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DesertRose 
Posted: 28-Jan-2004, 02:37 PM
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I have heard that fantasy and science fiction writers can sometimes be in the same category. As I myself have never read either, maybe some of you can enlighten me and others as who the science fictions writers are and your favorites. smile.gif


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silverdragon 
Posted: 28-Jan-2004, 04:01 PM
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The line between the two genres is blurry, and the fantasy novels are sold in bookstores on the same shelves with the science fiction. That said, many "hard" SF fans/writers STRONGLY object to being lumped in with fantasy fans/writers. The differences are (and PLEASE -- this is only MY opinion -- don't flame me! sad.gif ) :

Science fiction generally deals with technology and its effect on humans, aliens, and societies, even if the "technology" in question is totally absurd. The more strictly a piece of science fiction deals only with possible (though not currently extant) technology and situations, the "harder" it is considered to be. Mental abilities such as telepathy, telekinesis and similar phenonmena (that otherwise might be considered to be "magic") are OK as long as they are given a plausible scientific explanation/cause. There are certain conventions such as faster-than-light travel that are taken as givens within the genre even though the best current science seems to indicate that they are in fact not possible. It most often (though not always) deals with fictional future events.

Fantasy, OTOH, proudly refuses to stoop to a scientific explanation for anything; deals with magic, gods, heroes, mythological creatures and persons, and other phenomena from legend without apology. It most often (though not always) deals with fictional past events.

I love BOTH fantasy AND science fiction. You couldn't tell it from my Tolkien fixation, but I started on hard science fiction, and still dearly love a geekly story. Many authors write both SF and fantasy, wandering from one to another as the muse strikes them.

A partial listing of my fave SF authors in no particular order:

No longer living:
  • Robert A. Heinlein
  • Issac Asimov
  • Poul Anderson
  • Cordwainer Smith
Currently writing:
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Orson Scott Card
  • Anne McCaffrey
  • Andre Norton
  • Harry Turtledove
  • Ursula K. LeGuinn


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DesertRose 
Posted: 28-Jan-2004, 04:13 PM
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Ooh! Thank you so much Silverdragon! That answered my question and maybe hard core Science fiction fans can post in here now! thumbs_up.gif
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silverdragon 
Posted: 28-Jan-2004, 04:21 PM
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You're welcome.

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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 28-Jan-2004, 04:38 PM
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hehehe biggrin.gif

you might like our science fiction library, I think my BF owns every book Asimov ever wrote... cool.gif

I have to say, I'm more into high fantasy than science fiction but I do like SF as well. I love the Ringworld Books by Larry Niven...

Oooh, and MZB died last year. The Darkover Cycle is now continued by others. Mercedes Lackey wrote a few.


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talleyrand 
Posted: 28-Jan-2004, 06:38 PM
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I read a review on Slashdot for A Game Of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Wow. I was engrossed in the first one and devoured books 2 and 3. Now I eagerly await #4 which is only a year and a half or so over due so I'm not jonesing as bad as others who have been waiting many years. That's probably the best Fantasy book I'd read in some time.

Best Sci-Fi, or at least the most though provoking, that I've read recently was Forever War by Joe Halderman. I've been meaning to hit the library and check out the followups to it but I've been too busy.


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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 28-Jan-2004, 06:51 PM
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there's german author who wrote a really good SF book in which a boy gets dragged into a computer game.. but I just can't remember author and name atm *arrrgh*
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andylucy 
Posted: 29-Jan-2004, 02:07 AM
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Silverdragon, excellent job of describing the differences between sci-fi and fantasy. I enjoy both genres, but I have a much stronger affinity to sci-fi. My favorite authors/works include:

Robert Heinlein- my absolute favorite. I enjoy both periods of his work, the early "Juvenile" and the later "Adult," neither of which are adequately descriptive. My favorites include Starship Troopers, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, Have Space Suit, Will Travel, and of course, Stranger In A Strange Land, although I don't rate it as high as I do some of his other work.

Frederick Pohl- I absolutely love the Heechee Saga.

Isaac Asimov- Foundation series and, of course, I Robot.

James Blish- Star Trek Logs 1-10

Douglas Adams- the Hitchhiker's series

Ben Bova- the Kinsman series

And my guilty pleasure- Arthur C. Clarke- the Odyssey series.

Just my tuppence.

Andy



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silverdragon 
Posted: 29-Jan-2004, 02:25 PM
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QUOTE (Aon_Daonna @ Jan 28 2004, 01:38 PM)
hehehe  biggrin.gif

you might like our science fiction library, I think my BF owns every book Asimov ever wrote...  cool.gif
You must have a large library! angel_not.gif The Good Doctor was an EXTREMELY prolific author!
QUOTE
I have to say, I'm more into high fantasy than science fiction but I do like SF as well. I love the Ringworld Books by Larry Niven...

Oooh, and MZB died last year. The Darkover Cycle is now continued by others. Mercedes Lackey wrote a few.
OK, so I'm really out of the loop... sad.gif I like Lackey a lot, but series are never the same when carried on by others.
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silverdragon 
Posted: 29-Jan-2004, 02:40 PM
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andylucy, my absolute favorite Heinlein is Glory Road; hand me my sword! Royal08.gif user posted image
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DesertRose 
Posted: 29-Jan-2004, 02:41 PM
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QUOTE (silverdragon @ Jan 28 2004, 04:21 PM)
You're welcome.

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Can't I EVER stop lecturing, even during school vacations? wink.gif

No! tongue.gif biggrin.gif Thank you again! wink.gif
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Raven 
Posted: 17-Feb-2004, 12:07 PM
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Excellent description Silver Dragon.

I tend to enjoy Hard Sci a bit more than Soft Sci unless it gets into utter fantasy. However one of my fav books of all time Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land" is a great example of soft sci in my estimation.

Orson Scott Card I have really enjoyed although all that I have read so far is the most of the Ender Series.

The thing that will anoy me most with sci fi is when they just ignore the real problems that faster than light speed travel presents. I always prefer space travel sci fi that deals with this issue head on, even if with a totally outrageous explanation of how FTLST is possible.

I cut my teeth on Sci Fi back in the 60's with Lester Del Ray space Sci Fi books and read a lot of the Danny Dunn series for kids (I can't remember the author)


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corrigan 
Posted: 17-Feb-2004, 04:15 PM
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Great explanation for Sci Fi vs Fantasy, Silverdragon. I'd like to add a more concise definition for Sci Fi. It's the genre that asks "What if?" Probably why it has always been my favorite. The Sci Fi channel uses that definition with their wonderful commercials (excuse the oxymoron). You know, the fire-breathing baby and the lady with the lizard skin in front of the mirror.

My favorite authors for Sci Fi are (at least at this very moment):
Elizabeth Moon (Remnant Moon, Serrano Series - She also writes a great fantasy series Deeds of Paksenarrion)
David Weber (Honor Harrington series)
Lois McMaster Bujold (Vorkosigan series, her entry in fantasy is excellent as well, Curse of Chalion. In fact, while verifying the spelling I was overjoyed to find out that there is second Chalion!)

Of course I love Card, Heinlein, Pohl, Blish, Asimov, Bova (saw at a con - great, though weary-of-it-all speaker). I just haven't read them in a while.

BTW, I have to disagree with andylucy about Stranger in a Strange Land. I put it at Heinlein's best. Also it seems to ask "What If?" even better than my choices which are pretty much just good (but well written) space opera.
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3Ravens 
Posted: 24-Feb-2004, 03:57 AM
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My favorite Heinlein book after Stranger in a Strange Land is Number of the Beast.
I've read lots of Asimov, fiction and non-fiction. The ones I enjoyed most were his multivolume autobiography. He did an excelent job of explaining complicated science in layman's terms. He even published a volume of dirty limricks!
My favorite fantasy author at present is Charles DeLint. He writes urban fantasy...magical beings among us, right here in town! tongue.gif


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kelaorqu 
Posted: 18-Mar-2004, 06:00 PM
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has anyone ever read Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell? I don't know if you consider it science fiction, but it was one of the scariest, but good book I ever read...
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