If you like to trade books, try BookMooch.
cfk has bookflurries on Weds. nights
pico has literature for kossacks on Tues. nights, but it’s on hiatus
What are you reading? is crossposted to dailyKos
If you have ideas for future weeks, let me know (one idea is Fiction vs. nonfiction, I may do that next week)
Science fiction is my favorite fiction genre. The book that turned me from someone who knows how to read into someone who reads a LOT was Maeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, which is really from the sister-genre of fantasy. I devoured Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke in my teens. The ‘big three’ are still classic, but I’ve got some other favorites, too.
John Varley. Varley writes amazingly well, he has interesting ideas. He likes to surprise the reader, not by smacking you in the head when you least expect it, but in more subtle ways. Persistence of Vision, for example, is a short story about a post-apocalyptic world, and it’s a lovely, gentle, moving piece. Press Enter, is a short story about the near future, and it is as scary as anything. Many of his novels are set in a world where mankind has been wiped out on Earth, and survives only in the rest of the solar system, but in none of those novels is that the main theme. He also likes to mess about with sexual roles.
Neal Stephenson. Some of what Stephenson writes is SF and no question about it. Snow Crash, or the Diamond Age, are SF novels. Other of his work is more ambiguously SF. I am re-reading Cryptonomicon, and it’s hard to say that this is really SF, but it feels like SF. The Baroque Cycle is more clearly not SF, but still involves a lot of things that SF often does.
Terry Pratchett. Discworld! His early books are good, some are very good indeed. Small Gods is a hysterical send-up of religion and fanaticism. But they get better. He takes on big social issues, and stays funny. Monstrous Regiment takes on sexism and the military. Thud! takes on racism and bigotry (as does Jingo). (By the way, the Discworld, shaped like disk, floats through the universe on the back of four big elephants, who stand on a giant turtle).
Robert Heinlein. OK, his politics (a sort of libertarianism) gets in the way of his writing, especially in his later work, but man, can the guy tell a story.
Samuel Delaney. Some of his books are, IMHO, unreadable (e.g. Dhalgren). Others are great (e.g. Babel 17).
There are others whom I like: Nancy Kress, Charles Stross, Connie Willis….) but let’s get to the comments