Paul Reiche and Fred Ford's Science Fiction Reading List

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In my Matt Chat interviews with Fred Ford and Paul Reiche, the duo proposed updating their 1991 list of science fiction novels and stories for aspiring game designers. They've also added a few fantasy authors to "keep us guessing!" How many of these fine authors have you read?

Neal Asher
Stephen Baxter
Greg Bear
David Brin
Stephen Hunt
Greg Keyes
Jay Lake
George R. R. Martin (especially the stories of Haviland Tuf)
Sean McMullen
China Miéville
Daniel Keys Moran (he just published a new Trent novel - buy it!)
James Morrow
Larry Niven
Tim Powers
Cherie Priest
Phillip Pullman
Alastair Reynolds
Brandon Sanderson
Dan Simmons
Sheri Tepper
Jack Vance
Vernor Vinge
John C. Wright

And to prove that part of my brain is still part 'teen reader', I'd add:
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Stephanie Meyer - Twilight Series
John Christopher - Tripod Trilogy

Sincerely,

- Paul and Fred

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Matt Barton
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I must admit that I've read

I must admit that I've read very few of these authors, at least that I can remember. I'm sure I've encountered at least some of them in the various anthologies I've read over the years, but there is clearly a whole world out there I've yet to explore. Indeed, the only one I've read recently is Pullman, whom I enjoyed greatly.

Too funny seeing Twilight on the list! I wonder if they saw the Matt Chat?

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Ben Leggett
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Must...pretend..didn't..see..Twilight...on...list...

Yeah but seriously, I need to read a lot of these guys. Niven is naturally pretty good stuff, and the Tripod trilogy is a really great YA series I read when I was younger. I need to try some Jack Vance, I keep seeing his name everywhere and then putting it off.

Carmine
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Twilight, even in its

Twilight, even in its novelized form, is complete filth. I read the first page on amazon and was stunned by how bad it was. I was expecting Harry Potter level or so, but what I got was... you just have to see it for yourself.

I just finished The Forever War, which I strongly recommend to any sci-fi fan. And I actually have my sights on Hyperion by Dan Simmons, who comes up on that list there. I'm pretty excited!

Bill Loguidice
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Carmine wrote:

Twilight, even in its novelized form, is complete filth. I read the first page on amazon and was stunned by how bad it was. I was expecting Harry Potter level or so, but what I got was... you just have to see it for yourself.

That's funny, I never read Twilight, but I found the first Harry Potter book unreadable. So did Christina. Neither one of us got past the first chapter (never bothered with the movies, either). I guess I was spoiled by similar books that I read previously that were superior... In any case, Twilight, Harry Potter, whatever, at least people are reading. Neither one may be particularly amazing works from a literary standpoint, but it doesn't mean it won't inspire people to read other things...

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Matt Barton
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I loved the Harry Potter

I loved the Harry Potter series! Man, Bill, I think you're just like me in some regards--particularly with having a distaste for anything wildly popular. What I mean is that you start to read something like Harry Potter, and keep thinking, "Man, what the heck is all the fuss about? This is nothing special," etc. I had that same reaction but kept reading, and eventually it did spark my interest. It did take a lot longer than one damn chapter, though. More like about half way through the book.

I don't think I ever had the same affection that I would if I had read this back when I was, say, 12 (back then it would have been a revelation like Tolkien!), but it's great stuff--especially for kids reading their first novel. It's not like we're talking typical teen books, either, some of these mothers clock in at 500 pages or more.

I think I'll make it a point this summer to try to read at least one novel from each other on this list. Maybe I'll try to get through Twilight, even, though I still wonder if they put that on there as a joke. We ARE talking about some of the greatest comedic designers ever.

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clok1966
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reading, the original mind

reading, the original mind game. I love reading but just cant find the time. Games/tv/friends/work/sleep/work (ya i said it twice, it takes more of my time than anything)... how can one find the time? Since I got my kindle I have read about 6 books.. a couple I would have never read (Bruce Cambels book, not a great read but he is a pretty interesting and funny guy). I must admit I only see about 4 that I recognize on that list..

The Twilight/Potter books.. I have zero interest.. but I think of it as a gateway book, if they like um (kids) maybe they will read somthing else down the road.. and thats a good thing.. All the women in our office did the Twilight/Sookie sacks? vampire books (sadly I started them on it with the first Twligth book as a Secret Santa gift years ago) I tried to read both a bit... and have to agree with Carmine.. horrible.. but eh... I loved CONAN books .. and I know they are not "must read" but they started me on my path to read lots more...

Matt Barton
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Try to find the time to read

Try to find the time to read a good book every now and then, Clok. Everyone has busy lives, and they're most busy when it's a matter of doing something they feel isn't important. It's like exercising. "Oh, I'm WAY too busy to workout three times a week." Yet if you look at any typical day in that person's life, you find all kinds of wasted hours.

For instance, most people have a lunch break. Most of them waste most of it by driving to a restaurant and waiting in line. Don't do that! Instead, bring your lunch and scan a magazine or newspaper as you eat it. It's probably even cheaper and healthier for you anyway, plus you spend more of your break ON BREAK instead of driving somewhere and dealing with a lunch crowd.

Plus, don't forget books on tape. You can get just about any book nowadays from places like audible. Just tune in and listen to a chapter or two before bed each night. Or if you have a commute, listen to it in the car. Still, I think there's something to be said for actual reading. I do most of my reading in the bathtub or sitting on the throne, though I intended to start dedicating at least a half hour per day to just solid reading.

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clok1966
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Matt you hit the nail on the

Matt you hit the nail on the head.. but to change.. thats the hard part. My old job had lots of downtime and I read about 100+ true Crime books over several winters. When I got my kindle I read like nmad for a few weeks, skipped the games and TV totally. its rally just a matter of using your time I know.. but its still hard. The books on tape.. loved um, was a ddicted to it for a couple years, never listened to anything but them in car. Did 3 Ringworld books, the Dark Tower (still not a fan of King, he just seems so ... messy on details and spends to little time on ... story?, sorry I know most wont agree, to each our own). And a dozen others.

Right now Im just annoyed that alot of good games are out, Crysis 2, DA:2, RIFT (yes its pretty fun), and a few other good ones comming... its almost summer here (wishfull thinking as the temp is 35)... sitting inside reading.. right now even us old guys have ADD... i cant sit still, even for gaming at the moment. Spring fever I guess.

Carmine
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I've been reading more and

I've been reading more and more these days because both video games and movies have veered away from risk, depth, originality, passion, etc. A book is still a book. It just takes one person to create it, not hundreds of highly paid craftsmen. That aspect of writing is really attractive to me.

Matt Barton
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Carmine wrote:

I've been reading more and more these days because both video games and movies have veered away from risk, depth, originality, passion, etc. A book is still a book. It just takes one person to create it, not hundreds of highly paid craftsmen. That aspect of writing is really attractive to me.

That's also its bane. Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, thinks he has "a novel in him." They deluge the publishers with their manuscripts, until the point where the publishers won't even respond unless they include a SASE. They just stuff them with a form letter rejection and move on. On the other hand, there are so many damn published authors out there that no one can read them all, or even be bothered to browse the bookshelf. So just a relatively few "big names" get picked up, and then it becomes yet another massive series.

I don't know if the impulse is more from the authors or the publishers to do it, but once an author gets a series going, he tends to run it into the ground by trying to squeeze every dime out of it. Robert Jordon, cough cough.

SO, anyway, I'm glad to have a list like this because at least I can start to narrow it down and hopefully find some new favorites. I typically don't enjoy the "hip" books as much, since they're too cute with their style experiments and seem designed to impress a creative writing workshop than a typical reader.

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