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SF Picks

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Thanks all for your very thoughtful suggestions from my Sci-Fi post!Β  There were SO many to choose from! A few authors were mentioned over and over, and one nostalgic pick tickled my fancy, so I’m starting with three.Β  Frustratingly a bunch of your suggestions were not available for my Kindle so I’m ordering several snail mail.Β  I guess that means I have my next group of books picked out for me when they arrive πŸ™‚

The books I picked first to read in the next month:


Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge

Consider Phlebas
Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks

EE Smith

And The Lensman Series By E.E. Smith (and possibly the Skylark Series as well, depending on how long they are, can’t tell from the Kindle download, it has many books bundled for $ .99).

Love to hear what you guys think of these after I read them!Β  I’ll post about them next month.

  • I hope you enjoy Iain Banks, he’s definitely a strong favourite of mine. If you get a taste for his “Culture” novels you are unlikely to be disappointed. His non-science fiction is pretty damn good too – try “The Wasp Factory” for real weirdness and strange.

    • Seconded! I also enjoyed and recommend Banks’s non-SF “Whit”.
      (BTW, Banks publishes SF as “Iain M. Banks” and mainstream novels as “Iain Banks”.)

      The 2nd book in the Culture series, Player of Games, is actually my favored introduction to the series, though Consider Phlebas is a close second.
      Best in the series IMHO is Use of Weapons, though I wouldn’t try reading before finishing one of the other books in the series.

  • I really, enjoy E.E Smith good picks!

  • All great picks. I hope you enjoy the Banks. One of the nice things about his series is that every book is so different yet tied together by the world he sets them in.

  • BobW

    Brava! I completely forgot to recommend Vernor Vinge!

  • R@100

    I’m curious how you’ll like those books and also what are your next picks πŸ™‚ maybe I’ll pick some of them, when I don’t know what to read next, heh
    enjoy scifi

  • len

    On Vinge and the Singularity: “The work that is truly productive is the domain of a steadily smaller and more elite fraction of humanity.”

    That’s a great recruiting poster. On the other hand, if that elite itself is not evolving into a higher level of understanding, they will not finish the work. They will destroy it because it will challenge the feeling of superiority that led them to that work.

    When we were debating markup standards work at IBM Almaden with Dr. Goldfarb in the 80s before the web was launched somewhat witlessly, Charles was extolling the possibilities of a new library of alexandria. I was sitting with Bryan Markey, another comp-sci-musician like myself and said to Charles, “they’ll use it to schlep porn.” He looked at us incredulous as Bryan nodded in agreement. He asked, “Why do you think that, Len?” I replied, “They are mammals, Charles. That’s what they always do first. Read your art history. Look at the back walls of the cave wall paintings. That’s what evolution makes them do. They’re naturals.”

    The Singularity won’t happen just as that elite won’t cohere. Try to debug DLL hell or even find all the ways a connection string can cause a service to fail. These are relatively easy tasks. If the Singularity were to happen, it wouldn’t be because of the network. It would be because of a drive to proprietary systems that have to compete against the network. Say Apple.

    Noise and entropy always win. We gave you the most awesome communications system of all time. How is it used? To Tweet preferences about hotness. You are mammals and mammals are sexual competitors that will not tolerate a better competitor and will change the rules anytime they have to to prevent that. Q.E.D.

    • blue92

      If superintelligence is a software product, one should inherently anticipate it the possibility of it coming in very late and over-budget, assuming it is not entirely vaporware.

      And although it’s not what you meant, the concept of an army of Terminators lounging about pointlessly and watching porn in their underwear does have a certain sort of ironic appeal.

      As does the concept of iMind — presumably which has one button, labelled “Think”.

  • Brent

    I don’t read that much, but I’ve always had the urge to read more. Maybe this will kick start me into the wonderful world of reading.

    It’ll be like being in an internet book club! πŸ™‚

    I’ve never been in a book club though. I assume this is the kind of thing they do, but maybe I’m wrong. Excuse my ignorance.

    Either way I’m excited about giving these books a try. And hey if it works out I might have to get a kindle. A bundle of books for $0.99 sounds like a great deal, well… if you exclude the having to buy a kindle part.

  • Eric Burleson

    I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be able to check back on this very soon, but I hope you take my suggestion: Ender’s Game, (and the subsequent series) and Ender’s Shadow (and it’s subsequent series). All are by Orson Scott Card, and they are truly pivotal pieces of science fiction. I suggest reading at least the two base novels, they are the same story told from two different character’s perspectives, and I’ve always loved them.
    A couple interesting things about Ender’s Game: it was awarded both the Hugo and Nebula awards the year it was published, and it’s sequel did the same the following year, making OSC the only author to ever when both awards in consecutive years. Good stuff.
    Let us know if you enjoy it.
    And, if you like comics, they are both being published concurrently through Marvel as serials.

  • Aevear

    You should read the sequel to ” A fire upon the deep”. It’s called a deepness in the sky. I thought it was better than a fire in the deep but thats just what I think.

    • Another reason to read ‘A Deepness in the Sky’ is the interesting Dollhouse parallels. The slaves who get their brains wiped when they start to figure out they are slaves, the room, actually called ‘the Attic’, where people are plugged in to augment the computer system.

  • Tim Morrissey

    I’m so glad you picked the Doc Smith bundle (for the Kindle) !
    I’m especially glad they are available at all, since they’ve been in and out of print many times over the years.
    Have fun !

  • Matt F.

    No fair! You picked books I haven’t read yet.

  • Convoy2010

    By the looks of things I think I may be one of the last western fans lol.
    But seeing this makes me think it might be time to change gears and try something new and interesting.
    On the off chance that any one might still be interested in giving westerns a try, you should start with Luis L’amour’s Catlow. A great western story just under 200 pages.

  • My favorite (Sci-Fi) book is Armor, by John Steakley. He also wrote a book called Vampires, which John Carpenter turned into a fairly mediocre movie. But the story is solid. Armor is the story of a soldier that doesn’t want to fight, but has a sort of “entity” or psychosis (called The Engine) that is determined to survive by any means.

    Anyway, when you’re looking for another to devour, check it out.

    • Yeah a Strong second for John Steakly if you’re ever in the mood to read about vamps that are bloodsucking devilspawn, and the title is actually Vampire$, about the guys who get paid to hunt them.

      Vinge and Banks (Player of Games!) are 2 of my favorites, if you’re in the mood to try some contemporary modern horror, Sergei Lukyanenko’s Night Watch, Day Watch (they made interesting movies from them but not much to do with the books) etc. They have a very fresh Russian/ eastern European mythos feel to cleanse your mental palette..

      And China Mievlille’s Perdidio Street Station is unlike anything else.

  • I’d highly recommend Iain Banks’ The Player of Games as well, it’s fantastic and explores some really interesting ideas about games and gaming.

  • Twirlip of the Mists

    Crypto: 0
    As received by: OOB shipboard ad hoc
    Language path: Arbwyth->Trade24->Cherguelen->Triskweline, SjK units
    From: Twirlip of the Mists [Perhaps an organization of cloud fliers in a single jovian system. Very sparse priors.]
    Subject: Blighter Video thread
    Key phrases: Hexapodia as the key insight
    Distribution: Threat of the Blight

    Date: 8.68 days since Fall of Relay
    Text of message:
    I haven’t had a chance to see the famous video from Straumli Realm, except as an evocation. (My only gateway onto the Net is very expensive.) Is it true that humans have six legs? I wasn’t sure from the evocation. If these humans have three pairs of legs, then I think there is an easy explanation for

  • Iain Banks is one of those authors I just will buy, no matter what; I don’t even read the blurbs any more. There is some up&down in quality, but not enough ever to not like a book. One thing I will say – _Consider Phlebas_ has a fairly brutal couple of pages in the middle. There’s not that much detail, but the dude is such a good writer… made me a bit queasy, anyway!

  • ben

    you said that you didn’t read much heinlein?

    dude, you have to check out stranger in a strange land. It’s basically about a person raised by aliens coming back to earth and his perspectives on the human experience.

    it changed the way I looked at a lot of things in my life.

    giving someone a drink of water will never be the same after you read this book.

  • Only read one of those, Consider Phlebas, which is fantastic – once you start reading Banks’ Culture novels it’s hard to stop mind you… πŸ™‚

    Forgot to mention Neal Asher’s Polity series, beginning with Gridlinked. Similar to Banks and Richard Morgan, with one of the best bad guys ever called Mr. Crane. Stunning books.

  • There are still loads of books are not available on the UK Kindle store including your choices above, D’OH!

  • I agree that a lot of SF books are still not on Amazon, but Baen’s website does have a lot of SF in mobi format you can load on your kindle. Plus there are a bunch of free books there too.

  • Markus

    Thanks to everyone for your brilliant recommendations over the last few blog updates by Felicia. I have a ton of books I am now planning to treat myself to!

    I was considering a Kindle myself but have held back as would really like the ability to share the books that I love with friends, even just for a short while.

    Until then the bookcase will have a few more additions.

    Cheers all,

  • I *adore* Banks’ books – one earlier commenter was certainly right in saying that while each stands alone, they;re tied in to a very coherent world. Just give it some time before you tackle “Excession”, if you do decide to follow the series – it’s a much heavier story by jargonistic terms.

    Personally, I don’t believe you could go at all wrong with “Player of Games”.

  • David

    I don’t know if it has been mentioned yet, but The World at the End of Time by Fredrick Pohl is one of my all time favorites.

  • I just put A Fire upon the Deep on hold from the library. Ack! I’m number 5 in line. Hopefully they each read it fast and return it before the 3 week borrowing period.

  • I think my favorite part of that entire comment list was compiling suggestions for my own reading list (including the three you ended up picking).

    Incidentally, if you ever return to the fantasy kick, I absolutely recommend Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Probably one of the funniest book series ever.

  • Tony Arcieri

    Those are three of my favorite authors. A Fire upon the Deep is an excellent book.

  • ISGc

    multiple books for .99?
    I don’t think a kindle would be a substitute for paper books, but i might just have to look into one! most of the classics you won’t find in book stores will probably be on it.

  • Great discussion! For the next round, consider “Way Station” by Cliff Simak. Won the Hugo in 1964. It just overflows with ideas and atmosphere, but tells a very touching human story. (Read the scene with the virtual reality first-person shooter game … then read the copyright year again. Stunning.) And let me add my vote for “The Mote in God’s Eye,” “War fo the Worlds,” and “Enders Game.” Together, a very entertaining four-volume survey of SF in the 20th century!

  • William George Ferguson

    You should be (or shortly will be) aware that the E.E. Smith collection you downloaded doesn’t include the main Lensmen books, Galactic Patrol, Gray Lensman, and Second Stage Lensman. Two of the stories it includes are set in the Lensman universe; Triplanetary was oritinally a standalone story, which was fixed up to be a Lensmen prequel, and Vortex Blaster is story that takes place in the Lensmen universe and is set between the end of the original trilogy (listed above) and Children of the Lens.

    The 8 stories in this collection are magazine versions which have fallen out of copyright (the copyright on magazines isn’t as long as on books). The original version of Triplanetary, here, has no real connection to the Lensmen books. The magazine versions of the first two Skylark books are fairly close to the (later) book versions, but since the last two Skylark stories, Skylark of Valeron and Skylark Duquesne, are still in copyright, they won’t be in these 99 cent collections.

  • Looks like some great choices. I hope you will have a fun time reading them all!

  • Not sure if you saw my post on your previous blog entry but I can’t recommend Dan Abnett enough as a Sci Fi author. His novels set in the Warhammer 40, 000 universe really are phenomenally good. Step outside your normal reading and give “Horus Rising” a shot, I’m fairly certain you’ll be glad you did.

    By the way Felicia, switching to fantasy for a mo. Have you read “Dungeon Crawl” by William F. Mason. It’s only available on the Kindle and was really impressive. Reminded me a great deal of Tolkien without some of his more long winded moments.

    Oh and I second Kevin’s recommendation for Pratchett’s Discworld books, works of genius I reckon.

    • Markus

      Wholeheartedly agree there Phillip. Dan Abnett’s books kept me sane during my quiet stints as a GW staff member! Makes Gav Thorpe’s work look infantile.

      The Gaunt’s Ghosts series were incredible.

      • That’s because Gav Thorpe’s work is infantile…Another GW survivor, I feel your pain πŸ™‚

        Felicia check Dan Abnett out. The book I picked is, I feel, an example of his best work and more accessible to a new reader. The Gaunt’s Ghosts series is are masterpieces of the genre.

        And now I MUST get back to work, Heidegger won’t read himself…that was either deep or deeply stupid πŸ™‚


      In 40K, I prefer Sandy Mitchell’s Ciaphas Cain books to Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts series. They’re Flashman crossed with Blackadder, rather than Abnett’s more serious stories.

      There’s even a Doctor Who or Father Ted joke from time to time. <3

  • Brian Helm

    I will agree that with the people recommending The prequel to A Fire upon the deep. A Deepness In The Sky is a wonderful veiw of a far future where the line between hardware,software and wetware blurs. BUT if you are arachnophobic it may cause seizures.

    Another choice would be The Annals of the Black Company. The tale of a group of mercenaries who work for highest bidder. Good guys not so good guys,evil evils not so evil good guys and drunken wizard fights. Gripping stories of trying to survive wizard wars in foxholes.

  • wildcardgal

    I really hope that you enjoy Doc Smith. The Lensman books are an old favourite of mine, classic ‘blazing blasters’ Golden Age SF. Banks and Vinge are also great reads (and certainly more mentally challenging, but Doc Smith has a special place in my heart.)

  • Well, I couldn’t get past page two of A Fire Upon the Deep because, frankly, I’ve read plenty of fan fiction that was better-written.

  • Great choice with CONSIDER PHLEBAS. The second and third books (although they’re all stand-alones), THE PLAYER OF GAMES and USE OF WEAPONS are even better. If you like Banks, I’d also check out Al Reynolds, who has some similarities in style (but is considerably more prolific).

    Smith can be a mixed bag. He’s a product of his age (his books suggest eugenics as a good thing, for example) and he was a major influence on a lot of space opera which followed, such as BABYLON 5, but he’s very old-school and I think he’s dated a fair bit. He is of historical interest, but I’m not sure his work still stands up well today.

    I keep meaning to get to Vinge but other authors keep interrupting.

  • TS

    Hello, you’ve probably been asked this before, since a lot of your work has been nerd-friendly…

    Have you ever seen the anime series .hack//SIGN (pronounced “dot hack sign”)? It’s an anime about, an online MMORPG set in the very near future, which is sort of odd subject matter for an anime series, especially considering it started airing in 2002, before WoW was released. So I’m guessing the person/people who had a hand in creating it were maybe aware of/addicted to Nexus or Ultima Online or something.

    I’m not really into anime (at least not by Internet standards), but this is my favorite anime of all time, and easily one of my favorite shows, period. It’s a drama and so it’s mostly all dialogue, outside of a few battles here and there, but I love all of the characters. Not to mention it has one of the greatest soundtracks ever ( ), and that I love it visually for its use of colors, etc.

    The main story follows Tsukasa, a character who has some sort of strange seizure episode while playing, and finds that he is unable to log out of the game- that his consciousness remains active and aware online, even as he lies comatose in the real world. He meets and interesting group of players and we see both the struggle with his predicament, which is complicated by the fact that he retains his senses, even in the virtual world- when attacked, he feels pain, when touched, he feels warmth, etc.

    My favorite thing about the series, though is that every once in a while we get a glimpse of these characters in their normal lives, instead of just in the game world…and those looks are usually very informative, shedding light on why the characters come across the way they do online.

    Anyway, I would suggest you search YouTube for some clips, but the comment sections are so full of egregious spoilers and trollity (and also the video quality is highly suspect in most cases), I’d urge you to hit up eBay or whathaveyou for some DVDs. Clearly you like to read, so the subtitles won’t be too rough on you, though you might want to start out watching the dubbed version (which is like…80% as good), since it makes it easier to soak up the atmosphere, because you’re not looking at text at the bottom of the frame.

    There’s a ton of extensions of the franchise which deal with the same world, even if they’re populated by different players/characters. So I might also recommend the book .hack//AI Buster, a short novel.

    I spent a lot more time typing this than I thought I would…stupid Internet!

    Oh yeah, and I like The Guild, too. Good job.

  • If you like well written, richly textured, and wildly imaginative space opera, then you can do no better than Banks and his Culture series. Hope you enjoy.

    Also, he’s Scottish, and may sometimes wear a kilt while writing. (just in case that helps).

  • pc

    Let us know what you think of the books! Vernor Vinge is amazing, tons of interesting ideas & technology blended into the plot. I strongly second others’ suggestions for A Deepness in the Sky.

    p.s. I’m so sad to see Dollhouse end, but so excited to see what happens! When I saw Epitaph One (which you were wonderful in), I thought there was no way for the writers to get there in one season. Looks like they found a way!

    • Loves Bitch

      I am also sad to see Dollhouse end. Maybe now though Joss can start work on Vi the Vampire Slayer!

  • Loves Bitch

    It sounds like you can get some great deals with the kindle. I just don’t think I could give up the actual books. Reading magazine sized articles online is one thing, but when I sit down to read an actual book I need to feel the pages in my hand, to get the whole experience. I guess I am rather old fashioned in that way. Same as the fact that I have some good dice rolling programs on my laptop, but I still buy more and more dice even though I already have several pounds of them. D&D just doesn’t feel the same without the feel of the dice rolling off your hand.

  • I know you already have way too many suggestions, but I just want to say very strongly that “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley is one of the best science fiction books every written. (*The* best in my opinion, but I think I can say “one of the best” with less fear of starting a holy war.) It’s so good that non-sci-fi-fans read it, love it, and conveniently ignore the fact that it is science fiction, but it really really is.

    In the world of fantasy, which I know you say you’ve done better, have you read the “Alvin Maker” series by Orson Scott Card? (If not, and if you want to try it, the first book is called “Seventh Son.”) It’s an alternate history of the United States where magic is real, and it’s incredibly well thought through without feeling at all Tolkein-derivative, which is a rare thing for a fantasy work, isn’t it?

  • The Skylark books are: 159, 207, 206 and 238 pages long (at least in the editions I have). I second the earlier comment that they feel dated (racism, sexism etc) but if you can ignore that as being the way things were when they were written, then they are great space opera.

    I liked a Deepness in the Sky much better than a Fire Upon the Deep, but I really loved Vinge’s explanation of why there was no Singularity here on Earth. I remember hearing him explain that after he had thought about the idea of a Singularity it became harder for him to write SF that was set more than a few years in the future.

  • Lawrence Gough

    Well, I think you have at least 2 very good books there. I’ve never read EE Smith, but am a big fan of both Banks and Vinge. I’d recommend pretty much all their other books too. Both have lots of interesting ideas, and also are good writers. Considering Banks is a socialist and Vinge (I presume) a libertarian it’s interesting that their sympathies are with (relatively) similar societies. And as has been mentioned, Iain Banks’ non-genre books (for which he drops the middle initial) are well worth reading too.

  • Katherine

    I am a bit late to the party, but here is a time-saving tip that I didn’t see from anyone else: To find good new SF writers, read the short stories first. When you find an author that you like, you can check to see if s/he has written any novels. Many of them write both. The monthly SF fiction magazine “Analog” is a good source. Also two annual collections: “The Year’s Best Science Fiction” edited by Gardner Dozois (26 so far), and “Year’s Best SF” edited by David G. Hartwell (14 so far).

    I have found a lot of good reading this way. In my opinion, SF writing has improved a lot in the past few years, so the newer writers are worth checking out.

    By the way, my husband and I use your Twitter feed as our personal Internet editor. Why spend hours surfing the Net when we can count on Felicia to provide links to the best stuff?

  • Chip

    Ah jeez. A couple of days ran across The Guild and stayed up far too late watching all of it one night; then saw your sci-fi posts and stayed up WAY too late another night adding most of my current (non-storaged) books into Goodreads. You are not good for me.

    Anyway, I will send you a Goodreads invite so you can just see my shelves. You’ll like most of my stuff, although I will admit it to be greatly lacking in vaginal reading of any kind. (I literally snorted coke through my nose (coca-cola, I mean!) when I saw your shelf labels.)

    FYI, I strongly second (or third, or whatever, as the case may be, the above recommendations for Ender’s Game (although not so much the sequels), Armor (but not Vampires), Sergei Lukyanenko’s watch series, Prachett, and Way Station (GREAT old school call!).

    Here are a few other personal favorites, in case easier for you and for the benefit of other thread followers (and I am sure at least somewhat duplicative of what has gone before (in the threads):

    Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keys (Nebula winner; heartbreaking diary of a mentally retarded janitor given an experimental drug that gradually makes him a genuis)
    Ringworld by Larry Niven (Hugo winning classic) and many of his other Known Space books
    The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. One of the greatest post-apocalyptic novels ever written.
    Gateway, by Fredrick Pohl.
    All My Sins Remembered and There Is No Darkness, by Joe Haldeman (both right up there with The Forever War)
    2001: A Space Odyssey, Rendezvous with Rama, Childhood’s End, etc. by Arthur C. Clarke
    Dune (and sequels, although IMO they gradually decline in quality), by Frank Hebert
    1984, by George Bus…, I mean, Orwell

    Saga of Pliocene Exile (starts with The Many-Colored Land) by Julian May
    Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold (hilarious and awesome space opera)
    Caine series (starts with Heroes Die) by Matthew Stover (dark and violent; never would have thought someone that writes Star Wars novels could write such good books)
    Wild Seed, Kindred, Fledgling, etc. by Octavia Butler (a female African American who was the first sci-fi writer to win a McArthur “Genius” Grant)
    Takeshi Kovacs series (begins with Altered Carbon), and also Thirteen, by Richard K. Morgan. Skip his novel Market Forces, however.
    The Sparrow and Children of God, by Mary Doria Russell – the story of a Jesuit expedition to the the first discovered alien race. Very intelligent.
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. A must-read – hilarious. In the first chapter Earth is destroyed to make way for an interstellar turnpike – but Don’t Panic.
    Old Man’s War (and, perhaps to a lesser extent, the subsequent related books), by John Scalzi
    Replay, by Ken Grimwood. A classic about a man both blessed and cursed to live his life over again – and again – and again.
    Sundiver, The Uplift War, and Startide Rising (dolphins in space!!) and The Postman (another great post-apocalyptic novel) by David Brin
    When Gravity Fails, and sequels, by George Alec Effinger (cyberpunk with a middle-eastern bent)

    Graphic Novels: Watchmen, Ex Machina, The Walking Dead, and Y: The Last Man and, although not sci-fi, Fables and The Preacher.

  • elliot

    Eh, I’m going with fantasy instead of SF. I’ve got some time off so I’ve started reading George R R Martin’s Game of Thrones. So far it is killer. Loving the characters.

    • A very good series of books. HBO just shot a pilot for a TV adaptation of the books, and apparently it’s likely to get picked up in the next month or two. If so, on air in Spring 2011 πŸ™‚

      • elliot

        What! That is so exciting!

  • Marc


    well picked, ma’am! Unfortunately, the Kindle edition of E. E. ‘Doc’ Smith’ works does not contain neither Skylark nor Lensmen series as a whole. Guess this will spoil your readings (hopefully not too much). But then again: seeing the Lensmen books volume 1 & 2 going for approx. 100$ makes me *sad panda*. They are far too expensive.

    Hope to read the outcome πŸ™‚

  • Tommy


    cant comment on sci-fi books so much.. But i really enjoy Paulo Coelho books. Alchemist and Zahir the most. Makes one think, and think hard. Possibly makes you little crazy and little crazy is never a bad thing.

    On the side, to put everything i want to say in one comment. I really liked The Guild. Refreshing bit of originality in this ‘not so original, wanting to be original’ world of mass media. Thanks

  • Wow! I just went over the wikipedia page for Consider Phlebas and have got to read it. I’ve seen Ian M. Bank’s books at the bookstore for years but their size and quantity always scared me – too much irrelevant filler in new big books I’ve read in the past decade or so. A Fire Upon the Deep is still out at the library so I’m enjoying another of Vernor Vinge’s books, Rainbows End, in the meantime. So in summary, all these book recommendations have gotten me out of a real scifi book reading slump. Thanks!

  • tkech

    Tons of out of copyright books and stories are sold by corporations for 99 cents. They are offered for *free* by Project Gutenberg, an online non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving books and making them available online since the 1990’s.

    E.E. Smith out of copyright works are here:

    1. The Skylark of Space
    2. Skylark Three

    1. Triplanetary (original from 1934, not the re-worked ‘prequel’)
    2. The Vortex Blaster (2nd in chronological order, not publication order)

    Subspace Survivors

    Spacehounds of IPC
    The Galaxy Primes
    Masters of Space

  • falcon

    kinda off topic but I have to ask: how fast do you read?

  • ki

    Felicia, next time you pick a round of books to read, I hope you pick something by Gene Wolfe. My favorites are Peace, 5th Head of Cerberus, Book of the New Sun (tetralogy starting wit The Shadow of the Torturer), not necessarily in that order.

    Happy reading, whatever is on your bookshelf at the moment!

  • Ibaraki

    I thought you might find inspiration in this early work by top anime director Hideaki Anno. It’s a stylish interpretation of 1950s hard sci-fi space-war novels, with philosophical and feminist subtexts.

    (The black and white retro visuals are intentional. Though it is numbered as episode six, it is designed to be enjoyed as a largely standalone story.)

    From the fantastic to the real, and apropos of nothing, I thought you might like this article:

    BBC News – Why do people often vote against their own interests?

  • About the singularity topic, the best book out there is ‘Accelerando’ by Charles Stross. You can get that one for free – he released it on Creative Commons, and when you have the stage set with Accelerando (brain uploads, universal manufacturing nanomachines and their impact on the society, ..) then he has a bunch of other very cool books that take place in that post-singularity world.

    I would love to see the product of Joss and Stross meeting up.

  • John Clark

    I like your book choices.

    Add these to your ‘I’ll try to read these sometime’ list:

    1. The Dream Millenium – James White
    2. End as a Hero – Keith Laumer
    3. The Complete Venus Equilateral – George O Smith

    Have fun

  • Just finished A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge and loved it. Filled with “novel” πŸ˜‰ ideas of which the implications are explored wonderfully – plus good action and charactors. Thanks all who recommended and Felicia for making the pick! It goes back to the library tonight for the next of the 5 waiting in line. I also enjoyed his Rainbows End, though I did skip a page or two.

    Also as a result of Felicia’s big book blog bash ;-)… I enjoyed Joe Haldeman’s Old Twentieth. Though the jacket’s synopsis was a little misleading, the ideas were unique and well played. Sorry to say but I couldn’t finish Iain Banks’ Matter – too slow for my taste and some of the main characters’ characters were inconsistent and I just couldn’t root for the main protagonist. But I’m still keeping an eye out for his Consider Phlebas anyway.

    I also recently read Hellstrom’s Hive by Frank Herbert. It’s almost like the whole thing was one act and what an act it was. Very unique.

    But next I have a hankering for one of the Noam Chomskys that have been idling on my unread bookcase for years. More scifi will have to wait.

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