Interesting Books About Alien Races

Neon

ネオン
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Mar 23, 2008
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#1
So, as discussed in the books about the apocalypse thread, hopefully this will be the first in a series of posts where we can recommend books not by genre but by topic. "Science Fiction" and "Fantasy" are very abstract definitions. Sometimes you feel like a certain type of sci-fi/fantasy/fiction and it's harder to find that way.

So, here are some books about alien races that I found cool:

- A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge - Vinge is a master of describing the non-humanoid alien in the first person. This book has some fascinating insights about the way this alien race would live and experience the world around them, and there is an especially interesting aspect to this which is

(not really a spoiler because you figure it out really early in the book but just in case)
These aliens have more than one body per individual. Like a pack mind. Sort of.

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- A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge - takes place in the same universe as the aforementioned book but they aren't really related. This has yet another non-humanoid alien race that is very different from us, and some really cool technology. The alien planet is also really weird, but in a way that makes total sense.

A Deepness in the Sky is more techno-dense than A Fire Upon the Deep. Just FYI.

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- Foreigner Series by C.J. Cherryh - There are about 12 books in this series, but they are divided into 3 book mini-arcs, and you can always put them down after each. Here the alien race is similar to humans in many way except for one - the psychology. This is a book that deals with the EXTREME difficulty of communicating with aliens, not in the linguistic sense, but in the anthropological sense. For example,

(once again, this is only a very mild spoiler)
They have no notion of love and do not understand the concept. Hate? Sure. Love? Nope. But not in a "bad" sense. It's complicated...

As a translator, these books were fascinating to me. They are pretty easy reads, but they are also top notch with their various scientific aspects.

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- World War series by Harry Turtledove - An alternate history series where aliens invade Earth during World War 2. Another book that illustrates how aliens can be very similar to us in some ways, but so different in others that things like extreme technological superiority don't always matter that much. You'll have to read them to know what I mean.

These are an epic sprawling war saga. Not too dense but VERY long.

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- Ian Cormac series by Neil Asher - part of the Polity Universe. Ian Cormac is like a James Bond in the distant future. I routinely mention these books in my rants against Avatar because they don't focus so much on sentient alien life, but rather plants/animals and environments, and there is some crazy ass shit in them. It's books like these that make me call Avatar unimaginative. More pulpy/actiony but really awesome.


So, what are some of your favorite books with crazy aliens in them?
 

SOS

ONA
Wackbag Staff
Aug 14, 2000
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#2
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card has a trilogy conclusion) : Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind) - There are weird aliens that some humans are trying to eradicate and some are trying to save. It gets pretty weird sexually, as in most of his books.

The Mote in God's Eye & The Gripping Hand by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle - Are about humans discovery of a technologically advanced gremlin-like species and the growing problem they need to solve. J.
 

phillyfranko

Registered User
Jun 1, 2010
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#3
Thanks boys...love the subject. not aliens...but loved Ray Bradburys "The illustrated man"
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#4
Empire of Man series by David Weber and John Ringo: The series tells the story of Prince Roger and his personal guard, the Bronze Battalion of the Empress's Own, as they cross the hostile and alien world of Marduk where they have been marooned.

March Upcountry
March to the Sea
March to the Stars
We Few

Aliens note:Big fuckers with four arms. Both good and bad guys in the book. Very fun characters.





If you want to meet interesting aliens and kill them, The Old Man's War series by John Scalzi is great.
 
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Cunt Smasher

Caligula Jr.
Aug 26, 2005
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#6
Empire of Man series by David Weber and John Ringo: The series tells the story of Prince Roger and his personal guard, the Bronze Battalion of the Empress's Own, as they cross the hostile and alien world of Marduk where they have been marooned.

March Upcountry
March to the Sea
March to the Stars
We Few

Aliens note:Big fuckers with four arms. Both good and bad guys in the book. Very fun characters.
One of my favorite series ever, any genre. Recently re-read all of them and just as good.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#7
One of my favorite series ever, any genre. Recently re-read all of them and just as good.
Word is they changed their mind and decided to continue the story.