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"Traditional" science fiction recommendations please

(24 Posts)
AMumInScotland Sun 23-Aug-09 15:18:33

My dad likes science fiction books - Isaac Asimov is his particular favourite. But he's been grumbling about how little of it there is about, because it's all fantasy in the shops these days.

So I'd like to know what authors (either current ones, or older ones he maybe doesn't know so well) I might be able to suggest to him.

Any ideas?

BaronConker Sun 23-Aug-09 16:28:10

you could try The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Not sure how 'traditional' it is as I've never really read any SF, but it was recommended to me by my Dad and he's a big SF fan (especially Isaac Asimov!)It's about the discovery of another planet by someone picking up their music, and a team that go out there to discover another life form. It also has a big catholicism thing going on, which may nor may not be what your dad's into! I loved it and have read it twice.
I will ask my dad who he'd recommend and let you know if he has any other suggestions...

NoGoodNicknamesLeft Sun 23-Aug-09 16:37:07

Neal Stephenson, esp. Snow Crash
Greg Bear
Iain M. Banks
Gary Gibson
Tony Ballantyne
Neal Asher
Walter Jon Williams

branhasnocommentfortheDM Sun 23-Aug-09 16:42:45

Alastair Reynolds, I would start with Revelation Space
Richard Morgan
Sylvia Engdahl

KnickKnack Sun 23-Aug-09 16:43:43

another vote for Iain m Banks

themoon66 Sun 23-Aug-09 16:53:08

Patrick Tilley's Amtrak Wars series is very good.

DH is massive Sci Fi fan, so I can ask him when he gets in from the gym.

He does subscribe to a magazine called Vector, which comes in the post quarterly i believe. It is not available in the shops.

Agree about it all being fantasy in the shops... DH gets very angry about it being on sci-fi shelves.

branhasnocommentfortheDM Sun 23-Aug-09 16:54:59

Oh yes, I enjoyed the Amtrak Wars. I'd forgotten about that.

themoon66 Sun 23-Aug-09 16:56:40

Right... i've found one of DH's Vector magazines. It is run by the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA), a non-profit making organisation staffed by nerds fans.

The address is 61 Ivy Croft Road, Warton, Near Tamworth, B79 0JJ. It costs £4 a quarter.

It lists all sci fi books that are due out and other fanzine type articles.

AMumInScotland Sun 23-Aug-09 17:02:58

Gosh thanks all, I'll compile a list for him. He might well be interested in the Vector magazine too - I'm sure he'd be glad to know there are others out there who don't think fantasy should be in with the SF grin

KnickKnack Sun 23-Aug-09 21:02:54

ahh the Amtrak Wars...fab! must read them again one of these days.

neversaydie Sun 23-Aug-09 21:21:05

Get a subscription to Analog or Azimov's magazines. Both have a good range of old and new authors, plus book reviews and so on.

CoteDAzur Mon 24-Aug-09 21:46:47

Iain M Banks is probably closer to Asimov. Like Asimov, he has written loads of books, so should keep him busy for a long time.

I don't particularly like Banks, though.

Personally, I would recommend:

Dune - Frank Herbert (and its sequels Children of Dune etc, but not the later ones written by his son after Frank Herbert's death)

Hyperion - Dan Simmons (and its sequels, to a lesser degree)

I love Neal Stephenson but doubt if your dad will like his books as they are far from "traditional" Sci-Fi.

Also, introduce him to Babylon 5 DVDs.

gallery Tue 25-Aug-09 10:27:49

charles stross- not the merchant clan series
the other recommendations above are good
Kevin Anderson

mumblechum Tue 25-Aug-09 10:39:10

H G Wells War of the Worlds and The Time Machine? Now that IS going back a bit.

midnightexpress Tue 25-Aug-09 10:41:57

Has he read Alastair Gray's Lanark?

I'm not a big sci-fi fan at all, but I loved this.

AMumInScotland Wed 26-Aug-09 10:57:57

Thanks again - I'm not sure what he's read and what he hasn't, though I know he tried Dune and didn't like them (but I do!). But he's a big fan of the local library so he can try out all of these and see how he gets on with them, without having to spend any money grin

jeee Wed 26-Aug-09 11:00:18

John Wyndham - The Chrysalids, The Day of the Triffids, various short story selections, Chocky

branhasnocommentfortheDM Thu 27-Aug-09 16:15:46

I'm currently reading the Wess'har series by Karen Traviss and enjoying it very much, the first book of the series is City of Pearl.

I also enjoyed some of the books co-written by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournell (but not the Ringworld series). The Mote in God's Eye and it's sequel would be good ones to start with. They are quite long books. Most of Asimov's are quite concise, so if you Dad doesn't like slightly rambling books then these might not be for him.

terracehouse Thu 27-Aug-09 16:25:41

Flowers for Algernon. So sad... sad

lucysnowe Sun 30-Aug-09 15:04:53

Alfred Bester is bluddy excellent.

Blackduck Sun 30-Aug-09 15:36:29

Hunt out the Science Fiction Masterworks Series - these are books that are bing republished to keep them in the public eye and cover all the biggies and the influences - very much traditional Sci-fi. Some are brilliant, some less so good (but that is also personal taste...) I'd say they are a good place to start!

MoominMymbleandMy Sun 30-Aug-09 15:46:05

if he's enjoyed Asimov he would probably also like Clifford D Simak, Bob Shaw, James White and Robert Silverberg.

They're all very good storytellers.

Thingiebob Sun 30-Aug-09 17:21:28

Neal Stephenson - quite modern though. Very far from Asimov!
Iain M. Banks - my favourite!
Greg Egan
Some of Greg Bear - Eon and Eternity are good, although his does do fantasy as well
Michael Marshall Smith - very good and readable
Connie Willis has done a few good scifi novels.

Katisha Sun 30-Aug-09 17:23:41

I had to read "The Stars My Destination" by Alfred Bester recently - didn't think it was going to be my thing, but actually it had a lot going for it. It certainy deserves its reputation as a sci-fi classic.

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