What are your favorite sci-fi novels?

On Tuesday’s show during the 10 a.m. hour, we’ll be talking about great science fiction books to add to your summer reading list. We wanted to do a show highlighting some of the best in the genre after the death of Ray Bradbury last week.

What books do you recommend? We’re looking for novels for avid sci-fi fans and those who are just dipping into the genre.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out NPR’s list created by listeners.

–Emily Kaiser, associate digital producer

  • Steve W.

    One of my favorite, and often overlooked, science fiction novels would have to be “The Left Hand of Darkness” by Ursula K. Le Guin. It is a fantastic look at a world with few dualities and coming to an understanding of such a place.

  • Greg W

    Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons.

    The first book in the series is a clever sci-fi version of Canterbury Tales.

    The series sweeps the reader into a very intricate galaxy and cast of characters.

  • Julie

    “A Wrinkle in Time” was the first science fiction novel I ever read, and still love it.

    The book has many strong female characters, including the protagonist, which was unusual for science fiction written for children at the time. The description of a tesseract (a four dimensional analog of a cube) is so simple and elegant that even my fifth grade self could understand. Madelaine L’Engle basically planted the seed that grew into my career as a math teacher.

    I also love that the book showed up on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books. Not sure yet what seed that planted.

  • Julie

    “A Wrinkle in Time” was the first science fiction novel I ever read, and still love it. It had so many strong female characters, including the protagonist, which was unusual for science fiction written for children at the time.

    The description of a tesseract (a four dimensional analog of a cube) is so simple and elegant that even my fifth grade self could understand. Madelaine L’Engle basically planted the seed that grew into my career as a math teacher.

    I also love that the book showed up on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books. Not sure yet what seed that planted.

  • Ed T

    Love the standards: The Foundation Trilogy from Issac Asimov and Dune by Frank Herbert. I’m a fan of the Fantasy sub genre too, which of course includes The Lord of the Rings. I like some os Sheri Tepper’s stuff too.

  • Tom

    “Dune” is always a classic for the incredibly detailed worlds it depicts. Herbert also has a book of short stories that contains some real “thinkers” regarding human interactions using the Sci-Fi settings.

    “Colossus – The Forbin Project” is another early book on computers gone wild. Became a trilogy what was absolutely excellent until the end of the second book. The computer that took the world hostage is now using its computing power to find a way to save earth and mankind. But then you find out the threat. Writer’s opportunity lost.

    Many other great stories and authors that I’ve simply forgotten over the years. Experiment.

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  • Brian Morris

    My first Sci-Fi book that I ever read was A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.Later to become a movie. (After this I will deny the movie ever existed.) I was a probably a little young to read it the first time (maybe 14) but I re-read it at 18 and it triggered the same soaring of my imagination. I thought about the science behind the lower gravity and it’s effects on John Carter and the intrigue that existed between the different factions on Mars. It was a simpler story but a great introduction to Sci-Fi.

    William Gibson’s Neuromancer:

    I read this book in 1995. It was already 11 years old. Gibson writes about technology in a mystical way while adding details that seem credible. As it turns out many of the digital interface concepts that he wrote about 28 years ago are now available to the average consumer.

    Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age: or a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer

    Again, technological forecasting in discussing Nano technology and e-readers (but he called them something else like dynamic books) I found his writing to be much more whimsical and sarcastic than William Gibson. His details about the society and what shaped it’s decisions create a robust landscape through which the characters easily move and the mystery and adventure unfold.

    Thank you.

  • Hyperion is an ambitious book for someone new to the genre to start (and certainly, anyone within the genre has already heard of it.)

    The Hugo nominated Leviathan Wakes, by James SA Corey might be fun for new readers. It’s hard SF but the hard SF is not described in excruciating detail. And its *fun*.

  • I highly recommend “Replay” by Ken Grimwood. That book about time travel and alternate realities had me thinking about it for months after I’d read it.

  • lindsay

    Ender’s Game is always a classic.

  • Kendra

    One of the earliest books was about a girl who survived the end of the world with her father and brother in an underground bunker. I think it was broken into two or three parts, I wish I could remember the title!

    I remember in elementary school reading Missing Persons League by Frank Bonham and This Time of Darkness by H. M. Hoover. Those two stuck with me for many years and I finally bought my own copies as an adult.

  • Johnna

    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

    Burning Chrome by William Gibson

    Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

    All three turned my understanding of the world on its head.

  • Mark Snyder

    I’d like to recommend two classics:

    1. Hammer’s Slammers, by David Drake. This was the first in the series, and is a set of short stories. Futuristic Military Sci-fi. There is an entire series of Slammers novels

    2. An Oblique Approach, by Eric Flint and David Drake. This was the first novel in the Belisarius series, and will hook you in. It’s an alternate history where time travelers attempt to alter the future by tampering with the past, pitting Rome against India.

  • Anna

    My gateway sci-fi book was The White Mountains by John Christopher. Loved it, looked for more, have read mainly sci-fi ever since.

  • LP

    Several of the above suggestions get my “ditto”.

    What I’ve not noticed is any references to the works of David Weber. Specifically, his “Honorverse” series AND his “Safehold” series of books grab a hold of your attention, and don’t let go.

    The “Honorverse” books (named after the initial main character ‘Honor Harrington’) are of the “Space Opera” genre but “Safehold” is much harder to easily categorize. Both feature strong elements of moral dilemmas and personal choices, and should not be slotted into an easy stereotype.


  • Joseph

    Ender’s Game by Orson Scott-Card

  • mhp

    In Junior High I had a crisis of faith. Was there a God? What was my purpose? I read “Dune” by Frank Herbert and it changed my life for the better!

  • mark

    Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card.

    i read it as part of an anthology so i did know the end of the story was so few pages away — BONUS!.

  • Kathryn

    The first sci-fi book I remember reading was “The Puppet Masters” by Robert A. Heinlein. “Dune” is amazing for how “real” that world feels. I’ve also enjoyed everything I’ve read so far by Orson Scott Card. In other words, I can’t possibly pick a favorite!

  • Lorraine O’Shea

    When I was 16 or 17 my mom recommended one of her favorites “Childhood’s End” by Arther C. Clark. He was one of her favorite authors. I remember reading if fervently every chance I could get that cold winter. I finished it in front of the heat vent (our favorite place to sit and read in our old house) with tears streaming down my face. I think that book gave me my love of science as well as my idealistic point of view on life. I always recommend it to my students. I always say that it is possible that today’s science fiction could in some aspects be tomorrow’s science fact.

  • Peter McClelland

    Science fiction is the forgotten lit. MPR is very guilty of this. If there was an author that lived in MN that received as many awards as MN’s Louis McMaster Bujold. She has gotten numerous awards.

  • Jon Peterson

    When I was a kid, it was the “Danny Dunn’ series, the perfect bunch of books to hook an 8 year old early reader. Today, it’s Patrick Rothfuss and his Kingkiller series, and anything by Neil Gaiman.

  • peter mcclelland

    MPR should have bujold on. She is a minnesota author and made NPR’s top 100 sci fi list

    If she was in another genre and lived in MN with as much recongnition she would have been on a long time ago.

  • Jennifer

    The book that had the most effect on my life was Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. The strength of the women in this book is amazing and empowering.

    The best book I’ve read is Wild Seed by Octavia Butler. Her writing is so strong as are her characters.

  • Matthew

    Julie E. Czerneda has a number of excellent titles with exceptionally rich alien biology and culture showing her biology background. I especially like Reap the Wild Wind and its sequels.

  • Kelly

    The Transall Saga by Gary Paulson. After reading Hatchet and Brian’s Winter I wanted to read more of Paulson’s books. After reading the Transall Saga I craved more fantasy and science fiction to escape to a place where anything truely is possible.

  • Wilma Richter

    I am a 73 year old and have been reading SCI-FI since high school beginning with I Robot.

    Also The hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

  • Amelia Bovitz

    I just graduated highschool this year, and I’ve read all my life. My mother started reading Harry Potter to me and I never looked back. My current favorite SciFi/Fantasy author is Scott Westerfeld (Uglies, Midnighters, Leviathan, So Yesterday). He has a way of changing our world into something so fantastic and wonderful.

    As for the classics, Farenheit 451 will never lose it’s impact.

  • Kristin

    My grandfather gave me Bradbury’s Martian Chroniclesm and The Science Fiction Hall of Fame anthology of short stories and I was hooked. Tolkien was probably next. Ursula LeGuinn’s Earthsea Trilogy and her science fiction kept me going through my teens.

  • James Rentz

    If you would like a humorous change from the usual sci-fi, try “Martians Go Home” by Fredric Brown

  • Kristin Boeshans

    You mentioned Connie Willis. I recently finished her novel, “To Say Nothing of the Dog”. It is a wonderful novel, and my favorite part about the sci-fi technology in the book is that everything is unpredictable, frustrating, and utterly it’s own entity. The technology is a character unto itself.

    The Martian Chronicles blew me away as a college student. Also, the first time I read 1984 I was lost, going hours absorbed in the story, unnoticed. It was mesmerizing. What a wonderful way to “play” again as an adult.

  • Ross

    “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. I especially liked the movie, starring Jonathan Pryce as Mr. Dark, and Jason Robards as the aging father. It portrayed that old addage, “be careful what you wish for”.

  • Ryan

    War of the Worlds was what really grabbed me and got me started reading. Prior to that I loathed reading, except for an occassional comic book.

  • Chuck

    “Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever”

    Richly realized society and characters, but what really ensnared me was the main character, the leper Thomas Covenant, was the first antihero I’d ever encountered. In spite of his efforts not to act in any way, he still has to undertake heroic efforts.

    The religious allegories are also fun to dig out in this series; religion is often an overt or covert theme in so many sci-fi works.

  • Lorraine O’Shea

    One more book I loved was “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein. Many of his books were awesome. Just thinking about this makes me want to reread many of these…

  • Peter

    While Issac Assimov was my gateway drug, it was Robert A Heinlen’s classic “stranger in a strange land” that got me permanently hooked and kept me there. Reading a novel that so openly discussed the contradictions and conflicts in religion and the importance of faith set me up well for my high school education at MA.

  • Mike Nelson

    Lawrence Schoonover, “Central Passage” pressaged many of the ecological and evolutionary stories that followed.

    CS Lewis: Perelandra

    One of great early SF-Fantasy series

  • Linda Shapiro

    Don’t forget short science fiction, a repository of riches. Take “Mimsy Were The Borogoves,” by Lewis Padgett, originally published in 1943. A fiendishly clever story about kids in two different time periods (Alice Liddel in the 19th century, siblings named Paradine in the 20th) who get boxes of toys from the future that lead them in strange directions (like the fourth dimension) and alter their psychology and literary history through Alice’s contribution to Lewis Carroll’s poem “Jabberwocky.” Intricate, spooky,magical, melancholy. My two brothers and I had virtually no interests in common, but read and loved this story as kids in the 1950’s, and re-read as adults. Don’t know if it’s still available in print, but there’s a version on YouTube read by William Shatner.

  • Barbara S.

    “Shuttle Down” by Lee Cory (pen-name) was a book that influenced NASA and the shuttle program and he consulted with NASA for several years.

  • David

    In high school the first Sci-Fi novel that hooked me was Alas Babylon. But it was in college that I became passionate about Sci-Fi and Fantasy with the book Brave New World. I was so hooked I read nearly 100 Sci-Fi book my freshman summer. I’d also plug Venus on the Half Shell–which lead me to Vonnegut and becoming an English major. I’ve been an English teacher for 30 years now and still do summer binges on Sci-Fi.

  • Rob Doerner

    I have recently been reading the Honor Harrington series by David Weber and the 1632 series by Eric Flint

  • Liz in Duluth

    In 6th grade in the 1970s, I read the Tripod series by John Christopher (White Mountains and others) and loved sci fi ever since. We wrote letters to authors and I received an airmail letter from Mr. Christopher from the U.K. Very exciting! (I do now have a career in science and in a traditionally “male” dominated field at that.)

  • Scott A. Seal

    As a slow learner in grade school, it was Tolkien and Herbert that really taught me how to read. I went on to Heinlein, Bradbury and Asimov and then finished off with H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. I went on to become an author in my own right, self-publishing the Science Fiction novel “Convergence” about a present day trip to Mars.


  • Jim

    I shared my love for books and sci-fi / fantasy with my son by reading the entire Harry Potter series to him. Starting with the very first book I read every book to him as each was released, reading every night. It was a wonderful sharing experience.He’s now a college student and a voracious reader himself, currently reading A Dance with Dragons (most recent book in the Song of Ice and Fire series).

  • Karen Taulelle

    The book that started me down the road of everything otherworldly was Tomorrow’s Children, a sci fi and fantasy collection of stories ostensibly for children edited by Isaac Asimov (and including Ray Bradbury and other heavy hitters of the time).

    At about age 10 or 11, I’d read it in the Children’s Library section located in the basement of our small town public library. On hot summer days, there was nothing like removing my sandals and letting my bare feet hit the tiles, as I couldn’t believe my good fortune in being able to wear out this book’s pages! It was a magical discovery of genres that continue to enthrall me today.

  • Marni

    The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde! They’re SO GOOD.

    Fforde creates a world where not only time travel is possible, but “literary travel” is possible too. So characters from Fforde’s real world can travel into books, and characters from those books can travel into the “real world” too.

    Consequently the lines between literature and reality become increasingly blurred.

    Also it’s hilarious!

  • Andy Anda

    In grammar/primary school, wanting to become a scientist, I read mostly science non-fiction. I read fiction agnostically w.r.t. genre — a story about growing up in Africa was as fantastic to me as science fiction. The first two memorable science fiction titles I remember as being special for me at that age were Blish’s “And all the Stars a Stage”, and Asimov’s “Foundation Trilogy”. When I got to high school, I found that most of my classmates who were members of the school’s astronomy club, were also in the school’s science fiction club, which had it’s own library (not related to the school library). This club turned me onto science fiction as a genre and as a social organization. So, in high school I started attending local science fiction conventions with my classmates from the club. I still attend conventions, and am still active friends with several of these classmates — 40 years later. I still dip into the science fiction well for inspiration as well as intellectual entertainment. And, I did become a scientist and professor.

  • Jennifer Baker

    The first science fiction/fantasy novel I recall reading is “A Wrinkle in Time” which was assigned in 5th grade. The most life changing series I’ve read has been the “Golden Compass” series by Phillip Pullman. After finishing the series, I decided to enroll in a seminary and earn my MA in Women’s Studies and Religion. Fascinating series.

  • Lindsay Frank

    I have to say, there are two series that I have read so many times that if someone gives me a quote, I can name the book and the chapter. Those two series are the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. I’ve read the books at least 6 or 7 times and have seen the movies almost twice as much as that. Recently, I finished an english class on Lord of the Rings which just made me appreciate the series even more. Everytime I read the book or watch the movies, I still cry when Gandalf falls in Moria or when Frodo has to leave Middlearth, even though it would be silly to say that I didn’t know it was going to happen. The books are just that well written!

  • Philip Barton

    Seriously? No Douglas Adams? His humor (or should I say ‘humour’?) and ideas have turned many on to sci-fi.

  • Andy Anda

    Kendra wrote:

    One of the earliest books was about a girl who survived

    the end of the world with her father and brother in an

    underground bunker. I think it was broken into two or

    three parts, I wish I could remember the title!

    I believe this novel is “Emergence”, by David R. Palmer [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence_%28novel%29].

  • derek

    The Stainless Steel Rat series is one of my favorites.

    The lesser known Adams, “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”

  • Eugene Mix

    If a book is good I really love it to be continued in a series and the two I would mention first are The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan and The Dark Elf series by Frank Salvatore. Have read most of the books in the Wheel of Time three times now – last book (number 14) is available for order now – and these are not thin books either! The Dark Elf Drizzt was supposed to be a supporting character but the author soon realized that he was more popular and should be the main character, seems like a good choice too. In Salvatore’s Forgotten Realms books there are thirty that deal with this world and its people so plenty of ready there too.

  • derek

    I almost forgot

    “Rendezvous With Rama” – Arthur C Clarke

  • Joe

    I loved the Tolkien trilogy as a young man. Still can’t help but blame it for the dearth of childish fantasy that followed. There was a time when I thought the genre was doomed because of all the naive young boys with magic swords that were hunted by dark lords.

    Thanks to George R. R. Martin adults can exist in fantasy again. I also like the shades of grey in his characters. Good characters are flawed and bad actors display moments of humanity.

    Now we have China Mieville, Stephen Donaldson, Patrick Rothfuss, and Joe Abercrombie. The genre is safe.

  • It was a pleasure being part of the show today, Kerri – thanks for covering SF, and thanks to all who called in and commented with such great recommendations!

    A great resource for finding wonderful SF is to check out the winners and finalists for the major awards. For example, here’s a list of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award winners:


    And here’s a list of recent finalists for the Award:


    Here’s the list of the Nebula Award novel winners:


    And the Hugo Award winners, which has links to each year’s finalists, as well:


    So much good stuff out there! A couple of books I didn’t get a chance to mention include Bradbury’s R Is for Rocket which contains a story that turned me into an author: “The Rocket” (along with Heinlein’s Rocketship Galileo and L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time). Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine is another, along with books like Herbert’s Dune, Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Simak’s City (a Minnesota native), SF anthologies like James Gunn’s Road to Science Fiction and the DAW annual Year’s Best SF, and tons more.


  • I’ve been reading scifi almost exclusively for about 10 years and semi-regularly give recommendations to scifi-lovers and new to the genre. Here’s some that I usually mention.

    Good for introducing the genre:

    Rendezvous with Rama – Arthur C Clarke

    Orbital Resonance – John Barnes

    The Golden Globe – John Varley

    Titan – John Varley

    Spin – Robert Charles Wilson

    Space opera/epics:

    Revelation Space series – Alastair Reynolds

    Pandora’s Star (Commonwealth Saga) – Peter F. Hamilton

    Something different:

    Ubik – Philip K Dick

    VURT – Jeff Noon

    The Lathe of Heaven – Ursula K. Le Guin

    Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson

  • I’ve read almost every book on the list so far, but I’ll add another great series — the Uplift series by David Brin — I read it out loud to my children over weeks and it made for riveting nights before bed (although I may have edited one or two slightly adult parts…) Left me SO hungry for more of an incredibly fascinating universe.

  • Todd

    My favorite all time science fiction book (and series) is Dune, written by Frank Herbert in 1965. It has been made into a movie by David Lynch in 1984(I like the directors cut the best) and again into a 6 hour mini-series on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2000. The book inspired 5 additional books by Frank Herbert, and with the series being later revived by Kevin J. Anderson, and Herbert’s son Brian in 1999. Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson have gone on to write 12 more books, with more presumeably in the works. These additional stories are pre-quels, interquels, and sequels to the original series, further developing the complex world of Dune.

    The series touched on many themes seen in society in the 1960’s continuing through today. These included the environment, politics, human interaction and emotion, technology, and probably most controversially, religion. I think that this along with strong character setting development is what make this one of the greatest books and series in the Sci-Fi genre.

  • Sr Laurie Niblick

    What a great topic! My earliest recollection is reading Ray Bradbury at the age of 6 or 7, followed closely by Harlan Ellison. Then my dad lent me A E Van Vogt’s Slan and I swear I read it in one sitting! The Mote in God’s Eye is terrific (Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle) as is Dan Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos. I just discovered Octavia Butler and Mary Doria Russell, thanks to a couple of friends. Now I wait very impatiently for the next China Mieville novel to come out; he’s one of the rare authors for whom I spend good money on the hardcover.

  • Albatross

    The U of M’s professor emeritus MAR Barker passed away last March, and I’d like to nominate his “Man of Gold” and “Flamesong” novels, produced by DAW during the 1980’s. Barker’s world of Tekumel was an amalgam of classic sci-fi such as Jack Vance and Olaf Stapledon crossed with Barker’s own interests in Aztec, Maya, and Southeast Asian cultures and languages. Check out tekumel.com for more about Barker’s world!

  • Emily Kaiser

    Books mentioned on air today:

    The ‘Mote in Gods Eye’ by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle

    ‘ Ender’s Game’ by Orson Scott Card

    ‘Dragonriders of Pern’ by Anne McCaffrey

    ‘The Lathe of Heaven’ turned me on to Ursula Le Guin’s social science fiction. Also wrote ‘Left Hand of Darkness,’ Earthsea trilogy.

    Star Trek short stories by various authors

    Madeleine L’Engle’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’

    ‘It’ by Stephen King

    ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ by Philip K. Dick

    Andre Norton’s ‘Decision at Doona’

    ‘Fahrenheit 451’ by Ray Bradbury

    ‘Tuck Everlasting’ by Natalie Babbitt

    ‘The Puppetmasters’ by Ray Bradbury

    ‘Robot Dreams’ by Isaac Asimov

    ‘The Sparrow’ by Mary Doria Russell

    ‘The Lefthand of Darkness’ by Ursula K. Le Guin

    ‘The Dipossessed’ by Ursula K. Le Guin

    ‘Ship Breaker’ by Paolo Bacigalupi

    ‘The Maze Runner’ trilogy by James Dashner

    ‘The Mists of Avalon’ by Marion Zimmer Bradley

    ‘Dune’ by Frank Herbert

    ‘Sabriel’ by Garth Nix

    ‘Glory Road’ by Robert A. Heinlein

    ‘A Princess of Mars’ by Edgar Rice Burroughs

    ‘2312’ by Kim Stanley Robinson

    ‘Double Star’ by Robert A. Heinlein

    ‘Way Station’ by Clifford Simak

    ‘The Possibility of an Island’ by Michel Houellebecq

    ‘The Golden Compass’ by Philip Larry Miven

    ‘The Veldt’ by Ray Bradbury

    ‘The Illustrated Man’ by Ray Bradbury

    ‘Foghorn’ by Ray Bradbury

    ‘The Abhorsen’ trilogy by Garth Nix

    ‘The Martian Chronicles’ by Ray Bradbury

    ‘Vorkosigan Saga’ by Lois Bujold

    ‘Beggers in Spain’ by Nancy Kress

    ‘Blackout/All Cleary’ by Connie Willis

    ‘The Big Time’ by Fritz Leiber

    ‘Bimbos of the Death Sun’ by Sharyn McCrumb

    ‘Rocket Ship’ by Robert Heinlein

    ‘Sword in Sheath’ by Andre Norton

    ‘Gateway’ by Frederik Pohl

    ‘Danny Dunn’ series by Bryce Courtenay

    ‘The Door into Summer’ by Robert A. Heinlein

    ‘Have Space Suit-Will Travel’ by Robert A. Heinlein

    ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ by Jules Verne

    ‘An Experiment in Prophecy’ by H.G. Wells

    ‘Grass’ by Sherri Tepper

    ‘Planet of the Apes’ by Pierre Boulle

    ‘Patternist’ series by Octavia Butler

  • Eric Duffy

    I know that this was this morning but I am listening to it on the blog and I had to add some of my own:

    A big Author I think no one really mentioned here as far as I can tell is Brandon Sanderson. He’s a great author and is currently finishing up the Wheel of Time series for the late Robert Jordan. Everything I have read by Sanderson has been overwhelmingly fantastic. His best series is by far the Mistborn trilogy, his best stand alone (could be a series one day perhaps) is by far Elantris.

    I also Second the suggestions of Patrick Rothfuss! He’s awesome.

    These two are both young authors but since my starter Author: Orson Scott Card and “Ender’s Game” were already mentioned I thought I would share two authors we can expect a lot from in the years to come.

  • Bill Pinegar

    And in the fantasy world – Roger Zelazny’s Nine Princes of Amber (or The Complete Amber Chronicles) is another great read!

  • Kathy

    Dealing With Dragons (fantasy) and others in that series, by Patricia Wrede, a Minnesota author

  • Helen

    I’m so surprised that no one mentioned C. J. Cherryh, a woman who writes so beautifully about the interaction between races and cultures in space – The Chanur series would be perfect for anyone, and DownBelow Station is a masterpiece. i’d also like to recommend any story by Cordwainer Smith. The man had a brilliant imagination. C’Mell the cat woman is one of Science Fiction’s most sensitive and tragic heroines, and the electrifying and introspective story of Helen America : the Girl who sailed the Soul will stick with you for a long time.


  • Khatti

    I didn’t see anyone mention “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress” by Robert Heinlein. Everytime I happen so see this book’s spine on my bookshelf I hope we can get past the Gay Marriage issue and get into the really interesting stuff: Polyamory. I’m also a fan of “Time Enough For Love” but I admit this is not one of Heinlein’s better books.

    My favorite space opera would have to be “The End Of The Matter” by Alan Dean Foster. Sadly, I think it is out-of-print.

    Someone mentioned Zelazny’s Amber Chronicles so I don’t have too.

    Finally I would recomend Jack Vance’s Demon Princes novels: The Star King, The Killing Machine, The Palace of Love, The Face, and The Book of Dreams. Everyone should read something by Jack Vance.