I burned out on a few genres in 2009, namely leather-pants-supernatural-kick-ass ladies, and wilting-regency-virgin heroines (more blog posts on those later). Thanks to a few cheap and comprehensively packed Kindle “Ultimate Sci-Fi” collections I bought for a dollar (can the authors be getting any money from this?!), I’ve been rinsing my brain out with some old-school sci-fi, as well as cleaning out my shelf of real books in the genre. I’ve read pretty much every fantasy series there is, but sci-fi is a genre where I have BIG holes in my education. (Read all of Asimov as a kid but not Heinlein, for example.)
I’m almost glad that I’m able to experience all these classics as an adult. I’m quickly getting addicted to the Space Opera, in fact a collection of new Space Opera short stories was my favorite book I read over my vacation. I’m especially enjoying the old-school sci-fi books that I SHOULD have read before, like More Than Human, or The Forever War. It seems amazing to me that these books can be packed with adventure, science, character, and still be ABOUT something. In less than 200 pages. Wow.
And I’ll go out on a limb and risk looking stupid for the sake of creating a dialogue: Is it a crazy generalization, or are older books in the genre MUCH shorter than newer sci-fi? I mean, look at that picture above. When I was handed Peter Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn Trilogy, I was like, “3000+ &^$# pages?!” But I guess when someone sees a fantasy series 13 books long, they probably think the same thing about THAT genre, whereas I see that and scream, “Goodie!!!” 🙂
If you have any suggestions of sci-fi you’d like to recommend, please leave it in the comments, I’d love to check out your favorites. Currently reading through 12 books from Andre Norton, will let you know how it goes!
EDIT: I’m overwhelmed with all the great suggestions, thanks for adding, I will be busy all year with this list (and hope other people pick up some suggestions as well). I have a Goodreads account where I list what I’ve read and LIKED, so if you’re interested or a member of the service you can check it out.
FURTHER: I do not list any books I don’t like on my Goodreads. I’ve had a few authors find negative reviews and get their feelings hurt and I’m not a book critic, so why put that out there? I just list the stuff I’d truly recommend reading and rate those from 3-5 stars depending on how much I loved them. Some series I read so long ago I rate them similarly across the board even though the books within the series vary in quality. In my fantasy and mystery categories the Goodreads account doesn’t list hundreds of books I’ve actually read and haven’t gotten around to listing, working on that 🙂
EDIT: Well, this is crazy, so many great responses. What I love is all the people thanking me for the list (that YOU guys made) for their own lists. Crowdsharing FTW! So I’m gonna pick a book from the comments and post when I’m reading it so we can all discuss. Hardest thing will be what to pick…