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Great Sci-Fi books?

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ScribblingMum posted 11/10/2011 10:21 AM

I like the social order type...not so much the fantasy or mystery or aliens stuff...

I'm new to Sci-Fi...and am reading The Windup Girl & liking it.

I also loved The Giver.
Would love some suggestions...

ladyvorkosigan posted 11/10/2011 11:16 AM

Iain M. Banks "Culture" novels.

CJ Cherryh.

A lot of people will say Octavia Butler. I may just have been my mood during my attempts. Still, very important author.

You also mean anthropological? Really, you could start with Ursula K. Le Guin.

[This message edited by ladyvorkosigan at 11:17 AM, November 10th (Thursday)]

ScribblingMum posted 11/10/2011 12:55 PM

Any particular fav. book though?

livetotell posted 11/10/2011 13:18 PM

Have you read the Hunger Games series? It is a dystopian kind of thing - definite social order overtones....

ladyvorkosigan posted 11/10/2011 14:58 PM

With Banks, "Consider Phlebas," probably to start.

Cherryh, I liked Union-Alliance but I think maybe Chanur would be a better series to start. "Heavy Time" is the first U-A, "Pride of Chanur" is the first Chanur, I think.

I would call the Vorkosigan series - which guess what, I really like! - social sf, but most people would think it's too space opera for that. Most people would be shallow thinkers, though. A reading order for that, however, will require me to make a thorough analysis of your particular case, since I take prescribing Vorkosigan very, very seriously.

toonces posted 11/10/2011 22:28 PM

Dune by Frank Herbert

CanISurvive posted 11/10/2011 22:33 PM

If you like humor, check out the 1st 4 books of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". If you want to check it out on video instead, Netflix has the BBC's production, which was very good.

ScribblingMum posted 11/11/2011 00:00 AM

Thanks for the suggestions, Ladies. My mum read Dune when we were kids!

I'm not too keen on space or alien stuff...but who knows!

I'm also thinking I'd prob. like the rest of the triology of The Giver book by Lois Lowry.

ladyvorkosigan posted 11/11/2011 06:29 AM

Well, Octavia Butler would probably be good for you, then, and maybe Sherri Tepler and Joanna Russ.

If it is the dystopic YA thing where the Youngs are examining a system they have accepted as inevitable or good and deciding that it's not, Hunger Games is good. I know you said no spaceships, but you might like Ender's Game and the sequels (and whatever you call the Bean series) which you will think is spaceships but really is not. I refuse to re-read Ender's Game critically because I don't want to lose the memory of reading it when I was young and my jaw dropping and for the first time having a really well-formed "Adults lie" moment, and then as I proceeded over the years, I got to "Adults are lied to" and then "There's no such thing as an adult."

You might want to think about whether it is really space and aliens you find problematic or if it's really that you don't want anything leaning to hard sf, which tends to care much more about technology than about human interaction. The presence of aliens in no way means it isn't ultimately about human interaction. Humans are writing it, after all. And settings on other planets are sometimes really just opportunities to look at what happens when different cultures clash, with species subbing for real world race, nationality, etc. Lots of Le Guin's work is that way. Her father was an anthropologist iirc and she grew up all over the world where he was doing his research. Plus she has some of the loveliest titles, like "The Word for World is Forest." You still have the youthful innocence thing coming up against adults and their lies.

[This message edited by ladyvorkosigan at 8:48 AM, November 11th (Friday)]

wincing_at_light posted 11/11/2011 08:28 AM

I suspect that anything by Connie Willis would be in your wheelhouse, SM.

I'd start with Doomsday Book, then go right on to Passage or To Say Nothing of the Dog.

StillGoing posted 11/11/2011 10:46 AM

Terry Pratchett's stuff is pretty heavy on the comedic fantasy but it's almost always got a very accessible cultural commentary.

Another nudge for Hunger Games, too.

ScribblingMum posted 11/11/2011 14:46 PM

You Ladies are great! Thanks.

And, I'll Report Back when I finish my book club book and start The Windup Girl...I flipped through it and it looks really fascinating.

FatherofFour posted 11/11/2011 17:23 PM

How about some classics? Huxley's Brave New World, The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Atwood's Handmaiden's Tale?

I also enjoy Kuntsler's World Made By Hand series (only 2 so far).

Finally, Go Go Girls of the Apocalypse by Gischler is fantastics. Of course, I've always maintained that Gischler could publish his grocery list and I'd read it.

ShallLoveHer posted 11/11/2011 17:26 PM

A good classic is _Stranger in a Strange Land_

Talk about challenging social norms...


getting real posted 11/11/2011 17:32 PM

I enjoyed The Windup Girl.

Most of the things I was going to rec have already been mentioned by other people

Nobody said Philip K. Dick yet. He is awesome, but some of his writing can be really disorienting. He, uh, used a lot of drugs.

EnigmaticInk posted 11/11/2011 20:10 PM

Nothing says dystopia like Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

StillGoing posted 11/11/2011 21:25 PM

The Road isn't a classic.

Brave New World is awesome though.

InnerLight posted 11/12/2011 01:01 AM

Snow Crash!

Best Sci Fi book ever. Other books by the same author not as engaging.

ladyvorkosigan posted 11/14/2011 09:04 AM

Hrm...Snow Crash.

Considering the preferences you've laid out, SM, you might like The Diamond Age, by the same author (Neal Stephenson).

ScribblingMum posted 11/16/2011 00:38 AM

You guys are GREAT! I've been checking out your suggestions on GoodReads & other sites...:)

I'm also okay with dark/disturbing stuff (to-a-point)...

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