Just cause it's fun rather then it being relevant to PersonalTelco .... Everygeek has their favorite Sci/Fi books and authors. Free free to chat about whatever seems interesting., especially if they are predicting community wireless :-)

Bruce Sterling

One of the early gods of cyberpunk, these days he largely spends his time being a technological pundit and trying to do cool stuff. He earlier work (pre-early ninties) was cutting edge, political, relevant etc. IMHO his writing has lost his edge a bit these days and is mostly going over old ideas in more details without a whole lot new to say. His also has lots of short stories which are really good. Favorites are The Bicycle Repair Man and Maneki Neko. -- AdamShand

Neal Stephenson

The current cyberpunk god. Writes great, but typically long, books that are also pretty technical and accurate. Often his books desperatly need an editor to whack out a couple hundred pages but are good enough that they survived that flaw.

William Gibson

Acknowledged as one of (if not "the") originators of cyberpunk. Personally I think he has kickass ideas which are ruing by his absolutely dry and boring writing style. But that's just me :-) -- AdamShand

Personally, I think cyberpunk as a genre is mostly dead, but the works of its writers are still extremely important. well, for SF, anyway. Sterling had a zine back in the 80s, that basically cast the cyberpunk-led groundswell against the old hackish space opera crap. He makes a good point. The battle continues. --AndrewWoods

Hell yes important, and I don't fathom how it can be called dry. Do you want a smoking electric orgasm in every paragraph? Not a healthy nervous system could take that. In context, Gibson is a major shift; just because you live after it (we're all a bit post-human) don't discount what it took to conceptualize it. Definitely see the documentary NoMapsForTheseTerritories. --JerrittCollord

Vernor Vinge

Mostly recognized in cypher/cyberpunk circles for his novella, True Names (0312862075) Amazon:. Published 3 years before Neuromancer, TN establishes several important concepts, like immersive virtual reality, the importance of anonymity, the dangers and consequences of excessive governmental power, etc. etc. It was out of print for quite a long time, and was recently collected along with a bunch of essays by the likes of Marvin Minsky, Tim May, Chip Morningstar, and Eric S. Raymond. I have a copy floating around somewhere, if anybody wants to borrow it. He's also a promulgator of the technological singularity, and his other books are above-average hard SF space stories.

Greg Egan

Greg Egan is a worthless hack. Permutation City is the worst possible attempt to cash in on the cyberpunk trend. ugh.

Greg Bear

The other greg's written some good stuff, Eon (and its sequels), Blood Music, and Slant, first among them. Slant's his most cyberpunkish book that i've read.

Melissa Scott

SF Writer that happens to deal with gender/sexuality issues in an intelligent way. Personal favorite is Trouble and her Friends, though it's been a while since I've read it.

Philip K. Dick

Take a troubled childhood (death of his twin sister at a month old, foster parents, etc), add a generous helping of amphetamine addiction and a heaping tablespoon of paranoia and you have the best sf author of all time: Philip K. Dick. His changing writing styles and exploration of the very nature of reality expose a true creative genius.

Movies based on Dick's work: Blade Runner (yay!), Total Recall (boo, hiss!) and Minority Report (yay!). Others?

If you're new to Philip K. Dick, start with these:

You think you've read all of his works? Think again. He's got 36 novels and 5 short story collections. And his short stories contain some of his best work. Read every single one of them. The movies based on his work have sparked recent interest in Dick and many of his works have been re-released. Previously unpublished material has been collected and published in The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick: Selected Literary and Philosophical Writings, and there are also collections of his letters which are mostly out of print but findable at used booksellers.

If you need to be jarred out of your comfortable little world, and don't mind walking around in a haze for the better part of a week while your mind processes a new way of looking at reality, PKD is just what the doctor (in this case a mad scientist) ordered. -- GeneMerrill

Orson Scott Card

His Alvin Maker series is excellent, Memory of Earth is pretty good too... but Ender's Game is by far his most popular book, and a book devoured by many an elementary school pre-geek. Also check out Lost Boys (sorry, no vampires) for a touching piece of fiction with autobiographical roots. -- GeneMerrill

Octavia Butler

She's not on most geek's sf radar, but Wild Seed is one of my favorite books of all time, and contains the best first chapter in speculative fiction. I dare you to pick this book up in a library or bookstore and put it down after reading even the first paragraph.

Her collection of short stories, Blood Child, is not to be missed. You'll remember some of these stories for the rest of your life. I think I've read all of her novels, but if anyone knows of any rare or early works let me know. (I thought I'd read all of Stephenson's books until Adam told me about The Big U)

She is among the rare sf authors who combine idea and character. Her novels argue for the need of our race to take to the stars, and to take more care both with our planet and the people that live on it; but mostly her work explores what it means to be human. -- GeneMerrill


ScienceFiction (last edited 2007-11-23 18:02:23 by localhost)