Tammy’s Top Ten Favorite Sci-Fi Books – BEFORE I Started Blogging

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Top Ten Sci Fi
I own copies of all these books, but I can’t believe I found them all!

Welcome to Sci-Fi November, hosted by Oh, The Books! and Rinn Reads! A couple of weeks ago, I gave you my Top Ten Sci-Fi Books Written by Women – Since I Started Blogging, and today I’m listing my Top Ten Sci-Fi books before I began blogging. Most of the books on this list aren’t your typical science fiction classics, and those of you who are die-hard fans of SF will probably wonder why so many big name SF authors are missing. But I was never one to follow the crowd and read the popular books, as you might be able to tell. In any case, I love each one of these and I recommend them without hesitation. (This list is in no particular order.)

Evolution’s Shore by Ian McDonald. (1995) This was the first McDonald book I read, and it’s definitely my favorite. I don’t remember very many of the details, because it’s probably been almost twenty years since I’ve read it, but this would be one of the first on my list to re-read, I remember it being THAT good.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. (1968) Most people have seen the movie this book is based on (Blade Runner) but haven’t read the book. It’s really a heartbreaking story, and one of my favorite PKD books.

Vurt by Jeff Noon. (1993) I discovered Jeff Noon during a trip to London in 1994, and immediately fell in love with his drug-fueled storytelling. Vurt and it’s follow-up, Pollen, are still two of my all-time favorite books. If you haven’t read them, PLEASE make time to do so.

Hyperion by Dan Simmons. (1989) This book, you guys. THIS BOOK. Please read it, I beg you. The story is told in the style of The Canterbury Tales, and it brilliantly sets the scene for the second book in the series, which is:

The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons. (1990) Here’s where the story really gets going, and it was even better than Hyperion. Two more books followed this one, but I didn’t enjoy them nearly as much.

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. (1996) This was a very difficult book to read. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it. It’s a terribly sad, but beautifully written story of first contact with an alien race. Russell wrote a sequel called Children of God, but I don’t think I was ready to go back into her world, so I never read it.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. (1990) You’ve seen the movie, but have you read the book? The book was amazingly readable, with fantastic pacing and lots of terrifying moments.  Definitely worth a read, especially if you haven’t seen the movie in a while.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. (1985) Say what you will about the controversial Mr. Card, but this book was the bomb, and it was also the first book I remember reading that had an amazing twist at the end.

The Child Garden by Geoff Ryman. (1989) Before the Wizard of Oz retelling Wicked came along, Ryman wrote a little book called Was, which also told a twisted sort of Wizard of Oz tale. But The Child Garden was the first Ryman I read, and I nearly didn’t finish it. It’s terribly sad and beautiful (I’m sensing a trend of “sad” and “beautiful” stories on this list…) and depressing, but I was so glad that I made it to the end. Well worth the pain.

Emergence by David R. Palmer. (1984) This book is long out of print, unfortunately. I bought my copy at a used bookstore, probably eighteen or so years ago, after a good friend told me I HAD to read it. He wasn’t wrong. You can still find used copies (I just checked on Amazon, and someone is selling a paperback for over $400!), but it’s a shame it isn’t readily available. It’s a post apocalyptic story about a scary smart little girl and her psychic parrot.

So there you go. Wow, writing this post has made me so nostalgic! I want to re-read each one…Have you read any of these? Which (older) science fiction books would you put on your top ten list?

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Posted November 18, 2014 by Tammy in Sci-Fi November, Top Ten / 29 Comments

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29 responses to “Tammy’s Top Ten Favorite Sci-Fi Books – BEFORE I Started Blogging

  1. I love Ender’s Game and Androids as well. Almost all of the rest are books on my to-read shelf. So you love PK Dick too then? What are your other favs of his? Mine are probably Man in the High Castle and Radio Free Albemuth.

      • I just finished Emergence and WOW! No wonder it made your Top Ten. I just finished it today and I loved nearly every minute of it! Touching and exciting! (Dare I say I shed a tear?)

        And I definitely didn’t pay $40 for it. I think I found it on Amazon for $5, plus shipping. Worth it!
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        • Tammy

          Oh so cool! I don’t know very many people who have read Emergence. I think you were lucky to find it at that price! So glad you loved it. Time for a re-read!

    • Tammy

      Oh don’t give up on Dan! I actually never read Drood, but Hyperion is completely different. I’ll bet my life on it, that you’d love it;-D

  2. That’s a great list. I have been meaning to read Dan Simmons for ever and I probably should do so – like tonight.

    I grew up reading Orson Scott Card and I love Ender’s Game. He is a controversial figure in the SF book world with his politics. It has definitely left me conflicted about his works.

    I have only read a little PKD, but Do Androids Dream of Sheep was the first. I was a beautiful story and much more intricate than the movie.
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  3. Yes, my fellow Dan Simmons fan! Hyperion seriously BLEW. MY. MIND. This man has made me see time traveling differently. I haven’t read the other books in the series though, my husband keeps telling me they’re not as good as Hyperion and I’ve just been nervous to tackle them now because I don’t want anything at all to shadow my enjoyment of the first book. But since you say Fall of Hyperion is better, and I do trust your judgment more (no offense to my husband, lol) I may look into now.
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    • Tammy

      You would LOVE FOH! Don’t listen to your husband, LOL! I do agree with him about the two after that, I did not enjoy them nearly as well, they were almost a different story. But Fall continues the story so you must read it!

  4. I read all four of the Hyperion books and thought that Hyperion was the best of the four. One of my all time favorite novels, period. The Fall of Hyperion was very, very good but I didn’t think it was quite as good as Hyperion. Endymion, the third book, was the weakest. I thought that The Rise of Endymion was as good as The Fall of Hyperion. All in all, one of the best series from start to finish that I’ve ever read.

    Ender’s Game is another one of my all time favorites. And I’m a big Crichton fan as well and Jurassic Park is my favorite of his novels.

    Good list! I see a few books I’ll have to read.

  5. Ah yes, Ender’s Game. I read it in middle school (and then again later in high school) and loved it. It’s still one of my favourite straight up sci-fi novels! I’ve always been intrigued by Jurassic Park but for some reason I never picked it up – good to know it’s awesome! 🙂
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  6. Wow! I love when I get so many read ideas in one post. I have always read quite a lot of Sci-Fi, but I only read two in your list: “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” and the “Ender’s Game”, which I both loved.
    I would have a hard time listing my favourite Sci-Fi books before blogging. I remember behind captivated by P.J. Farmer’s Riverworld series as a child. I also remember loving Simack, Vance, Silverberg, Dick… but I can’t always come up with specific titles.
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  7. I recently put Emergence on my TBR and was super disappointed about not being able to buy a copy! I’m hoping one pops up in my used bookstore. I read Ender’s Game several years ago but listened to the audio and really didn’t care for it.. I think I need to give it another shot in print. So many others I’d still love to read! Jurassic Park included. Great list!
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