By Patrick Rothfuss. Just fantastic stuff. The follow up is Wise Man's Fear
here's one vote for "John Beilein's head in a Futurama jar"
By Patrick Rothfuss. Just fantastic stuff. The follow up is Wise Man's Fear
Awesome books. Its a shame we have to wait for the next release. Also should check out Ready player one by Ernest cline
Wholeheartedly second this recommendation. I give it to people who say they don't like fantasy books and they invariably ask if I have the second book about a week later.
after hitchhiker's guide I'll read this
Holy crap, yes, read this. I've read it three times. Sequel is also excellent. It's a toss-up between the third in this series, and the final Wheel of Time book as to which I'm most eagerly awaitng.
I would agree, Patrick Rothfuss has written two terrific fantasy novels in The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear. Kvothe is one of the most interesting characters I have come across. I am patiently awaiting the next book, I am sure it will be worth it.
Great series, getting anxious waiting for the 3rd book as well.
Another good series if your are in to Zombies is "Day by Day Armageddon"
Definitely support this recommendation!
Obviously, beaten to the punch.
This is an awesome deep reread of the series so far, if anyone is interested. Written by Jo Walton, who wrote a pretty good book called "Among Others." http://www.tor.com/features/series/patrick-rothfuss-reread
The Boxcar Children or Goosebumps.
Altered Carbon and the Takashi Kovacs series. Definitely sci-fi.. although may not be enough fantasy for you. The first one takes place on future Earth only because the main character is "sent" there... very bladerunner-esque. The others are offworld. Love the way Martians are portrayed in this series... and the concept that signifcant parts of planets have been lost to out of control military AI.
L5R Clan War series. Huge following, also a game, but I just like the books.
Are Michael Crichton books considered science-fiction? When somone mentions sci-fi, most people (myself included) tend to think in the Star Wars/Star Trek or Fantasy (LOTR) type books. But Crichton deals with alot of scientific issues in fictional form. I have read all of his books except for Micro, Eaters of the Dead, and Next. I would recommend them all.
Although not sci-fi, graphic novels and comics are generall considered nerdy. You can find some good suggestions in these two past threads:
I don't see how you can read anything if you haven't read The Hobbit and LOTR you need to start there. It's fantasy 101, if you aren't going back to Beowulf or something.
And add to your borderline picks, while more reality based than the movies, the James Bond books are hardly real spying, and a great read.
Game of Thrones is too legit.
A bit slow at the start but a good series. Set on Earth, but not a recognizable earth.
Science fiction series that reads like an older classic
Bought both based upon Amazon reviews and was not disappointed.
I also really like The Dresden Files a series of novels written by Jim Butcher. The main character is a private investigator and wizard Harry Dresden, as he recounts investigations into supernatural disturbances in modern-day Chicago.
I'll second Scalzi's Old Man's War series. Wonderfully fun writer, lot's of nerdy physics nuggets, great characters. 3 books in the series (Old Man's War, The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colonoy) and a fourth stand alone novel, Zoe's Tale that is essentially The Last Colony told from a different character's perspective. Scalzi also has a new book out Redshirts that I haven't picked up yet but plan to.
Are pretty great. Not too deep, great plot and funny characters.
A bit off the radar and more of a thieving caper, but The Lies of Locke Lamore is an excellent book (part of a series) as well. Not as much magic but I found them to be very good.
That's an excellent book. The sequel is good, as well - Red Seas Under Red Skies. I think he's planning a series of seven.
Unfortunately, I think the series will take a while to come out...I believe the author is going through some pretty serious personal stuff (sickness in the family?). So best of luck to him.
Accelerando--Singularity and post-Singularity civilization, space exploration and colonization. Highly recommended. Available for free online.
Foundation (series) by Isaac Asimov. Pretty much anything Asimov wrote is gold but Foundation is tremendous if you've never read it. Details the decline and fall of the Galactic Empire and humanity's long trek back towards civilization.
I just finished Singularity's Ring by Paul Melko. Posthuman identity and intertwining of humanity with AI. It does take place mainly on Earth but it is a very different place. Recommended.
Blood Music by Greg Bear. Also deals with the Singularity and genetic engineering.
The Parafaith War by M.L.E. Modesitt. Humanity has split along ethnic lines and is now locked in a death struggle with itself. There is at least one sequel but I have not read it.
Dune by Frank Herbert. One of my favorite books ever.
Watchmen by Alan Moore. Graphic novel, but absolutely deep and amazing.
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
A Game of Thrones by George Martin. My favorite book, the rest of the series fails to live up to how amazing the first book is (even though they are still phenomenal).
Not sci-fi, but The Godfather by Mario Puzo. One of the few works where the film version matches the brilliance of the written version.
SHOGUN. bestest ever. Stop reading this thread and go buy it now.
Not the best ever, it sure is awesome. Loved every page of it.
I'll echo the person who said Ender's Game. It's excellent, and they're eventually coming out with a movie. Book was fantastic.
Kate Griffin's Matthew Swift series, Simon Green's Drood Chronicles and his Nightside Series, Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles, Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle, Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Brent Weeks' Lightbringer Series - his Assassin's Apprentice series is good as well, but maybe not sci fi/fantasy enough for you. Margaret Weis' Death Gate Cycle, Raymond Feist (at least Magician: Apprentice, and Magician: Master), Farland's Runelords series (first five books are good... sequential books are meh), and Katharine Kerr's Dragon Mage series. Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series is solid, and K.E. Mills' Rogue Agent series is good.
Basically everything Jim Butcher has written - Codex Alera series has magic, Dresden Files is magic crime-solving. Fantastic, well-written.
I've been meaning to start Anne McCaffrey's Talent series which looks pretty sci-fi, but I can't attest as to how good it is.
That should take you all summer, haha.
This is probably the best collection of fantasy I've read in the comments.
I'd throw in anything written by guy gavriel kay, steven eriksons malazan series and patrick rothfuss' kingkiller chronicles and you're set.
suggestions (though they are sll good) IMO.
I was waiting to see Enders Game... Just re-read it recently then finished another 4 books in the series, my only real journey into the genre but loved it
Dune. Tough read but very good.
If you really want to get into some hawt brain-on-book action... go with Lawrence Sklar's "Space, Time, and Spacetime"
Things other people have said that I'll definitely agree with: GRR Martin (Game of Thrones), Patrick Rothfuss (Kingkiller Chronicle), Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time), Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games) , and of course JK Rowling (Harry Potter).
I though Douglas Adams was okay as well and if you're looking for something similarly humorous, I'd go with Terry Pratchett (probably anything would do). It's a stretch, but Jasper Fforde (Fourth Bear is my favorite) has elements of Sci-fi and is awesome in a really dry humor kind of way.
Also, here are some good urban fantasies with magic: Jim Butcher (Dresden Files), Chris F. Holm (Dead Harvest).
I have a shelfari account, which is a good website to set up and discuss this kind of thing with other readers, so you might want to check that out as well.
Highly recommend Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. Easily my favorite book, and got it autographed by him in Ann Arbor.
Homeland by R.A Salvatore. You can read it as a stand alone or as part of a series. Required fantasy nerd reading material. You really can't go wrong here.
Dragonlance by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman . Start with Dragons of Autumn Twilight and read all the way through Time of the Twins. This involves quite a bit of reading. Wonderful character development.
I, Strahd: Memoirs of a Vampire by P.N. Elrod. Vampires done right. Not your run of the mill twilight or vampire chronicles blather.
For Love of Evil (incarnations of immortality series #6) by Piers Anthony. A quirky take on the afterlife. Each book is the story of Mother Earth, Father Time, Death, God...etc. This is the devil's story. It's not dark and twisted but actually light hearted and humorous.
The Dragon and the Unicorn by A.A Attanasio. If you like camelot this is a must read. Backstory to Merlin. A lot of Celtic and Roman mythology tied in to the story. Brilliantly written.
Lord of the Necropolis and King of the Dead by Gene Deweese. I added this is here incase you were looking for something a bit more dark. This should meet your fix.
First post reserved for a nerd-thread? I like it.
On a side note, I've heard that the Dragonlance books were all based on Weis and Hickman's D&D games that they played. Definitely set up in that kind of Tolken-esk world, kind of like any type of Warhammer book (Gotrek and Felix, etc).
Ha! It took this topic to finally get me to register.
R.A. Salvatore is one of my favorite authors, you really can't go wrong with any of his Drizzit books. Also another of my forgotten realms favorites is the Erevis Cale Trilogy by Paul S. Kemp, I really enjoyed them.
Weis and Hickman are definetely the best writers in the dragonlance realm, I'd reccomend pretty much anything from them.
All the forgotten realms and dragonlance books are usually pretty quick reads and are quite fun, I'd check your local library to see if they have some of them that's how I found them.
Geography of Thought
While they're not exactly what you've described, I highly recommend American Gods and Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. American Gods won both the Hugo and Nebula awards in 2003 (given to the best science fiction or fantasy work of the previous year).
Lord of the Rings
I like Ray Bradbury's fantasy stuff (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
Necronomicon by Neal Stephenson isn't really but it's awesome.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman is good. So is the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, even if it does lose it towards the end a little.
Peter V. Brett is writing a good series that starts with "The Warded Man".
"Sandman Slim" by Richard Kadrey is good urban fantasy. There is a sequel out and I think he plans to turn it into a series.
The Warded Man books are fantastic, missed that in my first go around.
Just want to also suggest Enders Game by Orson Scott Card. The whole Enders series are great reads, but this is hands down a guaranteed fun book youll enjoy. As mentioned it is being turned into a feature film as well coming out next summer featuring Harrisson Ford and has a lot of excitement around it. Enjoy your reading endeavors!
I like most of his stuff - but try the Amber series if you want to read for awhile.
As others have mentioned the Wheel Of Time series started out OK bit it went on way too long and Robert Jordan died I and stopped reading it years ago.
Try Silverlock if you want a read that is clever and referential of other great sf/fantasy stuff.
Thanks for this thread - I don't read much sf anymore but I plan to pick up a couple of books mentioned by others.
I'd echo this. I got the Amber series as an omnibus of all ten books last Christmas and it's well worth reading. It moves at a nice pace, too. Definitely doesn't feel like ten books, whereas if you're reading WoT or GoT it will DEFINITELY feel like thirteen and five, respectively.
How about Dan Simmons' Hyperion and sequels?
I just skimmed this thread looking to see if anyone had suggested Hyperion.
Seriously, this guy is amazing. His first stand alone book is Elantris, then he wrote the Mistborn Trilogy, Warbreaker is good and the first book of his Stormlight Archieve is appropriately EPIC.
And on top of all of that, he is finishing the late Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series
The DragonLance Chronicles - Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman (who is a man, not that it matters) Excellent character development as mentioned before. Had a stint on the NYT bestseller list in the 80's. Follows a group of adventurers as they return to meet after searching the realm for answers to the loss of the Gods/Magic/Religion what-have-you. There are three main trilogy's for three different era's and one large book to bridge a gap of time, as well as a wealth of supplemental novels, short stories, gaming systems, etc. Unofficial fan site - http://www.dlnexus.com/products/list.aspx
Song of Ice and Fire - George R.R. Martin - Some of the most advanced character development in fantasy. Martin is praised for writing these books only from a characters perspective and features 9-16 POV's for each book. It is a low-magic realm, at least to start but the series is not finished. Heard of GAme of Thrones? Yeah, you heard of it. This is it. Politics, religion, cIass or caste systems, moral ambiguity and warfare are just some of the themes. I personally believe that it will run 8 or 9 books and not be finished until after 2020. This is my personal favorite on this list.
Robert E. Howard (Conan, Soloman Kane, Kull, Cormac MacArt) Howard only wrote a few pieces worthy of being called a novel. He is master of "electric" or 'charged" writing which works much better in short story form and really captures moments well with his powers of description. He has received praise and listed as inspiration by the likes of Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkein, and HP Lovecraft, who was his penpal. If you're interested then start with Conan, who is written as one of the realms greatest warriors who actually has a code of ethics and has been a scout, general, mercenary, king, pirate and more. Conan is a great character and I personally really liked Cormac MacArt, an Irishman who is second mate on a pirate ship (but the No. 1 badass, lol) whose stories focus on the British Isles and the historic supernatural elements found there (druids, witches, sorcerers). Howard is quoted as very much enjoying "rewriting history in the guise of fiction" so you may realize that you are reading a recreation of the Battle of Marathon or the like, but with elements of the supernatural included.
Kurt Vonnegut - Some of the most enjoyable sci-fi writing that I have experienced. He also works better in short stories IMO. His finest collection has to be Welcome to the Monkey House, which is mostly sci-fi (but written in the 50's and 60's so it's not as far out there as it used to be). His stories are full of political and social commentary and 'what if...' scenarios concerning some of society's problems. They are truly enjoyable stories.
I don't read much sci-fi but I have a copy of Frank Herbert's Dune getting dusty on my shelf that I will read someday since it's been praised for decades but that's going to introduce me to many many more books. Larry Niven's Ringworld was recommended to me as a good sci-fi read. Stephen King's attempt at fantasy in The Eyes of the Dragon was great when I was a teenager. Happy hunting!
The Foundation series...
I like a lot of his short stories as well.