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Thread: Favorite SciFi Author/Book?

  1. #1 Favorite SciFi Author/Book? 
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    So, let's christen this place with a mindless thread!

    I feel like a priest baptizing the first alien to turn Christian.

    I feel so deliciously evil.


    My favorite? Isaac Asimov's Foundation, the second book of the Foundation series. Beyond cool. Beyond brilliant.


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  3. #2  
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    Indeed. With my help this will become the worthy brother of the Scifi section on Sciforums.

    Favorite Science Fiction author? Currently it's Arthur C. Clarke (Because I recently got a 900 page book of all of his short fiction for $6). But yesterday it was Neil Gaiman. Tomarrow it could be Terry Pratchett.

    Favorite Scifi book? That's easy. Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard. The movie does the book no justice. And I love the book. I really do.

    Did I mention The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Love the book, but I'm probably going to hate the movie.


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    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    Hmm.
    Tough.
    I'm gonna have to go with Dune and Frank Herbert, methinks.
    Which? Tough.
    One of the later ones.
    Heretics of Dune or Chapterhouse: Dune...
    Hmmm.
    Actually, I suspect that it would be the unwritten one but that's soon to be butchered by his son...

    Heretics of Dune was the first to jump so far in advance of the times of Paul and even 10,000 years past the 3.500 year reign of the God Emperor. The humans in this new age were far in advance, biologically and philosophically speaking, than the infants of Paul's times. Duncan Idaho as a child ghola. The destruction of Dune. The first appearance of the Honored Matres and the weirdos from the Scattering. The discovery of Leto's Lair...

    But Chapterhouse was so much more. It ressurected the Bashar Teg. Further introduced us to the intracicies of the Honored Matres through Murbella. Scytale captured and spreading the knowlege about the Axlotl tanks. (An offense, I believe, which was committed in Brian's prequels where he not only gave the Tleilaxu the ability to clone Spice thousands of years too early, but also sharing the technology with Ix. Sacrilege!) The sandworms mature in the growing desert. And the mysterious face dancer visions from the Scattering.

    Ahh.
    Chapterhouse. Hands down.

    Dune was so much more than mere science fiction. It was philsophy and wonderment. Frank Herbert was a great man.





    What about some more obscure works?


    The Tripod Trilogy is an excellent chldren's series (I didn't read until I was grown though.)



    The Green Futures of Tycho was another children's book with an excellent premise. A boy finds a mysterious alien artifact in his back yard. He realizes that it has the power to move him back and forth in time and he settles in for some fun. He first uses it to prevent his brother and sister from picking on his younger self so much and the rest sort of skyrockets. He begins to find that the famous butterfly effect is kicking in and not only is the now and the future changing but also he is changing. Becoming monstrous in the future. A slave to the egg and part of a plan to use it to transform the earth into an alien paradise. He then has to fight his future self for the salvation of the earth. And his family. (It seems to focus more on family than planet... funny.)



    Another is the Darkling Wind by Somtow Sucharitkul. This book was given to me by a friend who didn't care for it. He originally thought it was a fantasy novel by the illustration of a dragon on the cover. It's the last book in the Inquestor Series. A seven volume series about a group of space faring overlords who play games to decide the fates of planets. Makrugh. "There is history and there is no history." Goes the opening stanza of the game. Every game of Makrugh ends with the utter destruction of the biosphere of a planet. But, the inquest is merciful. They evacuate the inhabitants. Sending them to another world that has recovered from the last destruction.

    The Darkling Wind opens with the story of a world that refuses that evacuation. They reach a state of utopia in their final moments of life and the rules of the game are changed.

    Utopica hunters. Enslaved space whale starships. Alien hive mind computers. Child soldiers with flashing laser eyes.

    Truly an interesting tale. I only wish that I'd read the first six. These books are quite rare in my experience.



    Coffee,

    Battlefield Earth was a kick ass book. The movie did brutalize it.


    Zero,

    Foundation also kicks ass. It's been a while since I've read but they were my favorite Asimov books. And someone had the audacity to tell me recently that they've heard that the Foundation books were his worst work... And they've never read! Bah!!!
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    I like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, I downloaded the movie and Adams is probably rolling in his grave right now.

    Some of Ayn Rand's SciFi is interesting, it takes more of a philosophical approach to SciFi which is good for studies.

    I'm in the hunt of recent Comedy/SciFi books like HHGTTG, but nthng comes even close.
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    Dune is good.

    Coldfire Trilogy is a great read.
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    Dune is good, as is the Hyperion series. I liked The Forever War, but heard such poor reviews of the sequels that I decided not to read them. Other than that I enjoy buying 90 cent copies of vintage Sci-Fi
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotsexyangelprincess
    Dune is good, as is the Hyperion series. I liked The Forever War, but heard such poor reviews of the sequels that I decided not to read them. Other than that I enjoy buying 90 cent copies of vintage Sci-Fi
    I loved Dune the book, I hated the movie. I've not read any of the others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Closet Philosopher
    I like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, I downloaded the movie and Adams is probably rolling in his grave right now.

    Some of Ayn Rand's SciFi is interesting, it takes more of a philosophical approach to SciFi which is good for studies.

    I'm in the hunt of recent Comedy/SciFi books like HHGTTG, but nthng comes even close.
    You should read Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Or try out the disc world series, by Terry Prachett. I recommend The Color of Magic and Small Gods.
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    Oh Dune the movie is an excellent comedy.

    I spent the entire time laughing nonstop.

    The funniest thing is, it's supposed to be serious.

    Best line: "I have loved you all my life! (has seen her for only five minutes)"
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    I loved Dune the book, I hated the movie. I've not read any of the others.
    The mini-series on the Sci-Fi channel did a fair job of portraying the first three books of the series. Dune. Dune Messiah. And Children of Dune. These are all set in Paul's time and are fairly simple. They do contain elelments of philosophy, but nothing like how it shapes later.

    In God Emperor of Dune, Leto II (Paul's Son) becomes a half sandworm mutant that rules with an iron-fist of prophecy for 3500 years before being killed in water as he always knew he had to. While alive he forced a stasis upon the Empire. No expansion. No growth. Leto's Peace. When he died the pent up pressures that he'd kept in check exploded in the Scattering and humanity expanded far beyond known space. Like seeds scattering in the wind. He did this to ensure humanity's survival against something seen in the distant future. Something which Paul also saw but was to scared to take the path of the sandworm. Herbert never specifiec what this danger was, but it was most likely the return of the thinking machines. His son alludes to this in the prequels of the Butlerian Jihad. (Hack!)

    The next two books are set in time 10,000 years following the God Emperor's death. Mankind has evolved biologically to incredible speed, intelligence, stamina. In all ways. They are not dependant upon thinking machines of any kind (well. Some do violate prescriptions. Especially no-ships.) They've used their minds for such things. I think it's this that is key to Dune's success. The focus upon human mastery. Mastery of self embodied in the Bene Gesserit and extended to Paul and Leto II as the Kwisatz Haderach.


    As to the movie. You can only be referring to the first movie. I agree that it was horrible. It was overdrawn, overblown, overdramatized. It had some interesting visuals and themes, but it diverged from the books so severely that it was a travesty.

    The 'weirding modules' for instance. So much was made of them in the movie that it should have been called "How the Weirding Modules Conquered the Galaxy'. In the books, the Weirding Way is not a physical device at all. It was the way the Fremen talked about the discipline of the body expressed by Paul and his Mother. Bene Gesserit techniques. Prana-bindu meditations and exercises. They were in extreme command of their bodies and minds. However, the Bashar Teg would have wiped up the floor with both of them and he didn't need prophecy to do it with.


    That's key. Prophecy. Paul's gift was mostly prophecy. He also had the 'Weirding Way' but that was nothing too special. He had prophecy to guide him. He had the power to choose future paths. But he was a cowardly piece of shit. (I'd call him a worm but that's what he was scared of.)

    Leto II was born aware, like Alia. His gift was twin. (He was also a twin. Ha!) He was born with genetic memory. All his ancestors male and female were inside of him. This was a gift as well as a curse. He escaped abomination by becoming a colony creature. He actually didn't escape abomination according to his later words. He found an ancestor inside who he allowed to corral the others with. But, he was a beneficial ancestor and instead of taking the limelight, he allowed the ancestors to rule by committee or something.. Anyway. genetic memory. Gift and curse. Later, after drinking the water of life he also had prophecy. And after taking on the skin that was not his own he had immortality, time to wield prophecy in. And he did. Oh yes he did.


    All in all, Dune was one of the most in-depth sci-fi series I think I've ever read. It taps into the heart of human awareness that so many novels refuse to. It seeks meaning and answers to life's questions. It doesn't just provide escape. It provides alternatives.


    The Jesus Incident was also a good Herbert read. Mutants galore and an egomaniacal super-intelligent spaceship (named Ship) that decided it was God.



    P.S.
    Oh. As to favorite parts of the movie. I liked the squeezed rat cocktail that the Harkonnen's would suck down. Or the cat-dog thing that they made Hawat milk for antidote. The heart plugs were also interesting. And the pustules I believe were also wholly created for the movie. Brian again proves his ignorance by introducing them in his prequel. I really hate that kid.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Closet Philosopher
    I like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, I downloaded the movie and Adams is probably rolling in his grave right now.
    Douglas Adams is one of my favorite authors. I read all the whole Hitchhikers series along with some of his other works, loved them all. Went to see the movie, walked out halfway. Couldn't believe it, worst movie ever. I'll be surprised if he doesn't rise from the grave, find all involved with the movie, and SLAY THEM.

    I also really like Orson Scott Card. The Ender series was awsome.
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    Favorite Scifi book? That's easy. Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard. The movie does the book no justice. And I love the book. I really do.
    Have you read the Mission Earth series? Even though it's 10 books I think it was better than Battlefield Earth. It's very funny and I would like to see a TV series made from it.
    I couldn't pick a book or author to single out as my favourite, there's plenty of good good books and authors
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    I do like a sci-fi forum which puts my personal life mentor first in the list of examples! The great Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992). From the Robot stories which more or less gave us a new science, through the Foundation series, to 300 books on science for general consumption, the man was a towering genius, and has influenced my entire life's philosophy.
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    Isaac Asimov would have to be my favourite short story writer, but my favourite book/author would have to be The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein. Good Omens is also, without a shadow of a doubt the best comedy I have ever read.
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  16. #15 Oh, the decisions.... 
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    So many choices. Terry Pratchett is right up there. I prefer him to addams, strange as that may be. Diggers as well as discworld. Although discworld changes radically at Lords and Ladies, depending on who you talk to, it gets better or worse.

    Couple of not-so-well known authors.... Margaret Weis, her star of the guardian series is my favourite. She's probably a lot more famous for her dragonlance work, but tracy hickman distroys the humanity and philosical work in her own stuff. Another book i read with one of the best endings ever, Way of the prigrim. Talk about looking on both ends of the fence. Written by Gordon Dickson.

    Phillip Dick has some decent stuff, if you're in the mood for deep and philosical (sorry bout the spelling).

    I managed to get most of pratchett's discworld, but anyone got any of this stuff in e-books? I'll swap you or give it to you gladly. Just pm me, or email at myspot@mail-me.com.
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    At present I am going back through old authors doing reading. Over time one forgets the glitter of the masters in their works unless one rereads them again. Among those I shall be working on are those works of Simak, Von Vogt, Foster, Norton, Clarke, and a few others. It is a slow process so who knows which will be the one next on the reread list?
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    William Gibson
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    i've read orson scott card most extensively. started with the ender series, went on to bean (waiting for the last one), and i'm almost done with the homecoming series. so i'm partial to him just from sheer exposure.

    but i think that my favorite side by side is arthur c clarke. i like his ideas and execution. once i finish my card kick i think i'll delve into his world. any suggestions for a jumping off point? i think the only book i've read of his is 3001: a space odyssey.

    ben bova is good too. i need to read more asimov, of course.
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    Arthur C Clarke is one of my favourite authors.

    The Space Odyssey series: 2001, 2010, 2061.
    The Rama series: Rendezvous With Rama, Rama II, Garden of Rama, Rama Revealed.
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    Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and The Invasion of the Sea by Jules Verne have been with me for many decades and i ReRead them often. Great stories never get old.
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    Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan,
    Of course, the master, Philip Dick,
    and
    William Burroughs
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    Quote Originally Posted by esoterik_appeal
    but i think that my favorite side by side is arthur c clarke. i like his ideas and execution. once i finish my card kick i think i'll delve into his world. any suggestions for a jumping off point? i think the only book i've read of his is 3001: a space odyssey.

    ben bova is good too. i need to read more asimov, of course.
    The first book I dared take off my father's bookshelf to read for myself had a fascinating cover, some mysterious looking spaceman on a mysterious looking moon. Thus it was I was introduced to written science fiction in the best (and worst) way possible, because the book was The Best of Arthur C. Clarke, sixteen short stories from 1937 to 1972. The best way possible, because due to the high quality of the writing, the technical accuracy of the science and engineering and the sheer breadth of the imagination, I became a life long science fiction fan. And worst, because what I didn't realise at the time was that in reading the Best of Arthur C. Clarke, I was reading the Best of the Best. Because not only is he a brilliant imagineer like, say, Isaac Asimov, he's also a damn fine writer. And it came as something of a disappointment to realise on turning to other written science fiction that I probably would never see that combination in quite so wonderful a form.In the science fiction field he's only matched for his writing by someone like Dick or Vonnegut, and I really don't think anybody matches him for the galaxy-spanning breadth of his imagination (Stephen Baxter deals with big stuff, too, but he is consciously following Clarke, the master.)

    So after the Best of Arthur C. Clarke, try The Other Side of the Sky, a collection which includes his two great novellettes, written in the fifties but dealing with the immediate future expansion into space: The Other Side of the Sky is the story of a manned communications space station, and Venture To The Moon is Clarke's vision of the first moon mission - a joint venture between the USA, Russia (whether Soviet or not is not made clear) and ...... Britain! They send about a hundred explorers (all men of course!) to stay for at least six months, supplied by robot ships. Which of course is how we should have done it in the first place, and we'd still be there today!

    One great novel that takes place in space is Rendezvous With Rama (I'm not so much into the much later sequels - there's too much of that in science fiction, old guys like Clarke and Asimov sequeling their earlier standalone works.) But for a different view of the themes of 2001 you can't do better than Childhood's End, an absolutely stunning novel about the end of humanity's innocence, in a way.
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    Wow, just reading those names made me join the forum. Let me the tell my own history of scifi. I started with Jules Verne, then came the great Asimov (should reread the Foundation some time). As a whole, he is the best and I truly admire him. Clarke is obviously great, but I somehow could never finish the Rama series. In terms of single novels, Heinlein is the master, very deep and light at the same time. Simak is in the same realm. Turning to pure joy, Douglas Adams is just classics, but Prattchet is doing a fine job and "Good Omens" is a culmination besides the Discworld. "Strata" is also quite interesting, even on its own. Ron Hubbard's "Mission Earth" and "Battlefield Earth" both deserve attention. Brian Aldiss' "Helliconia" also fits nicely here. The single favourite depends on the day (or at least the age), but overall there is plenty of choice. I really can't stand the crap on TV and I am not a Star Wars fan. I need to grab a nice book soon, since now I am getting too deep in real science.
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    SInce my Avatar is a picture of Stilgar, its obvious my favorite is Dune. I got a different twist though. I saw the movie when I was really young, before I even knew there was a book. I loved it. It was so out there and epic. Read the books later and thought they were great although I liked the earlier ones. The further down it goes, it just gets too crazy. I wonder if its because I saw the movie first and at such a young age.
    Silas, like you that Clarke book of short stories was my first, I found it on my older brothers book shelf and like you I think it kind of ruined me since everything gets compared now to his work.
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