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Niven & Pournelle - The Best Sci-Fi Writers Ever?

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posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 11:54 AM
I've got to say that when it comes to these two, I'm incredibly biased.

I first Read The Mote in Gods Eye when I was about 12/13 and it made me want to read more and more sci-fi - but since then (apart from their other books) I haven't really found anything which measures up.

I've tried quite a few authors, and maybe I'm setting my standards too high, but none of them give me the same buzz.

20 years after first reading it, and some of the authors other works, it affected me exactly the same way.

I love the way these guys write!
4 of my all time favourite books are;
The Mote In Gods Eye
The Mote Around Murchesons Eye (The Gripping Hand is the US version)
Lucifers Hammer

There are other books of other genres that I really like, but the first one I mentioned has given me a life long love affair with Sci-Fi

Can anybody tell me some authors who they think could complete?

posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 12:35 PM
No, I feel the same, The Mote In God's Eye books are incredibly dense with meaning. Niven's Ringworld books, same, and he is a masterful short story writer as well. The way he combines extrapolation of hard science with social commentary/speculation is unbeatable imo.

I like Ursula K. Leguin and Frank Herbert a lot too, but they both lean more into fantasy than science fiction, although what they write about social issues and the paranormal is fascinatining.

posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 01:31 PM
I've never read the ringworld books, but if you can recommend them I'll give them a go.

I've been reading a fair but of Ben Bova recently, but his books are pretty much just sci-fi soap opera's - no real depth and not much science

posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 07:31 PM
I think I read two Ringworld books, some years ago, he might have more.

I was going to say that he gets a little out there with some of the [sub]species in it, but then the species in Mote were quite different as well.

I don't think I've read any Ben Bova, although maybe some short stories, I remember seeing his name on book covers, but he edits alot of compilations too.

I read an interesting one by Philip Jose Farmer, The Unreasoning Mask, which I thought was very good. His series Riverworld, I enjoyed the first couple books, but I lost enthusiasm as the series progressed, I think the idea ran out of steam.

Arthur C. Clarke has never disappointed me.

Hyperion by Dan Simmons I really liked, its got a heavy mystical flavor, if you're into that.

Cool thread you started.

posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 07:50 PM
look at my avatar,
that's the MacArthur, above Mote Prime with the Mote jump point and nebula in the distance, and Mote Beta and the Asteroids in shadow off centre left.

Just as I imagined it

cool avatar I think

Arthur C.
Bless him, I loved Millennium Man, but he collaborated on that one.

Nice one - love to talk about books

[edit on 29/6/2007 by budski]

posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 08:10 PM
While i enjoy Niven and Pournelle i wouldnt say there the best, but its all down to personal opinion anyway.
Greg Bear, Iian M Banks, Gordon Dickson, Phillip Dick, David Brin, Peter Hamilton, are all excellent writers.
Go even further back to Isaac Asimov, Arthur Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Vonnegut, Modesitt etc.
Hard to nominate a best SF author when there are so many great ones imo.
I can enjoy the space opera stuff just as much as the hard technical SF, just depends on my mood.
It is by far my favorite genre.

[edit for syntax]

[edit on 29/6/07 by mojo4sale]

posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 08:21 PM
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was a great author
read breakfast of champion and gallapagos
great books.

Has anyone read any Brian Lumley?

sorry, off topic there, got carried away - apologies

Anyone read Footfall, or, Lucifers Hammer? or The Burning City?

[edit on 29/6/2007 by budski]

posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 09:05 PM
Footfall is my favorite of their novels.

And yes Lumley is also very good. Have to go and see what of his books i have.

posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 09:17 PM
Yeah I read Lucifer's Hammer, good one.

Your avi is cool, & I noticed 'the Gripping Hand' right away of course.

Funny thing, I've been watching someone's place while they're away, and whats on the table but a beat up copy of Mote.

posted on Jun, 29 2007 @ 09:19 PM

Originally posted by mojo4sale

Greg Bear, Iian M Banks, Gordon Dickson, Phillip Dick, David Brin, Peter Hamilton, are all excellent writers.

[edit on 29/6/07 by mojo4sale]

Not familiar with all of these, have to check 'em out.

Philip Dick--Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? Great book.

edit for typo

[edit on 6/29/0707 by ephemeral]

posted on Jun, 30 2007 @ 09:44 AM
I don't know why, but I just couldn't get into Iian M Banks.
Tried a few different books with the same result.

Currently in a phase of reading Harry Harrisons alternative history series - not brilliantly written or gripping, as such, but a great concept.

posted on Jun, 30 2007 @ 11:35 AM
They are certainly in the conversation...

Isaac Asimov, Harry Harrison, and Philip Dick are my currant faves. This is of course subject to my next trip to the book store...

posted on Jun, 30 2007 @ 04:06 PM

Originally posted by budski

Currently in a phase of reading Harry Harrisons alternative history series - not brilliantly written or gripping, as such, but a great concept.

Is that the Eden series of books, i read them years ago and really enjoyed them.

@Seagull, i'm currently reading The Father Thing and Beyond lies the Wub, collections of Phillip Dicks short story's, fantastic.

posted on Jun, 30 2007 @ 06:13 PM
Has anyone read any Iris Murdoch?

Currently reading "MetaPhysics as a Guide to Morality"

Tis good - if a little laboured.

Brian Lumley has my favourite depiction of vampires - brilliant

Far better than the whinging vampires of Anne Rice - "Oh woe is me....I'm immortal and have such empathy for my victims"
Fek off

So to recap, I prefer Brian Lumley as an author

posted on Jul, 1 2007 @ 11:25 AM
I've been trying to find those, mojo...I'll probably end up on Amazon. My bookstore is more fun though...

Anne Rice is, IMHO, grossly overrated. Though, technically, she's not really scifi.

posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 06:17 AM
I agree, but I was tying in with Brian Lumley who's definitely sci-fi/horror.

His necromancer/necroscope etc books are well worth a read as are some of his others.

I went through a phase of trying to find "alternative" sci-fi and came across him.

I can feel a trip to the library coming on.....

posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 10:36 PM
Michael Crighton with the Andromeda Strain and The Sphere

posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 11:59 AM
Orson Scott Card is a tremendously gifted Sci-fi writer. I recommend his Ender Series, starting with Ender's Game and proceeding through Speaker of the Dead

Fred Saberhagan and his Berserker books is also very good.

Definitely recommend Niven's Ringworld books as well as Niven and Pournelle's book, Inferno; although not strictly sci-fi, it is very good.

posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 05:58 PM
Snow Crash and The Diamond Age by Neil Stephonson are amazing books though the latter takes at least 2 or 3 read throughs to fully appreciate.

posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 12:12 AM
I don't have one favourite SF author, but I am really fond of William Gibson.

His books inspired The Matrix, Johnny Mnemonic (he wrote the screenplay based on his short story) and wrote that X-Files episode where Mulder and Scully stop the crazy virtual video game vixen from killing people.

In fact, I've inspired myself to reread my copy of Neuromancer. It's been a few years now.

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