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I've been reading quite a lot of science fiction books since I was in middle school. Recently I read a couple of good ones I'd like to recommend.

"The Cyberiad" by Stanislaw Lem is a collection of closely related short stories. It is based in a future universe populated primarily by robots (in fact, only one human appears in the book, and only as a brief mention). It is a collection of adventures of two robot inventors (or "Constructors" - in the vocabulary of the book). I really liked this book, and I put it next to "Solaris" as the best Stanislaw Lem book I've read to this point.

"The Diamond Age" by Neal Stephenson is also very good. It's more mainstream than Lem's books. The back cover describes it as Science Fiction, if Quentin Tarantino was a Science Fiction writer. There's vulgarity, drugs and sex throughout. It's also the story of a girl that grows up with a kind of virtual reality childrens book as her teacher. It's really very engaging. A real page turner, which is good if that's your style of reading (not mine, usually, but I enjoyed it).

A short list of some other books I've read in the past few years and recommend:

Kurt Vonnegut - "Cat's Cradle", "Sirens of Titan", "Slaughter House 5"
Ray Bradbury - "The Illustrated Man"
Philip K. Dick - "A Scanner Darkly", "Ubik", "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch", "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" (made into the "Blade Runner" movie)
Thomas Pynchon - "Against the Day"
And some classics I read while still in high school: The "Foundation" and "Robot" series' by Asimov, especially the first three novels in the "Foundation" series, the "Dune" series by Herbert, "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Heinlein...

Of these, I think the Vonnegut and Dick novels are my favorites. I've read almost everything written by both authors.

The Pynchon novel there is fantastic, but definitely not for everyone. If you don't mind being a little lost in a novel once in a while, Pynchon is manageable. It's more in the style of Jules Verne/H.G. Wells early 20th century science fiction/fantasy, and it's a fairly challenging read, sprawling, dense and inventive, though less so than, say, "Gravity's Rainbow" or "V".

Anyone else read Science Fiction/Fantasy? (I don't mean Star Trek or D&D novels - sorry if that's your taste)

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I'm excited to check out some of the stuff in this thread, I have a hard time finding sci-fi I enjoy but when I do it is always my favorite. From Phillip K. Dick Martian time Slip is still my favorite and it really fucked with my head. I also read a book once called The Carpet Makers, can't remember the author and I'm too lazy to move the mouse six inches over to search but it was an amazing read about oppression on the intergalatic empire scale.
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I heard about the carpet makers, interesting sounding story. Worth reading?
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Infradead:

Link (ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/stapledon/olaf/)

Go nuts
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Haruki Murakami - "hard boiled wonderland and the end of the world" a very unique sci-fi point of view.



Haruki Murakami - "Wind Up Bird Chronicle" less sci-fi, but just as weird and definitely worth a read.
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OH, as eyesnine mentioned. You absolutely MUST read "Dune" it's just.. fuckin' badass.
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applaud said: "Infradead:

Link (ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/stapledon/olaf/)

Go nuts"


woah awesome


some more stuff

Fred Saberhagen's Berserker stories are pretty awesome. intelligent life banding together to defeat 50,000 year old killer robots.

Keith Laumer's bolo stories are equally awesome about intelligent tanks and the people who fight with them. multiple authors have written stories based in this world. one of my favorites is "The Road to Damascus" by john ringo and linda evens.

Tik-Tok - John Sladek the darkest of humor pervades this book about a robot gone wrong who eventually gains political office along learning the best way to get voluntary confessions and other things. one of the funnist books i've read in a long time.

Old Man's War - John Scalzi incredible world and setting. there are 4 books set in this world and all of them are worth reading. one of the better sci fi books i've read in a while for characters and story.

enough for now
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thanks for the jeff noon recomendation
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nice post. +1 dune and martian time slip.

I'd recommend The Day After Judgement by James Blish. Not as mindblowing as dick or pynchon. . . but pretty interesting stuff.

I think Frank Miller's Ronin was not bad and ahead of its time. . . although it is a comic.
Recently was exposed to Dan O'Bannon's The Long Tomorrow (<a target="_blank" href="http://www.Link (youtube.com) /watch?v=Link (youtube.com/watch) ">Video</a>&feature=related). I was pretty astonished, and it helped me understand how bladerunner is really pkd + everybody else, and perhaps also why dick was okay with the film version. it's not so much that the film warped androids. . . it really mashed it up with other good s.f. tropes of the late 20th century.

For some reason i am not particularly moved by science fiction from this century (even though I try to write it myself). i think the reason is simply skimming huffingtonpost once a day seems to be science fiction experience these days.
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+1 murakami. really good stuff.

infradead: all those rec's look awesome!
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chiral said: "Stanislaw Lem is certainly awesome "


my guess is it is much better in his native language. i read some it (2 novels 1 book of short stories) and it was like reading a crossword puzzle. i think some of the elegance or something is lost in translation. plenty of the ideas come across and there are some good ones but god.. it was horrible in english.. just couldn't get into it.. had no rythm to it and was just painful.

just my 2 cents.
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ha i'm reading hard boiled wonderland and the end of the world right now, literally right now! and wind up bird chronicle is the other one i read. haha funny.

i would call them magical realism but definitely read them
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ignatius said: "
chiral said: "Stanislaw Lem is certainly awesome "


my guess is it is much better in his native language. i read some it (2 novels 1 book of short stories) and it was like reading a crossword puzzle. i think some of the elegance or something is lost in translation. plenty of the ideas come across and there are some good ones but god.. it was horrible in english.. just couldn't get into it.. had no rythm to it and was just painful.

just my 2 cents."

Some Lem novels are definitely like that. I think you're probably right that part of the problem is with translation. However, "The Cyberiad" is very readable, as is "Solaris".

The same can be said of the Pynchon recommendation I made. I wouldn't recommend "V" or "Gravity's Rainbow", because I know a lot of people wouldn't be able to handle a really difficult read, at least not without knowing the author a little better. "Mason & Dixon", "Against the Day" or "The Crying of Lot 49" are much more accessible.

I just ordered "Inherent Vice" (the new Pynchon - I've been waiting for this one), "Fiasco" by Lem (I just finished "His Master's Voice" and this seems to be the next logical choice), and "Star Maker" by Stapledon (never heard of him before this thread but I feel now I have to know - the subject matter as well as the era he was writing in is an intriguing combination).

I definitely won't be deleting this blog at any time in the future. I'll need to get some more recommendations once I'm finished with those.
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...and +1 for the two Murakami novels mentioned. I wouldn't call them sci fi either, but they're definitely worth a read.
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Great Rec's. looking forward to reading some;

I think "The Lathe of Heaven" by Ursula Le Guin is an amazing book. also "The Roadside Picnic," would would be the basis for tarkovsky's "stalker."
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I really go for the Twilight Zone sci-fi type of novella/short story. I just ordered Harlan Ellison's Dreams With Sharp Teeth. Lots of interesting suggestions here, I'll have to check them out.
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