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Any sci-fi readers?

Science fiction isn't a genre I know anything about - infact i'd almost go as far to say as its a style I've always avoided.

But a recent conversation has put me in mind to give it a try.

Whats a good book or author to ease me gently into a brave new sc-fi world?

thankyou! :)

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It's such a broadranging genre it's hard to recommend something.

Perhaps you could tell us what non-sci-fi authors you enjoy - that may help.

Off the top off my head I would recommend anything by Issac Asimov - he is pretty much considered a legend in the Sci-Fi world. Others that may interest you are Robert A. Heinlein or Arthur C Clark.

I would also recommend Peter F. Hamilton and of course you can't miss out Douglas Adams.

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MartinJ wrote:Off the top off my head I would recommend anything by Issac Asimov - he is pretty much considered a legend in the Sci-Fi world. Others that may interest you are Robert A. Heinlein or Arthur C Clark.

I would also recommend Peter F. Hamilton and of course you can't miss out Douglas Adams.


I agree with all of that apart from Douglas Adams - he really grates on me I'm afraid.

Asimov is excellent, and though you make a joke about it Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World' is a fascinating and beautifully written book about a possible future for humanity. In the same vein you might try HG Wells - these are all books first, with the sci-fi a close second.

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I've read some H G Wells , The Time Machine and War of the Worlds - also some Piers Anthony stuff (does he count?) but it was a long time ago.

(And I apologise, I didnt mean to make a joke out of Huxley - I was just playing with words.)

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When i used to read sci-fi.......hell, when I used to read books........that's a few years ago.........I always enjoyed Brian Aldiss.......intelligent, quite erudite and intellectual, lots of sex

Not all his books are sci-fi though........




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swingaleg wrote:When i used to read sci-fi.......hell, when I used to read books........that's a few years ago.........I always enjoyed Brian Aldiss.......intelligent, quite erudite and intellectual, lots of sex

Not all his books are sci-fi though........

oh , he sounds good! :D

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As someone else has mentioned - Peter F Hamilton is an excellent Sci-Fi writer. Some of his books can be quite long though and quite a few of them are part of a series of books.

I am just finishing Fallen Dragon which is a stand alone book, it is an easy read, but it weighs in at 800 pages. Another excellent intro to Peter F Hamilton is Misspent Youth.

Another firm favourite is Stephen Baxter - in fact thinking about it, he is probably a better intro than PFH. In particular - if you liked the Time Machine, Stephen Baxter has written the official sequel called The Time Ships.

You could also try Brian Lumley's books that are kinda in the Sci-fi genre - House of Doors and the return of, or the Phsychomech books - Maybe not strictly Sci-fi but they certainly cross into it.

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ok thanks guys (all guys? hmm... interesting !)

When I was wee the Time Machine was my favourite film, but it absolutely petrified me too. Really, really scared the pants off me, real hide behind the sofa stuff.

I shall take your suggestions onto Amazon and have a scout around. Some good pointers, thankyou very much, most are authors I've never heard of.

Always welcome more ideas if you think of anything else. :)

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I think both Arthur C Clark and Isaac Asimov have great ideas but are terrible writers.

My favourite is Philip K Dick. Difficult to know which one to recommend though - maybe you could try some of his short stories, although they're not generally as well written as his novels. My favourite novels are Clans of the Alphane Moon, Our Friends from Frolix 8, Flow My Tears the Policeman Said, Eye In the Sky, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and The Penultimate Truth. A Scanner Darkly is brilliant, but not really sci-fi (apart from the Scramble Suits). He was more interested in paranoid psychological stuff than sci-fi hardware. I suppose his best known works are Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (filmed as Blade Runner) and Minority Report.

I'm a big fan of James Follett's Earthsearch, but I'm only familiar with the radio plays and haven't read the books.

H. G. Wells is excellent as well. And Ray Bradbury - you could try his collection of short stories The Illustrated Man.

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ThinBoy wrote:I think both Arthur C Clark and Isaac Asimov have great ideas but are terrible writers.

My favourite is Philip K Dick. Difficult to know which one to recommend though - maybe you could try some of his short stories, although they're not generally as well written as his novels. My favourite novels are Clans of the Alphane Moon, Our Friends from Frolix 8, Flow My Tears the Policeman Said, Eye In the Sky, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and The Penultimate Truth. A Scanner Darkly is brilliant, but not really sci-fi (apart from the Scramble Suits). He was more interested in paranoid psychological stuff than sci-fi hardware. I suppose his best known works are Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (filmed as Blade Runner) and Minority Report.

I'm a big fan of James Follett's Earthsearch, but I'm only familiar with the radio plays and haven't read the books.

H. G. Wells is excellent as well. And Ray Bradbury - you could try his collection of short stories The Illustrated Man.


Philip K Dick is AWESOME. He's not a great writer as far as prose styling goes, but FUCK that man had more ideas than you've had hot dinners. And he had THAT many of them every day. ThinBoy's right, he was more interested in psychological states than "futuristic" technology, but then so is most of the best SF. Science fiction, really, is ALWAYS fiction about NOW. This is why it pisses me off so much when people like Margaret Atwood (good writer, but this REALLY fucks me off) say "oh, it's not really science fiction, because it deals with real-world issues". Ursula LeGuin got REALLY fucked off about this, and said something along the lines of "well, as an SF writer, if people think they can take our ideas for their award-winning novels, it'd be nice if they gave us some credit for coming up with them".

J G Ballard has ALWAYS been an SF writer, even though his last few books have had few SF tropes. He writes from the point of view that Earth IS the alien planet. The fact that he's terminally ill is really, really horrible. I don't know how we'll manage without someone like Ballard, as he said, "rub(bing) the human face in its own vomit, and making it look in the mirror". SOMEONE has to do that, and now Burroughs is dead...

Bonus points go to Pulitzer award-winning author Michael Chabon (who won the award for a book called "The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay", about two Jewish guys in America during the age of Nazism who write comics. It's a fucking wonderful book, and everyone should read it. It seriously deserved its Pulitzer) who, when asked if he was tempted to stray into SF, or whether he felt he should stay with literature, replied rather indignantly that science fiction IS literature. I LOVE THAT GUY.

I think at some point soon I'm gonna start a thread about "WHY IS SF NOT CONSIDERED AS SERIOUS LITERATURE???" or something. Possibly with less question marks. I fucking hate that every time I read a good review of the new TV series of Battlestar Galactica, it has the proviso "this isn't really SF- it deals with real world issues". What the FUCK do these people think SF has ever been about? HG fucking Wells... ALL his books were political. They ALL dealt with "real world issues". That's what SF DOES.

(Unless it was by L Ron Hubbard, obviously. Because that fucker couldn't string a sentence together without SERIOUS editing).

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^ Excellent post!
What he said.

:clap:

(Except PKD CAN be a good prose writer. I think it probably depended on how quickly he was writing and what amphetamines he was on at the time. LOL)

I'm reading Ballard's "Super-Cannes" at the moment (alternating with PKD's "Lies Inc.") (I've got a bad habit of reading several books at the same time.)

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