GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Calling all bookworms/Top Five Sci-Fi or Fantasy Novels

POSTED BY: SERVANTOFKUSHIEL
UPDATED: Friday, April 14, 2006 13:54
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VIEWED: 13468
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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 1:57 AM

SERVANTOFKUSHIEL


Hi! Just wondering (since we all know that firefly fans have good taste) which sci-fi or fantasy books are your top five favorite novels (or series) of all time? Mine are:

1. Kushiels Dart (obvious)
2. The Wheel of Time series
3. Chronicles of the Cheysuli
4. The Sword Dancer Saga
5. The Banned and the Banished

What's yours?



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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 2:06 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


1. The Black Jewels trilogy
2. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. And all accompanying books that followed.
3. Ender's Game
4. The Sword of Truth series
5. The Abhorsen trilogy

At least, these are the ones I read most often or have read more than once.

You know, I read the first Sword Dancer book but totally lost track of the series after that. I should look back into it.

*************************************************
Bible's broken. Doesn't make sense.

Zhu fu ni, mei-mei

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 2:11 AM

THEPISTONENGINE


I'm not a huge reader, so this list is pretty select

1. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (incredible, simple fantasy story)
2. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (classic, didn't much like the other robot book I read, Robots of Dawn)
3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Better than 1984 I thought)
4. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (for exactly the opposite reasons I liked Neverwhere)
5. I can't really think of any in either genre right now, so how about a historical fiction? Gates of Fire, by Steven Pressfield (fabulous account of Thermopylae)

_____________
Carry the Nuttin'

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 2:31 AM

ELLIS


1. Lord of the Rings (that's a given)
2. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
3. 1984
4. The Myth series
5. 2001 (the book was *so* much better than the movie)

An honorable mention here, because the books are so good, Wild Cards.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 2:32 AM

GRIZWALD


So it can be a series, not just one book? Kewl.

Top five, not in any particular order:

Heinlein's Starship Troopers
Tolkein's Middle Earth saga
Herbert & Ransom's Pandora trilogy
Doug Adam's Hitchhikers trilogy (all 5 volumes )
Rowling's You-Know-Who Series

And if I can sneak in a 6th, it'd be Herbert's Dune series, but honestly, I like the Pandora stories better, maybe because nobody made a bad movie out of them.

____________________________________________________
They could not take the sky from them -
Our Big Damn Heroes made a film!
I'm gonna see Serenity then
go back the next morning and see it again.
Cuz no one at Fox knew this show had no equal
C'mon Universal, and greenlight the sequel!

Click on my profile for my Annoyingly Long List of Firefly Links.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 2:37 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


I have to admit to reading the You-Know-Who series several times myself It's certainly in my top 10

*************************************************
Bible's broken. Doesn't make sense.

Zhu fu ni, mei-mei

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 2:42 AM

IVY


Tough one...

1) Enders Game/Speaker for the Dead/Xenocide
2) Tolkien's LotR trilogy (plus the Hobbit)
3) David Eddings Belgariad/Mallorian series
4) Guy Kay - Sarentium Series
5) Tad Williams - Memory Thorn and Sorrow

That was hard...there are definitely more favorites that need to go on the list (like the Blue Sword by Robin McKinley).

Ivy

I've been sane a long while now, and change is good...

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 3:31 AM

LANCER


The New Jedi Order, By many authors, Michael Stackpole being the best. #1
Chronicles of Narnia, CS Lewis (all 7) #2

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 3:36 AM

ZISKER


Arg, some of my favorites are already listed - let's see if I can put in some different ones in no order:

1. Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
2. Forever War by Joe Haldeman
3. A Brave New World by Aldolus Huxley
4. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein
5. Dune by Frank Herbert

Fruit's Oaty Bar! Is a person from the mouse! Fruit's Oaty Bar! Makes your bust from yours female shirt! Continuously eats them! Let them cause you to be surprised!

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 3:44 AM

ARABIKUM


1. 1984, G. Orwell
2. A Canticle For Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller
3. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
4. The Lovers, Philip Jose Farmer
5.1 Hyperion, D. Simmons
5.2 Dune, F. Herbert

A.

Oh yes:

5.3 Bored of the Rings. Forgot that one. Has nothing to to with SF, but noone in this thread really cares,do you?! Here we go:

"Oh Dragonbreth! Gilthorpial!" he yodeled, waving his cleaver around like a madman. He lunged at the nearest wraith with his unwieldly sword. "Banzai!" he screamed. "No quarter asked or given! Dam* the torpedoes" Taking a vicious swipe, Stomper missed his mark by a good yard and tripped on his scabbard.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 3:55 AM

GRIZWALD


Oooh. Forever War. Good tale. Glad a couple of people reminded me of it!

____________________________________________________
They could not take the sky from them -
Our Big Damn Heroes made a film!
I'm gonna see Serenity then
go back the next morning and see it again.
Cuz no one at Fox knew this show had no equal
C'mon Universal, and greenlight the sequel!

Click on my profile for my Annoyingly Long List of Firefly Links.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 5:02 AM

EST120


Some of my personal favorites in no particular order:

Snowcrash - Neal Stephenson
Star of the Guardians Trilogy - Margaret Weis
Eon - Greg Bear
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 5:08 AM

NUCLEARDAY


Oh that's a tough one. Off the top of my head, and likely in no particular order:

1)Dune Series, Frank Herbert
2)Hyperion, Dan Simmons
3)Rama Trilogy by Arthur C. Clarke
4)Hitchhiker's Guide, Douglas Adams
5)Watership Down (I still consider that one to be fantasy.)

(Considering it's a top 5, there's simply no room for my other picks, but my other faves look to be fairly well-represented, too Great minds think alike and all :)

________________________________________________
You can take my hope when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 5:10 AM

GRIZWALD


*giggling at memory of some Bored of the Rings classic lines*

____________________________________________________
They could not take the sky from them -
Our Big Damn Heroes made a film!
I'm gonna see Serenity then
go back the next morning and see it again.
Cuz no one at Fox knew this show had no equal
C'mon Universal, and greenlight the sequel!

Click on my profile for my Annoyingly Long List of Firefly Links.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 5:13 AM

CHRONICTHEHEDGEHOG


In no particular order:

Stephen King - The Dark Tower
JRR Tolkien - LotR
Richard Matheson - I am Legend
David Gemmel - The Jon Shannow Novels
Douglas Adams - Hitchhikers Guide

-------------------------------------------------

Read my fanfic!
http://www.fireflyfans.net/sunroomitem.asp?i=8267

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 5:32 AM

CAPTAINWALDO


Here are some fun reads that were not mentioned earlier. The very first is my favorite series of all time. Although I love HH Guide, LOTR, WOT, and Enders Game (1st book only, very disappointed in the rest of the series) this book outshines them by far.

1. “A Game of Thrones” & the rest of the series 'A Song of Ice and Fire’. – By George RR Martin.

If you like stories that really get into the characters and have a real feel to them despite being in a fictional setting (O you know, like firefly) then you will love this series.

2. “Icarus Hunt” – by Timothy Zahn

Murder mystery in space, keeps you guessing all the way to the end.

3. “Hero’s Die” – by Matthew Woodring Stover

Sci Fi and Fantasy in one, what more could you ask for.

4. “Magician” – The Rift War Saga – By Raymond Fiest

The First three books are great and the three co-written with Janny Wurts, are even better. (“Daughter, Servant, and Mistress of the Empire)

5. “In Legend Born” – By Laura Resnick

This book was very good but the second two were disappointing.

Hope you enjoy!



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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 5:42 AM

CALLMESERENITY


Quote:

Originally posted by Ivy:

5) Tad Williams - Memory Thorn and Sorrow




Glad someone else mentioned Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. FANTASTIC and so very under-recognized (IMHO)

My list is pretty much the same as everyone elses' so I won't repeat it.

Serenity, First Officer of Destiny
President of the Juggled Gosling Chatroom

I have a live journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/callmeserenity/



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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 5:50 AM

EMBERS


a couple of sci-fi/cross genre books no one else has mentioned:

David Brin's The Kiln People

and the Tuesday Next series starting with The Eyre Affair

and absolutely everything by Terry Pratchett
(I'm currently reading & loving his DiscWorld novel Moving Pictures)

Funke's books are well translated from the German to English, start with Inkheart

and of course I love the HP & LotR, but everyone mentions them....


**********************************************
watch the R. Tam Session vids: http://www.hittarivertam.nu/
and buy the 'Serenity' comics published by Dark Horse
have you checked out this thread?:
http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=2&t=15816

and listen to 'I'm Going To See Serenity':
http://music.podshow.com/music/listeners/artistdetails.php?BandHash=a0
c814e1229742ce77ed4497cbf4631c

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 5:53 AM

SWEETSERENDIPITY


Haven't been reading sci fi very long, and I'm a light weight when it comes to some of y'all.
JK Rowling- HP of course!
Laurell K Hamilton- Anita Blake & Merry Gentry series
Jim Butcher- Dresden Files
Wen Spencer- Ukiah Oregon series
Kim Harrison- Rachel Morgan, dead witch series
(I know her personally !)
My tastes run, as you can see, to witches,wolves,wizards and faeries!

Deb

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 5:56 AM

SHIRLOCKC


No particular order:

Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold (actually like her fantasy series too)
Liaden series by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee
Dark Material series by Philip Pullman
Fable series by Bill Willingham (do graphic novels count?)
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 6:32 AM

INDIGOSTARBLASTER


I can't narrow it down to particular books, but I can name the authors:

Isaac Asimov (Foundation novels, Robot novels)
Orson Scott Card (esp. Ender's Game and The Worthing Saga)
Guy Gavriel Kay (esp. The Lions of al-Rassan and The Sarantine Mosaic)
JRR Tolkien (LOTR and The Hobbit)
Connie Willis (esp. Doomsday Book and her first short story collection)

I also agree that Watership Down is one of the most beautiful pieces of English literature out there, but it's traditionally classified as Children's Lit, not Fantasy, so I'll just leave it there myself.

Indigo S.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 6:42 AM

PIEKY


OOOooo anythin by these authors. they hav written to many to sday exactly which ones
1.David Gemmel (White Wolf, Legend, Dark Moon)
2.David Eddings (Belgariad)
3.Raymond E Fiest (Magician)

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 6:57 AM

SINGATE


I am not going to claim any of these are great literature but they were well worth my hard earned cash.

1. Song of Fire and Ice series - George R.R. Martin
2. The Elric saga - Michael Moorcock
3. The Coldfire Trilogy - C.S. Friedman
4. The Death Gate Cycle - Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
5. Sword of Truth series - Terry Goodkind



_________________________________________________

We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 7:36 AM

AENGUS


The Eternal Champion Cycle - Michael Moorcock
(especially The War Hound and The Worlds Pain. Excellent book)
The Deryni Series - Katherine Kurtz
The Black Company series - Glen Cook
The Fionavar Tapestry - Guy Gavriel Kay
The Saga of the Pliocene Exile - Julian May

Just a few of my faves over the years. Specially Moorcock. Awesome author, probably my favorite ever.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 8:16 AM

SEBA


This is crazy, I couldn't pick individual books. Can we just do authors? :p

Kurt Vonnegut
Isaac Asimov
Arthur C. Clark
Phillip K. Dick
Robert A. Heinlein

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 9:37 AM

KILGORETROUT


Hey a kurt vonnegut fan (see my name yay) anything by kurt defineitly but have to pick so:

The sirens of titan-kurt vonnegut

cats cradle-kurt vonnegut (again if being honest all would be the god kurt)

American gods-Neil gaiman

His dark materials-philip pullman

1984- george orwell

p.s. this is a side but whats you favourite kurt novel.

I was a victim of a series of accidents as are we all- kurt vonnegut, sirens of titan

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 9:53 AM

PIRATA


1. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Graphic Novel)
2. LotR
3. The Hyperion saga
4. various Asimov's material

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 9:55 AM

MEANGOLDFISH


you really need to give credit to Harry Potter. I was one of the people who was like "meh, i have no interest in them i won't read them" and avoided them. then one of my profs pretty much forced me to read the first one, and it was all over. i flew through them, they are fantastic.
so here i am, a 20 year old guy, who loves Harry Potter, and will read it in public, in front of girls, even!

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 9:56 AM

MILFORD


For the record, these are IN order of preference:

1. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card- Probably one of the best pieces of fiction in the twentieth century. My brother-in-law who is in the Air Force said Orson Scott Card came and talked to them about the book at his war college. Pretty cool. And, Card is unabashedly unashamed of being a Browncoat.
2. Dune, Frank Herbert- The First is the tops.
3. American Gods, Neil Gaiman
4. Dragonlance Chronicles, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman- I'm usually not a fan of fantasy, but this is very good.
5. Serenity, the Visual Companion, Joss Whedon- Come on! Tell me you didn't see that coming eventually.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Customizeable handmade baby gifts personalized by my wife! Check them out at www.baby-bobo.com. All proceeds go towards international adoption.

Leaning into the wind that used to carry me-Stavesacre
That's why I don't kiss'em on the mouth- Jayne Cobb

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 10:03 AM

KAYNA

I love my captain


Quote:

Originally posted by ThePistonEngine:
1. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (incredible, simple fantasy story)


Yes! Neverwhere is amazing. I love Neil Gaiman and just about anything he has done, from comics, to novels, to movies (I really like Mirror Mask)

Since I got that out of the way I will leave it out of my list. Dune and Ender's Game have also been mentioned already so those won't be on my "list". Actually, I'll post two lists. List two will be series'.

So in no particular order...

Deerskin by Robin McKinley
Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Fire Rose and
The Black Swan both by Mercedes Lackey (tBS is her version of Swan Lake. Great Story)
Merlin's Bones the author's name escapes me
And I'm going to squeeze in "The Hunter's Moon". I can't remeber this author either. This is technically a book for young adults, but it's still a good read. If you like Elves and Fairies interacting with folk from our world then I highly recomend this book.

Series'

LoTR
WoT
Harry Potter
Exiles by Melanie Rawn, if she ever finishes book three. 7 years of waiting for the last book in a trilogy! AAARRRGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!
The Chronicles of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey, all 26 of them, + the companion and the three anthologies (actually, almost anything my her; and, like Mr. Card, she is a Browncoat)




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Op: You're fighting a war you've already lost.
Mal: Yeah, well I'm known for that.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 10:18 AM

TRISTAN




1. Pern Series by Anne McCaffrey
2. Camulod series by Jack Whyte
3. Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen
4. Hitchhikers series by Douglas Adams
5. Discworld series by Terry Prachett

I know these are all series, but once I read one, I have to read them all...and they become one big book in my mind.

Holding until you get back, Captain.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 10:35 AM

LITTLEALBATROSS29


Oh I just love to read grown up books !


1.The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer-Bradley
2. The Dark Tower series ( although the last 3 suck )
3..The Elric/Eternal Champion series
4.The Wizard os Earthsea -Ursula K. Leguin
5.Harry Potter

I could go on & on...

Bryce
**************************************

I swallowed a bug.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 11:21 AM

JAYDUCK


Here is my Top 5 novels (which is just individual books, not series).

1. Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind
2. The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
3. Magician - Raymond Feist
4. For Love of Evil - Piers Anthony
5. Blue Adept - Piers Anthony

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 12:18 PM

CALHOUN


1. Honor Harrington Series

2. Dune Series

3. Battlefield Earth(not the movie)

4. Starquake & Dragons Egg

5. Asimovs Foundation Series

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 12:36 PM

CHINDI


I love these threads as they give me great ideas.. just like the movie ones...

I would have to say, in no particular order

Dune (only the first three for me)
Childhood's End
Dying of the Light
1984
H.G. Wells 20,000 Leagues and all that...

I have left out LOTR and all the Harry Potters as I do not think of them as SciFi.. but more fantasy but if the topic is broadened than they would be added as would Stroud's Bartimaeous Trilogy which is not BRILLIANT but very good.

Chindi

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 2:13 PM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


Star Maker - Olaf Stapledon
The Book of the New Sun - Gene Wolfe
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A. Heinlein
A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller, Jr.
The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. LeGuin





wo men ren ran zai fei xing.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 2:13 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Kinda disappointed that most of my selections have been voiced already, but I guess it shows we Browncoats have shared good taste;)

Non-Series
1. Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke - have read it more then once and still love how he deals with realistic effects of mankind encountering extrateresstrials

2. Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein - way different than the movie, but still a damn fine read. Especially if you look carefully enough at Heinlein's ideas on citizenship and politics espoused here. People have called if fascist, but I think he was making an interesing point on how only those who have lain their lives on the line for their country can truly serve it well.

3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - creepy but oh so prescient about mankind's drive to create "better" humans through genetics and hynopedic teaching (very Academy-like)

4. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown - wanted to say "The Da Vinci Code" but I am one of the few people on Earth that hasn't read that book yet But I thought this book was extremely well-written in that it's suspenseful, plausible if you wanna think that way and it's educational in a way history classes aren't (and for good reason, I suppose, since people like to rag on Brown's ideas of Catholic conspiracies)

5. The Peshawar Lancers by S.M. Stirling - fabulous alternative history story where all civilized life above the equator is reduced to either ash or barbarism after a massive meteor strike in the late 19th century, and the British Empire is based out of India instead of the United Kingdom. Especially good cuz it also has a realistic bent on how Western society would have adapted to restarting life in southern climates and rebuilding various academic and technological organizations.


Series
1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - not really a fan of fantasy stories but Tolkien pulls it off. Epic, detailed and riveting in how the Fellowship is formed, broken and reforged again in the fight against Sauron.

2. Hary Potter and... by J.K. Rowling - got addicted to these things through my little brother. Seemingly written for younger readers but oh so fun for adults to pour through at length

3. Worldwar:... by Harry Turtledove - amazing storyline asking what would have happened if a race of militaristic bipedal iguanas had arrived in orbit and attempted to conquer Earth during the early days of World War II. Turtledove is a master at writing highly plausible scenarios about how one change in events could lead to a domino effect that creates a totally alien world to the one we know.

4. The X-Wing & Wraith Squadron Series by Michael A. Stackpole - one of the best series in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, if you ask me! My copies are dog-earred from constant reading, as they take George Lucas' epic battle between the Alliance/New Republic and the Empire to realistic Cold War heights with Wedge and his merry bands of fighter aces and former washouts (X-Wing and Wraith Squadron respectively) showing who's boss in the pilot seat of a X-Wing starfighter

5. The Warrior Series by Michael A. Stackpole - the one of the reasons why I love the BattleTech/MechWarrior universe so much is this trilogy (En Garde, Riposte, and Coupe) that looks at the union of the Federated Suns and the Lyran Commonwealth together as the Federated Commonwealth. Great mix of 'Mech combat, interstellar politics and some romance mixed in too

BEB

Literature has shown us some of humanity's greatest achievements; history, some of our greatest failures -- Alun Lewis

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 2:16 PM

LIGHTMEDARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Lancer:
The New Jedi Order, By many authors, Michael Stackpole being the best. #1



The NJO was decent, but I think you have the best author wrong. Stackpole is my 3rd favorite SW author, Aaron Allston being #2. The best (and my favorite author period) is Matthew Woodring Stover...which leads me to:

Quote:

Originally posted by CaptainWaldo:
3. “Hero’s Die” – by Matthew Woodring Stover

Sci Fi and Fantasy in one, what more could you ask for.



Fantastic pick...Heroes Die (and the sequel, Blade of Tyshalle) are my two favorite books in existence. I can't wait for Stover to write something new (and non-SW).

Quote:

Originally posted by Tristan:
1. Pern Series by Anne McCaffrey



Also a favorite of mine in the top 5...not sure I could pick a specific book, though. If pressed I'd probably say All the Weyrs of Pern.

Also, have to agree with everyone picking The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...great stuff!

Quote:

Originally posted by BlueEyedBrigadier:
4. The X-Wing & Wraith Squadron Series by Michael A. Stackpole



I agree...I think The X-Wing series is probably the best in the whole EU SW literature. You forgot Aaron Allston, though...he wrote the Wraith Squadron books.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 2:21 PM

CHOZZEN


I was beginning to think I was the only Goodkind fan. My top 5 authors because I can't
pick individual books is...
1.Anne McCaffrey
2.Tolkien
3.A E Van Vogt
4.A Bertram Chandler
5.Terry Goodkind
With an honorable mention to Larry Niven, Jack Chalker and Robert L Forward. Oh and .......

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 2:40 PM

JIGMAN


1.Dune Series (F. Herbert)
2.Dune "House" Series (His Son and K. Anderson)
3.Dune "Butlerian Jihad" Series (Same)
4.20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Jules Verne)
5.I Robot (Isaac Asimov (spelling))


-------------------------------------------------
All good things must come to an end.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 3:01 PM

HIXIE129


1. Harry Potter - (without a doubt my number one, can't wait for the 7th book)
2. The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy
3. LOTR
4. 1984
5. 20,000 Leagues under the sea

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 5:03 PM

JUBELLATE


1. Fire and Ice Series (George RR Martin)\
2. Dark Tower Series (Stephen King)
3. In Light of other Days (Arthur C Clarke & Stephen Baxter
4. Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Papa Tolkien)
5. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series (Douglas Adams)

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule. – H.L. Mencken

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 5:08 PM

RMMC


Here's mine...

1.) Lord of the Rings/Simarillion-- J.R.R. Tolkein
2.) Riddle Master of Hed --Patricia McKillip
3.) Discworld series -- Terry Pratchett
4.) Sword and Circlet series -- Carole Nelson Douglas
5.) tie: a.) Newford stories --Charles de Lint
b.) Hitchhikkers Guide -- Douglas Adams

Yeah, I cheated, but I couldn't make up my mind and now my brain hurts from the effort.

*****
RMMC

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 5:32 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Man, only FIVE? Can't do it. I tried narrowing my list down, but it's still too long.

How's about I start by giving you the five sci-fi novels that HOOKED me on the genre, back when I was but a wee one? They might not be on anyone's "best" list, but they certainly opened my eyes - and my mind!

Have Space Suit, Will Travel, by Robert A. Heinlein
Star Rangers, by Andre Norton
Orphans of the Sky, by Robert A. Heinlein
2001: A Space Odyssey, by Stanley Kubrick & Arthur C. Clarke (and the short story that inspired it, Arthur C. Clarke's "The Sentinel"
Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke

Those were the books, ideas, and stories that made me say "WOW!" when I was a kid. They made me WANT to think about things in new ways and look at them from other perspectives. Mind-altering substances, they were.

Moving on, we get to the more paranoid adolescent stage, with books like:

1984, by George Orwell
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
The Lathe Of Heaven, by Ursula K. LeGuin

A little later, I started going for almost anything (as long as the story and writing grabbed me), like:

Ringworld, by Larry Niven
Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke
Dune, by Frank Herbert
Anthem, by Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead were also life-changing reads for me, but I don't know if they quite qualify as sci-fi)
The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven
Neuromancer, by William Gibson
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Phillip K. Dick. Though I'll admit I liked the movie Blade Runner better than the book. Same basic story, but the movie was just much grittier, and I loved the film noir aspect of it. And "Replicants" just sounds so much more menacing than referring to the androids as "Andies". :)

And, for some good light-hearted FUN, I like

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. The whole series of his Hitchhiker's Guide books is hilarious.
Venus On The Half-Shell, by Kilgore Trout. [Lots of people made the mistake of thinking that this book was actually written by Kurt Vonnegut (because the protagonist's name in his Breakfast of Champions was Kilgore Trout), but I've seen copies of it with Phillip José Farmer listed as the author. This book has some similarities to The Hitchhiker's Guide, but was published some years earlier. Again, it's hilarious.]

And I'll gladly read almost any short stories by Clarke, Harlan Ellison, Niven (LOVE his "Known Space" stories and novels!), or Gibson. The Ellison-edited anthology, Dangerous Visions holds a special place in my heart, too.

Dang. So much good sci-fi, so little time to read it all. Ah, well... "Time enough at last," as Burgess Meredith said in The Twilight Zone. ;)

Mike


A baby seal walks into a club...

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 6:07 PM

MSCKAREN


Many of my faves have been mentioned except:

David Brin's Uplift Series

and if you like Brin's work,

you'll also like everything by Vernor Vinge. "A Deepness in the Sky" is just...the shiniest!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Appears they've cancelled the show and we're still here. What does that make us?"
"Big damn junkies, Sir!"
"Ain't we just."
http://karenallover.blogspot.com/

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 9:41 PM

ARABIKUM


Just for the record:

We haven´t had H.G. Wells, yet. Therefore I nominate: "The Time Machine", which is a very very good read indeed!

Some of the books named here aren´t so much Science Fiction but Fantasy / Sword & Sorcery. The only occasion on which Terry Pratchet came into contact with Science were his attempts in online-banking, probably. I´m from Germany, you know. We love categories. There´s nothing better, than a good and tight category. In fact, I´m nothing without it... (heavy breathing).

Editorial note: Forget the above. I´ve just read the title of the thread. Those who can read are always in advantage.

A.


"Oh Dragonbreth! Gilthorpial!" he yodeled, waving his cleaver around like a madman. He lunged at the nearest wraith with his unwieldly sword. "Banzai!" he screamed. "No quarter asked or given! Dam* the torpedoes" Taking a vicious swipe, Stomper missed his mark by a good yard and tripped on his scabbard.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 10:10 PM

LEGOLAD


None of mine are terribly original, I'm afraid, but they're honest:

1. Lord of the Rings: for countless and obvious reasons.

2. His Dark Materials: takes Paradise Lost and turns it upside down. Fantastic characters and imagination.

3. Dune: works on so many levels -- sci-fi, coming of age, revenge drama, messiah tale, ecocriticism... plus it's just a great story; plenty of memorable characters.

4. Ender's Game: simple but incredibly effective story; great study in child & military psychology. Its sequel, Speaker for the Dead, could not be more different from it, and is also fantastic.

5. Watchmen (graphic novel): I just read this; I'm still in awe of it. Was ranting about it over in the 'Graphic Novel' thread. Most astounding comic I've ever seen; a masterpiece of the medium. Of any medium, for that matter.

"We need a hood ornament."

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 11:07 PM

CAB1729


I've read a lot of good books recently but I'll limit myself to books that I read over and over:

Serpent's Reach by C.J. Cherryh
The Deed of Paksenarrion (trilogy) by Elizabeth Moon
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Water Witch by Connie Willis & Cynthia Felice

There are probably another dozen I like just as well but all my read books are boxed up to make way for my unread books. :(

___________________________________________
Hobbes: How come we play war and not peace?
Calvin: Too few role models.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006 2:20 AM

AZTECHROME


I'm not going to list out favorite 5.
I have a hard time figuring out what qualifies, and what doesn't.

Is Catch-22 science fiction? How about A Clockwork Orange? Does all science fiction have to be in the future? Is the original "Terminator" any less sci-fi, now that it's not the 1980s anymore? How? What effects does a hermeneutic change have on speculative fiction?
Anyway...

I DON'T SEE THIS GUY ON ANYONE'S LIST

Jack Vance is without question one of the most underrated science fiction writers of all time. The creativity, diction, and pure entertainment value of these works are second to none.

I recommend that you start out with "The Demon Princes" series before migrating to his more outlandish works.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006 3:02 AM

STILLTHEREWAITING


Some of the greats have already been mentioned:
Foundation, Honor Harrington, Childhood's End, LOTR, Silmarillion, Thursday next, and many more.
So let me add some that are missing but should be required reading.

Ridley Walker by Russell Hoban

In my mind the best post-appocalypse book ever written, A Canticle for Liebowitz not withstanding. Don't let the language stop you. Just keep reading.

After Long Silence by Sherri Tepper

Pretty much everything she writes is good, but this was the first of her truly great books followed by The Gate To Women's Country.

The Fionivar Tapestry by Guy Gaveil Kay

The best high fantasy after LOTR. Kay helped Chris Tolkien put The Silmarillion together.

The Deed of Paksenarion by Elizabeth Moon.

Great military fantasy trilogy. The Honor Harrington of Fantasy (sort of).

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy.

If I were you, I'd run!
If you were me, you'd be good-looking

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