Discussion Board

Topic: To recommend

From: Sam Beckham (Ms.)
Location: Texas
Date: 02/20/2008

Dear Mr Bear,

I am 21 year old lady who got into reading science fiction by developing an obession for dragons as a little girl, and reading fantasy lead to science fiction. I have read most of your books, and most of them multiple times. Also I am in love with the writings of Robert Heinlein, and own (and have read all his books many times. I have read lots of Asimov as well.

I am writing you because I am starting to become bored and want to know what you would recommend. A lot of 'science fiction' I pick up today is trite. I like real science, but I also like a good tale. Other things I have enjoyed is Orson Scott Card's Enders series and Robert Jordans Wheel of Time.

Anyway, what is your favorite book? And what would you recommend to someone thirsting for more adventure?

Thank you so much!


Re: To recommend

From: Greg Bear
Date: 02/20/2008

A lot of great choices out there. I'm sure you've read Anne McCaffrey, and you'll likely enjoy Naomi Novik, who's developed quite a following. In the fantasy arena, Tad Williams and Ray Feist come to mind--and you might try Tananarive Due, who has a new book coming soon. In science fiction, a lot of folks, and here's just a few to start: David Brin's Uplift series, Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars trilogy, Gregory Benford's Galactic Center series, Mary Rosenblum, Nancy Kress, Catherine Asaro, and... well, come back when you're done with this list! I always feel guilty leaving people out. (And I think you might enjoy CITY AT THE END OF TIME, coming from Del Rey August 11 of this year.)

Re: To recommend

From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Switzerland
Date: 02/21/2008

Sam, it's possible you would enjoy Ursula K. Le Guin. She is an author who can make you think, and also someone like Greg who will give you a feeling of being 'at home' often. Maybe three differing books that could give a flavour are:

- The Wizard of Earthsea
- The Dispossessed
- Worlds of Exile and Illusion (it collects 3 novels)

Kind regards,

Re: To recommend

From: patrick
Date: 02/22/2008

Well, Greg mentioned Benford...(Brin is good, though dated; and Robinson...I haven't beeen enchanted with). I'll add on Greg Egan, Stephen Baxter, and Peter F. Hamilton (particularly the Night's Dawn Trilogy).

And two who are a little broader in category: Dan Simmons, and Iain M. Banks.

Re: To recommend

From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA
Date: 02/24/2008

Dear Miss Beckham and Mr. Bear. One author I would like to heartily recommend are the works of the late Poul Anderson. I dont want to overwhelm Miss Beckham, so I'll just list a few titles (hopefully, not too hard to find): BRAIN WAVE, THE BROKEN SWORD,THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS, TAU ZERO, ENSIGN FLANDRY, STARFARERS, and GENESIS. Oops, maybe I suggested too many! Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks.

Re: To recommend

From: Michael Pine
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Date: 02/25/2008


I don't want you to mention City at the end of Time, in this forum ever again, unless to say it is being relased 4 months early :)

I know it might sound sad reflection of my life, but this is the thing I am most waiting for this year, I have reread Eon/Eternity 4 times in the past year in preperation, which is a lot of reading for me.

Re: To recommend

From: Patrick Berry
Location: Vancouver, WA
Date: 02/25/2008

Ill heartily second Ursula K. La Guinn. Im especially fond of an of her books set in the Ekumen universe, such as The Dispossessed, The Left Hand of Darkness, and Rocannons World. In these books she uses the traditional tools science fiction to explore contemporary social issues, such as geopolitics in The Dispossessed and gender roles in LHOD, on a much deeper level than can normally be seen in traditional fiction.

Another author Ive enjoyed is Catherine Asaro, best know for her Skolian Saga books. Shes both a gifted writer and a PhD. Physicists, which is a good combo in my book.

Ive also really enjoyed the work of Lois McMaster Bujold. Her Miles Vorkosigan are simply a lot of fun to read.

In terms of the classic writers, if you havent read almost everything by Arthur C. Clarke, start right now. A good place to start is City and the Stars or Childhoods End. IMHO, hes the best of the bunch from the Golden Era and was way ahead of his time.

A couple others to add for anyone whos a fan of Bear are David Brin, Kevin J. Anderson, and Vernor Vinge. Theyre some of the best of the current Golden Age.

Lastly, its hard to say if hes sci-fi, fantasy, satire, or comedy, but if youd just like to feel good about, well, just existing, pick up The Callahan Chronicles by Spider Robinson.

Re: To recommend

From: Simon Woodworth
Location: Ireland
Date: 02/28/2008

I'd have to concur with Patrick's recommendations: Dan Simmon's Hyperion and Endymion books are well worth the read. I'd also recommend Peter F Hamilton's Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained. Alastair Reynolds is worth it if you want "hard" SF. You might also like Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle.

Re: To recommend

From: Greg Bear
Date: 02/29/2008

Absolutely. NESFA Press is bringing out a multi-volume edition of Poul's works soon. I'll be writing an introduction to the first volume.

Re: To recommend

From: Greg Bear
Date: 02/29/2008

We're putting together some web sites now to go along with CITY's launch this August. More soon!

Re: To recommend

From: Erik E.
Location: Dallas
Date: 03/05/2008

Also Octavia Butler's Earthseed is a gem.

I'm a firm believer that every sci-fi fan should read Wildseed....at least once!

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