The Sci-fi and Fantasy Book Club Message Board › Recommendations for good books/series

Recommendations for good books/series

Samuel L.
Rockville, MD
Post #: 4
I loved Old Man's War, Ghost Brigades, & The Last Colony. I also read The Sagen Diaries but didn't care for it as much.

Scalzi has a new book coming out. Fuzzy Nation, a rewrite of H Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy, the first book in a trilogy. Interestingly, Scalzi is not the first author to redo the Fuzzies. For years, the manuscript of the third book was thought lost and William Tuning wrote a sequel before the third book was found and published.

The original book is apparently at Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg....­

And Scalzi fans can see him here in D.C. at the Nebula awards and also in 2012 at Capclave, the D.C. area SF/FAN convention.
Amelia D.
user 4464257
Leonardtown, MD
Post #: 4
One of my favorite current sic-fi series/ authors is Iain M. Banks. His Culture novels are set in the same universe, but not a series that needs to be read in order. Player of Games is one of my favorites. He also has several other unrelated sci-fi novels, Transitions is one of the more recent.
A former member
Post #: 313
One of my favorite current sic-fi series/ authors is Iain M. Banks. His Culture novels are set in the same universe, but not a series that needs to be read in order. Player of Games is one of my favorites. He also has several other unrelated sci-fi novels, Transitions is one of the more recent.

Player of Games is good, as is Feersum Endjinn (though not for the grammatically faint of heart).
Group Organizer
Fairfax, VA
Post #: 410
I'm reposting Alan's recommendation for Replay by Ken Grimwood into this thread, so people can find it a bit more easily.

Alan wrote:

I just finished this and I can't remember the last time a book moved me so much.

When I started it, I just assumed it would be a rehash of an old idea but, as I read it, it became more and more clear that it was a great piece of literature.

Read this book.

user 6473130
Arlington, VA
Post #: 1
I have been reading a pretty good series by Isobelle Carmody (she is an Australian author) called the Obernewtyn Chronicles. Here is a quote about the series:

In a world struggling back from the brink of apocalypse, life is harsh. But for Elspeth Gordie, born with enhanced mental abilities that would see her sterilised or burned if discovered, it is also dangerous. There is only survival by secrecy, and so she determines never to use her forbidden Talent. But it is as if they have their own imperative, and their use inevitably brings her to the attention of the totalitarian Council that rules the Land. Sent to the remote mountain institution of Obernewtyn where escape is impossible, she must throw off her cloak of concealment and pit herself against those who would resurrect the terrible forces of the apocalypse.

Only then will she learn most truly who and what she is...

I have enjoyed the series, but there has been some long breaks between releases. As of now there are 5 books (6 in the US):

The Farseekers
The Keeping Place
The Stone Key - in the US this was broken into 2 books - Wavesong and The Stone Key

There are 2 more coming out - one later this year and the last one sometime later:

The Sending
The Red Queen

user 8783484
Woodbridge, VA
Post #: 2
I have Fuzzy Nation on reserve at the library. Has anyone read it yet? I have a stack of books to get through, is it worth putting toward the top?
Group Organizer
Fairfax, VA
Post #: 415
I haven't read it yet (so if someone else has, please post on it), but my impression is that it's a good novel, but it's pretty short (301 pp.) and it's on the light/fluffy side and in the style of Golden Age sci-fi (i.e. very very different from his OMW books). So if you're looking for a fun summer book or need a break from heavier or darker fiction, it might be worth putting at the top of your list. Otherwise, you might want to save it for an airplane or beach read.
Group Organizer
Fairfax, VA
Post #: 420
Patrick Rothfuss (author of The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear in The Kingkiller Chronicles) just wrote a blog post with a suggested reading list for fantasy and science fiction. He includes 40 books and 20 runners-up and 25 to-be-read, so it's a pretty substantial list. We've read a number of these (and will be reading quite a few more in the future), but there's also a decent number of books here I hadn't heard much about:


Check it out if you're interested!
Group Organizer
Fairfax, VA
Post #: 425
At the Game of Thrones (Episodes 3 and 4) meetup on May 14 at Mike & Cyndi's, Rule 34 kept coming up in conversation.

The universe heard and answered. This just released today: Rule 34 by Charles Stross biggrin
Springfield, VA
Post #: 67
@Maria re: "Fuzzy Nation"

I just got my copy from the library the other day...and I'm trying something completely different.

Based on Sam's comments, and his posting of the link to the original story by H. Beam Piper (Thanx, Sam!) - I'm going to read both stories CONCURRENTLY! So far (about 1/5 through both) my head hasn't exploded...yet...! I find the experience very interesting...and not a little weird - trying to keep two storylines (albeit, similar!) straight in my head. BUT, the upside is that I get a really/Really/REALLY close comparison of the two stories. So far, the Scalzi version uses the same main character, setting, and general plotline...BUT, has waaaaaaay freakin' more detail! What we've come to know and love about Scalzi is that he is pretty darn good at developing plot and characters that are amazingly endearing and engaging - as is the case here!

The Piper original is more stark and no-frills - cutting to the chase of the main action MUCH sooner than the Scalzi re-telling. Still, in it's own (classical) way, the original is very charming and enjoyable. I vaguely remember reading this (and the sequel?) when I was a mere teenager...way back in the dark ages of classical Sci-Fi! However, in the original, there is almost no subplot - at least not yet - and the main plot driver is the cuteness-factor of the Fuzzies. Whereas, with Scalzi, the subplot kicks off almost from the start, and SERIOUSLY drives up the tension-factor of the overall story - - all that, and the main crisis has yet to even unfold (in both versions)!

BUT, (and I add this for Mike and the rest of us that lean more toward blood & guts in our stories), Piper has a MUCH wider ecosystem (so far!) than does Scalzi. I guess therein lies the sacrifice! Piper has a LOT of nasty critters out there just waiting to kill Jack Holloway (main character) and the Fuzzies! Yet, (again, so far!), Scalzi has only lightly referenced that there might be other (insignificant) creatures on the planet, besides the Fuzzies. Still, Scalzi may yet produce a velociraptror or a Balrog or a donkey-vampire that is the natural enemy to the never know! However, Scalzi DID add a totally loveable and happy-go-lucky dog named Carl - yet, not indiginous to the planet! Still, if there's a dog, it's gotta be good, right!?!? {UPDATE: Oh, goodie, goodie - there are Zararaptors in "Fuzzy Nation (the planet being Zara XXIII). Yippie, yea, yahoo!!!}

Oh, and there is yet another option that I may explore - - has a selection that contains the audio version of BOTH books - with "Star Trek"'s Wesly Crusher (Wil Wheaton) narrating, as well as an Introduction by Scalzi, himself. Hmmmm! Tempting!

SO, finally, to your original question - YES (IMHCYHO - highly critical yet humble...), "Fuzzy Nation" is WELL worth the time - - it's a short and easy/fun read! And, Scalzi has made the story even MORE cute/adorable/charming/warm (and yes, /fuzzy!) than the original. I'd say, "Give it a shot!" I'll report back as I plow deeper into both books.

ADDENDUM after having finished "Fuzzy Nation" by John Scalzi: OM-freakin'-G, can Scalzi write a riveting story! Granted, he had excellent material with which to work...still, what he DID with that excellent material is masterful! This ("Fuzzy Nation") is a WAY good book - - witty, clever, and engaging characters; multi-layered plotlines and subplotlines; as well as cute/fuzzy creatures AND Zararaptors! I'm now 2/3 finished w/ "Fuzzy Nation" and about 2/5 through "Little Fuzzy" - the levels of suspense do NOT compare! And, the Piper characters are SO much less dimensional than Scalzi's!

Do we want to put this on the reading list???

FINAL UPDATE: Finished both - and BOTH are excellent, in their own way. Both are well worth reading! And, "Little Fuzzy" ends with a fascinating (and ponderable) discussion about the roots of cognitive (and unconscious) thought. Scalzi opted to only address the core delimma of the definition of sapience...but did so in a fantastic fashion! Give 'em both a try! Oh, and my head never exploded...but it strained at the seams, at times! = : )
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