The Big Science Fiction Recommendation Thread

Neon

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#1
So here's an idea - build up a big thread full of science fiction recommendations so that people looking for something to read can always refer to the thread.

Instead of having millions of titles and giant lists, let's keep it to one book/series per post, and try to give some info on it so it isn't just dozens of titles with no explanation or order.

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I'll start with a book that is pretty obscure. Picked it up randomly at Barnes & Noble a few years back and really enjoyed it.


The Book of the Ler - M.A. Foster



A collection of three out-of-print books that he wrote, so it is basically a trilogy omnibus. Humans attempt to create super humans with genetic engineering and accidentally create the Ler - a subspecies of human that cannot interbreed with man. The three stories cover hundreds of years and show how the Ler and Humans developed side by side. I found his description of their society and family structures especially interesting.
 

fletcher

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#2




/obligatory
//that guy

Hyperion
The Fall of Hyperion
Endymion
The Rise of Endymion
 

Neon

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#3




/obligatory
//that guy
Descriptions, Fletcher. Descriptions.

I'll do it.

Wow. If you haven't read the Hyperion cantos, then you really don't need any descriptions. They are absolute must reads, but just for the record, it's about a group of people on a quest across the planet Hyperion to see the mythical being called The Shrike. I don't want to say too much about it because of spoilers, but it really ranks up there with some of the best sci-fi that I know.
 

Jacuzzi Billy

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#6
Spin
by Robert Charles Wilson


Cool thread.

Spin is the first book of the Spin trilogy. The other two books are good but Spin is excellent. The Earth becomes engulfed in a black barrier which drastically slows time on Earth compared to the rest of the Universe. One Earth day is equal to millions of years outside the barrier, which means humans only have a few decades before the Sun dies and they all die in the expansion.
 

SOS

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#7
The Foundation Series
by Isaac Asimov

in-universe chronological order are:
Prelude to Foundation
Forward the Foundation
Foundation
Foundation and Empire
Second Foundation

Foundation's Edge
Foundation and Earth


The bolded books were the original Foundation Trilogy and Isaac Asimov wrote prequels and sequels to it. Mathematician Hari Seldon spent his life developing a branch of mathematics known as psychohistory it can predict the future, but only on a large scale.
 

fletcher

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#8
I remember reading the Foundation series back in high school and it really did nothing for me. Maybe Ill re-add it to my list.
 

freddyfox

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#9
Solaris
by Stanislaw Lem

Aboard a space station hovering in the atmosphere of planet Solaris, scientists learn that the planet itself is "alive" and communicates with the scientists during their deep sleep. It's a truly brilliant novel which neither of its two movies gave justice. It asks the reader what constitutes intelligence, consciousness, and life. Hard, philosophical sci-fi.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solaris_(novel)
 

freddyfox

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#10
Rendezvous with Rama
by Arthur C. Clarke

A massive, dark cylindrical object passing through our solar system is intercepted by humans. What lies inside is a bizarre "world" built by an unknown entity/people. This book was supposed to be made into a movie. I'm glad that never happened.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rendezvous_with_Rama
 

freddyfox

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#12
I second this!

The Foundation Trilogy by Issac Asimov (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation): It doesn't get much better than this. This series is space opera defined. Absolutely brillant. The Foundation Trilogy is to sci-fi as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy is to fantasy. It's basically about preventing the collapse of the the Galactic Empire over the course of many of thousands of years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_Trilogy


The Foundation Series
by Isaac Asimo

in-universe chronological order are
Prelude to Foundation
Forward the Foundation
Foundation
Foundation and Empire
Second Foundation

Foundation's Edge
Foundation and Earth


The bolded books were the original Foundation Trilogy and Isaac Asimov wrote prequels and sequels to it. Mathematician Hari Seldon spent his life developing a branch of mathematics known as psychohistory it can predict the future, but only on a large scale.
 

SOS

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#13
The Rama book is a corner-stone of classic hard science fiction . Gentry Lee continued the story. There was a Myst-esque game made about it in 1996.

By Arthur C. Clarke:
Rendezvous with Rama

By Gentry Lee :
Rama II
The Garden of Rama
Rama Revealed

Rendezvous with Rama
by Arthur C. Clarke

A massive, dark cylindrical object passing through our solar system is intercepted by humans. What lies inside is a bizarre "world" built by an unknown entity/people. This book was supposed to be made into a movie. I'm glad that never happened.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rendezvous_with_Rama
 

BIV

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#14


Each book in the series is a collection of short stories from a variety of authors. Shortly after WWII, an alien virus, called the Wild Card Virus, falls on Manhattan. Many die. Some mutate, some subtly, others hideous (Jokers). Some get minor powers, like the ability to change skin color or to make paperclips dance (deuces). But a few were turned into Aces, human with powerful super abilities.

I read a lot of alternate history. What makes this interesting is instead of the timeline changing significantly, they go for the "pebble in the stream" approach and the Wild Card is woven into history as we know it.

It also has some of the most unique "Super Heroes" I've ever seen/read. Just finished reading it, it was great.
 

TomC

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#15
Enders Game, and others that follow by Orson Scott Card
Enders Shadow and others that follow by Orson Scott Card

What if the fate of the world hung on taking a 7 year old, sending him to Battle School to teach him what he needs before the "Buggers" return to Earth to finish what was started some 70 years ago.
 

Jacuzzi Billy

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#16
Enders Game, and others that follow by Orson Scott Card
Enders Shadow and others that follow by Orson Scott Card

What if the fate of the world hung on taking a 7 year old, sending him to Battle School to teach him what he needs before the "Buggers" return to Earth to finish what was started some 70 years ago.
x a lot.
 

Tetro

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#18
Anyone heard of this? I've heard real good things, as can be seen by the reviews on Amazon. Seems to be one of the more successful self published books out there.

 

Falldog

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#19


Each book in the series is a collection of short stories from a variety of authors. Shortly after WWII, an alien virus, called the Wild Card Virus, falls on Manhattan. Many die. Some mutate, some subtly, others hideous (Jokers). Some get minor powers, like the ability to change skin color or to make paperclips dance (deuces). But a few were turned into Aces, human with powerful super abilities.

I read a lot of alternate history. What makes this interesting is instead of the timeline changing significantly, they go for the "pebble in the stream" approach and the Wild Card is woven into history as we know it.

It also has some of the most unique "Super Heroes" I've ever seen/read. Just finished reading it, it was great.
Did GRRM made it longer?
 

DrewDown

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#20
Love this thread. Leave it to Neon.

Ringworld series by Larry Niven

It's followed by Ringworld Engineers and then Ringworld Throne. There are a few more recent, but I haven't read them yet.
 

DrewDown

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#21
I'm not even going to recommend Frank Herbert's Dune series. If you are scrolling through this thread and haven't even read Dune yet, then you can go fuck yourself. Stop scrolling and go get it. Don't come back until you've finished. Muad'Dib demands it.


"Fear is the mind killer."
 

Hudson

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#24
The Passage - Justin Cronin
The Passage begins in the near future and details an apocalyptic and, later, post apocalyptic world that is overrun by vampire-like beings who are infected by a highly contagious virus. What begins as a project to develop a new immunity-boosting drug based on a virus carried by an unnamed species of bat in South America eventually becomes the virus that transforms the world. The novel begins in 2014 and spans more than ninety years, as colonies of humans attempt to live in a world filled with superhuman creatures who are continually on the hunt for fresh blood.
 

DrewDown

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#25
The Earthseed novels by Octavia Butler. She's an amazing writer and extremely smart. If you like deep sci-fi, then you'll like her. The books are set in a depressing future and follows the development of a new religion called Earthseed. Earthseed is the cultivation and worship of change/progress. According to Butler, the idea was inspired by the space race and the way that it invigorated American culture. I'm not doing it justice. Check it out.

It starts with The Parable of the Sower