I'm pretty unacquainted with sci-fi literature and being all old and lazier and now- the shelf seems pretty daunting (to slough through the technobabble to try and get to the meat).
I've read some Asimov. His short stories (from Robot Dreams) are really interesting, but the longer the work, the more his weakness in characterization/dialogue shows (Robot series). I've also read Perdido Street Station by China Mievelle- who is so in love with his own world and the same 10 obscure adjectives meaning "dilapidated" that he never bothers to get to the point. And The Hitchiker's Guide, which was cute but not very lasting. And Ender's Game... who in the hell wants to read about other people playing a video game. And then boring moral retconn about it not being a video game. (Does Brave New World count?)
So what's GOOD?
Any western world newspaper is a goddamn science fiction novel And good ones, apparently ^^
Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come
Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
Very deep and a difficult read, but worth the effort - 'On a colony planet, men have established a society based on technological means of imitating the Hindu religion. It is possible to reincarnate the "mind" or "soul" to a new body, even an animal. But some of the earliest colonists have additional powers, which give them the status of gods. And a faction among them is using that means in political ways: punishing their enemies with reincarnation as animals, or with the "true death."'
I agree, this is very good. Difficult at first, but you get into the rhythm of the style and subject, and then it just flows.
Originally Posted by oberon
Niven & Pournelle, Ringworld
Asimov, the Foundation trilogy
Agree. All are quite good.
Did Heinlein write The Moon is a Harsh Mistress ?? I found that to be a very interesting read.
I'm also just finishing up the Hyperion series by Dan Simmons, and have enjoyed it quite a bit.
Hmm...what others...I'll come back if I think of more.
Edit: Oh! Has anyone mentioned the RAMA series by Arthur C. Clarke?? As with most sci-fi, the first couple in the series are the best, but overall I enjoyed.
"...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce
Quite a good yarn, with among the best endings evar IMO. His Reality Disfunction trilogy is also a good read but had a bit of a Deus Ex ending, though it built to it very well, well enough to recommend.
Also, Oberon: Pournelle wasn't part of Ringworld, he collaborated on The Mote In God's Eye, which is also a damn fine work and I highly recommend it. Ringworld is all Niven. Echo the praise of Card's Pastwatch, man what a doozy...couldn't put it down! But why the hate for Neal Stephenson? I loved his work across the board.
Cascademn: Yes, Moon is a Harsh Mistress is indeed Heinlein...odd one, took me a while to get used to the Russian accent, but it stands as a pillar of AI fiction, Mike is one of the archetypical sentient computers.
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo