I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

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Re: Mind bending books

Postby Zohar » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:59 am UTC

You could try some of Greg Egan's stuff - Permutation City, Diaspora... Heavy sci-fi with some interesting philosophical implications.
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Re: Foreign Books

Postby sje46 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:08 am UTC

aro3n wrote:Hi,
For school I am taking a course that stresses alternatives to the traditional "classics" of english literature. I have to find foreign books (in english or translated to english) that could add to the curricula of the school; for this quarter, specifically, I must find a foreign book that challenges the American taboo about sex. Simply put, I need to find a sexy foreign book.

Any suggestions?


(Foreign, according to this class, is defined as not an American or a male Canadian author)

I'm sure that project's long over with...but another obvious choice (that your teacher probably WONT allow) is anything by Marquis de Sade, a libertine philosopher. He is the person that they named Sadism after, which should give you an idea of how taboo his novels are (he basically tries to make them as disturbing as possible). I haven't read him, but I think Philosophy in the Bedroom is probably the one to go for.

Probably a better choice, though, is Venus in Furs, by Masoch. That's right, the guy Masochism was named after.
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Re: Mind bending books

Postby GoodRudeFun » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:25 am UTC

Zohar wrote:You could try some of Greg Egan's stuff - Permutation City, Diaspora... Heavy sci-fi with some interesting philosophical implications.

I'll definitely look for those next time I'm a the library.

Any other mind bending books?
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Magius Cabal » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:13 am UTC

Wit, humour that involves philosophy?

Well, that sounds like a Terry Pratchett novel! Check out his Discworld series.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby tommorris » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:29 am UTC

PAstrychef wrote:So what adult books have you tried and why have they failed you? You want a book that talks about big ideas, that's easy to get into-try Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenanceby Pirsig. A great introduction to philosophy and a nice travel story too.


Sorry, no, just no. Not a great introduction to philosophy. Definitely a great introduction to New Age thinking. Quote Pirsig in any philosophy classroom worth its salt and you'll either be thrown out or someone will shout 'FAIL' at you.
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Hard Science Fiction Novels that XKCD approves of.

Postby pernero » Sun May 23, 2010 3:52 pm UTC

I've been looking for some new books lately. Something with a lot of science in it and zero fantasy.

I'd start with Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke.
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Re: Hard Science Fiction Novels that XKCD approves of.

Postby Zohar » Sun May 23, 2010 4:24 pm UTC

You could try Greg Egan's stuff. Diaspora is pretty cool, as is Permutation City (both of which are sort of computer science fiction). Clarke is pretty good, you've mentioned him already. I read an interesting book called Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear, I enjoyed that (biology science fiction).
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Re: Hard Science Fiction Novels that XKCD approves of.

Postby Ended » Sun May 23, 2010 4:42 pm UTC

Tau Zero by Poul Anderson. If you like special relativity and Bussard ramjets then you will totally geek out over this novel (I know I did).
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Re: Hard Science Fiction Novels that XKCD approves of.

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun May 23, 2010 4:47 pm UTC

Xeelee sequence by Stephen Baxter
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Re: Hard Science Fiction Novels that XKCD approves of.

Postby Certhas » Sun May 23, 2010 6:35 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:You could try Greg Egan's stuff. Diaspora is pretty cool, as is Permutation City (both of which are sort of computer science fiction).


Computer science fiction? A good part of Diaspora is basically theoretical physics porn. :D So I second Egan.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby ian » Sun May 23, 2010 6:49 pm UTC

I'd recommend Gaarder's Sophie's World for a nice simple intro to philosophy.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby CNiall » Wed May 26, 2010 5:41 pm UTC

I'm going on holiday this Saturday (leaving early in the morning) and I'd very much like to pick up some good books before going. I'd particularly like to look more into science fiction (last year, I read the Hyperion Cantos which I enjoyed very much -- though the last two less so as he strayed more over to sprituality and mystical handwaving). I'll look into the Egan stuff; anything else of note that I should try? It's probably worth noting that I've barely read and SF beyond the Hyperion Cantos.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Zohar » Wed May 26, 2010 5:52 pm UTC

Greg Egan is a bit on the "hard" sci-fi. His books can get a bit sciency sometimes. Asimov is very accessible - you can try the Foundation series (start with the original trilogy - Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation, in that order) or some of the robot novels (The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, The Robots of Dawn, Robots and Empire, in that order). Contact by Carl Sagan is a wonderful science fiction book. Dune (Frank Herbert) is really really excellent, although it does get a bit mystical. These are the things that pop to mind. I guess I like the classics. :)
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby CNiall » Wed May 26, 2010 6:38 pm UTC

Oh, I prefer hard to soft sci-fi: it's just that I got the impression that halfway through the Cantos Simmons ended up saying, "Eh, screw it. Make it magic.".

Anyway, reading up on Permutation City and Diaspora, they both seem pretty good and worth reading. I've also been meaning to look at the Foundation series for some time, so I think I'll run with those for now -- five books should be plenty for the time being, I think.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Monica » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:21 pm UTC

I'd say go for the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov. A classic!
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Podger » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:20 am UTC

Hard Sci-fi authors I like:
Greg Egan - Great short stories(The Moral Virologist), I'm reading his novels now
Walter Jon Williams - Dread Empire's Fall has realistic space combat and This is Not a Game has near future ARG and crowd sourcing
Charles Stross - As long as you avoid the Laundry Series it's all post-singularity or alternate universe 's goodness (The Laundry series is good, it is just not hard sci-fi)
Vernor Vinge - Concentrates on the singularity, intelligence enhancement and AI
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Sir Novelty Fashion » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:15 am UTC

harpyblues wrote:Looking for a book rec. I'm 16, female (if that has any influence on this at all). I'm looking at trying to get more into sci fi and fantasy (steampunk?), but not sure where to branch out to next. I haven't read the WoT series, because it's a bit intimidating, especially with the author existance failure bit. What do you guys think of that?

To get a better idea, I've liked:
Pratchett, Gaiman, Pullman, Lovecraft, Naomi Novik, Mckinley, Michael Swanwick, early Anne Mccaffrey, and Ekaterina Sedia

I'm on the fence with (through lack of reading/hearsay):
Neal Stephenson, China Mieville (didn't like his protag or ending for Perdido Street Station, but liked his world building even if he was bs-ing on some stuff a bit), and Orson Scott Card (haven't read his early books, which everyone says are good, tried reading his later ones and hated them because he got onto a pedestal about religion), Jasper Fforde, and House of Leaves (which everyone seems to be on about)

I didn't like (because of author theme/outright hating series):
Ringo (because he's kind of a sexist asshole), Paolini, Meyer, Mercedes Lackey (depending on series), Maria v Snyder, any horrifically wishy washy romantic fantasy series, especially ones with vampires (though there are exceptions because the writing is good- like Sunshine by Mckinley)

I like sympathetic villains/villain perspective without the whole 'oooh, you should consider him uber evil' part, and I want to try steampunk more. What's a good argument for me to try up Orson Scott Card again, because I need some kind of reassurance that I'm not crazy about hating his later books? Ditto goes for most high fantasy, like Goodkind and Salvatore. I'm not really gone on black-white morality stuff that the genre goes into.

I'd probably recommend taking a glance at Warring States by Mags L. Halliday.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Aldarion » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:19 pm UTC

After watching Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, I'm desperate for a book with a similar plot style.

It definitely doesn't have to be about coma, hallucinations or going back in time; what I'm looking for is the general spirit: a big mystery, many levels of meaning, lots of little details coming together, subtle clues that later turn out to be important, some things like the weird flashbacks in LoM and AtA, or the arc-themes (Test Card Girl, The Clown, Bowie music).
The most important thing, really, is lots of very strange and unexplained stuff happening, and then an explanation that would make it all clear in a flash of Fridge Brilliance, and without being a blatant cheat like "It's all hallucination anyway, so the details don't matter much".

Also, while I'm at it, there's another book I'd like to read (if it exists). There's the common plot about a modern-day loser who dreams of Olden Times, when there were Knights and Swords and Adventure and Beautiful Princesses and Bravery and Many Other capital-Letter Words. In the course of the book (or film) the loser somehow winds up in those Olden Times, where he really stops being a loser, learns to use a Sword, meets up with some Knights, has some Adventures, displays Bravery, wins himself a Beautiful Princess and so on, and then returns to the present filled with confidence and starts a new life. I'm sure you've read a book or two with such a plot, and definitely seen a couple of movies. But I'd like to see a variation on this plot: the loser winds up in the Olden times, but quickly finds out that Swords are heavy, Knights are more drunk and sweaty that daring and shiny, Adventure equals "something that can get you killed easily" rather than "an exciting way to alleviate boredom", and that being in the Olden Times really doesn't make it any easier to display Bravery. Also, he finds out that Princesses, believe it or not, aren't easily available, and that - oh, the horror! - most of them dare not to be Beautiful. The book doesn't have a happy end at all. The emphasis is really on this — it's not that he realizes that his dream world is not as perfect as he thought and then manages to get over it, but exactly the opposite — he doesn't get over it and has all his [day]dreams shattered.

Did someone write such a book? Thanks in advance.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby ian » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:43 pm UTC

There is a film based around that idea, but I can't think what it's called. I've been trying to remember it for a while.

Ah, just found it, it was 'Timeline' (based on the Michael Critchon book of the same name) and had a happy ending, I just remember a few people in it getting murdered by swords because hey, it was a failry blodthirsty time.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby userxp » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:30 pm UTC

Someone should definitely read The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers. After many years it's still my favorite novel. I haven't read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy but apparently it's very similar to it in style.
It's about a blue bear called Bluebear (he was given his name by a pair of talking waves). He meets a pterodactyl whose job is saving others at the last moment called Deus X. Machina, is taught all the knowledge in the universe with the aid of the seven-brained Nocturnomath Professor Abdullah Nightingale and his intelligence bacteria, travels to the 2364th Dimension and back, escapes from a giant brain by playing dreams with the help of a bad idea, etc.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby The1exile » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:24 pm UTC

Chicken soup for the soul, if you're into that sort of thing.
The Face of Battle and Achilles in Vietnam, for an excellent and surprisingly readable look at military historiography and combat ptsd and it's portrayal in the classics respectively.
Monstrous Regiment, by Terry Pratchett, is an standalone discworld novel that is very good, although it does slightly suffer from the need of terry pratchett to big up all his own characters.
Anything by Alexandre Dumas.
The League of Gentleman (which is more a comic rather than a book but nevertheless a literary tour-de-force ) is also very good.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby PAstrychef » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:19 am UTC

Aldarion wrote:After watching Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, I'm desperate for a book with a similar plot style.
It definitely doesn't have to be about coma, hallucinations or going back in time; what I'm looking for is the general spirit: a big mystery, many levels of meaning, lots of little details coming together, subtle clues that later turn out to be important, some things like the weird flashbacks in LoM and AtA, or the arc-themes (Test Card Girl, The Clown, Bowie music).
The most important thing, really, is lots of very strange and unexplained stuff happening, and then an explanation that would make it all clear in a flash of Fridge Brilliance, and without being a blatant cheat like "It's all hallucination anyway, so the details don't matter much".

You would probably enjoy Nick Hardkaway's The Gone-Away World very much. It has a bright pink and green cover, so it's easy to spot.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Aldarion » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:10 am UTC

PAstrychef wrote:You would probably enjoy Nick Harkaway's The Gone-Away World very much. It has a bright pink and green cover, so it's easy to spot.


Thanks, I'll look it up!
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby dubsola » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:10 am UTC

I would also highly recommend The Bridge, by Iain Banks.

The opening section of the novel describes what you think is a crash. Thereafter, we are fascinated and confused with several different sections. One details the life of John Orr, a man washed up at the foot of the majestic Bridge. Orr is suffering from amnesia, and can't quite grasp the fact that he has woken up in a place that seems to be a never-ending bridge. Amongst this we are introduced to a set of Orr's dreams, some his own fabrication, some real. Then there is the life story of an unknown man peppered throughout the novel. It is indeed complex, but incredibly compelling and very unusual.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby metamorphosis » Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:15 am UTC

I recommend The age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil.
Paranoid and slightly freaky futurism by someone who actually has some tenure in the subject.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby addams » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:02 am UTC

'Plato and the Platypus', might be just what you are looking for. It is smart and funny.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby addams » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:08 am UTC

Aldarion wrote:After watching Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, I'm desperate for a book with a similar plot style.

It definitely doesn't have to be about coma, hallucinations or going back in time; what I'm looking for is the general spirit: a big mystery, many levels of meaning, lots of little details coming together, subtle clues that later turn out to be important, some things like the weird flashbacks in LoM and AtA, or the arc-themes (Test Card Girl, The Clown, Bowie music).
The most important thing, really, is lots of very strange and unexplained stuff happening, and then an explanation that would make it all clear in a flash of Fridge Brilliance, and without being a blatant cheat like "It's all hallucination anyway, so the details don't matter much".

Also, while I'm at it, there's another book I'd like to read (if it exists). There's the common plot about a modern-day loser who dreams of Olden Times, when there were Knights and Swords and Adventure and Beautiful Princesses and Bravery and Many Other capital-Letter Words. In the course of the book (or film) the loser somehow winds up in those Olden Times, where he really stops being a loser, learns to use a Sword, meets up with some Knights, has some Adventures, displays Bravery, wins himself a Beautiful Princess and so on, and then returns to the present filled with confidence and starts a new life. I'm sure you've read a book or two with such a plot, and definitely seen a couple of movies. But I'd like to see a variation on this plot: the loser winds up in the Olden times, but quickly finds out that Swords are heavy, Knights are more drunk and sweaty that daring and shiny, Adventure equals "something that can get you killed easily" rather than "an exciting way to alleviate boredom", and that being in the Olden Times really doesn't make it any easier to display Bravery. Also, he finds out that Princesses, believe it or not, aren't easily available, and that - oh, the horror! - most of them dare not to be Beautiful. The book doesn't have a happy end at all. The emphasis is really on this — it's not that he realizes that his dream world is not as perfect as he thought and then manages to get over it, but exactly the opposite — he doesn't get over it and has all his [day]dreams shattered.

Did someone write such a book? Thanks in advance.


This is so funny. You wrote it and I enjoyed it. Thanks.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby diotimajsh » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:28 am UTC

Aldarion wrote:But I'd like to see a variation on this plot: the loser winds up in the Olden times, but quickly finds out that Swords are heavy, Knights are more drunk and sweaty that daring and shiny, Adventure equals "something that can get you killed easily" rather than "an exciting way to alleviate boredom", and that being in the Olden Times really doesn't make it any easier to display Bravery. Also, he finds out that Princesses, believe it or not, aren't easily available, and that - oh, the horror! - most of them dare not to be Beautiful. The book doesn't have a happy end at all. The emphasis is really on this — it's not that he realizes that his dream world is not as perfect as he thought and then manages to get over it, but exactly the opposite — he doesn't get over it and has all his [day]dreams shattered.
Gordon R. Dickson's Dragon Knight series included some of those elements--although I don't think the main character was a loser-who-dreams-about-how-awesome-fantasy-is, particularly. I think the main character was more sensible than that, and actually he had no real wish to journey into a fantasy world, but was drawn in unwillingly, although I don't quite remember.

He does end up defeating The Evil and rescuing his Lady Fair (whom he'd already been engaged to in the real world. They end up becoming a Baron and Baroness, but at least she wasn't a princess to start out with, I guess). So definitely doesn't match your description in that way. But, if I recall, the books as a whole focused more on the unpleasant and realistic aspects of medieval life than most other books in the genre.
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Tidal locked planets

Postby Droffats » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:58 am UTC

So I was listening to the radio today and heard a guy talking about a newly discovered planet that was thought to be tidal locked to its star. So one side always faced the sun and the other always in the dark. I was hit with a little deja vu. I've either seen something like this before, or would just really like to read something a scifi story set on one. Are there any stories out there about a planet with a perpetual dark and light side?

Edit: Google is my friend! http://ask.metafilter.com/166550/Tidall ... ce-fiction
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Minibio pack?

Postby anataxkcd » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:09 pm UTC

I recently enjoyed Napoleon's Privates and sadly realized that I can no longer read full-length biographies of a single person, but can still cope with minibiographies, like one or two chapters for each. Any recommendations? I prefer historical figures, artists, professionals, but am certainly interested too with celebrities or anyone else worth reading for that matter.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby smokestack » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:03 pm UTC

I'm 18, I need some good escapist sci-fi/fantasy recommendations. I loved Enders Game and Speaker (not crazy about the rest of the series though) the first Dune book (thought the others got silly), the Game of Thrones series, His Dark Materials, Snowcrash, etc. I used to read a bunch of fantasy and sci fi when I was younger and then fell off it, now I want to get back into again and can't find anything that doesn't have laughable dialogue or a convoluted plot.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby emceng » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:34 pm UTC

Aldarion wrote:After watching Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, I'm desperate for a book with a similar plot style.

It definitely doesn't have to be about coma, hallucinations or going back in time; what I'm looking for is the general spirit: a big mystery, many levels of meaning, lots of little details coming together, subtle clues that later turn out to be important, some things like the weird flashbacks in LoM and AtA, or the arc-themes (Test Card Girl, The Clown, Bowie music).
The most important thing, really, is lots of very strange and unexplained stuff happening, and then an explanation that would make it all clear in a flash of Fridge Brilliance, and without being a blatant cheat like "It's all hallucination anyway, so the details don't matter much".

Also, while I'm at it, there's another book I'd like to read (if it exists). There's the common plot about a modern-day loser who dreams of Olden Times, when there were Knights and Swords and Adventure and Beautiful Princesses and Bravery and Many Other capital-Letter Words. In the course of the book (or film) the loser somehow winds up in those Olden Times, where he really stops being a loser, learns to use a Sword, meets up with some Knights, has some Adventures, displays Bravery, wins himself a Beautiful Princess and so on, and then returns to the present filled with confidence and starts a new life. I'm sure you've read a book or two with such a plot, and definitely seen a couple of movies. But I'd like to see a variation on this plot: the loser winds up in the Olden times, but quickly finds out that Swords are heavy, Knights are more drunk and sweaty that daring and shiny, Adventure equals "something that can get you killed easily" rather than "an exciting way to alleviate boredom", and that being in the Olden Times really doesn't make it any easier to display Bravery. Also, he finds out that Princesses, believe it or not, aren't easily available, and that - oh, the horror! - most of them dare not to be Beautiful. The book doesn't have a happy end at all. The emphasis is really on this — it's not that he realizes that his dream world is not as perfect as he thought and then manages to get over it, but exactly the opposite — he doesn't get over it and has all his [day]dreams shattered.

Did someone write such a book? Thanks in advance.


Have you tried Stephen R. Donaldon? He has two trilogies that might be what you are looking for.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby PAstrychef » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:41 am UTC

smokestack wrote:I'm 18, I need some good escapist sci-fi/fantasy recommendations. I loved Enders Game and Speaker (not crazy about the rest of the series though) the first Dune book (thought the others got silly), the Game of Thrones series, His Dark Materials, Snowcrash, etc. I used to read a bunch of fantasy and sci fi when I was younger and then fell off it, now I want to get back into again and can't find anything that doesn't have laughable dialogue or a convoluted plot.

You might enjoy Cherie Priest's Boneshaker, China Mieville's Perdito Street Station C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner series, and/or Empire in Black and Gold, by A. Tchaikovsky.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Zohar » Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:42 am UTC

smokestack wrote:I'm 18, I need some good escapist sci-fi/fantasy recommendations. I loved Enders Game and Speaker (not crazy about the rest of the series though) the first Dune book (thought the others got silly), the Game of Thrones series, His Dark Materials, Snowcrash, etc. I used to read a bunch of fantasy and sci fi when I was younger and then fell off it, now I want to get back into again and can't find anything that doesn't have laughable dialogue or a convoluted plot.

How about Asimov's stuff, Foundation for example? I recently read the Night Watch series and they're pretty good too.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Sir Novelty Fashion » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:34 pm UTC

smokestack wrote:I'm 18, I need some good escapist sci-fi/fantasy recommendations. I loved Enders Game and Speaker (not crazy about the rest of the series though) the first Dune book (thought the others got silly), the Game of Thrones series, His Dark Materials, Snowcrash, etc. I used to read a bunch of fantasy and sci fi when I was younger and then fell off it, now I want to get back into again and can't find anything that doesn't have laughable dialogue or a convoluted plot.

I've mentioned it before, but Lance Parkin's Warlords of Utopia is fantastic escapist sci-fi. I'd also definitely recommend Philip Purser-Hallard's Of the City of the Saved..., which is similarly brilliant, large-scale escapism. The back cover of OtCotS isn't on Amazon, for some reason, so I'll quote it here:
For Humanity, the War is over...
We all remember Resurrection Day. Even now, three centuries later, we cannot forget that awakening: our bewilderment, our terror and our joy. Each of us had experienced death, imagining ourselves bound for oblivion, Heaven or Nirvana, according to taste. Instead, we found, each member of the many human species -- from tool-wielding australopithecines to posthuman philosopher-gods -- had been harvested, gathered here by the Founders’ unfathomable technologies.

Reborn in our countless immortal bodies, we were given the freedom of the City of the Saved. A single conurbation as broad as a spiral galaxy, she has been our sanctuary from the ravages of the War. That monstrous conflict between inhuman cultures cannot touch us here: we live our afterlives beyond the end of time, in perfect safety.

We may be certain, therefore, that these rumours of a murder (the brutal stabbing of a City Councillor, no less!) are nothing more than lurid fabrications. The supposition that the murder weapon is missing, or that it could have been -- as hysterical conjecture has claimed -- a “potent weapon,” capable of injuring a Citizen within the haven of the City, is equally absurd. The idea that a guerrilla war has already begun in one of our less harmonious enclaves need not be dignified with refutation.

Please go about your business, Citizens, as normal. We are perfectly safe, here in the City. Humanity has never been safer.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby keeperofdakeys » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:27 pm UTC

I once read The Man Who Was Thursday (G. K. Chesterton), and although there were a few things that went over my head (like the ending?), I really enjoyed it. Would anybody know a book that is similar?
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby delfts » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:40 pm UTC

Hey. I'm turning 15 soon and I'm trying to indulge myself in the world of reading. I would like some good recommendations.

I'm into sci-fi, fantasy, and mysteries/thrillers. I've finished the Ender's Game series, the Hitchhiker's series, and I just picked up my first Dean Koontz book (I'm really enjoying it so far). I would like to read some more non-fiction books as well. I thought The Hobbit was alright - I enjoyed it at first but after a while it started to get a bit boring. I read Foundation, but I thought that it wasn't written very well and a lot of it went over my head. Any ideas?
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby BurningLed » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:44 am UTC

They're a bit thick, but the Engineer trilogy isn't bad -- Kind of pseudopolitical though, it's about an engineer who escapes a sort of medieval mega-corporatocracy into more normal fedual lands. Lots of PoV-switching in that one. Start with Devices and Desires if you're looking for it.

Unwind is lighter, but it's a pretty good book if you're looking for an easy-to-read dystopian soft sci-fi novel. Basically it's Earth, except kids under 18 can be chopped up into transplant-ready organs if their parents don't like them; and the book follows one of those said kids.

Neil Gaiman has tons of semi-fantasy stuff, but he works it into his stories in an odd fashion. Neverwhere is the most fantasy-oriented I can think of from the top of my head.

The Somnambulist is a mystery/fantasy story which tries a little too hard to be edgy and mysterious, but it's rather good anyways. It leaves a lot of Fridge Brilliance moments in the end when you tie up the loose ends yourself.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby ms_taglioni » Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:15 am UTC

What about Margaret L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time Series? I loved them at that age (and there's more than one if her interest gets sparked).

About Orson Scott Card, I personally enjoyed the side series of Ender's Game that was about Bean (so Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, etc). It keeps to the more "real world" aspects of Ender's Game that I loved, and doesn't get too much into a whole new imagining of sentinent life (as happens with the series that sticks to Ender, so Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind).
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:23 am UTC

delfts wrote:Hey. I'm turning 15 soon and I'm trying to indulge myself in the world of reading. I would like some good recommendations.

I'm into sci-fi, fantasy, and mysteries/thrillers. I've finished the Ender's Game series, the Hitchhiker's series, and I just picked up my first Dean Koontz book (I'm really enjoying it so far). I would like to read some more non-fiction books as well. I thought The Hobbit was alright - I enjoyed it at first but after a while it started to get a bit boring. I read Foundation, but I thought that it wasn't written very well and a lot of it went over my head. Any ideas?
Liked Ender's Game and Hitchhiker, likes Dean Koontz, couldn't get in to the Hobbit, eh?

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (1992). I say that so someone else can come along and say "Oh man, that's crap, read X instead!" because it'll probably happen. Still, it's not a bad read. Even if it includes something that sounds pretty awesome until you realize he's describing Second Life. Anyway, it's basically a Cyberpunk book. Which the name Neal Stephenson should have already told you. If not.. dude likes to write Cyberpunk.
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (1996). First of a (Aw fuck, 7 books? DAMN YOU GEORGE R.R. MARTIN!) series. Currently 5 of them are out.. which reminds me, I need to get #5. Anyway, it's Low Magic for the most part, with a wacky High Magic zone in the northlands. And by wacky I mean soulstealing undead demon zombies. Or whatever the fuck they are. Also some dragons. And incest. Gobs of incest. Europe level incest. And everyone dies, all the time. Okay, that's a half-truth.. not everyone dies, but it's pretty much a good idea to not get too attached to any main characters, as they tend to die whenever the plot says "Hey, this person would probably die in this situation".
Rick Cook's Wiz Biz series (1989 for the first one). The first two of which are free on the Baen Free Library. Go nuts. Long story short, programmer from Earth gets pulled to magical kingdom, discovers Magic is Programming, becomes a demigod, Fights Crime. Sadly, Rick had a heart attack or something and lost the ability to write fiction. No, really. I'm not making that up.
Guards! Guards! or Mort by Terry Pratchett... or just use this handy chart and pick another starting point. Discworld stuff. It's actually pretty damn good.
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman (1989-1996). Yes, it's a comic. Yes, it's fricken awesome. Or you could try American Gods if you want some Mythology stuff, or Stardust if you want a fairy tale. Or even Neverwhere if you want.. whatever the hell Neverwhere is. Urban Fantasy? I don't know. Or you could try...
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and if you've read their other stuff, you can play the "Terry wrote this chapter! Neil wrote this one! Terry wrote this one, but this dialog was by Neil!" game. It's about the coming Apocalypse and the End Times... and an Angel and a Demon teaming up to stop it, because they rather like Earth. And other hilarious bits. Like DEATH refusing to answer a question on the deathdate of Elvis.
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