Lapsed sci-fi reader looking for a new literary love in all the wrong places.
February 20, 2011 9:11 PM Subscribe
I'm getting back into reading for pleasure after years of avoiding it during college. I've found fantasy books easy to get back into, but have no idea where to start with sci-fi!
posted by Logic Sheep to Media & Arts (40 answers total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
When I was younger I spent a good amount of time reading books, especially science fiction and fantasy. College happened and I read less and less for pleasure thanks to having reading assignments. Now I actually have the time and desire to read, and have easily plunged into the world of fantasy books. However, I don't know where to start with sci-fi.
When I was 10-18 I read and loved all the sci-fi books by Bruce Coville, read almost all of Anne McCaffrey's books (though her books have mostly lost their charm as I've gotten older), and liked Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy and Conquerers' Trilogy. Now I'm 26 and have recently struggled while reading Dune (I couldn't make myself care about all of the omniscient characters) and part of the Ender's series (I enjoyed the strategies, but the characters were all variations on the same archetype and I despise Card's politics). I gave up on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (I felt it strove to hard to be ridiculous...do I lose geek cred if I say I didn't think it was funny?) and Pandora's Star (I think it needed an editor to cut out about 1/3 of the book). I have, however, enjoyed The Icarus Hunt by Timothy Zahn and most of the SF short stories by George R. R. Martin. I'm currently reading The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe, which I'm finding interesting, but very dense, and not quite as enjoyable as his Latro books.
I'm hoping that you can recommend books that will be more to my tastes. I like character development, grey morality, and political strategy. Good writing is a must (no purple prose), excessive technobabble and really bad genetics are the bane of my existence, and humor is a plus, but not a necessity. I tend to be more interested in the characters and plot in a series than in the intricacies of how the technology in it works. Epic doorstopper series, stand alone novels, anthologies, and short stories are all welcome recommendations. I'm curious if you think that I would enjoy the Culture novels by Iain Banks - they sound like they might be entertaining.
Some works I've really enjoyed have been Legend of the Galactic Heroes (the anime), Battlestar Galactica (before it got really weirdly religious at the end), A Song of Ice and Fire, and sillier things such as Galaxy Quest and Firefly.