Thanks Mr Dark,
I'm very glad to see that disagreement in some areas doesn't make you condemn the whole person. I think of you in a similar way.
Hemingway was known for his long-winded passages as well - He was like Mellville in that respect.
Most serious fans of SF consider "Sci-Fi" to be a four-letter-word, not five. From what I gather it has something to do with an association to Hollywood's treatment of SF. I don't really trip on it myself, but it may prove to be a hindrance to you on other sites.
A MUST-READ for any fan is STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Robert A. Heinlein. All on Mr. Dark's list are good to great. I can't remember if anyone mentioned CHILDHOOD'S END by Arthur C. Clarke, but that is also a MUST-READ. For a great recent novel try CLADE by Mark Budz. You can find most of the older titles at thrift stores for around $1.00.
Theodore Sturgeon and Clifford D. Simak are somewhat similar to Bradbury in the way they can set a mood and influence the reader's emotions.
If you want short stories David Hartwell's YEAR'S BEST SF is always great. It's strictly science fiction where as most of the other YEAR'S BEST often have some borderline offerings. DOZOIS' YEAR'S BEST is good too and his annual summation alone is almost worth the price of the book, but his selections are a bit racier and some can barely be defined as science fiction.
The best introduction to SF is probably James Gunn's THE ROAD TO SCIENCE FICTION series of books, especially volumes 2 and 3.
I've just picked up a copy of Heinlein's Methuselah's Children, which seems like a good read at first glance. Childhood's End never struck me as Clarke's best - I much prefer his short stories and, of course, 2001: a Space Odyssey. The only Sturgeon I ever read is Some of Your Blood, a strange book.
What about Young Adult SF? One of the best in that genre is Alexander Key. "Door into Summer" is a seriously effective book. Interestingly, the first I heard of it was on a really cool show on PBS hosted by John Robbins. It went through many title changes, but the only on I remember is "Storybound." The premise involved Robbins reading a selection from a book and, at the same time, sketching out a scene from the selection.
It was a fantastic show that introduced me to TONS of excellent books. I wish it was still on--maybe it is in some markets...In fact, I would love to buy some episodes on DVD, so if anyone knows how, please let me know!
Many of the books and novels listed are great stories written by great authors. Most of the authors I saw though are from years ago. I didn't see many authors that have currently written stories. Like other Michael Crichton books such as Prey or Timeline. Also Timothy Zahn and his continuing success with the Star Wars side stories.
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