Sci-fi book recommendations?

Ok, I have a confession. I’ve never read any sort of science fiction or fantasy book other than something like “1984“. I came across Dune in the bookstore the other day, and it sparked my curiosity. I’ve seen it compared to some of the better novels of the 20th century, including Lord of the Rings. Has anyone read it? Thoughts?

Similarly, if I were to start off with one book from the genre, what would you recommend? I don’t mind a bit of crossover with another genre, but think it’s high time I open myself to something new.

  • Yov


    what’s up there?

    btw, i love dune the TV movies, watched em on hallmark channel, maybe they are still on, check your cable schedule. i just love them.


  • Brandon, “Dune” is hands-down one of the best books I’ve ever read, in any genre. Definitely worth checking out. I also greatly enjoyed the “Robot” series by Isaac Asimov.

    On the other hand, if you enjoyed flicks like “Total Recall” and “Minority Report”, then definitely check out Philip K Dick.

  • I would definitely recommend checking out the Dune TV mini-series first to see if this genre is you. You can get it from Amazon and maybe from Aquarius (in Pondok Indah).

    I have been listening to podio-books (serialised novels) for the last year and a bit. There’s an awesome cross-over sci-fi novel by J C Hutchins called “7th Son” that I highly recommend. You can subscribe through iTunes or at

  • M. S. Koentjoro

    The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. start with the first book. The Outlander.
    Well, you did say crossover.

  • Dune is certainly up there for good sci-fi. How about William Gibson’s “Neuromancer”? It falls into what the people who like labeling things as ‘cyber-punk’. For a pulpy classic, “The Shockwave Runner” by Jack Brunner. I’d also like to second Philip K. Dick for good twists–‘Blade Runner’ is based on his novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”.

  • Naja

    Hi – I strongly recommend Ray Bradbury. I personally love his “Martian Chronicles” – which is really a critique of conquest, imperialism and racism. He´s one of those rare individuals whose writing has changed the way people think.
    Best from Naja.

  • Tracey

    The Day of the Triffids by John Whyndham is a classic Sci Fi novel and is undeniably good writing.

  • Some of the Sci-fi classics:

    Foundation – Isaac Asimov

    2001 – Arthur C. Clark. I personally prefer his novel, Rendezvous with Rama though.

  • Gary

    I strongly recommend “Dune”. Here is an excerpt that grabbed me and has stuck with me throughout my life since i first read the book over 20 years ago:

    The Bene Gesserit Littainy against Fear.
    Pg 19 of Dune

    “I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.”


    Some other recommendations:

    • Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

    • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlen

    Are all these pictures on the blog taken by you? Peace, Gary

  • Definitely read Iain Banks. Of his stuff “Use of Weapons” and “Consider Phlebas” were excellent. Also Dan Simmons “Hyperion” novels are outstanding.

  • I loved The Forever War – Joe Haldeman and Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

  • jason

    The Chronicals of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, by Stephen R Donaldson.

    Fantasy (with magic, swords, monsters, giants, etc) about a burnt-out modern-day author who contracts leprosy, his wife leaves him, the town shuns him. out of the blue, he somehow gets summoned to another world where he has a unique power. he eventually becomes a reluctant and cynical hero (anti-hero really). heres the info from the back of the first book:

    “The first book in one of the most remarkable epic fantasies ever written, the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever.
    He called himself Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever because he dared not believe in the strange alternate world in which he suddenly found himself. Yet he was tempted to believe, to fight for the Land, to be the reincarnation of its greatest hero….”

    Made most top 50 lists for best scifi/fantasy series of all time. all were bestsellers. ALMOST made into a movie series in 2006. but it was considered too dark for the same target audience as Lord of the Rings (LOTR). I DO consider it a dark, more masculine and adultish LOTR. The first book was written in the LATE 70s! and 5 more came out over the next 10 years or so, two trilogies (the first and second chonicals of thomas covenant). AND the author released the first of 4 new books in the third (and final) chronicals in 2004 after being MIA for 20 years! the second will come out this year. here’s the info (without spoilers) from the third chronicals:

    More than twenty years ago, Stephen R. Donaldson set a literary landmark with the first fantasy bestseller. His New York Times bestselling series, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, transformed modern fantasy. Now, at long last, Donaldson introduces the first novel of the much-awaited, four-volume finale to the series that’s sold more than ten million copies.

    “Thomas Covenant lost everything. Abandoned by his wife and child, sick and alone, he was transported while unconscious to a magical, dreamlike world called the Land. Convinced it was all a delusion, Covenant was christened The Unbeliever by the Land’s inhabitants…”


  • i second shaky, ender’s game is awesome if you have a big imagination. get the entire set.