Visions of Paradise

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Recommended reading

I go through phases in my reading. The mid-90s was a time of historical fiction. I returned to science fiction in the late 90s, and the past decade I primarily read near-future and historical sf, mostly near the literary end of the genre. Now my mood has shifted to far-future sf, including both “serious” and lighter space operas. As I usually do, I have compiled various lists of books I would like to read someday. One of those lists contains stories by both older and newer sf writers that I somehow missed over the years (not surprisingly, since there is far more f&sf published nowadays than any single rational person could possibly read).

So here is that list. Any recommendations either pro or con toward some of these books or authors would be appreciated:

John Barnes (I read A Million Open Doors several years ago and enjoyed it, but for some reason I never pursued the series further): Orbital Resonance / Earth Made of Glass / Kaleidoscope Century / Candle / The Sky So Big and Black

Gregory Benford (I always enjoy Greg’s fiction, so why did I miss these recent novels?): Cosm / The Martian Race / Eater / Sunborn

A. Bertram Chandler (I always dismissed him as a simple adventure writer, but John Clute really gave him a strong recommendation in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. These titles are all SFBC omnibi of John Grimes novels): Lieutenant of the Survey Service / Survey Captain / Tramp Captain / Reserve Commodore / Rim Runner / Rim Commander

Gordon R. Dickson (I have several Childe series books, but not all of them): The Spirit of Dorsai, Lost Dorsai, Young Bleys, The Final Encyclopedia, The Chantry Guild

Joe Haldeman (read my comments to Greg Benford above): The Coming / Guardian / Camouflage / Old Twentieth

Jack McDevitt (one of my favorite current writers, but for some reason I missed most of his Hutch series): Deepsix, Chindi, Omega

Robert Silverberg (he was my very favorite sf writer for several decades, yet somehow I missed three of his books as well): Starborne, The Alien Years, Roma Eterna

Clifford D. Simak (another old favorite who wrote so many novels it was almost impossible to keep up with all of them. These seem to be the most acclaimed of the ones I have not read already): They Walked Like Men, Mastodonia, The Visitors

Charles Sheffield (these books were published after I took some time off from reading sf): Tomorrow and Tomorrow / Aftermath / Starfire / Dark as Day

Robert Charles Wilson (an author I have not read much of, probably because the first book of his I read, Darwinia, disappointed me. I recently bought Spin, but have not read it yet): Bios / The Chronoliths / Blind Lake


  • The Chronoliths started strong, then seemed to crumble away into an excess of character over plot. It was a bit of a dissapoitment for me.

    I've only ever read Sheffield's tales of Erasmus Darwin - which are very good!

    By Blogger JP, At 11:19 PM  

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