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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy

Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old December 20 2009, 10:36 PM   #16
gblews
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Re: What are some good soft sci-fi books?

The "Titan" trilogy by John Varley. Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, William Gibson.
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Old December 20 2009, 11:18 PM   #17
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: What are some good soft sci-fi books?

"Solaris" by Stanislaw Lem -- not hard SF, it's more a psychological study of the limitations of human consciousness in the face of a truly alien mind.
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Old December 21 2009, 05:52 PM   #18
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Re: What are some good soft sci-fi books?

David Brin and John Scalzi are good choices. Spider Robinson's classic Callahan's Crosstime Saloon is amazing. You can't go wrong with a book about a bizarre bar...

Mike Resnick's Santiago and the companion novel Dark Lady are strictly character-driven and awesome tales that stand apart from the norm, one about a bounty hunter and the other about a woman who seems to keep appearing in photos and other recorded mediums over thousands of years.

For slam-bang space opera of the first order try Keith Laumer's Earthblood. There's a wild novel called And Having Writ about aliens landing/crashing in Teddy Roosevelt's Presidency and changing the course of our history. It's told from the alien's viewpoint and is hilarious.

Anything by Harlan Ellison is "soft" scifi. You might try a collection of shorts by Barry Malzeburg called Welcome To the Monkey House. Norman Spinrad is another "soft" writer who avoids technical details for mind-wrenching emotional/sociological tales.

H Beam Piper is a personal fave. His Little Fuzzy is a classic and pretty obviously influenced Speilberg to write E.T., his two collections, Federation and Empire are reflections of history through a scifi lens and his other collection, Paratime! is ground-breaking alt-hist work.

Jack McDevitt's Eternity Road is fun, if you can find it the SM Stirling Draka series(or the omnibus edition) is a great tale, if somewhat dark and nauseating. If you like a D&D-with-guns-and-ammo approach Mary Gentle's Grunts! is side-splittingly funny, Glen Cook's Wizardry Compiled is a unique approach to computer programming and magic, Zelazny's Princes of Amber(published recently as The Amber Chronicles V 1, 2), is both top-notch and genre-defying and Peter Hamill's Forever is one of the most haunting books I've ever read. Oh, and saving the best for last- Jack Finney. Time and Again. Also, Rewind by William Sleator. Both are about time-travel and yet they are nothing alike. Both are the kind of books that leave you feeling like someone peeled your scalp back and let a breeze pass over your brain. If you need more, PM me. I currently own about 4500 scifi books and have read 2-3 times that so I have a good knowledge base to draw on....
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Old December 21 2009, 06:48 PM   #19
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Re: What are some good soft sci-fi books?

Mistral wrote: View Post
You might try a collection of shorts by Barry Malzeburg called Welcome To the Monkey House.
Isn't that Vonnegut?
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Old December 21 2009, 07:14 PM   #20
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Re: What are some good soft sci-fi books?

If you want excellent characterization and world-building in a scifi framework with little science background beyond "this happens", try the Miles Vorkosigan adventures by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Start with The Warrior's Apprentice.
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Old December 21 2009, 08:28 PM   #21
Mistral
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Re: What are some good soft sci-fi books?

Steve Mollmann wrote: View Post
Mistral wrote: View Post
You might try a collection of shorts by Barry Malzeburg called Welcome To the Monkey House.
Isn't that Vonnegut?
Is it? Maybe so-I've read a lot of Kurt and got into Barry at the same time but it was years ago.
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Old December 21 2009, 08:58 PM   #22
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Re: What are some good soft sci-fi books?

In a very real sense, wouldn't any paperback be a good "soft" sci-fi book?
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Old December 23 2009, 06:29 PM   #23
Mistral
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Re: What are some good soft sci-fi books?

I might also suggest A Canticle For Leibowitz by Miller. An exploration of the human soul and theology through a post-Armageddon world.
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Old December 23 2009, 08:38 PM   #24
Stevil2001
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Re: What are some good soft sci-fi books?

Mistral wrote: View Post
Steve Mollmann wrote: View Post
Mistral wrote: View Post
You might try a collection of shorts by Barry Malzeburg called Welcome To the Monkey House.
Isn't that Vonnegut?
Is it? Maybe so-I've read a lot of Kurt and got into Barry at the same time but it was years ago.
I don't know; I'm not the one who "own[s] about 4500 scifi books and have read 2-3 times that so I have a good knowledge base to draw on".
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Old December 23 2009, 11:11 PM   #25
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Re: What are some good soft sci-fi books?

C J Cherryh. Anything by her. Specifically her Alliance-Union universe stuff and her Foreigner stuff. Her Alliance-Union stories have the gritty realism feel/vibe that the first 2 Alien movies have. She's not heavy on the science but it's not unrealistic. Moreso, her stories are all about the character interaction, sociological and political aspects and, maybe, even moral ramifications. She struggles a little, in my opinion, with action sequences though and it seems that the really big action moments tend to happen "off camera."

I love Neal Stephenson's works. Again, his stuff seems realistic yet he doesn't get bogged down with overly technical details.

While Ben Bova's "Grand Tour" books are pretty realistic "hard" SciFi, his Sam Gunn series, set in the same universe, is nothing but rip-roaring fun.

Brian Daley was another author that seemed to have the "fun factor" nailed. Too bad his life was cut short.
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Old December 24 2009, 12:04 AM   #26
Greg Cox
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Re: What are some good soft sci-fi books?

On fun front, there's always Harry Harrison's DEATHWORLD and THE STAINLESS STEEL RAT.
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Old December 24 2009, 12:53 AM   #27
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Re: What are some good soft sci-fi books?

Mistral wrote: View Post
I might also suggest A Canticle For Leibowitz by Miller. An exploration of the human soul and theology through a post-Armageddon world.
Viewing these themes in a first contact setting you can try
Mary Doria Russell 's The Sparrow and its sequel Childern of God.

I also recommend China Miéville's Perdido Street Station. A combination of steampunk and fantasy that I found weirdly compelling.
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Old December 24 2009, 05:57 PM   #28
Jono
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Re: What are some good soft sci-fi books?

The Evergence trilogy by Sean Williams and Shane Dix is one of my favourite sci-fi novels.
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Old December 24 2009, 09:40 PM   #29
Bruno
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Re: What are some good soft sci-fi books?

Seventh White Boomer wrote: View Post
The Evergence trilogy by Sean Williams and Shane Dix is one of my favourite sci-fi novels.
Second those as well!
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Old December 24 2009, 09:56 PM   #30
Greg Cox
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Re: What are some good soft sci-fi books?

Brain Wave by Poul Anderson.
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