$10.00
Looking for a good SINGLE SF or fantasy book (not a series)
Roy Hasson
Israel
Kfar Saba
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Recommend
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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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51. Board Game: Track [Average Rating:4.37 Overall Rank:10164]
Matthew Pettitt
United Kingdom
Unspecified
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House of Suns, by Alistair Reynolds is a standalone novel (well, there is a short story in the same universe, but that's it - it's not a Revelation Space novel though) with a huge scope. The time scales in it are measured in turns - galactic turns. Luckily, there is plenty happening in the book, so it doesn't drag!
 
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52. Board Game: Chrononauts [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:1541] [Average Rating:6.25 Unranked]
Matthew Pettitt
United Kingdom
Unspecified
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The Time Traveller's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger, may not be shelved in the science fiction section by most bookshops, but it's about time travel, damnit! It's wonderful, and concentrates on the consequences on people of time travel, rather than the mechanics, so sneaks onto literary fiction snob's shelves as well as book club lists. Still worth a read though!
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53. Board Game: Starship Troopers [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1752]
Vincent Waciuk
Canada
Ottawa
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Starship Troopers has already been mentioned, but Heinlein has a catalogue of stand alone novels. Some of my favourites are:

Farnham's Freehold

Rocket Ship Galileo


The Moon is a Harsh Mistress


Job: A Comedy of Justice

Space Cadet

Starman Jones

&c.
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54. 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.

A great read involving time travel communications (tachyons).
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55. Board Game: Russian Roulette [Average Rating:2.28 Unranked]
Vincent Waciuk
Canada
Ottawa
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Russian Spring by Norman Spinrad.

A view of an economically depressed North America with a vibrant Euro - Russian economic powerhouse. Revolving around a single American-Soviet family it is a great read of a not so implausible future.
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56. Board Game: Armor [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:3611]
Brian Thomas
United States
Herndon
Virginia
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Armor by John Steakley. Really well written, great characters, fast moving. This is Sci-Fi along similar lines as Starship Troopers, without any of Heinlein's social agenda. A must read for any fan of Sci-Fi.
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57. Board Game: A Dog's Life [Average Rating:5.53 Overall Rank:8579]
Brian Thomas
United States
Herndon
Virginia
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To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

Willis is one of my favorite writers. She consistently looks at things just a little differently, and the result is always interesting. This is probably my favorite book, period, which is saying something as I've been reading Sci-Fi and Fantasy voraciously for 20 plus years. It is nominally about time travel, but in a very fresh new way.
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58. Board Game: Martian Rails [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:1922]
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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Ray Bradbury is known as an SF author because a couple of his most popular books happen to be SF, but I don't think he's ever really considered himself an SF author. The Martian Chronicles is a actually a collection of short stories that chronicle the human colonization of Mars (the Mars from before space exploration, it should be noted). I actually prefer his novel Fahrenheit 451, but there's nothing that makes a good game to tie to it. Fahrenheit 451 is a shorter book by today's standards, but he was wrestling with a big concept, and it is pretty packed, and will leave you with quite a bit to think about. Sadly, his 1950's thoughts on the 'dumbing down' of modern society still ring all too true today.
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59. Board Game: We the People [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:619]
Jonathan Burd
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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We by Yvgeny Zamyatin is arguably the first and best dystopian novel.
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60. Board Game: Pipers 3 [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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H. Beam Piper is largely forgotten today, but he is one of my favorite SF authors. Other than a couple of direct sequels, all his works were meant to be independent (though many of them shared the same background universe). I'd recommend any of them, but three particularly good ones are Uller Uprising, effectively setting the Sepoy Mutiny on an alien world; Little Fuzzy, a look at the meaning of sapience; and The Cosmic Computer (also known as Junkyard Planet), which is set amidst gradual breakup of an advanced civilization (playing off the still-popular Gibbonsian idea of 'decline and fall').

And they're all just good stories.
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61. Board Game: Brin de Jasette [Average Rating:4.85 Unranked]
Troy Hughes
United States
Orlando
Florida
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David Brin, besides his outstanding Uplift series, has some great stand alone books:

Earth
The Practice Effect
Heart of the Comet
The Postman
(and my favorite of late) Kiln People
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62. Board Game: Holy War [Average Rating:4.93 Overall Rank:10309]
Alex G

Philomath
Oregon
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Bruce Sterling's Holy Fire is great. His Distraction is good.
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63. Board Game: Voyage to the Stars [Average Rating:4.80 Unranked]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Although more well known for his epic series A Song of Ice and Fire, George RR Martin also has some standalone novels on his bibliography which are generally worth a look.#

I am particularly fond of Tuf Voyaging, the hero of which is a gentle vegetarian with an excellent line in the pointing out of facts in a non-sarcastic, self-deprecating but droll fashion, and a underlying morality which is shown through his actions. Some of the characters even indulge in a wargame during a long voyage at one point, which Tuf wins in spite of his 'inferior strategy' (at least that's what the self-proclaimed military expert thought, but the reader know better).
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64. Board Game: Strat-O-Sphere [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Luna Lovegood
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Sphere by Michael Crichton

It's about a spaceship that's found at the bottom of the ocean, and the team that's sent to investigate it. It has a nice psychological aspect to it, that the short-lived TV show "Defying Gravity" reminded me of. But don't watch the movie. It's terrible.
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65. Board Game: The American Civil War [Average Rating:5.68 Overall Rank:8455]
Luna Lovegood
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove

I like this book a lot. It's about a group of men who travel back in time to the 1860s to bring machine guns to General Robert E. Lee (leader of the South's army, if you aren't familiar) in an attempt to alter the outcome of the American Civil War. It's a good story even if you don't know anything about the war, although I'll admit you'll probably catch the significance of some of the references a little better if you're familiar with the way they actually happened. But I'm not a Civil War buff by any means, so I'm sure I still missed a lot, and I don't feel that altered my enjoyment of the book at all. I actually hoped that it was part of a series and went lokoing for more, but apparently this is one of his single book efforts. In any event, I highly recommend this book.
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66. Board Game: Day & Night [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1747]
Luna Lovegood
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Nightfall by Isaac Asimov & Robert Silverberg

Hands down my all time favorite book. It's based on a short story that Isaac Asimove wrote, and then later expanded into a novel with Robert Silverberg. It's about a world that has six suns, at least one of which is always in the sky, and so its people are entirely unfamiliar with darkness. At one point someone built an amusement park ride in which the only thing that happened was you rode in total darkness for something like a minute or two. It had to be shut down b/c people went mad, b/c they couldn't handle the darkness. Anyhow, scientists realize that an eclipse is approaching, which only happens every couple of thousand years, and the story is about how the people prepare for it, and how they deal with the panic and madness that follow the event. It's a fabulous book. Go forth and read it!
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67. Board Game: New World [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:4072]
Duncan
New Zealand
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"Brave New world" by Aldous (?) Huxley-I don't think its been mentioned here from the 1930's (?) and very thought provoking
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68. Board Game: Feed Me! [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Joshua Kenney
United States
North Haledon
NJ
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I like shorts. They are comfy and easy to wear.
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Feed by M. T. Anderson: a near-future where everyone has the Internet ("the Feed") plugged into their head. Pity about the lesions growing on your face...

The Inferior by Peador O'Guilin...My favorite book of last year and I don't know how to describe it. From the dust jacket: "Stopmouth and his family know of no other life than the daily battle to survive. To live they must hunt rival species, or negotiate flesh-trade with those who crave meat of the freshest human kind."

Gateway by Frederick Pohl. Humanity has found ancient alien ships that make a pre-programmed round trip to god knows where. A ship might take you to riches beyond your wildest dreams, or you could die on the way.

Day of the Triffids by Jonathan Wyndham. A classic but still terrific, and it's been ripped off by everything under the sun. Read the original. Plants can be terrifying.
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69. Board Game: First Contact [Average Rating:5.75 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.75 Unranked]
Eric Phillips
United States
Greensboro
North Carolina
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The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Technically it has a sequel, The Gripping Hand, but it's purely optional. There are so many things I liked about this book: the creation of a truly alien, consistent, and believable alien race; an extremely deft first contact story with a mystery that unfolds slowly; fascinating scientific detective work to uncover the mystery; and the presence of actual real-world religion--that most overlooked of all human phenomena in sci-fi, unless you're talking about PC nods to shamanism or weird invented alien faiths (Star Trek, I'm looking at you)--as a cultural feature of the Empire of Man (which gave the Space Navy a bit of the feel you'd get from novels about 19th century wet navies) and a personal motivating factor in the lives of some of the characters.
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70. Board Game: Brandoodles [Average Rating:3.33 Unranked]
PenumbraPenguin
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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Brandon Sanderson - I first heard of him when he was chosen to complete the Wheel of Time series (which, with ~14 books, most definitely does not qualify for this geeklist), but I really like everything of his I've read, including Elantris, which is a standalone. The first books from his series (Mistborn, Alcatraz) are fine reads on their own, too.

Warbreaker is another standalone that I haven't got around to reading yet.
 
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71. Board Game: Labyrinth Treasure Hunt [Average Rating:5.42 Overall Rank:9078]
Derry Salewski
United States
Augusta
Maine
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'The Icarus Hunt' By Timothy Zahn is one of my favorite books that isn't technically part of a series. He's probably my favorite author so I'd recommend any of his earlier stuff too.

'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' by Heinlein is one of my favorites too.

Apologies if anyone mentioned either of these before me!
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72. Board Game: Pizza-Express [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Eric Phillips
United States
Greensboro
North Carolina
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash yet. It's a wildly inventive and entertaining read, boasting the funniest, most enticing first five pages of any novel I've ever read. Read 'em, and then see if you can stop.
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73. Board Game: Conscience: The Right From Wrong Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Nacho Facello
Uruguay
Montevideo
Montevideo
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A Case of Conscience, by James Blish.

A Jesuit priest is confronted by the existence of an alien race that has no concept of religion, Gods, or whatever.
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74. Board Game: Columbus Was Wrong [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Nacho Facello
Uruguay
Montevideo
Montevideo
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Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card.

A team of scientists watch the past, and suddenly notice that their previous assumption that the past can't be influenced, only watched, was wrong. They decide to prevent what they see as the greatest tragedy in history: the violent conquest of the Americas. However, they find out that this timeline is in fact the result of somebody else's meddling...
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75. Board Game: Game of the States [Average Rating:4.68 Overall Rank:10795]
Nacho Facello
Uruguay
Montevideo
Montevideo
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Halting State, by Charles Stross

Unique in that it's written in second person. That, and the event that starts the plot going is a band of orcs, with fire support from a dragon, robbing a bank inside a MMORPG. Very good, but you should read it now before it gets outdated by advancing technology.
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