Looking for a good SINGLE SF or fantasy book (not a series)
Roy Hasson
Israel
Kfar Saba
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I really enjoyed reading beagle757's recent geeklist http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/52467/looking-for-some... looking for good SF or fantasy books.

However many of the responses to the list gave series of books, some of them 12 volumes in length, some not even finished yet.

I find it really despairing that the trend in recent years in SF and fantasy is that if an author doesn't write at least a trilogy, then his books are not worth publishing.

So this what this geeklist is about. I want to hear about good books whose author managed to be concise enough to write them in one volume. They could be 900 pages long, but they are one, complete, book, not a 15 volume never-ending saga.

[Edit] As requested by one of the commenters, here is the list of recommended books in the geeklist - my apologies if I ommited anything:

A fire upon the deep - Vernor Vinge
Anathem - Niel Stephenson
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
The Man in the Maze - Robert Silverberg
Tigana - Guy Gavriel Kay
House of Leaves. by Mark Z. Danielewski
The Anubis Gates or On Stranger Tides both by Tim Powers
Tiger Tiger (aka The Stars My Destination) by Alfred Bester
Friends Come In Boxes by Michael G Coney
The Godwhale by TJ Bass
The Worm Ouroboros by ER Eddison
Silverlock by John Myers Myers
The Demolished Man by Bester
Fantastic Voyage by Otto Klement and Jerome Bixby
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Ursula K. Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven.
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
The Overlords of War by Gerard Klein
The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner
Candy Man by Vincint King, 1971
Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
Roger Zelazny- A Night in the Lonesome October
Brasyl by Ian McDonald
The Limits Of Enchantment by Graham Joyce
Joe Haldeman's The Forever War
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi.
Consider Phlebas, The Player of Games, Excession by Iain Banks
Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban.
Eifelheim by Michael Flynn.
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76. Board Game: The Swarm [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:2170]
Bob Menzel
United States
Montpelier
Vermont
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The Swarm by Michael .Kiesling.

This is a great book about eco-revenge that hasn't gotten nearly as much hype here in the U.S. as it deserves. The added bonus is that there is a game coming out based on the book shortly . . .

edit: fixed spelling errors
 
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77. Board Game: Wizards [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:3334]
BrentS
Australia
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The Face in the Frost by John Bellair.

A quick, self-contained read and a fantasy classic. An amazing mix of light and quirky humour and some of the most frightening passages I've ever read (probably because they come as such a shock after the light tone of the first chapter).

Brent.
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78. Board Game: King David: Miniature Battles in the Old Testament Period [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
 
David Valenze
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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King David's Spaceship

by Jerry Pournelle

It technically takes place in the same milieu as The Mote in God's Eye as mentioned earlier, but the books are completely independent of each other. It is an excellent story.
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79. Board Game: Hearts [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1246]
David Valenze
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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Three Hearts and Three Lions

by Poul Anderson

A great fantasy adventure.
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80. Board Game: Dante's Inferno [Average Rating:4.73 Overall Rank:11038]
Brian
United States
Virginia
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Usually famous for his Vlad Taltos series and other books taking place in the same world, Steven Brust had a very excellent standalone novel called To Reign in Hell. This is a fantasy novel about an interesting take on the War in Heaven, how it starts and plays out from the perspective of various angels.

I'm a pretty big fan of his work, but this was probably one of my favorites from him. Very interesting style to this book that I've not seen in many other places. It's almost entirely told in dialogue. The book has some great humor to it as well.
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81. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:134]
Eric Kuha
United States
Minnesota
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I would say that Dune, by Frank Herbert stands alone just fine on its own. I can say this because it's the only book in the series that I've read and I felt it was a very complete story. I've tried to read the second book but it's a huge snooze-fest.

Dune was originally written as just a novel, as well. He chose to expand it after the novel was written. Unless I'm totally mistaken.

It's an almost perfect novel.
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82. Board Game: Clockwork Crusade [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Eric Kuha
United States
Minnesota
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A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. I almost forgot. It's very nearly sci-fi. And even if you wish to quibble about whether or not it is, there is no denying that it is a very clever and fantastic novel. Burgess's best (much to his own chagrin!).
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83. Board Game: War [Average Rating:2.17 Overall Rank:11180]
Ian Peters-Campbell
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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Warbreaker, but Branden Sanderson. It's a standalone fantasy novel with a very unique form of magic, and a lot of really interesting world building. Also pretty short and concise. I liked it a lot.
 
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84. Board Game: Sorry! Card Revenge [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:7564]
Ian Peters-Campbell
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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Best Served Cold, by Joe Abercrombie. A stand-alone novel in the same universe as his highly regarded First Law series. Be warned this one is dark and gritty and brutal, but that's my favorite genre, so

It's the story of a female general who is betrayed, survives an assassination attempt that kills her brother, and sets out to get revenge on the seven people who took part. Good stuff. (but srsly, it's dark)
 
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85. Board Game: Light Speed [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:1730]
Ian Peters-Campbell
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny. This is my very favorite Sci-fi/fantasy book of all time. It's an amazing story with really incredible world building. It's hard to describe this one much without giving things away, but suffice to say it's the best examination I have ever seen of the statement that sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

This book is REALLY good.
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86. Board Game: Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:351] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Josh Dickinson
United States
Mountain Home
Idaho
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World War Z by Max Brooks

This is a very fun book about zombies.
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87. Board Game: Dragon Wars [Average Rating:3.25 Unranked]
Andy Leighton
England
Peterborough
Unspecified
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The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford

A fantasy with magic and vampires (but no dragon). It is set in an alternate 15th century and blends element of folklore, literature and historical record. It speculates upon events surrounding the rise of Richard III to the throne and has the backdrop of the Medicis, Margaret of Anjou and the War of the Roses.
 
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88. Board Game: Moon Dish [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Andy Leighton
England
Peterborough
Unspecified
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Moonwise by Greer Ilene Gilman.

A book which maybe won't suit everybody. Gilman uses language to the full, and this has Yorkshire dialect, puns and wordplay a plenty, and songs. It has been described as fantasy's Dhalgren.

For those who haven't heard of it - Dhalgren is a famously difficult SF novel by Samuel Delaney which many do not get on with.
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89. Board Game: Darwinci [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:7077]
Luna Lovegood
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear

It's set in the present day, about a new illness that seems to be attacking only pregnant women and their babies, only it turns out to be much more than just an illness. The science is interesting, and I really enjoyed the way Bear protrayed the public's reaction to everything that happens in the book.

Now, this book does have a sequel - Darwin's Children - however, your enjoyment of the first book won't be marred at all if you don't go on to read the second. It stands on its own just fine. And, if I'm being honest, the sequel wasn't nearly as good as the first one was anyway...
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90. Board Game: Tide of Iron [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:360]
S. Deniz Bucak
United States
Havertown
Pennsylvania
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My books are forgeries. Nobody wrote them. - Philip K. Dick
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Stations of the Tide by Michael Swanwick

Deals with a world where a developed society based in space keep a third-world planetary surface society from developing technologically. The conceit is that the developed societies' technology is all rubber science, while the third world "magic" has practical explanations. The story is told through successive characters telling the main character their tales. It's a fascinating, richly detailed setting, a good story, plus it's quite funny.
 
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91. Board Game: Rice Wars [Average Rating:5.37 Overall Rank:9802]
Jake Baker
United States
Fishers
Indiana
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Kim Stanley Robinson is one of my favorite science fiction authors. My favorite book by him is The Years of Rice and Salt, an alternate history book based on the premise: what if the black plague had killed everyone in Europe? It reads like the best history book you've ever read: it covers the exploration of the globe, the discovery of science, and the world war between China and the Middle East, among other topics (a civil war in the bardo, the realm where souls go between incarnations, is tantalizingly hinted at, but alas, never fully developed.). Nevertheless, the book has definite characters: a jati of three protagonists who reincarnate together every dozen or a hundred years, and through whose eyes we see history unfold.

It's a bold, visionary work which won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in 2003.
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92. Board Game: Electric Short Circuit [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Joel Mayeski
Thailand
Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai
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Circuit of Heaven by Dennis Danvers

What if ALMOST all of humankind gave up a corporeal existence to live in a "utopian" heaven created by mankind?

It's a great read, an interesting concept and an intriguing story line. (I read it a number of times, though I did give it away due to the language and a couple of "romantic" scenes in the book).

(There is a follow-up story to this one that was pretty good too).
 
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93. Board Game: Saga [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:3553]
Joel Mayeski
Thailand
Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai
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The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card

It's all packaged together in one book, which is how I read it. I fantastic novel of breath taking time spans, yet focusing on character details throughout. Board games even have a place in the book!

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - I'm just surprised no one mentioned this. It's the first book of a series, but its totally not necessary to read any more than the first book (which is very much stand alone), which I read again every few years because its that good!
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94. Board Game: Space: The Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Joel Mayeski
Thailand
Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai
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Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro

This is a very good novel, one I also read again every few years. The novel deals primary with a war between two races, one in which many of the people have some type of telepathic ability and the other in which a small ruling minority enslave telepaths. Such fun things as terrific space battles and hard science is what makes the book so much fun (and other books by the same author).

While she did go on to write other books in the same universe (and some could argue they are part of a series), its not necessary to read more than the first book.

A warning is that some of her books did go on to be more "romancy" as time went on, but I really enjoy reading many/most others of her's I've come across including: The Last Hawk which deals with board games quite heavily, Catch the Lighting and others.
 
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95. Board Game: Armageddon [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Paul Whittenhall
United States
Des Plaines
Illinois
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The Armageddon Rag by George R R Martin.
This was his very first book. It's about a reporter covering the story of the murder of a record producer that produced records for a 70s group called The Nazgul. The origial lead singer is dead but the band is reforming with a new singer that looks and sounds like the orginal. It is full of LOTR references and mystery. A very good book.
 
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96. Board Game: Castle [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:2144]
Sara Bernardo
United States
Franklin
Massachusetts
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Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle. Or really- *anything* by PKD.

Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut. It's short, a little sci-fi, a little alternate history, and amazing.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. It is *BY FAR* the best sci-fi I have ever read, and I've got quite literally hundreds of sci-fi novels.

Fantasy? Anything by Neil Gaiman. Good Omens is also funny as hell- no pun intended. It's a collaboration between Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (also an author worth checking out).
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97. Board Game: Hodge Podge [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Darren Witt
Canada
Smithers
British Columbia
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where is the Canadian contingent? Robert Sawyer has a number of 1-off books that are great reads. nothing fancy, just a clever premise and a fun, well-thought out ride. Try the Terminal Experiment. or Calculating God. or Illegal Alien.

also: James Morrow. Towing Jehovah. God dies and his body is found in the ocean. Conspiracy, battle, and the sacrament. Much more, but its been 12 years since i read it (!). Jehovah was our first exposure to Morrow, so our favorite. you may want to start with Only Begotten Daughter. The second coming of Christ as a girl in modern times.
 
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98. Board Game: The Princess Bride [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
Bryan Stout
United States
Annandale
Virginia
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Some brilliant works of fantasy that I haven't seen posted yet:

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
The Innkeeper's Song by Peter S. Beagle

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

And a few that are part of a series, but do truly stand alone:

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold


 
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99. Board Game: Mutants [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Michael Roden
United States
Danube
Minnesota
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Anything by Isadore Haiblum...I've read nearly all of them:

The Tsaddik of the Seven Wonders
Interworld
The Mutants are Coming
The Hand of Ganz
Transfer to Yesterday
The Return
Identity Plunderers
Out of Sync
Crystalworld
Nightmare Express
Wilk Are Among Us
New York Confidential
Murder in Yiddish
Murder In Gotham
Specterworld
Incubo-Express
 
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