Classic Sci-Fi recommendations

Classic Sci-Fi recommendations

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Esceptico

Original Poster:

4,423 posts

76 months

Sunday 4th October 2020
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I have a bit of free time and want to do some reading. Thinking of filling in some blanks of classic Sci-Fi that I haven’t read - as an example two on my list are The Forever War and Stranger in a Strange Land.

Other classics that anyone can recommend?

CheesecakeRunner

1,236 posts

58 months

Sunday 4th October 2020
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Skyedriver

12,054 posts

249 months

Saturday 9th January
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reckon about 50 year ago I was reading a lot of SF , haven't touched much for years.
Wonder what the likes of Asmov's Foundation Series, Bradbury's Farenheit 451 and many more read like now?

shed driver

1,471 posts

127 months

Wednesday 27th January
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One of my favourites is "The City and the Stars" by Arthur C Clarke.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_City_and_the_Sta...

Over 65 years old and still feels fresh.

SD.

OverSteery

3,189 posts

198 months

Saturday 6th March
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Esceptico said:
I have a bit of free time and want to do some reading. Thinking of filling in some blanks of classic Sci-Fi that I haven’t read - as an example two on my list are The Forever War and Stranger in a Strange Land.

Other classics that anyone can recommend?
I wouldn't put Stranger in a Strange Land at the top of your list - It's not aged well there are better Heinleins.

I think John Wyndham's Day of the triffid has lasted well.

If you want "classic Sci-Fi" you have to include some AC Clarke and Asimov too

CheesecakeRunner's Masterwork link certainly fits your needs.

NMNeil

2,127 posts

17 months

Saturday 6th March
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Michael Moorcock for some weird Sci-Fi fantasy stuff.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Barsoom and Amtor series.

DickyC

39,989 posts

165 months

Saturday 6th March
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Arthur C Clarke's Childhood's End

jet_noise

4,641 posts

149 months

Saturday 6th March
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E.E.Smith's stuff is fun.
Lensman series is epic (in the traditional sense of the word smile )

montecristo

973 posts

144 months

Saturday 6th March
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I would second Wyndham and add The Chrysalids and Midwich Cuckoos.
Foundation and Speaker for the Dead are two of the best books I've read; if you're going to read Speaker for the Dead, it helps to read Ender's War first, which is a fun book. Dune is more than decent.
Ray Bradbury's short stories are good.
The Andromeda Strain is fairly good, if that counts as science fiction.
Riddley Walker is striking, if that too counts as science fiction.

The Forever War seemed obvious and dated to me, maybe its message was more appropriate to its time. And I found Neuromancer boring. Left Hand of Darkness is very un-Pistonheads, let's just say. But obviously, each to their own.

Douglas Quaid

1,304 posts

52 months

Saturday 6th March
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Just reading children of time series by Adrian Tchaikovsky currently. On the second book. Really good, can definitely recommend. Neal Asher is another great sci Fi author, can’t go wrong with his stuff. Foundation series is a no brainer. Blew my mind when I read them. Commonwealth saga by Peter f Hamilton is another really great series.

Einion Yrth

19,060 posts

211 months

Monday 8th March
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montecristo said:
Riddley Walker is striking, if that too counts as science fiction.
Can't really mention Riddley Walker without also mentioning its inspiration " A Canticle for Leibowitz".

havoc

26,094 posts

202 months

Friday 19th March
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Agree on going through the SF Masterworks series. A few which have weakened over time, but some still-greats in there.

A few from me that I do recommend:-
Greg Bear - Eon. (read this as a teenager when I was used to Asimov, AC Clarke etc...blew me away...still recommend it to anyone exploring sci-fi, must have read it 5 or 6 times)
(also Forge of God...not a light read though...actually, a lot of his stuff is very good.)
John Christopher - The Death of Grass
Alfred Bester - The Demolished Man (the book that inspired a great character and group in Babylon 5)
Larry Niven - Ringworld
Daniel Keyes - Flowers for Algernon



...not exactly classic in an age sense, but I cannot under-recommend Iain M Banks' Culture series. Superbly written, very clever, great characters, and short-enough not to take over your life. A couple try to put you off with odd names, but really, don't be...discovered them <10 years ago and can't believe I hadn't before.

MrBrightSi

2,792 posts

137 months

Wednesday 7th April
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I don't know if my idea of "Classic sci-fi" is a universal one, but for some of the greats theres:

Starship Troopers - first use of powered armoured mech suits or whatever you'd call them now. It tells a cheesy story of an ultra capable everyman but the setting always stands out to me, it's like an ultra ideal HBO band of brothers in space, but to me it's a classic as even some grumpy dutch director couldn't damage it with the film version which zoomed so far past any point in the book it's just another World War Z film Vs book comedy.

Roadside picnic - This book is a must read, to anyone. It is brilliant science fiction, both in terms of crazy scenes of the "zone" and the changing technology but also the explanations of "Why". Anyone whose watched the film Stalker or played the game of the same name will know of the concepts, but the book just does so much more, the overall time-span of the story and the changes to the characters and the world.

The king in yellow - only the first short story, but the idea of an early 1900's fascist America with "Government lethal chambers." This is only the backdrop to the cosmic horror of the main story/ies, but mixed in with the vague descriptions of the alien Carcosa does make it quite an interesting out there book.

Wayoftheflower

991 posts

202 months

Wednesday 7th April
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More Heinlein, although I love Starship Troopers I think The Moon is a Harsh Mistress has aged better and doesn't have all the BS baggage the Bug Hunt film stirred up.

I recently read Rendezvous with Rama for the first time. Although the characters are not that engaging the the ideas are great and it's quite short so a nice afternoon & evening and it's done.

Esceptico

Original Poster:

4,423 posts

76 months

Thursday 8th April
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Thanks for the recommendations. I’ve read several of those suggested. Currently retreading Kurt Vonnegut. Also read some more Iain Banks.

ZedLeg

2,798 posts

75 months

Saturday 10th April
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She’s more well known for the Earthsea books but Ursula LeGuin wrote some great sci-fi. Just finished Left Hand of Darkness again recently.

MrBrightSi

2,792 posts

137 months

Monday 12th April
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Esceptico said:
Thanks for the recommendations. I’ve read several of those suggested. Currently retreading Kurt Vonnegut. Also read some more Iain Banks.
Which of his books?

Slaughter house 5 on audiobook is brilliantly done and adds a lot more to the book than i ever got reading it. One of the things i've always kicked myself about is never going to the actual place, i was in Dresden, walked the old city saw the rebuilt frauenkirche and where the centre ends and the newer soviet architecture starts but never stayed on the other side of the bridge long enough to stumble upon the place even behind all the fencing.

AW111

6,853 posts

100 months

Monday 12th April
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Cordwainer Smith's norstralia / underpeople stories are worth a read IMO. Maybe an acquired taste, but I like them.
The author had a fascinating life, too.

Orson Scott Card - 'Wyrms'

David Brin's Uplift novels.

For more conventional SF, Larry Niven's 'known space' short stories are fun.



I've read lots of 50's and 60's SF, and to me much of it is rock-jawed American men fighting aliens or rebels - OK plots and tech, but boring characters in a boring universe.
I blame Gernsback's prescriptive editing - he only published stories that fit that mold.





Esceptico

Original Poster:

4,423 posts

76 months

Tuesday 13th April
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MrBrightSi said:
Which of his books?

Slaughter house 5 on audiobook is brilliantly done and adds a lot more to the book than i ever got reading it. One of the things i've always kicked myself about is never going to the actual place, i was in Dresden, walked the old city saw the rebuilt frauenkirche and where the centre ends and the newer soviet architecture starts but never stayed on the other side of the bridge long enough to stumble upon the place even behind all the fencing.
Cat’s Cradle and Sirens of Titan but going to read Slaughterhouse 5 next.

llewop

3,311 posts

178 months

Tuesday 20th April
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Skyedriver said:
reckon about 50 year ago I was reading a lot of SF , haven't touched much for years.
Wonder what the likes of Asmov's Foundation Series, Bradbury's Farenheit 451 and many more read like now?
I re-read Foundation last week so can answer (from my perspective at least).... badly, in some respects. For instance extensive cigar smoking! But otherwise still thought provoking on population level predictions, which we've spent most of the last year living through various attempts at. One thing he was spot on about was the difference between macro (population level) vs micro (personal) perception of events, risks and actions.

I suspect in the round older SF will suffer from not being bold enough on things like communication, not taking into account internet and mobile phones, but being too optimistic about flying cars and space travel (although I tend to think that is often an acknowledge elephant in the room, otherwise everything is on one planet... this one, no matter how futuristic you get).