Author Topic: Science Fiction That Made You Think  (Read 4095 times)  

Offline 81115

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Science Fiction That Made You Think
« on: August 12, 2018, 01:05:16 am »
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« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 12:40:11 am by oakwood »

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    Offline AltMe

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #1 on: August 12, 2018, 03:32:32 am »
    Anyway.. have you read anything thought provoking lately?

    I find most of science fiction is thought provoking.

    Trouble is, my thoughts tend to be unique, and when I voice a thought, it provokes people.  :'(
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    Offline C. Gold

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 04:16:05 am »
    You kind of missed the classic greats - Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. I later added James P. Hogan to my pillars of awesomeness. :)

    Offline Simon Haynes

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 04:22:49 am »
    You kind of missed the classic greats - Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. I later added James P. Hogan to my pillars of awesomeness. :)

    They were my faves, along with a little-known British author called William F. Temple (who once shared rooms with Arthur C. Clarke, apparently.)

    Amongst other novels, Temple wrote a series of three books in the 50's featuring a maverick trouble-shooter called Martin Magnus. They were aimed at teens, and they're the reason I write SF now. Think classic 50's SF, where exploring the Moon, Venus and Mars was considered the peak of science fiction daring.

    Some years ago I heard from Temple's daughter, who holds the rights to the novels, and I helped her republish them on Kindle. There was no budget involved so I mashed up some pretty basic covers, and it was awesome to be involved in bringing them back into print.

    But yes, I'm firmly in the camp where you read widely and voraciously for years or maybe decades before attempting to write anything, and I'm talking across all genres.
     

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    Offline Evenstar

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #4 on: August 12, 2018, 04:34:12 am »
    Douglas Adams made me think long and hard about where all the missing biro pens really go.

    Somewhere in the cosmos, he said, along with all the planets inhabited by humanoids, reptiloids, fishoids, walking treeoids and superintelligent shades of the color blue, there was also a planet entirely given over to ballpoint life forms. And it was to this planet that unattended ballpoints would make their way, slipping away quietly through wormholes in space to a world where they knew they could enjoy a uniquely ballpointoid lifestyle, responding to highly ballpoint-oriented stimuli, and generally leading the ballpoint equivalent of the good life.

    And as theories go this was all very fine and pleasant until Veet Voojagig suddenly claimed to have found this planet, and to have worked there for a while driving a limousine for a family of cheap green retractables, whereupon he was aken away, locked up, wrote a book and was finally sent into tax exile, which is the usual fate reserved for those who are determined to make fools of themselves in public.

    Offline Luke Everhart

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #5 on: August 12, 2018, 06:50:21 am »

    I strongly recommend picking up something from

    Heinlein and his friend K.Dick, Vance, Farmer, Vinge, Ballard, Niven, P Anderson, Herbert, Sturgeon, S Lem, O Butler, Brunner, van Vogt, Pohl, Tepper, Aldiss, Delaney, Spinrad, etc, etc

    Jack Williamson is missing from the list  :o He's a grandmaster that isn't mentioned much today. He was awarded the SFWA 2nd ever Grandmaster of Science Fiction award (Heinlein got the 1st). Also an inaugural inductee to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. Wrote the spectrum from pulpy scifi to brilliant science fiction.

    I'm also adding Julian May to the thread. She's another who is rarely mentioned, though she should be. She's best known for her Saga of Pliocene Exile, which is certainly a good read; however, imo her related series The Galactic Milieu Series is her best and is utterly brilliant. (Galactic Milieu Series books: Intervention (bk1 in UK, in the US it was broken into 2 parts: Surveillance (bk1a) & Metaconcert (bk1b)), Jack the Bodiless (bk 2), Diamond Mask (bk2), Magnificat (bk3)


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    Offline AliceS

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #6 on: August 12, 2018, 07:21:43 am »
    Douglas Adams made me think long and hard about where all the missing biro pens really go.

    Somewhere in the cosmos, he said, along with all the planets inhabited by humanoids, reptiloids, fishoids, walking treeoids and superintelligent shades of the color blue, there was also a planet entirely given over to ballpoint life forms. And it was to this planet that unattended ballpoints would make their way, slipping away quietly through wormholes in space to a world where they knew they could enjoy a uniquely ballpointoid lifestyle, responding to highly ballpoint-oriented stimuli, and generally leading the ballpoint equivalent of the good life.

    And as theories go this was all very fine and pleasant until Veet Voojagig suddenly claimed to have found this planet, and to have worked there for a while driving a limousine for a family of cheap green retractables, whereupon he was aken away, locked up, wrote a book and was finally sent into tax exile, which is the usual fate reserved for those who are determined to make fools of themselves in public.

    Only the Brits know how to truly do absurd.

    Offline Nope

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #7 on: August 12, 2018, 09:33:46 am »
    .
    « Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 08:54:04 pm by Nope »

    Offline robert eggleton

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #8 on: August 12, 2018, 09:48:21 am »
    The Handmaids Tale, Margaret Atwood
    Robert Eggleton
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    Adult Literary Science Fiction
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    Offline C. Gockel

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #9 on: August 12, 2018, 09:50:58 am »
    Dan Simmons, Connie Willis, and Louis McMaster Bujold all write sci-fi with head exploding themes.


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    Offline Not any more

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #10 on: August 12, 2018, 10:12:28 am »
    It's funny, I got a review recently saying that authors shouldn't engage in social commentary. I guess we are simply to present the printed versions of half-hour mindless TV shows. The grand majority of SF I read growing up presented food for thought. You forgot such authors as Le Guin and Cherryh and Bradley. Not all the golden-age greats were men.
    This post remains on KBoards over my objections.

    Offline robert eggleton

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #11 on: August 12, 2018, 10:27:06 am »
     Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler
    Robert Eggleton
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    Offline Armchair Writer

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #12 on: August 12, 2018, 10:58:38 am »
    I read most of those guys half a century ago, back when I was a teenager. I read their books for the story, and the amazing futures they imagined, taking their philosophies, or political ideas simply as part of the story. Even today I read fiction simply for an interesting story with good, clever writing, and full, well rounded characters. I have not read all that much science fiction since the golden days of my youth, so I can not really compare contemporary science fiction writers to those folk. I suspect, however, that the best of them are every bit as original and creative as the best were back in the day.

    As for their writing, I have tried to go back and reread my old favorites, but no No point in destroying good memories. I must have had a much more active imagination back then that filled in all the stuff that I find missing these days. Still, I see that several science fiction web sites regularly feature re-reads of old books, so perhaps others will enjoy them today. My attitude, however, is better them than me.

    Offline KelliWolfe

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #13 on: August 12, 2018, 12:49:45 pm »
    CJ Cherryh. Olaf Stapeledon. The Niven/Pournelle collaborations. Robert Sheckley. Edgar Pangborn. John Wyndham. Julian May. Ursula LeGuin's Hainish novels. Harlan "Pay the Writer!" Ellison.

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    Offline KelliWolfe

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #14 on: August 12, 2018, 12:55:56 pm »
    Jack Williamson is missing from the list  :o He's a grandmaster that isn't mentioned much today. He was awarded the SFWA 2nd ever Grandmaster of Science Fiction award (Heinlein got the 1st). Also an inaugural inductee to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. Wrote the spectrum from pulpy scifi to brilliant science fiction.

    I'm also adding Julian May to the thread. She's another who is rarely mentioned, though she should be. She's best known for her Saga of Pliocene Exile, which is certainly a good read; however, imo her related series The Galactic Milieu Series is her best and is utterly brilliant. (Galactic Milieu Series books: Intervention (bk1 in UK, in the US it was broken into 2 parts: Surveillance (bk1a) & Metaconcert (bk1b)), Jack the Bodiless (bk 2), Diamond Mask (bk2), Magnificat (bk3)
    The entire Galactic Milieu saga is brilliant and massively underrated. It has all the depth of Dune, but with much better writing and characters.

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    Offline robert eggleton

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #15 on: August 12, 2018, 01:19:42 pm »
    The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin
    Robert Eggleton
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    Adult Literary Science Fiction
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    Online ShaneCarrow

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #16 on: August 12, 2018, 04:32:34 pm »
    I think Kim Stanley Robinson is one of the best and most important science fiction writers of all time - certainly the most important one working today. Aurora is one of the best sci-fi novels of this century: taking a topic which is considered gospel among science fiction fans (that it's both necessary and desirable for humankind to colonise the galaxy) and slowly dismantling it.

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    Offline robert eggleton

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #17 on: August 12, 2018, 05:16:10 pm »
    Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (predicted earbuds)
    Robert Eggleton
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    Offline Carleton Chinner

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #18 on: August 12, 2018, 06:03:35 pm »
    Yes to most of the above. I love science fiction that pushes the envelope of the moral view of the times, even when this takes me to some very uncomfortable places. Hanya Yanagihara's "The People in the Trees" really shook my view of what is morally acceptable with its reprehensible protagonist.

    I recently wrote a blog post on meeting the other, which was a look at my favourite books that examine human-alien interaction. What makes these stories so special to me is the way most of these authors use the alien perspective as a lens on the values and mores prevalent in society at the time of writing.

    Offline Felix R. Savage

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #19 on: August 12, 2018, 08:33:04 pm »
    I think Kim Stanley Robinson is one of the best and most important science fiction writers of all time - certainly the most important one working today. Aurora is one of the best sci-fi novels of this century: taking a topic which is considered gospel among science fiction fans (that it's both necessary and desirable for humankind to colonise the galaxy) and slowly dismantling it.

    Aurora is anti-SF. That book put KSR permanently on my blacklist. I'd rather read thoughtful SF that doesn't, you know, actively dismantle SF -- and there are plenty of writers out there creating it right now! Try Gavin G. Smith, Ian McDonald, or Peter Watts. Or my own stuff :) 

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    Offline Tulonsae

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #20 on: August 12, 2018, 09:40:58 pm »
    Content removed due to TOS Change of 2018. I do not agree to the terms.
    « Last Edit: September 19, 2018, 12:01:52 pm by Tulonsae »
    I do not agree to the terms in the TOS Change of 2018. I have removed all the content that I had access to remove. All the best to everyone!

    Online AlecHutson

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #21 on: August 13, 2018, 12:12:18 am »
    I'll hazard a guess that one reason those sci-fi greats affected many of you (and the OP) so greatly was because you read them in a formative time of your life. As in, when you were young and impressionable. I read books like Vinge's Fire Upon the Deep, Dan Simmon's Hyperion, Stephenson's Snow Crash and Zelazny's Lord of Light when I was in my late teens / early twenties, and I still consider those books some of the greatest science fiction I've ever read. Later, as I started to explore the older books in the genre, I came to Asimov and Clarke and Heinlein, and they didn't make as large an impression, but perhaps if I'd read them in my youth I'd have fonder recollections. 

    Anyway, if you want 'newer' sci-fi that I think explore interesting ideas / situations, I'd recommend The Wind Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, Iain Banks's Culture Books (like Player of Games), Alistair Reynold's Revelation Space and Chasm City, and Atwood's Oryx and Crake . I will say that I haven't read a recently published science fiction book that really swept me away. The Stars Are Legion by Hurley pulled me along fast enough that I finished it in two days, but I wouldn't put it up there in the pantheon of great sci-fi I've read. Oh, the Red Rising books are ridiculously compelling, but they're more fast food than fine dining. One indie sci-fi writer I really enjoyed was Age of Order by Julian North.

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    Offline VanessaC

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #22 on: August 13, 2018, 12:53:28 am »
    Lots of fantastic writers and books mentioned above.

    I don't read a lot of science fiction currently, but for more recent works, the Anne Leckie Ancillary trilogy really made me think as well as being a great story - I was so sad that it stopped at three books - and if you want sweeping global politics, a bit of near-future science fiction and a thriller, Richard Morgan's "Black Man" (which I think was published in the US as "Thirteen") was a giant book.  (Also enjoyed Altered Carbon, Richard Morgan's debut.)

    Online AlecHutson

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #23 on: August 13, 2018, 01:02:34 am »
    Lots of fantastic writers and books mentioned above.

    I don't read a lot of science fiction currently, but for more recent works, the Anne Leckie Ancillary trilogy really made me think as well as being a great story - I was so sad that it stopped at three books - and if you want sweeping global politics, a bit of near-future science fiction and a thriller, Richard Morgan's "Black Man" (which I think was published in the US as "Thirteen") was a giant book.  (Also enjoyed Altered Carbon, Richard Morgan's debut.)

    Oh, how could I forget Morgan. Great fun. The book is much better than the TV show (which wasn't horrible)

    Alec Hutson

    Offline alawston

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    Re: Science Fiction That Made You Think
    « Reply #24 on: August 13, 2018, 02:06:44 am »
    Nothing dates faster than the future. I've read something by most of the authors listed on this thread, from HG Wells to contemporary writers like Alastair Reynolds.

    I think it's fair to say that some of the great authors are in danger of slipping into obscurity. I have a novel coming out this week whose title is a clear play on van Vogt's Voyage of the Space Beagle, which I thought was an all-time classic, but in every conversation I've had about my title, I had to point out where I got it from.

    But there's also genuinely great SF happening in the Indie world. Andrei Cherascu's Mindguard is a brilliant modern classic, as is Stewart Hotston's Oligarchy.


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