly like a part in this book he had just published. And this book he wrote ultra fast, he felt like he had been channeling it. Then he told a priest about it and mentioned the story's characteristics and the priest said he was describing the book of Acts. I havent read Flow my tears in a long time, so cant verify it, but that's what I've heard. It was around that time he was experiencing being a christian named Thomas living in Rome at 70 A.D.

 

I heard some of this from a film by Richard Linklater called Waking Life

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