Great Science Fiction Books
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Another list created to provide suggestions on good Science Fiction novels. I find that its truly hard to find good ones.

I am hoping that others will contribute to the list to add some of their favourites to help me find something new to read on the commuter train

See this geek list for historical fiction: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/40591

[edit: fixed spelling]
[edit: Such a great list guys! thanks for all the great contributions! keep them coming! there is so much on here now that I HAVE TO READ!]
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76. Board Game: Talisman Timescape [Average Rating:5.81 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.81 Unranked]
Vincent Waciuk
Canada
Ottawa
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Timescape by Gregory Benford.

An absolute classic book. I read it many years ago and it has always stuck with me.
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Florian Gross
Germany
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Can't believe nobody mentioned Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard.

Ah, the title says:"Great Science Fiction Books" that's the problem.

I enjoyed it anyways, though it's pulpy and filled with one dimensional characters. Actually I read it when I was 15 or 16 and I loved it then!

Neil Gaiman sums it up nicely: the son of English Scientology leader David Gaiman, wrote, "For value for money I have to recommend L. Ron Hubbard's massive Battlefield Earth - over 1000 pages of thrills, spills, vicious aliens, noble humans. Is mankind an endangered species? Will handsome and heroic Jonny Goodboy Tyler win Earth back from the nine-foot-high Psychlos? A tribute to the days of Pulp, I found it un-put-downable. And all for £2.95"

Let's not talk about the movie adaption.

I couldn't get the image to work, took me long enough to find the geeklistID. Only found it because the historical geeklist from the top refers to this one. Have not much skill with forums.
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78. Board Game: Planetreisen [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
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Vienna
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James A. Tiptree's "Brightness Falls from the Air"
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79. Board Game: Camelot [Average Rating:5.25 Overall Rank:9992]
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Vienna
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If ultra-hard Sci-Fi is your thing, Robert L. Forward is your author.

Dragon's Egg
Starquake
Camelot 40k
Timemaster

plus Indistinguishable from Magic, where he explains physical phenomena, and adds a Sci-Fi story of a potential application.
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80. Board Game: Invincible [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
The Seal of Approval
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Vienna
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The Invincible by Stanislaw Lem

Also his Pilot Pirx series, and his Robotic Fairytales (with a pair of inventors who'd feel right at home in Chit Chat).

Edit: Corrected title
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81. Board Game: Comet: Crete 1941 [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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Heart of the Comet by David Brin is one of my favorites. Hard SF that deals with a crew's journey to Hailey's comet. Delves into some really interesting subjects such as genetic engineering, and what happens to a crew of astronauts over many generations. Felt very epic in scope.
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82. Board Game: Classic Warlord [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:2926]
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by John Joseph Adams, Night Shade Books, 2008.

OK, not a novel, but one of my favorite anthology SF collections, and also people might not have heard about it since it's recent, and, more importantly, it's from a relatively small publisher, and thus (unfortunately) not getting much promotion and prime visibility real estate in the Borders and B&N's. (I found my copy tucked away in a back shelf despite it being a new release).

Exceptional anthology, especially for those with a fascination for post-apocalyptic themes like myself. 22 stories, most published after 2000. Authors include George R.R. Martin (his "Dark, Dark Were The Tunnels" will haunt me forever!), Gene Wolfe, Orson Scott Card, Carol Emshwiller, Jonathan Lethem, Octavia E. Butler.

EDIT: I just noticed it's got its own webpage!
http://www.johnjosephadams.com/wastelands/
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83. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:557]
Carol Carpenter
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
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Almost anything by Octavia Butler, but start with either Dawn, book 1 of the Xenogenesis/Lilith's Brood trilogy, or with Patternmaster, the first the Patternist series.

As (I'm pretty sure) the only major African-American woman sci-fi writer, she deals with race and gender in really interesting ways.

I got to meet her briefly at a conference; she was also a really sweet person.
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84. Board Game: Mergers & Acquistions: The Hostile Takeover Game [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Ernest S
United States
Renton
Washington
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The Hostile Takeover Trilogy by S. Andrew Swann.

I thought this one was quite good. It had a lot of cool sci-fi concepts, some decent character development and interesting plot turns. I just felt that he could have done a little more in each of these areas. Still a great read which kept me engaged & gave me that feeling of wanting more when I finished.
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85. Board Game: Proton [Average Rating:5.04 Overall Rank:9938]
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Ontario
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Piers Anthony: Apprentice Adept, The

I almost forgot this series as it also boarder fantasy (its a cross of both). Its pulpy and entertaining all the same! Definitely worth a read!

Includes the following books:
Split Infinity
Blue Adept
Juxtaposition
Out of Phaze
Robot Adept
Unicorn Point
Phaze Doubt
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86. Board Game: High Tide [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked]
S. Deniz Bucak
United States
Havertown
Pennsylvania
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Stations of the Tide by Michael Swanwick

The planet Miranda undergoes a periodic transformation where the ice caps melt and much of the land is flooded. Many native animals have both land and sea forms to deal with this change. The human population has to move, but a small number of humans want to become sea creatures themselves. There is a shaman who is promising to do just that and a bureaucrat is sent from the high-tech space colonies that rule the solar system to the low tech planet in order to expose the shaman as a fraud. The novel is a series of stories told by the characters that each expose more of the world and it's history.

A well written book where everything presented as "science" is fantasy and everything labeled "magic" has a practical explanation.
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87. Board Game: Hammer's Slammers [Average Rating:5.71 Overall Rank:8575]
Christopher Lawrence
United States
Mos Angeles
California
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For military science-fiction, I'm really partial to David Drake's Hammer's Slammers series.

I've heard good noises about his other sci-fi books but haven't picked them up.
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88. Board Game: Tuf [Average Rating:5.10 Overall Rank:9629]
Robert De Luna
United States
San Pedro
California
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Tuf Voyaging by George R.R. Martin.

By no means is it "A Song of Fire and Ice" in space but I found it to be an entertaining read. It is really a collection of short stories following the voyages of Haviland Tuf; a very unique space trader who comes across a derelict "seedship" capable of genetic creation and destuction on a planetary scale.
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89. Board Game: Wise and Otherwise [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1465]
Burke Nichols
United States
Gilbert
Arizona
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Otherland by Tad Williams.

Four giant volumes about a group of people trapped in a virtual reality program. It is full of amazing ideas and unforgetable scenes.

It may be over 4000 pages long, but I could hardly put it down.
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90. Board Game: When Darkness Comes: The Darkness Before the Dawn [Average Rating:6.26 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.26 Unranked]
Matthew Pettitt
United Kingdom
Unspecified
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The Night's Dawn series by Peter F Hamilton.

OK, there are three of them at over 1000 pages each, plus two books of stories set in the same universe, plus a guidebook to all of the above, and they aren't to everyone's taste, but in terms of sheer spectacle, the Night's Dawn trilogy delivers.

There are also his other works, such as Fallen Dragon, Judas Unchained and Misspent Youth, all of which are interesting, but not quite as dramatic. Oh, and the new Void trilogy, which is ongoing...
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91. Board Game: Acorn [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Nick Reed
United Kingdom
Southampton
Hampshire
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I must admit to being a fan of the Acorna series by Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. Probably the first few books were my favourites, but that hasn't stopped me getting all the others.

I'd probably classify them more as fantasy stories based in space than the classic definition of a sci-fi book, but nonetheless there's something about them I find quite appealing.
 
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92. Board Game: Perry Rhodan Simulation [Average Rating:5.79 Unranked]
Nick Reed
United Kingdom
Southampton
Hampshire
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Of course, if you want something light and quick, you could always go for some of the Perry Rhodan novellas. I believe there's about two and half thousand of those at the last count, so they could keep you going for a while.
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93. Board Game: Asteroid [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:4784]
Daniel Gutierrez
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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For good hard Sci-Fi with good character development and fully developed and unusual ideas, Greg Bear is one of my favorite authors. Eon, Eternity, and Legacy all explore the theme of a hollowed out asteroid that goes on forever once inside. The Forge of God and Anvil of Stars are a great adventure about alien interaction and strange unexplained events. Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children are great at tackling the natural evolution of humans and is an interesting genetic mystery. I have rarely been disappointed reading a Greg Bear novel.
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94. Board Game: The Hobbit: The Defeat of Smaug [Average Rating:4.80 Overall Rank:11119]
David Brain
United Kingdom
London, UK
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There and Back Again (Pat Murphy)

A slightly obscure entry this, but it's one of my favourites. Murphy has taken a bona-fide fantasy classic and rewritten it as a gloriously ridiculous space opera, Not only is it delightful fun trying to guess how the various incidents from the original will be transformed, but the extra layer of story is wonderfully absorbing too (with some proper surprises.)
 
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95. Board Game: Lords of Creation [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:4454]
Dan Rivera
United States
Fountain
Colorado
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Four Lords of the Diamond by Jack L. Chalker


A series that is hard to explain. It is about a system of planets that has microbs that require you to live in the system forever because if you leave, they die and so do you. But as a catch each world on the system gives each person on it special powers. so the system is used as a prison system for all the greatest criminal minds of the universe.

It is a murder/mystery story were the secret agent (good guy) gets cloned and sent to each of the planets and the system in order to try to solve the mystery. A very awesome book.
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96. Board Game: High Society [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:620]
CJ
United Kingdom
Gosport
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Jack Vance, who writes science fiction with a mystery bent that has flavourings of aristocracy. The Cadwal Chronicles and Nightlamp are thoroughly enjoyable.

edit: just read on wikipedia that his Dying Earth series was just as the basis for the magic system developed for D&D...
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97. Board Game: Slapstick [Average Rating:4.40 Unranked]
Calavera Soñando
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Slapstick, Or Lonesome No More by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Vonnegut does not really fit into the traditional mold of sci-fi, and certainly, subsequent to his death, the literati would claim him as one of their own. Still, this novel, Slaughterhouse Five, Cat's Cradle, and a few others certainly fit the category.

The story, narrated by a seven-foot tall doctor living in the ruins of the Empire State Building, is a bitter-sweet comic romp through a bizarre and strangely comforting future. It is ironically about the hidden benefits of economic and cultural collapse of the West. Ever more poignant in this current economic apocalypse.

Cat's Cradle is satire about Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Slaughterhouse Five, I personally don't care for, but is the most well known of his works.

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98. Board Game: Chutzpah [Average Rating:4.69 Unranked]
Calavera Soñando
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon won the 2008 Hugo and is the only work of alt-history that I've ever been able to stomach. (Sorry to all you Turtetove and Flint fans. I love history but this sub-genre is just not my thing.)

And yes, while it's technically alt-history, it is also brilliantly grim detective noir in the tradition of the best. It is also a rich and deeply sad meditation on the Jewish diaspora. It is equal parts enthralling, deeply moving, and thought-provoking.

Premise: what if the state of Israel was never founded, and instead, a Jewish City-State is founded in the city of Sitka, Alaska? (Apparently this was an actual historical proposal called the Slattery report whose recommendations were blocked by a racist Alaskan senator at the time.)
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99. Board Game: Alien City [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:4277]
Michael Howe
United States
Cromwell
Connecticut
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Greg Egan's Permutation City. A very interesting exploration of the relationships among information, consciousness, and the nature of reality itself. I recommend it highly.
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100. Board Game: Riddle of the Ring [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:4112]
Larry Kruger
United States
West Allis
Wisconsin
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Jack Chalker's Rings of the Master series, circa 1986.

I love this series of four books. Machines rebelled, wiped out most of humanity, and scattered the survivors across isolated communities on Earth and throughout the Universe. An American Indian becomes 'aware' and seeks out freedom from the tyranny.

I haven't read a lot of Science Fiction since I typically favor Fantasy, but this series caught my interest.
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