Books to recommend
After the Books In Common ice breaker at the TGIO, I think a lot of us who participated felt a bit abashed that we had apparently missed out on some good books. This thread is for folks to make some recommendations on good books to read.
For me, here are some key SF and Fantasy novels I've enjoyed over the years:
- Startide Rising, by David Brin. Winner of both the Hugo and the Nebula awards, this novel is a great standalone novel about the adventures of the dolphin-crewed starship in a galaxy that is populated by ancient species who have practiced uplift of other sapient species (just as humans have, in this future, uplifted dolphins and chimpanzees). A well-crafted, quick-paced and fascinating story. Note: there are others that Brin has written in this universe, but this is a very good entry point.
- Seventh Son, by Orson Scott Card. This alternate history fantasy novel looks at an early America some years after the failed revolutionary war. In this world, some people have magical knacks that others perceive as witch craft. Special powers are supposed to be given to the seventh son of a seventh son. This is a terrific, well-written novel.
- The Gift, by Patrick O'Leary. This is a story within a story within a story, all told in a compelling manner that hooks the reader from page one and does not let go. It is a story of magic, forgotten science, treachery, betrayal and redemption, involving elements of growing up and of justice and revenge.
- Return from the Stars, by Stanislaw Lem. Stanislaw Lem is a Polish SF author whose works have been translated into many languages, including English. This novel is a dramatic story about an astronaut who returns from a long space voyage and has difficulty fitting into a society that has progressed almost beyond recognition. Lem has also written satirical and humorous novels (like the Cyberiad, which I recommend also), but this one is a compelling character study.
- Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny. An epic story of humans on another world. The crew of a spaceship have developed powers and abilities that have elevated them to gods where the passengers of that ship have lost their technology and fallen into superstition. Drawing deeply from Hindu mythology, this Hugo-winning (and Nebula-nominated) novel is clever, passionate and filled with eye-opening concepts.
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