Your favourite genre work?

Boreas

Scout
What are some of your favourite genre novels (inc. trilogies or series)? Either science fiction or fantasy or something other. Maybe a quick note as to why you like them so much?

In science fiction, a few of my favourites are:

Iain M. Banks -- Excession (love all of Banks' works)
Banks is my favourite contemporary author (sadly deceased). His Culture civilisation is one of the greatest visions of utopia I've ever come across, even if all his Culture novels look into the problems and cracks and hypocrisies of this society. Excession is the one of the most action-oriented and frenetic instalments with the widest scope. All the various instalments are self-contained stories and can be read in any order, though perhaps Excession isn't the best starting point unless you're a hardened SF aficionado. The most straightforward starting point would be The Player of Games.

Alastair Reynolds -- House of Suns (love all of Reynolds' works)
I love Reynolds almost as much as Banks (happily still around). He started off writing much darker, more Gothic science fiction (space opera with a 'hard' edge) with his Revelation Space books, but HoS is a one of his most fantastic, independent works with serious imagination. Set very, very far in the future.

Neal Stephenson -- Anathem
I picked up this novel sometime in 2009/2010 without knowing what it was about. I was already a Stephenson fan, but for some weird reason hadn't read anything by him since Cryptonomicon (a techno-thriller) in '97 or '98. Anathem, with it's focus on maths, philosophy, physics and Socratic dialogues set in a strange society in a monastery just blew my head off. I think the last time I was blown away by an SF book like this was with Dune when I was 18 (and it's equally immersive, requiring the use of an extensive glossary at the back). I went into the book tabula rasa (no reviews or outside opinions at all except for the back blurb) and that was definitely the best way to read it.

Ursula K. Le Guin -- The Dispossessed
She's such a fine writer, and this book is my favourite by her (of the ones I've read). It's subtitled "An Ambiguous Utopia" and is a skilled depiction of a properly anarchist society contrasted with a more sophisticated supposedly 'utopian' one.

C. J. Cherryh -- Alliance-Union novels (series)
Some of the best, most fun space opera I've ever read. The various instalments from her main-sequence Company Wars novels include a hodgepodge of elements: space opera, hard sf, thriller, military elements, anthropological elements, etc. She really writes well and pays great attention to her characters. The novels concern a vast, economic framework of Earth on one side, the Union of former colonies on the other, and the independent Merchanter ships stuck in between. The best place to start would be with Downbelow Station.

In fantasy:

Robert Holdstock -- Mythago Wood
Excellent mythopoeic story dealing in mythagos: imaginary, idealised constructs from our subconscious (a result of the culture one is brought up in) brought to life in a post-WWII English setting in an old forest. Mesmerising, mythic, epic and a fantastic love story. Definitely an all time favourite.

C. S. Lewis -- Till We Have Faces
One of the best re-workings of a myth I have ever read. A retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche.

J. R. R. Tolkien -- Lord of the Rings (trilogy)
No explanation necessary.

John Gardner -- Grendel
The other excellent reworking of a myth I've ever read. This time of Beowulf, but from the perspective of the monster.

Neil Gaiman -- Sandman (comic series)
First there was Alan Moore with his Saga of the Swamp Thing and Miracleman. He showed everyone that comics could truly be a literary art form. Gaiman continued that tradition with one of the best comics I have ever read (and reread and reread and reread). Dark, Gothic fantasy/horror incorporating literature and mythology from around the world and expressing the idea of Dream as a vivid personification.

China Mieville -- Bas-Lag novels (trilogy)
Weird fiction just doesn't get better than this. Perdido Street Station codified the weird for the modern era, but the two novels that followed, The Scar and Iron Council, took it to even greater heights. Mieville is a Marxist, and it shows, but man, his writing is powerful, even if you do require a thesaurus on a frequent basis. Iron Council got negative reviews by a lot of people (mostly saying that it was overtly political - but pfft, all his three books have strong political undertones), but I think it was the culmination of what he was trying to express with his previous two novels. He presents almost a grand sweep of society much like Tolstoy did with Anna Karenina - and there were sections of the novel that were utterly beautiful. I will admit, Mieville is not for everyone - people either love him or hate him.
 
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screenersam

This is news, Vincenzo, NEWS!
I like James P. Blaylock, whose work combines both.

'The Digging Leviathan' is about a boy with powers who gets involved in a race to the center of the earth between two groups, one good (William Hastings & the Trigimestus Club) and the other, well, not-so (Dr. Frosticos).

'Homonculous' and 'Lord Kelvin's Machine' recount the adventures of noble scientist Langdon St. Ives (and his helpful associate Hasbro) and his efforts to foil the diabolical Dr. Ignacio Narbondo. I believe there's a third book, 'The Aylesford Skull', which I haven't read.

There's also a straight fantasy trio, 'The Elfin Ship,' 'The Disappearing Dwarf', and 'The Stone Giant'.
his works feature good-hearted everymen struggling against mysterious and powerful evil forces.

For Christmas reading I recommend 'All the Bells on Earth'.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
No one's got favourite genre works they'd like to share? Or is this thread in the wrong section?
No your topic is fine and in the right place as far as I am concerned.

For me, I just found it repeating what I've already posted over the last 10 or so years.
Recently as my eyes have started to go and my computer skills have gotten better I have switched to electronic format and have built quite a large database of works. My favorites are audio books that have sound effects and voice actors. I posted some video books earlier of some of my favorites but they are on a site that is primarily divx so not many people click-thru.

In my youth, I read a lot of dead wood because I was living out in the country and life was boring when not doing chores. My favorite author was ERB. I actually read all the Tarzan books before I read the Mars and Venus series.
At one time I liked Arthur Clarke, Isaac Azimov and Stanslaw Lem. Then I did some Greg Bear and Poul Anderson. I intermixed Fantasy with some Terry Pratchett and Fred Saberhagen.
Now I have more authors than I can name in a single post. Every single book fits a miniSD card that I can put in my phone or my tablet.

I once posted my browser favorites of author pages at Fantastic Fiction. That topic was 6 posts long before I listed them all.
I belonged to the Science Fiction Book Club multiple times over a few decades. I had a huge library of those books that I donated to the public library when I downloaded a replacement in eBook format.
I have no dead wood books taking up shelf space anymore. I haven't bought myself one in about 8 years but I still buy books for people when I see them at Goodwill or the local paperback cave. Yes, I still look for titles and authors.
Just for giggles - Here is part of my bookmarks

Jules Verne Bibliography A E van Vogt Bibliography A Guide to Isaac Asimov's Essays Alan Barclay Bibliography Alan Dean Foster Bibliography Alan Rodgers Bibliography Alison Sinclair Bibliography Allen M Steele Bibliography Allen Wold Bibliography Andre Norton Bibliography Andrew Sinclair Bibliography Anne Rice Bibliography Anthony Armstrong Bibliography Anthony Burgess Bibliography Arthur C Clarke Bibliography Arthur Herzog Bibliography Barry Sadler Bibliography Ben Bova Bibliography Bob Shaw Bibliography Bobbi J G Weiss Bibliography Brian Herbert Bibliography Brian N Ball Bibliography C J Cherryh Bibliography Carl Sagan Bibliography Catherine Crook de Camp Bibliography Catherine Webb Bibliography Charles de Lint Bibliography Charles Dickinson Bibliography Charles G McGraw Bibliography Charles G Waugh Bibliography Chris Archer Bibliography Christopher Pike Bibliography Christopher Priest Bibliography Clive Barker Bibliography Colin McComb Bibliography Dave Duncan Bibliography David A Kyle Bibliography David Brin Bibliography David Cody Weiss Bibliography David Drake Bibliography David Duncan Bibliography David Eddings Bibliography David Farland Bibliography David Weber - Author Information, Books, and News David Weber Bibliography David Zindell Bibliography Dean Koontz Dean Koontz Bibliography Don DeBrandt Bibliography Don Pendleton Bibliography Doris Egan Bibliography Douglas Adams Bibliography Douglas Hill Bibliography Edgar Allan Poe Bibliography Edgar Rice Burroughs Bibliography
 

Boreas

Scout
@Tom, that's a huge list of authors, but what I was really looking for were particular works that you consider favourites (in science fiction, fantasy or related genre fields), with maybe a brief note as to why.

I like James P. Blaylock, whose work combines both.
I know the name only and I think I mostly associated him with fantastical horror. Will definitely put him on my list of authors to explore.
 
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