GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Best sci=fi /fantasy novels

POSTED BY: NEWOLDBROWNCOAT
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 16:30
SHORT URL: http://bit.ly/qBBO3Q
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Thursday, September 29, 2011 11:06 AM

NEWOLDBROWNCOAT


just found this NPR list over on Slate.com

http://www.npr.org/2011/08/11/139085843/your-picks-top-100-science-fic
tion-fantasy-books


quite a lot of interesting stuff on there, and it's not too politically biased, given that it's Slate and NPR, which are Commie pinko hotbeds according to most righties.

Heinlein, Pratchett, Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, Vonnegut, Peirs Anthony, Tolkein, the Princess Bride. A lot of old school stuff, and a lot of stuff I've read. A good number of the titles brought an " Oh, yeah! " reaction out of me.

And plenty of room for " Why'd they leave out So-and-So?"


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Thursday, September 29, 2011 12:19 PM

ECGORDON

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


I had already seen that a couple of weeks back. Quite a good and varied list, but in my opinion it is suspect because it does not include Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination, Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker, Edgar Pangborn's A Mirror for Observers or David Gerrold's War Against the Chtorr series. And Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun belongs in the Top 10, not way down at #87.



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Thursday, September 29, 2011 1:51 PM

CHRISISALL


I see Forever War & I Am Legend are included.
I approve.


The laughing Chrisisall


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Thursday, September 29, 2011 2:05 PM

CHRISISALL


I also just ordered he Timothy Zahn Thrawn series, as I've never read them.


The laughing Chrisisall


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Friday, September 30, 2011 7:47 AM

JOURNEY


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
I also just ordered he Timothy Zahn Thrawn series, as I've never read them.



Thrawn is an incredibly interesting bad guy. Those were the books that got me interested in sci-fi for reading.

Reading book lists like this always take me down memory lane. "I remember that one. I loved that one. Ooo, that one's good. Need to re-read that one. Hm, never heard of that one."

The only one I think is missing is Bujold's Chalion books. But at least the list had her Vorkosigan series.





Dinozombies!

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Friday, September 30, 2011 9:58 AM

IMNOTHERE


Quote:

Originally posted by NewOldBrownCoat:
...and it's not too politically biased



A list that runs from Robert Heinlein to H. G. Wells and Iain Banks? From Pratchett's "Small Gods" to C S Lewis' "Voyage to Venus"?

The only way to get more politically eclectic than that would be to add Ken McCleod's "Fall Revolution" series (Trots in spaaaaace!) and E.E. "Doc" Smith's "Lensman" series (ripping yarns that virtually defined the space opera genre, but check you political conscience at the door).

(I'd totally add both those! )

I'll assume that the "no young adult" rule explains the lack of "His Dark Materials" as well as the Narnia chronicles (plus, if you put those two on a list together they will fight).

On the non-political side, I'd kick off some of that swords-and-sorcery stuff to make room for more proper SF: Greg Bear ("Eon" and "Blood Music") and Steven Baxter (the Xeelee cycle and "The Time Ships").

"Lord of the Rings" as "Best Book Evah" (its won several non-genre contests too) bothers me a bit. I think it was Terry Pratchett who said "If you don't think its the best book ever when you're 14, there may be something wrong with you. If you still think that its the best book ever when you're 40, there's definitely something wrong with you!"







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Friday, September 30, 2011 3:23 PM

TRAVELER


When you consider the countless volumnes, this is a pretty good list. I would move "The Forever War" up, but happy that it made the list.


http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=28764731
Traveler

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Friday, September 30, 2011 9:31 PM

PHOENIXROSE

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


Hmmm.... Codex Alera was good, but Dresden Files is better, so if one of Butcher's works was going to make it, should have been that one. I might have put them both on there, though.
I actually thought that the Empire trilogy (a look at the other side of the rift) was much much better than the Rift War saga itself. Actually, I didn't even finish the rift war saga, and I've read the Empire trilogy a couple times.
Dune chronicles? Nosir, just Dune. They go further and further downhill as they go on.
I honestly don't understand the appeal of Song of Ice and Fire. I lost interest midway through the first book, and never picked up the second.
The Handmaid's Tale didn't suck, per se, but I don't think it's one of the greatest anythings of all time. It was readable and a little depressing, but I never had the urge to re-read it. Likewise never had the urge to re-read anything Vonnegut has written; after a couple of his books left me with a feeling of "okay... so?" I lost interest.
The Last Unicorn... I liked well enough, but it never would have come to mind as one of the best fantasies I've ever read. Ditto for Wicked, which probably got more press from the Broadway show than the actual book. I mean, I enjoyed the book, but in a passing sort of fashion.
Sunshine... I know I read that. I recall it being pretty good, but nothing that blew me away.
I liked Princess Bride, though it's one of the few times I've thought a movie was better than the book.
I like Lord of the Rings (though I don't know if I'd rank it first on my list)
I like Hitchhiker's Guide a bunch.
I like Watchmen.
I like (most of) the Sword of Truth series. The quality of the writing declined somewhat in the final books, I felt.
Ender's Game was very good. Kind of glad they limited it to that one, because I thought the whole story went steadily downhill from there. (Can't believe how many books there have ended up being, and that anything after Xenocide sold well enough to warrant more books.)
I liked Contact. Never re-read it, though.
Thrawn Trilogy was good. Definitely the best Star Wars EU I read. Actually, I think I stopped reading them after that because 1) the dreadful prequels started coming out and ruining everything, and 2) I knew I would be pretty satisfied with that as an end.
Gaiman does interesting stories, but I have trouble caring much about his characters. I tend to read a bit more avidly when I care about the characters.

Several of my favorite books/authors aren't on here at all. Granted, some of them have been less successful than they deserve, so if it was all chosen by voters who had never heard of them I can understand that. Sort of.



What reason had proved best ceased to look absurd to the eye, which shows how idle it is to think anything ridiculous except what is wrong.

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Monday, January 16, 2012 10:08 PM

YT

the movie is not the Series. Only the facts have been changed, to irritate the innocent; the names of the actors and characters remain the same


a Great list, & several good points. Couple of things struck me as curious:

Three of Robert Heinlein's four Hugo winners are included, but not "Double Star", with the richest character-development of those four, & the best opening sentence in SF ("When a guy walks in dressed like a hick and acting like he owns the place, he's a spaceman" [& No, I didn't have to look it up])

Several series are included -- it seems like any great novel that is part of a series is represented by the series -- but only "the Crystal Cave" is included from Mary Stewart's Arthurian tetralogy (Crystal Cave, Hollow Hills, Last Enchantment, Wicked Day [all "the"s]), all of which are great

And HowInTF does any list of greatest fantasy manage to miss all of Magical Realism? My own favourite there is "Little Big", by John Crowley


Keep the Shiny Side Up,

YT

YTonTw1tt3r

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Monday, January 16, 2012 11:44 PM

HKCAVALIER


Yeesh, not a big fan of that list. The Golden Compass doesn't even make the cut??? Whatevs.

And Hitchhiker's Guide is #2 of all time? I guess if you thought it was THAT funny.

And freekin' American Gods ranks 10th? That is Gaiman at his most...typical. It beats out Stranger in a Strange Land by 7 places? Nonsense.

And Watchmen...yeesh. How that book is considered good and not just good for a cheesy superhero comic book I'll never understand.

Rothfuss #18 of ALL TIME. Okay, this is what you get from an internet survey, clearly.

Kinda funny that The Road makes the list at all.

A truly strange mix of books. I would think it was just a list of the most famous titles of our time, but then The Disposessed shows up at #78--really? I'm shocked and pleased.

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012 6:44 PM

SHADOWTEK


Well not the best but fun to read:

Fantacy:
1. R.A. Salvatore: all Drizz't books
2. The Belgariad and The Malloreon Books by David Eddings
3. Sword of truth series by Terry Goodkind

Sci-fyi:
1. The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison
2. The Darkover series by Marion Zimmer Bradley
3. Adra by Deanna Durbin

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012 6:55 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:

And Watchmen...yeesh. How that book is considered good and not just good for a cheesy superhero comic book I'll never understand.


When you are a little older HK, you'll get the snarky relevant cynicism of it.



The laughing Chrisisall


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012 6:24 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
I see Forever War & I Am Legend are included.
I approve.




Agreed.

Also, Old Man's War.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012 7:51 AM

BYTEMITE


Ooh, you'll like those Chris. A lot of people think those and the X-wing series would have made better movies than the prequels.

I haven't read enough of these to really comment. My folks didn't like Sci-Fi or Fantasy and wanted to keep me grounded in reality. Princess Bride, The Watchmen, LOTR, and The Last Unicorn are the only ones I recognize besides the Thrawn Trilogy.

I did read His Dark Materials, and obviously I've read Star Wars EU.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012 8:40 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Bytemite:
Ooh, you'll like those Chris. A lot of people think those and the X-wing series would have made better movies than the prequels.


I got 'em they're just waiting on me to read 'em...
I also got Worlds Apart & Buying Time by Joe Haldeman- I figure if Forever War was that great...


The laughing Chrisisall


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012 9:48 AM

ZEEK


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
I also just ordered he Timothy Zahn Thrawn series, as I've never read them.



If they ever make Star Wars sequels after Return of the Jedi then the Thrawn Trilogy is where the story should go. It maintains the feel of the original trilogy. I've liked other books in the Star Wars universe, but they all start to lose the feel of the movies. I actually reread the Thrawn trilogy last year and they were still great.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012 12:21 PM

CHRISISALL


I'm gettin' ready, Zeek!!!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012 1:22 PM

ARTCAT81


What a cool list! I have read a lot of them, but looks like I have some more reading to do.

It's not that popular, but my very favorite to date is The Shadow Series based on the same story as the movie Willow. It's written by Chris Claremont and George Lucas. The series is dark very dark but the world they create and the imagery is phenomenal.

Kinda surprised the Silmarillion made it on there, I love me some Tolkein, but I found it to be very dry reading, it was interesting, but not a page turner.

Browncoats are the shiniest folks in the 'verse
www.texasartcat.com/bluesun.html <--my bluesunshop

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012 2:23 PM

ECGORDON

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


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
I also got Worlds Apart & Buying Time by Joe Haldeman- I figure if Forever War was that great...


Worlds Apart is the second book in a trilogy, so you need to look for 1)Worlds and 3)Worlds Enough and Time.



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Wednesday, January 18, 2012 2:56 PM

CHRISISALL


Oooo, thanks for that heads up!!!


The laughing Chrisisall


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012 4:30 PM

CALHOUN


I agree with a lot of the books already mentioned.

David Webbers Honor Harrington series was a ripping good read and after watching Game of Thrones I ordered all the books in that series(a song of ice and fire) and am enjoying those.

Other books on my list:

Starquake and dragons egg
Battlefield Earth
The Culture series
Aliens books(about 13 or so of them)

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