Grown-up science fiction for almost 11 year old

(39 Posts)
MabelSideswipe Tue 03-Dec-13 10:34:20

Hope someone who likes science fiction can help me. My almost 11 year old love science fiction and has been reading some adult books such as 2001 and Hitchhikers Guide. He wants some more for Xmas but I have not much of a clue as it really is not my bag!

I was pondering Chocky by John Wyndham. Can anyone recommend anything else?

Enb76 Tue 03-Dec-13 10:40:00

John Wyndham is pretty good but not just Chocky, what about The Chrysalids as well. Also Issac Asimov, Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game), Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clark. Can't help you with anything more recent.

volestair Tue 03-Dec-13 10:42:39

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AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Tue 03-Dec-13 10:43:31

You could do worse than get him some of the classic short story collections. To start with I'd suggest

Of Time And Stars (Arthur C. Clarke) (get second-hand if you can't find it in print)

I, Robot (Isaac Asimov)

Both very influential, and there's nothing age-inappropriate in them. Chocky also a good option.

volestair Tue 03-Dec-13 10:45:51

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MabelSideswipe Tue 03-Dec-13 12:36:41

Thanks everyone. Lots of great ideas.

Takver Tue 03-Dec-13 15:30:39

Things I can think of that dd has enjoyed (she's 11.5)

Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsinger trilogy - excellent, though admittedly on the sci-fi / fantasy borderline
Ursula le Guin - The Eye of the Heron

There's also masses of sci-fi being written for a YA audience, which is worth checking out. Apart from the obvious Hunger Games (which I assume he's read?) a few that come to mind:
The 5th Wave
Insignia by SJ Kincaid (sp?)
Warp by Eoin Colfer (he of Artemis Fowl)

Its worth being aware that John Wyndham is very much of his time in that to a modern ear his books are eye-wateringly sexist (well, the Triffids at least, we had it as an audiobook and I was wincing all through a 7 hour journey . . .). I suspect the same may be true of Asimov, though I haven't read them since I was that age myself.

SoupDragon Tue 03-Dec-13 15:33:21

DS2 (12) had devoured Enders Game by Orson Scott Card.

SoupDragon Tue 03-Dec-13 15:33:45

has devoured. He's onto the second one now.

volestair Tue 03-Dec-13 15:52:56

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ValentineWiggins Tue 03-Dec-13 15:57:39

Heinlein is fine as long as you stick to the thinner books!

bruffin Tue 03-Dec-13 16:01:01

John Christopher wrote great teenage SF including The Tropods and the Sword of the Spirots trilogies. Not sure if they are in print but looks like they are available on Kindle.
Also the Marion Zimmer Bradley Darkover novels I think may be suitable

bruffin Tue 03-Dec-13 16:02:38

Oops
Tripods not Tropods and Spirits not Spirots

volestair Tue 03-Dec-13 16:03:18

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volestair Tue 03-Dec-13 16:03:44

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Pythonesque Tue 03-Dec-13 16:14:38

I loved Heinlein and Andre Norton and read a lot of both from about 10 to 14. Heinlein wrote a whole lot of stuff that is perfect for 11 yr old boys - as well as some stuff that is seriously NOT for children, hence the comment above (stumbled upon one of them at the age of 13 1/2 ...).

Bluestocking Tue 03-Dec-13 16:17:52

I loved Ray Bradbury's short stories at that age.

EvilRingahBitch Tue 03-Dec-13 16:19:49

I think the cut-off date for Heinlein is anything published after 1961 (Stranger In A Strange Land).

Asimov I think is universally age-appropriate, as is Clarke.

What about Bradbury - I haven't read The Martian Chronicles in ages but it should be OK?

James Blish Cities In Flight?

There's just a little bit too much sex in Niven I think.

If he just wants to read a lot of sf then there are enormous numbers of Doctor Who novels, and some of the Star Wars novels are decent enough too.

This is David Brin's list, which is a good starting point, but a few of them are definitely aged 13+, for example the "hero" of The Stars My Destination is a rapist.

HomeHelpMeGawd Tue 03-Dec-13 16:36:08

Heinlein's excellent for the "juvenile" novels. These are:
Rocket Ship Galileo (not so great, this one)
Space Cadet
Red Planet
Farmer in the Sky
Between Planets
The Rolling Stones
Starman Jones
The Star Beast
Tunnel in the Sky
Time for the Stars
Citizen of the Galaxy
Have Space Suit--Will Travel
Podkayne of Mars

These stories are all completely absorbing for young kids. They also teach quite a bit of science. The mores reflect liberal America of the 50s/60s, but in a generally good way, and women characters are often smart and competent (eg Podkayne). It's interesting to see how he introduces ideas that seemed incredibly futuristic at the time of writing in a very naturalistic way, and how some of those ideas now have come true, eg the scene at the start of Space Cadet involving a mobile phone (Space Cadet was written in the 50s).

There are some Heinlein short stories that are really good, too. And while there's odd stuff in many of the later books, a few of them are also very good (I always liked Friday, for example).

volestair Tue 03-Dec-13 16:36:43

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volestair Tue 03-Dec-13 16:56:52

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Takver Tue 03-Dec-13 17:45:51

I'm sure it would be very educational, volestair grin

Good point about the Chrisalids vs Triffids - I have to say dd did really liked the Triffids anyway, it was only me who it drove round the bend.

MabelSideswipe Fri 06-Dec-13 22:11:30

Thank you so much for all this. Really great!

Takver Fri 06-Dec-13 22:40:28

Just came across an old copy of HG Wells stories today, might he like the Time Machine? Ditto Jules Verne, still fun - perhaps even more so because of the dated-ness

volestair Fri 06-Dec-13 22:46:58

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duchesse Fri 06-Dec-13 22:48:52

The Midwich Cuckoos is rather good and quite scary.

Anything by Terry Pratchett he's sure to like- there's nothing age inappropriate afair.

duchesse Fri 06-Dec-13 22:50:32

There's also dystopian stuff like 1984 and Animal Farm he might enjoy.

duchesse Fri 06-Dec-13 22:51:11

Dh says most of HG Wells, and I second Takver's mention of Jules Verne.

DPotter Fri 06-Dec-13 23:01:16

Philip Reeve - the series about the moving cities, can't remember the name. My daughter really raved about them. Definitely vote for Terry Prachett - the Disc world and he has a series aimd at 10-12 yr olds. for girls the series about the girl witch Tiffany although the wee free men would also appeal to boys

I started off reading Piers Anthony , particulary his Xanth series, and also the Incarnations of Immortality series, but tbh they're more fantasy than anything else. I'm trying hard to think of ones that weren't a wee bit dodgy (I was an avid Heinlein reader, but maybe not the ones I should have been reading at that age. Ditto Philip Jose Farmer) A good space based one was the Sector General series by James White - sort of like ER in space but with really weird aliens and lots of science.

TummyMummy36 Fri 06-Dec-13 23:25:32

Found old copies of Jurassic Park and The Lost World, and DS (11) got hooked on instantly!!! He was all praises, loved it more than the movie and got me reading them again!

Jux Sat 07-Dec-13 11:28:19

Great suggestions ^^

Another I read at that sort of age was City by Simak. Far future, dogs and robots. That book stayed in my head forever.

ObtuseAngel Sat 07-Dec-13 11:47:41

I've just re-read the Tripods trilogy as it came out on Kindle a few weeks ago, and it stands up pretty well after all these years. It is a teeny bit sexist in as much as all the main characters are boys, but as the population has been reduced to a fraction of it's original numbers and is society is functioning in the way that it did in the middle ages it sort of makes sense that girls are more circumscribed in their movements.

Alastair Reynolds might be a good one for him in a couple of years. There's little or no sex but some gore and fighting and some of the books are huge so a big commitment to read. The Prefect might be a good one to start with, or Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days.

Jux Sat 07-Dec-13 11:53:44

Space Captain Smith, by Toby Frost.
Tales of the Ketyy Jay by Chris Wooding. CW has also written a series which starts with Malice, which are scifi-ish.

ObtuseAngel Sat 07-Dec-13 11:54:03

He absolutely has to read this book, This Star Shall Abide. I read it when I was about his age and it has stayed with me ever since. It's part of a trilogy, but I think it works better as a stand alone book.

MabelSideswipe Sun 08-Dec-13 16:58:48

So many suggestions that I have put loads on my amazon wish list so I can get some for Xmas and some for his birthday in January. He is going to be chuffed I think.

Thanks so much as apart from Wyndham I have never really read any science fiction so I was at a complete loss.

volestair Sun 08-Dec-13 17:38:19

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volestair Sun 08-Dec-13 17:40:43

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volestair Sun 08-Dec-13 17:41:48

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