George R. R. Martin - A Song
of Ice and Fire is a good series. There's always lots of characters and
lots of plot lines going on, and the people you like don't always
Orson Scott Card - he can write some awesome stories.
The only problem is his sequels aren't that good. Hmm, maybe I should reword that:
the first book in any one of his series has always been extremely well done; many of them
I consider among my favorites of all time. His sequels, however, start to
lack something. His writing still kicks, but the plot lines and the ideas
become more complicated and less interesting. Overall, though, one of my
Recommended books: Treason, Ender's Game, Enchantment, Wyrm, Seventh Son, The Worthing
Saga, The Memory of Earth
Heinlein - Stranger in a Strange
Land is pretty good. Some of his other stories aren't half bad either. After reading too
many of Heinlein's books, though, you realize 90% of his characters are EXACTLY THE SAME.
In too many of his books they're all incredibly easy going, flexible, and say whatever is
on their mind, constantly. Which makes alot of his books pretty one sided in terms of
character interaction. I would strongly recommend reading a few of his higher rated books
and leaving the rest alone.
Recommended books: Stranger in a Strange Land, The Puppet Masters, Starship Troopers (a bit
different from the movie), The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
R.A. Salvatore - I don't know what to think of
him. Most of his books are pretty mediocre, but I think Drizzt is just too cool of a
Recommended books: Homeland, Exile, Sojourn, The Crystal Shard, Streams of Silver, The Halfling's Gem
Raymond Feist - The first couple books in the pug series are lots of fun,
and I highly recommend them. His later books become somewhat formulaic
Recommended books: Magician: Apprentice, Magician: Master
Joan D. Vinge - Her short story 'Tin Soldier' is really good. GO READ IT. Her novel 'The
Snow Queen' is pretty damn good too.
David Marusek - 'We Were Out of Our Minds With Joy'.
Tin Soldier reminded me of this one. I really loved this story. It really makes you
Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash is one of the best sci-fi novels I have
ever read. It manages to do the cyber-future thing while staying
lighthearted. Cryptonomicon is fairly good, more realistic, but also not
as much fun. I also liked one of his earlier books: The Big U. It
is very similar to Snow Crash, but not as refined.
Ayn Rand - Ok, the only book I've read is Atlas Shrugged, but I have
some thoughts on that. I really liked it at first, especially the
emphasis on realizing your own worth and the value of intelligence.
However, I disagree entirely with the conclusion she comes up with,
which is that government should be entirely hands off in economic
matters. And I got the point after 400 pages of repetition, you don't
have to keep repeating it for 400 more (ack! that 50 page monologue
sucks!). Also, you know, capitalism is good and all, but I also
like to walk outside without wearing a face mask and worrying about my
health. And while SOME companies may voluntarily choose to respect
things like the environment and human rights, I seriously
doubt such companies would survive for long when it's so much cheaper
to abuse the resources at hand rather than cultivate them. The
reason government 'intervention' is not against capitalism is that
certain resources often thought of as 'cheap' and 'freely available'
in 'infinite quantities', is not actually so. So how do we charge
for the use of these resources? We set up organizations (usually
governmental ones) that monitor their use and charge companies that
reduce the quality or quantity of the resource. Ok, enough on that
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