Good Clean Science Fiction

Discussion in 'Books / Publications Forum' started by kman, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. kman

    kman
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    Anybody know any good, clean science fiction novels/series they'd recommend?

    thx,
    kman
     
  2. stubbornkelly

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    Robert A. Heinlein's juvenile novels are good. And no, they're not kiddie books. The future histories are my favorites, but are perhaps not squeaky clean. They're not dirty, per se, but there's lots of sex talk (usually in short-talk and not at all smutty) and the sexual ideologies contained within many of the books aren't of the sort most Christians would appreciate.

    Can't go wrong with Orson Scott Card (except the "Ships . . . " series. It's really not very good at all).

    Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy is clean, but the books have been called out for questionable theology. It was written for (intelligent) young adults, so it's not unclean, but it's also not for your average teenager (as far as understanding and appreciation - both for the writing and the story - go). I know adults who have trouble with these (at least the third book, which is also the most theologically questioned).

    C. S. Lewis' Space Trilogy (starts with Out of the Silent Planet is quite good.

    Phillip K. Dick . . .

    Stop me if I'm starting to name things you've already explored . . . some of the authors I like just won't fit into these parameters. Spider Robinson, for example. His books take place either in a bar or in a brothel, but they're actually quite clean (yes, I know it sounds weird, but you'd be surprised). But still, the settings certainly lend themselves to the idea of uncleanness. And anytime you've got prostitutes, well -- they're no sex in the Lady Sally books, but they don't hide that sex is the job, and they're some discussion about the industry and how Lady Sally does it differently.

    I don't know how well read you are in speculative fiction, but if you're not very, well, you can't go wrong with some more classics, like Ray Bradbury, Aldous Huxley, H. G. Wells, Jules Verne. Isaac Asimov, though, for all his brilliance, wrote some pretty heinous books. Technically incredible, but the writing is just . . . bad.

    Oh, and Contact was quite good. Tough reading, and Sagan can get a little too technical for my taste (that's where Heinlein had it down - not too much science, but more than many), but it's an incredible book, and much better than the film.

    Oh! Mary Doria Russell has two books, The Sparrow and Children of God that are just fabulous. Really. They're most excellent.

    [ November 12, 2002, 02:07 PM: Message edited by: stubbornkelly ]
     
  3. Johnv

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    Hmmm.... Much of the works of Isaac Asimov and Gene Roddenberry (though I am fans of neither).

    Although I highly suggest Carl Sagan's Contact and C. S. Lewis' Space Trilogy.
     
  4. Ransom

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    Arthur C. Clarke's SF is quite brilliant, and generally clean of explicit sex or four-letter words. (His collaborations with Gentry Lee are somewhat more crude.)

    Recommendations:

    </font>
    • 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010: Odyssey Two (the other two sequels are nowhere nearly as good, but read them if you want to see the end of the story).</font>
    • Rendezvous with Rama (a personal favourite - I found the sequels forgettable, but suit yourself).</font>
    • The Songs of Distant Earth (it's been years since I read it, but I remember really enjoying it).</font>
    • And see if you can find Tales from the White Hart, a collection of humorous science fiction "tall tales" that are truly creative.</font>
    The big problem I have with Clarke is the sophomoric dismissal of God that pervades many of his better known books. Seriously, it's on the level of "We've been to the moon, we've been to Mars, we didn't find God there, so he must not be anyplace." Oddly enough, he doesn't have any problem with the invisible god-like aliens who direct human development in 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequels.
     
  5. stubbornkelly

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    [​IMG] That's so true!
     
  6. Ransom

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    stubbornkelly said:

    Oh, and Contact was quite good. Tough reading, and Sagan can get a little too technical for my taste (that's where Heinlein had it down - not too much science, but more than many), but it's an incredible book, and much better than the film.

    Ditto. For all of Sagan's celebrated skepticism, he was actually quite sympathetic to religious people who thought things through for themselves and didn't merely accept stuff on blind faith. One of the protagonists of Contact, Palmer Joss, is a conservative Christian commentator. Naturally, for the movie version, Hollyweird had to make him into a person of nondescript religion and a bed-mate for the female lead.
     
  7. stubbornkelly

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    They completely butchered Palmer Joss in the film. I sorta liked what they turned him into (although I really would have loved to see a more accurate version of the book filmed --- AND, it irked me that they still used the name "Palmer Joss"), but you definitely lose the original intent and use of his character.
     
  8. pdp27

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    Perhaps you liked Palmer Joss in the movie because he was played by Matthew McConaughey. [​IMG]

    Orson Scott Card 'Ender's Game' is a great science fiction book.

    David Feintuch's 'Fisherman's Hope' is a good book and it has three sequels which are also pretty good. This series is probably geared more toward teens, but I enjoyed it very much.

    Both are very clean if I remember right. I'm more of a fantasy person myself.

    Paul

    [ November 12, 2002, 08:19 PM: Message edited by: pdp27 ]
     
  9. Ben W

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    Star Trek, Dr Who.
     
  10. Will

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    Kathy Tyers is a good Science Fiction author who writes from a Christian perspective. Her Firebird trilogy is quite good.

    Jeffrey Carver is a Christian Science Fiction author. He has several very successful and popular series.

    Oxygen and The Fifth Man are a couple of excellent Science Fiction books co-written by Christian authors John Olson and Randall Ingermanson.

    Then there are the great books written by Christian author Tim Powers (who is Catholic.) Time travel books just don't get any better then The Anubis Gates.
     
  11. stubbornkelly

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    Didn't hurt. ;)

    But seriously, the film character was not a bad one at all, it just wasn't Palmer Joss.
     
  12. Gina B

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    Kelly, you know WAY too much about this subject! [​IMG]
    What books on it HAVEN'T you read yet but are hoping to get around to?
    In other words, which one was your favorite and what of his haven't you read?
    Maybe I'll get to one before you so I can sound like I know what I'm talking about. :-D
    Gina
     
  13. stubbornkelly

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    Nah, just spent too much time with sci-fi geeks and philosophy kids in college. So many philosophical issues are tackled in speculative fiction; the two groups tend to overlap.

    I'm not as well versed in the classics of speculative fiction as I "should be," just enough to talk semi-intelligently about them. Right now, I'm picking and choosing my way through more of Phillip K. Dick and I've been meaning to get to Neal Stephenson's work.

    It's kinda sad, I'm often the only girl in the sci-fi section of bookstores. [​IMG] It's usually me and a bunch of teenage boys. [​IMG]
     
  14. Johnv

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    Dunno if you'd consider it sci-fi writing, but Michael Chricton's Jurassic Park (which the movie of the same name takes a bit of departure from) wasn't bad reading. Especially given that you see a bit more through Ian Malcom's eyes in the book.
     
  15. stubbornkelly

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    Sure it is! As impressive as the film was, effects-wise, the book was fascinating.

    Why, oh why, did they make the girl the computer whiz? Just as general note, not restricted to science fiction, it really burns me when they make unnecessary changes to a book when making it a film. Sure, I expect changes, but to change significant pieces is just . . . okay, maybe not immoral, but at the very least it's bothersome.
     
  16. Daniel David

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    Well, I don't mean to FORCE the issue. Too many people live in the DARK SIDE. What would really be good is if someone wrote a story about a father who did not know he had a son. This father was second in command. His son unwittingly blew up daddy's toy. Daddy then finds son and gives him a whoopin. Son returns and goes Brentwood on dad. The EMPEROR would step in and dad would toss him over the edge. If you mix in some worm creatures, inaccurate troopers, a nerf-herder, a feminist twin-sister, and a walking carpet, you might just have something there.
     
  17. pdp27

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    Preach the Word,

    I would like to see you try and shoot a blaster with all that restrictive body armor and a humongous helmet. Poor storm troopers. [​IMG]

    Paul
     
  18. kman

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    Actually I've read a number of the Bantam Star Wars books (Zahn, etc). They are pretty good, somewhat goofy..but..hey...I read to relax.

    The New Jedi Order Series is too morbid for me. 15 or so books of alien slaughter is a bit too much for me.

    That is why I'm trying to..uh..branch out a bit.

    Thanks for all the responses.

    -kman
     
  19. Deacon

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    I have Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon". Grabbed it because of the interesting title. I stopped reading it about a third of the way through. Its a tough read with many sexual references. I wouldn't recomend it.
     
  20. Pete Richert

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    Issac Asimov's Foundation trilogy is just awesome. I don't remember if it was "not clean", I read it too long ago. Only read the orignal three though, for they go way down hill fast after that and "Prelude to foundation" was one of the worst books I had ever read.

    Foundation
    Foundation and Empire
    Second Foundation

    I think is what the books are called.

    Dune: by Frank Herbet is the number one best selling sci fi of all time and it is really good. I'm pretty sure it is clean. Don't read ANY of the others in the series though, they just ruin the story line.

    Orson Scott Card's Endor's game is really good.

    Permutation City is fascinating if your into computers, computer science theory (like the game of life) and the implications of cloning yourself. It is definitly not clean at a couple of parts though. Its too bad too because there was no reason to put in the "extra material"
     

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