Sci-Fi & Fantasy Recommendations...?

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matt
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Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:28 am Post

I read The Wasp Factory a few years ago. It was... different :D

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antony
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Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:21 am Post

I thought THE WASP FACTORY was quite dull, and it's put me off reading any other Banks seeing as everyone bangs on about it being his most daring work... :?
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zikade
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Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:51 am Post

antony wrote:I thought THE WASP FACTORY was quite dull, and it's put me off reading any other Banks seeing as everyone bangs on about it being his most daring work... :?


Not daring, twisted...

Actually, within the Sci-Fi genre, I would recommend Consider Phlebas, Use of Weapons, Player of Games and Excession, and in that order as well.

Today, his works are probably not as fresh as they were in the days Consider Phlebas was first published. But I do remember, during that period of time it was absolutely top of the line. And I wonder if British SF would prosper like it does now without these four books...

EDIT: Of course it would. Assuming anything else would be preposterous.
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matt
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Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:37 am Post

Yeah, I must confess that I wasn't a big fan of The Wasp Factory. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I entirely 'got it', or if I was missing something. But I thought it was just me, so I kept quiet.

Still, it was 'different'.

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antony
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Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:55 am Post

I didn't even find it that 'twisted', to be honest. I think it's probably just that I'd already been desensitised by the likes of Robin Cook, Shaun Hutson, etc. Body horror/mentally unstable sadism doesn't really freak me out like it probably should...
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JohnstonMR
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Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:55 pm Post

matt wrote:By the way, am I the only person who thinks LOTR should have ended at the exact moment the ring is destroyed, with Frodo and Sam floating on their rock in the lava? I have only seen the movie, but everything beyond that point felt unnecessary (I wouldn't even rescue them, and yes, I know the book goes on even longer after the movie).


I think the movie should probably have ended right after the rescue, but the book... no. Tolkien had this idea that Fairy Tales (which he would have considered LoTR to be) needed to be entered, read and enjoyed, and then left behind as we return to the real world--a sort of literary "hero's journey." Those last few chapters are more about gradually moving the reader out of Middle Earth and back into the Real World, and they're quite well written, to boot.

Incidentally, you might try two of his short stories--they're not written in the same style as LoTR, and they're quite nice little fairy tales. I will admit that one--"Leaf By Niggle"--actually moved me to tears when I got to the ending. That story is enhanced if you also read his essay "On Fairy Tales." The other, "Smith of Wooten Major," is also quite good.

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JohnstonMR
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Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:59 pm Post

Hrm. I think I'm making a weird habit of posting in old threads.

Anyway, I'd like to reccomend to you Ian McDonald's Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone. It's quite short, only the one book, and is a masterpiece of cyberpunk SF and literary SF in the same story. This book was so good when I first read it, I bought all the copies in my local bookstore and handed them out to friends.

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matt
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Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:47 pm Post

Thanks for the tip. Resurrecting old threads is most welcome in these parts, at least in the discussion areas.

Tech support and bug hunting not so much.

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Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:55 am Post

Almost anything by the classic authors (both their sci-fi and Fantasy), and that includes:

A.E. van Vogt
Jack Vance
Fredric Brown
Keith Laumer
Alfred Bester
Fritz Leber
Gordon R. Dickson
Roger Zelazny
Charles L. Harness

Newer

John C. Wright
Ursula K. Le Guin
Fredrick Pohl
Gene Wolfe, Gene Wolfe, Gene Wolfe (bring your OED, you'll need it)
Stephen R. Donaldson (Mordant's Need series - although strictly fantasy is actually one of the best I've read)

With the sole exception of John C. Wright, I don't find anything out there worth mentioning that is new.
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Kerdual
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Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:16 pm Post

Hello,

I also would recommend Richard Morgan's Altered Carbon. The world is very coherent, detailled, the plot is strong and the characters interesting.

By the way, hello everyone, this is my first post (though it's not the first thread I read).

K.