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Book recommendations

I posted the 50 influential science fiction and fantasy books meme here and a while back the Guardian's idea of the "top 20 geek novels" here. In both cases I asked for recommendations. I got a bunch of them and am compiling them here for my reference and anyone else's who's interested. (I'm selfishly leaving out the recommendations I don't intend to follow, such as Heinlein.)

Isaac Asimov, Caves of Steel
Iain M Banks, Consider Phlebas, Excession, Look to Windward, The Bridge, Use of Weapons, Against a Dark Background, The Crow Road, The Wasp Factory
James Blish, Cities in Flight
Hal Clement, Mission of Gravity
Philip K. Dick, Time out of Joint, Valis
Greg Egan, Diaspora
Gwynyth Jones, Life
Harlan Ellison, Dangerous Visions (cherry-pick)
Nevil Shute, On the Beach
Cordwainer Smith, The Rediscovery of Man
Neal Stephenson, The Cryptonomicon
Theodore Sturgeon, More than Human
JRR Tolkien, The Silmarillion
John Varley, The Persistence of Vision
Peter Watts, the Behemoth series
John Wyndham, Day of the Triffids, Midwich Cuckoos, Chocky's Children, Trouble with Lichen, The Chrysalids


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 23rd, 2006 08:24 pm (UTC)
The Wasp Factory, The Bridge and The Crow Road are actually published under the name "Ian Banks" (same chap), and are in no way scifi/fantasy - they're set in contemporary Scotland. (Apologies if you already know this.)

For my money The Crow Road is much the best of the three; not over-ambitious, it's just perfect at being what it sets out to be. It also has one of the most memorable opening lines ever.
Nov. 23rd, 2006 08:30 pm (UTC)
Yes, I didn't transcribe that info from the original recommendations - thanks!
Nov. 24th, 2006 06:20 am (UTC)
I just finished Ellen Ullman's The Bug, which I got as a rec from one of the geeky-book posts I read. It was a Literary Mainstream Novel in which the people having the angst were computer programmers rather than English professors.

The one of the above that made me go "oh god yes" in my head was The Persistence of Vision. Cryptonomicon is also excellent, as is all the Banks I've read.
Nov. 24th, 2006 09:33 am (UTC)
I second Cryptonomicon and The Silmarillion. Whole-heartedly, in both cases.

I recommend reading the latter as if it were history.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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