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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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26. Board Game: Monuments: Wonders of Antiquity [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2557]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Lloyd Biggle Jr.'s Monument is absolutely superb. Essentially a colony is rediscovered by a (mostly) well meaning interstellar civilisation who are ignorant of local conditions. This is the story of the colony's fight against being 'developed' and destroyed in the process. In some ways a parable for development on this world!
 
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27. Board Game: Heaven and Hell [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Ben Steinhauser
United States
San Antonio
TX
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Neil Gaiman already has two entries on this list, but I'll add Good Omens co-authored with Terry Pratchett. This is my favorite book by either of the authors.

It's about Crowley and Aziraphale (a demon and an angel) who are trying to prevent the Apocalypse because they like their lives on earth. A very humorous book.
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28. Board Game: Origins: How We Became Human [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1725]
Jason Bryan
United States
Bloomington
Illinois
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More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon is one I favor. He is more known for his short stories and for being the basis for Kilgore Trout in Vonnegut's work, but he also wrote several books. This one is about a group of people who form the first gestalt human and their struggles. Also check out his short stories.
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29. Board Game: The Difference Between Women & Men [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:6920]
Michael B
Canada
Ontario
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The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri S. Tepper is an engaging book about relationship in a segregated society.
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30. Board Game: Royal Carpet [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
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The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach is a book that's about 15 years old, but has only been available in English for about 5 of them. It's a great, quirky book that combines fantasy, science fiction, and mystery, and I guarantee that you've never read a book like it before.
 
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31. Board Game: Fearsome Floors [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:699]
Brian Boyle
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks
Not part of the excellent Culture series of novels by Iain M. Banks, but a standalone 250-page novel. Got me back into reading SF after a break of some 20 years. Great characters, hilarious and tragic by turns.

Cyberpunk meets Micheal Moorcock?

Some people have problems with the pheonetically-spelled chapters, but I thot they wer 1 of the best bits.

And a great ending.
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32. Board Game: The Secret Door [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:4022]
'Bernard Wingrave'
United States
Wyoming
Ohio
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Alexander Key is best known for writing Escape to Witch Mountain, which has been made into movies a couple of times.

Mr. Key wrote a couple of my favorite sci-fi books: The Forgotten Door and The Magic Meadow. The target audience for these books is probably 9 or 10 years old, but I still enjoyed them the last time I read them (as an adult).
 
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33. Board Game: Battle of Granicus (334 BC) [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Jay Sachs
United States
Williamstown
Massachusetts
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334 by Thomas Disch. Maybe more classified as "future social" rather than "science" fiction, but deeply layered. Gets under your skin and dreams because of the plausibility.
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34. Board Game: Instant Replay [Average Rating:3.75 Unranked]
David Brafman
United States
Boca Raton
Florida
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Replay, by Ken Grimwood. It has a single sci-fi element that allows the rest of the book to work, and it is a brilliant book. Both fun/intriguing and, if you think about it on another level, very insightful.
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35. Board Game: Conquest of Paradise [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1264]
Michael B. Hansen
Denmark
Odense N
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Dave Wolverton : On My Way to Paradise

Very good book, reminds me a little of Heinlein.
Man on the run seeks refuge in the military branch of one of big corporations of the future. Pretty deep stuff, but with a good story on top.
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36. Board Game: Give Me the Brain! [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:3154]
 
Michael B. Hansen
Denmark
Odense N
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Ian Watson : "The Embedding"

Ian Watson mixes the weirdest concoctions. This one has children isolated from everybody in an effort to find the building blocks of language and a newly discovered tribe in the Amazon with some weird practises.

If that sounds good, try "The Jonah Kit".. Whales, Kosmonauts, Children, the Edge of Everything, Schröedingers Cat.... juicy stuff

 
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37. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:41]
Byron Grimes
United States
Champaign
Illinois
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The White Plague, by Frank Herbert. It's probably his best non-Dune book. Revenge, insanity, genocide, and a search for a cure make for a story that's hard to top.
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38. Board Game: Forward March [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Peter Freer
New Zealand
Wellington
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Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith


Super imaginative noir-detective-fantasy novel(not in the dragons and orcs fashion).
Plays out like Douglas Adams fist-fighting Neil Stephenson (circa Snow Crash) whilst a teenage Dennis Potter watches on.

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39. Board Game: Personal Portraits [Average Rating:8.12 Unranked]
Andy Leighton
England
Peterborough
Unspecified
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The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque by Jeffrey Ford.

In Victorian Manhattan, a painter accepts a commission to paint a portrait of the Mrs Charbuque of the title without ever once setting eyes on her (or any other images of her) set against a series of murders. Elements of mystery and magic-realism abound in a fantasy about the nature of fantasy.
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40. Board Game: Fire on the Mountain: Battle of South Mountain September 14, 1862 [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Andy Leighton
England
Peterborough
Unspecified
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Fire On The Mountain by Terry Bisson.

An alternate history describing the world as it would have been had John Brown succeeded in his raid on Harper's Ferry.

Other great alternate history books are

The Alteration by Kingsley Amis
Pavane by Keith Roberts
Bring The Jubilee by Ward Moore
Climb The Wind by Pamela Sargent.

All of these are standalone.
 
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41. Board Game: Twins [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:6705]
Andy Leighton
England
Peterborough
Unspecified
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The Separation by Christopher Priest.

Excellent novel set mainly around the Second World War which revolves about two twin brothers - one of whom becomes a RAF pilot the other a conscientious objector. A multiple alternate history with unreliable
narrators.

Other good books by Priest are

A Dream of Wessex (US title The Perfect Lover)
The Dream Archipelago - a series of linked short stories
The Affirmation
The Glamour
The Quiet Woman
The Prestige - on which the film was based.
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42. Board Game: Freestyle [Average Rating:5.11 Unranked]
Andy Leighton
England
Peterborough
Unspecified
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Free Live Free by Gene Wolfe

Although this author is well known for his two big series - the Soldier series and the Sun cycles) - he has also written some great standalone novels. This is one.

I would also recommend The Fifth Head of Cerberus which is a complex fix-up novel as well as Peace and There Are Doors/
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43. Board Game: Nuclear War [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:1775]
L. Stitz
Germany
Lüneburg
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"The Road" by Cormack McCarthy

A father and his son trek westwards through a devastated and emptied America - constantly fearing to meet other people.


"A Canticle for Leibowitz" by Walter M. Miller

After having bombed themselves back into the middle ages, humanity is on the brink of losing all achievements brought by the Enlightenment. However, the torch of arts and sciences is carried on by the church.

Both books share very powerful images of a dystopian future after the (obviously inevitable) nuclear war.
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44. Board Game: Starship Troopers [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1753]
Damien
United States
Knoxville
Tennessee
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I cant believe no one mentioned this one. Great book that i reread on a regular basis.
In a cyberpunk vein anything by William Gibson is good.
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45. Board Game: Enchanted Forest [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:3809]
Gary Hodge
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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Enchantment by Orson Scott Card. Card is maybe best known for his Ender series. This is more in the fantasy category. It combines time trave l with elements and characters from Russian fairy tales -- it's one of my favorites.
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46. Board Game: Locke the Superman [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Tyler Martin
United Kingdom
London
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Although it is the first of a series 'The Lies of Locke Lamora' by Scott Lynch is great as a stand alone. Interesting characters and premise - Fantasy scam artits. Good fun.
 
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47. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:108] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Cornelius Rosenkrantz
Switzerland
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Outside the obvious Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion, the two best fantasy novels I can recall are:

Little, Big by John Crowlely.
Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees.

And if you are allowed to read "duologies" then try with the two books of Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake.
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48. Board Game: Android [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:700]
Just Jeff
United States
Sterling
Illinois
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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. This is the book the film "Blade Runner" was based on. A fantastic read. Also from Dick:
The Man in the High Castle
Ubik

All three novels are fantastic!
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49. Board Game: Jungle [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
United States
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The Men in the Jungle by Norman SPinrad.

A team of rogue intergalactic traders set up shop on a red planet where the ruling elite breed the lower classes for food and grisly entertainment. It's very dark and bloody (cannibalism, torture), but a good read. I loved it in high school and could still appreciate it a few years ago when I tracked down a used copy on ebay.

Brian
 
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50. Board Game: Doctor Strange [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Drew Suarez
United States
Florida
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Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. It is hard to describe this book. It is written as a historical text, complete with many many footnotes, about two magicians in the Napoleonic era.
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