BOOKS E-J

 

 

 

PHILIP JOSE FARMER

(To Your Scattered Bodies Go -- 1972 Hugo Award -- didn't think it was that good. It is the first of a many-volume, "Riverworld" series. Based on this first one, I decided not to read the rest. If you are a history buff, you might like this more than I did.)

ROBERT L. FORWARD

*** Dragon's Egg

Starquake

Two stunning works of "hard" science fiction. Forward was a Senior Scientist at Hughes and a specialist in gravitational theory. But he has a wonderful imagination tied to completely sound physics. The second book is good, but the first is a real stunner. These are fine examples of what science fiction is really all about. The more you know of the science involved the more you will like these, though they are enjoyable for non-scientists too!

NEIL GAIMAN

American Gods

2002 Nebula and Hugo Awards.  Despite the awards, this is pure fantasy.  But it is one of the rare, well thought-out fantasies and is fully satisfying in the end.  Well written and original, it keeps your interest.  Not even vaguely swords and sorcery!

 

(The Graveyard Book -- 2009 Hugo Award.  Not yet read.)

WILLIAM GIBSON

Neuromancer

1985 Nebula Award and 1985 Hugo Award, also the 1985 Philip K. Dick prize, whatever that is. Real originality and very well written. A bit flawed near the end, but not much. Richly deserves its awards!

NICOLA GRIFFITH

(Slow River -- 1996 Nebula Award.  Not read.)

JOE HALDEMAN

The Forever War -- 1976 Hugo Award and 1975 Nebula Award

(Forever Peace -- 1998 Nebula Award.  Wow! 23 years later! Not yet read.)

(Camouflage -- 2005 Nebula Award.  Amazing!  He's still at it!  Not yet read.)

HARRY HARRISON

The Stainless Steel Rat

The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge

The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World

The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You!

Light weight, but original and fun. Type A series, but of even quality. There are more of them; the first three (above) are sometimes available bound in a single volume.

ROBERT HEINLEIN

(Heinlein was one of the most prolific science fiction writers. Some of his stuff is very good, but he got so that he loved to hear himself talk, so in his later work he is long winded and is unforgivably sloppy about really thinking through his stories. Use great caution about later work --some of it is windy and just bad.)

 

*** The Moon is a Harsh Mistress --1967 Hugo Award

Double Star (1956 Hugo Award)

Glory Road

You will really think Heinlein has lost his marbles for the first two-thirds of this book. But he pulls it off!

Time Enough for Love

Perhaps the best of his later work (1973).

The Star Beast

Early science fiction was full of BEM's (Bug-Eyed Monsters). Here is an early and completely original and lovely BEM story.

(Starship Troopers -- 1960 Hugo Award -- a potboiler, shoot-'em-up that is pure Heinlein in philosophy, but just not quite up to this list.  Today's infantryman is, however, developing in the direction that Heinlein envisioned.  A movie was made with this same title, but apparently has little resemblance to Heinlein's story.)

(Stranger in a Strange Land -- 1962 Hugo Award -- I read it and loved the first part and hated the second. Became a cult book.)

FRANK HERBERT

*** Dune --1966 Hugo Award and 1965 Nebula Award

A blockbuster that can be enjoyed even by people that don't read science fiction. Great. Now has many type-A sequels: Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse Dune, and more. The first three fall far short of the initial volume. (I have not read the others). (The movie is good if you have read the book, but the book is far better.)

FRED HOYLE

(Hoyle was a world-class scientist and cosmologist, working in England.)

The Black Cloud

Hoyle's best (and maybe his earliest). Some wonderful touches and some big ideas.

October the First Is Too Late

Fifth Planet

 

BARRY HUGHART

*** Bridge of Birds --1985 World Fantasy Convention Award

Finally, here is another pure fantasy book I can wholeheartedly recommend! Delightful and exceptionally well thought out -- almost unbelievably so. Pure fantasy, but fun and glorious! I loved it!