SCIENCE FICTION RECOMMENDATIONS: It’s now to the point where I’m getting emails complaining about the people I haven’t mentioned:
Where’s Larry Niven? Is he not considered to be that good? Or is he just old?
The book Ringworld is worth checking out. It’s the one about the giant ring that orbits a sun. The popular game Halo was based on it (the ringworld part).
I don’t know if it’s so great, but definitely worthy of note.
He has other fun stuff too, not fancy or mind-blowing, but fun. Why isn’t he on the list?
Niven’s great, and the shared-universe series on the Man-Kzin wars (latest installment, which I haven’t read yet, is here) is very entertaining. But Niven has been around for a while; I was asked for recommendations for post-Seventies stuff. But while I”m at it, I highly recommend The Mote in God’s Eye, a very interesting alien-contact story with very interesting aliens, coauthored with Jerry Pournelle.
Various other readers want to know why I didn’t recommend Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, David Brin, etc. They’re all good — I just wasn’ trying to be comprehensive. I very much enjoyed Benford’s Galactic Center stories (In the Ocean of Night is the first). Bear’s Darwin’s Radio, and the books that follow, is excellent. Brin’s Kiln People, which I think was the last thing of his I read, was fun, though a minor work. He’s probably best-known for his Uplift Trilogy, of which Brightness Reef is the first installment.
Meanwhile, John Farrell emails:
No one’s mentioned Alastair Reynolds?? Chasm City, or Revelation Space? He’s superb.
Also Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun.
I like Joe Haldeman–and recently re-read Forever War; unfortunately, it
seems almost quaint in its datedness now.
I agree about Haldeman — the book’s a period piece. Still good, as long as you remember that. Reynolds (no relation) is very good. Gene Wolfe is a superb writer, but I’m not crazy about his storytelling — though I nearly wrote a piece using his novella, “The Shadow of the Torturer,” as a metaphor for legal education. Reader Rae Leggett agrees about Reynolds:
Since I’ve spent all day home with the flu reading, I’d like to recommend anything by Alastair Reynolds, Revelation Space in particular. Good, hard science science fiction with believable characters, and it explores the consequences of nanotechnology, good and bad, very well. His other books are Chasm City, Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap. Chasm City is different from the others…it’s reallly a hard science mystery novel, set in the same universe as the others.
So there — not overlooked now!