I'm looking for recommendations for the best science fiction novel you've ever read.
I want to know when you read it, why you enjoyed it, what it meant to you, and how it's mattered in your life since.
"Neuromancer" is a great start, but really anything by William Gibson rocks! He's moved a little bit away from pure science-fiction with his last few books, but start with Neuromancer and work your way up: "Burning Chrome", "Count Zero", "Mona Lisa Overdrive", "Idoru", "Virtual Light" : all winners.
The Sparrow amazon.com was the first SF novel that I read that was written well enough to recommend to readers that don't even like science fiction. It's an interesting story of Humans first contact with intelligent life (the sequel is also good).
Anathem is the most interesting that I've read over the last year. I get the feeling that people either love it or hate it. amazon.com
I just finished reading Cloud Atlas amazon.com in preparation for the upcoming movie. It was good, certainly a page turner but not really science fiction.
Anvil of Stars amazon.com is another favorite — about a small group of people left from survivors after the earth (and most of it's population) is destroyed. The prequel (The Forge of God) is also good but not great.
"The Culture" series is also pretty addictive. I started on Consider Phlebas amazon.com and have been working my way through
I read the Dune series when I was a teenager and would like to read them again but I can't remember much detail except that I liked them.
I read Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlen as a kid and it blew my mind (please know the crap movie of the same title has very little to do with the book). Heinlen introduced me to the idea that science fiction could be about much more than entertainment--it can be about big ideas: philosophy, ethics, politics, history, etc.
In Starship Troopers Heinlen repeatedly returns to the main character's high school classroom where "History and Moral Philosophy" is taught. Heinlen uses the classroom scenes to discuss his own views on citizenship in a way that isn't preachy or boring.
In Starship Troopers, I loved how Heinlen challenged me to think and expand my horizons while telling an exciting, action-packed sci-fi story at the same time.
These all look good! Just downloaded The Quantum Thief - sounds like a good read :)
The 'Blindsight' title reminded me of the first novel that helped me fall in love with science fiction: As She Climbed Across The Table amazon.com
No spaceships or aliens in this story, it's about a particle physicist, who have created a hole in the universe that they call "the Lack" their first measurements find that it absorbs some particles (e.g. x-rays) but lets others pass through. Then by accident they discover it will accept somethings (e.g. light bulbs) but doesn't like others (bow ties, scrambled eggs). It's a short novel and I've enjoyed reading it at least 4 times now :)
@Phillippe I thought I would add that I read "The Quantum Thief" and eagerly the sequel as well (and now looking forward to the third in the series). I enjoyed how details of technology wasn't laid out in minute detail and instead accepted as fact (and how different cultures used different language for the same things). Thanks for the tip on a new author!
Thanks for your feedback! Team Branch