Sci Fi books of the 70s, 80s, early 90s

sirlynxalot

Igniz's Servent
Noob of the Year
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Posts
1,072
I went to a used book store recently and found the following ridiculous books. I'm not sure what modern sci Fi books are like as I haven't read any sci Fi in probably 20 years, but there's a charm to the complicated and cheesy descriptions here that reminds me of a simpler time. They were all around a dollar each so I picked them up as potential gag gifts

Anyone read or collect this stuff? Any other interesting suggestions for similar sci Fi and cyberpunk stuff of the 70s-90s that's maybe off the radar and not something super popular like Bladerunner or Neil Stephenson? Looking for stories that are absurd, but not self consciously absurd. I want the author to have written the story seriously, putting in their full effort, fully believing that their absurd narrative is fantastic and worthwhile. Bonus points for neat cover art.
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20231202_141638420.jpg
    PXL_20231202_141638420.jpg
    3.8 MB · Views: 35
  • PXL_20231202_141655595.jpg
    PXL_20231202_141655595.jpg
    3.6 MB · Views: 35

FAT$TACKS

Not Average Joe., Not Average Homeowner., Not Aver
15 Year Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2005
Posts
4,243
Way cool find. That Spelljammer book is good old Dungeons & Dragons craziness.
 

fake

King of Spammers
15 Year Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2008
Posts
10,936
The Conan books are super horny and hilarious. I’ve read the first Lensman book and it was a slog. I picked up the second one for a dollar so I’m going to give it a try.
 

fantat

NEST Puppet
20 Year Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Posts
175
I went to a used book store recently and found the following ridiculous books. I'm not sure what modern sci Fi books are like as I haven't read any sci Fi in probably 20 years, but there's a charm to the complicated and cheesy descriptions here that reminds me of a simpler time. They were all around a dollar each so I picked them up as potential gag gifts

Anyone read or collect this stuff? Any other interesting suggestions for similar sci Fi and cyberpunk stuff of the 70s-90s that's maybe off the radar and not something super popular like Bladerunner or Neil Stephenson? Looking for stories that are absurd, but not self consciously absurd. I want the author to have written the story seriously, putting in their full effort, fully believing that their absurd narrative is fantastic and worthwhile. Bonus points for neat cover art.
Pick up the Matador series by Steve Perry.
 

HornheaDD

Viewpoint Vigilante
Fagit of the Year
Joined
Mar 22, 2016
Posts
4,261
Pick up the Matador series by Steve Perry.

Oh how I wish this was by Journey's Steve Perry.

If you wanna check out "modern" scifi, I'd say take a look at the following:

The Ender's Game Saga by Orson Scott "Im a bigot" Card. Shitty person. Great book series (except the last book, its absolute garbage - no really. Talking birds. Fucking stupid).
The Homecoming Saga by the same idiot. 5 books. 4 of which are fantastic. The last one - you guessed it - absolute shyte. Based on Mormon mythology.
The Culture novels by Iain Banks
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C Clarke
Childhood's End - Clarke
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson - think X-men mixed with slight fantasy.

Good stuff.
 

Lagduf

2>X
20 Year Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2002
Posts
46,589
The best book in the Ender’s Game quartet is Speaker for the Dead. How Card could write such a book whilst being a piece of shit boggles my mind. Just an excellent book all around.
 

LoneSage

A Broken Man
20 Year Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2004
Posts
44,563
I've wanted to read The Long Walk by Stephen King for a long time. Supposedly written when he was about 18.
 

prof

A Great Place to Store Your Dildo Collection
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Posts
1,185
The best book in the Ender’s Game quartet is Speaker for the Dead. How Card could write such a book whilst being a piece of shit boggles my mind. Just an excellent book all around.
I read Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead back to back a few years ago. Both were excellent, but the direction he took it in Speaker caught me off guard after Ender's. In a good way. I'd like to check out the 3rd in the series at some point, Xenocide. Have you ever read that one?
 

HornheaDD

Viewpoint Vigilante
Fagit of the Year
Joined
Mar 22, 2016
Posts
4,261
I read Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead back to back a few years ago. Both were excellent, but the direction he took it in Speaker caught me off guard after Ender's. In a good way. I'd like to check out the 3rd in the series at some point, Xenocide. Have you ever read that one?

I went through the entire series. Oof. Sorry for the length but I have a lot of feelings when it comes to this series.

Card once explained the difference in style and timeframe between Ender's Game and Speaker. He said something like he had to write Ender's Game to tell the story he wanted to tell in Speaker, Xenocide and Children of the Mind.

Then he expanded the universe into the Shadow books which focus on the character Bean. Ender's Shadow takes place at the same time as Ender's Game. But The following books, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow of the Giant and Shadow Puppets all take place between the end of Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead.

Once those 8 books have been read (they dont meet up, storywise) he then wrote a few ancillary books like Ender in Exile (set between Game and Speaker), A War of Gifts, and First Meetings. Then came the final books. Shadows in Flight which also focuses on Bean and... some other spoilery stuff... That was a short novel released as a stopgap until he finished the final Enderverse book - The Last Shadow, released a couple years ago.

If you want to know more about that book (I dont spoil the main story - I promise) feel free to unspoiler the following:

I wont go into spoilers about the story mainly to keep the main 8 books clear of any spoilage becuase the Last Shadow is related to the main story/theme of the series. But it ends, SO. FUCKING. STUPID.

The last book in chronological order (before Last Shadow) is Children of the Mind. Children ends in a sort of a cliffhanger for the main story. But the very final book, Last Shadow is complete and total garbage. The big question introduced and cliffhangered in Children of the Mind is never answered.

And its not like a "hurr durr the show Lost didnt answer questions but thats part of its charm" bullshit. It literally does not answer the main burning question of the Ender series. The last book involves talking birds.

Literally. Talking birds who shit on you. An evolved human - who was genetically modified to be essentially a shaved ape that doesn't wear clothes. A genius shaved ape who's ancestors figured out genetic manipulation and forced evolution (hence the talking birds) - but doesn't wear clothes because they were "too difficult to learn." It makes no fucking sense. It doesn't involve any of the main characters from the entire series. They are featured, but it doesn't really involve them at all. The book reads and feels like it was written 2 days before the deadline or over a long weekend where he was completely distracted with whatever the fuck else was going on outside his window. It was trash. It is a terrible, terrible ending to what was a really great series to get into.
 

SouthtownKid

There are four lights
20 Year Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2003
Posts
26,828
I've wanted to read The Long Walk by Stephen King for a long time. Supposedly written when he was about 18.
It's the best thing he's ever written. And it's not that long. There must be some version of it online somewhere.
 

Lagduf

2>X
20 Year Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2002
Posts
46,589
I read Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead back to back a few years ago. Both were excellent, but the direction he took it in Speaker caught me off guard after Ender's. In a good way. I'd like to check out the 3rd in the series at some point, Xenocide. Have you ever read that one?

Xenocide and Children of the mind are good reads, it’s just that Speaker is great. And really Speaker, Xenocide, and Children should be read as a trilogy.

As Hornhead alludes you can skip the rest of the Enderverse though some of the Bean books are cool.
 

Lagduf

2>X
20 Year Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2002
Posts
46,589
I recently learned there are two sequels to The Forever War.

I might have to read them.
 

prof

A Great Place to Store Your Dildo Collection
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Posts
1,185
I finished up Xenocide last week, and, well, I found it rather disappointing. While I thought Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead were excellent, Xenocide, while having some strong passages, fell flat for me. To the point where I'm not in any rush to open Children of the Mind, even though Xenocide ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. I'd rather read something else first, to cleanse the palate, or perhaps just not bother at all, and pretend that Speaker was the end of the Ender Saga. Ha.

I don't know, it began interestingly enough, and I enjoyed the mysteries and culture of Path, prior to the big reveal about it with Congress anyway. Sadly, the Path storyline was abandoned for hundreds of pages going down the stretch, only for it to receive an unceremonious denouement in the final act. Seemingly, only as if to wrap up a loose end.

And Lusitania, for all of its strange otherness and wonder in Speaker, was treated far more linear and matter of factly in Xenocide. Ender's inherited family of scientists and their endless technobabble dominate the 600ish pages of the story. It reminded me of those TNG Trek stories where Data and Geordi spend an episode attempting to solve a problem with the warp core reactor, and the writers use a myriad of scientific buzzwords that make no sense, but sound good. The difference being, in an episode of Trek, those conversations have brevity and are interspersed with parallel stories and action throughout the duration. In contrast, Card spends an inordinate amount of time, page after page, focusing on conversations between the scientists regarding physics and botany, among other areas of science. And after a while, it became crystal clear that Card is not a scientist, and has had little education in these subjects in which his characters are having their endless technobabble conversations. Literally, hundreds of pages of this.

The lack of plausible, comprehensible science is fine in a sci-fi novel if that isn't the focus. And in Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, Card delved into grand ideas, morality and the very nature of what it means to be a sentient being, all set within the science fiction setting. In Xenocide, those ideas, while still there, fall to the background, and the science (or very loose psuedo-science I should say), becomes the sole focus. And this is very much to the story's detriment.

I'm kidding myself though, when I say that I won't read Children of the Mind, but I've got to say, that it's more out of obligation/completion sake than actual desire. And I've got tons of quibbles about characterization and any number of things that are flawed in Xenocide, but I've written enough at this point. Besides, I'd hate to further spoil the wonder for the uninitiated. Ha.
 

Lagduf

2>X
20 Year Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2002
Posts
46,589
Children of the Mind is straight up off the deep end.

I look forward to your review.
 

NERDtendo

Igniz's Servent
10 Year Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2013
Posts
1,064
I’m a bit of a NERD so I always keep an eye out for old sci-fi books even though I am not a reader. The only book I have read here is John the Balladeer. It’s a collection of short stories of a guy traveling through the Appalachians with a silver stringed guitar that he uses to fight all sorts of otherworldly stuff. It also happens to be a pretty expensive book! My kids like the Zork choose your own adventure style books.

If anyone sees anything they might like to read, feel free to PM me…
 

Attachments

  • C32712BB-2B42-4C99-B84E-7A9AF7908615.jpeg
    C32712BB-2B42-4C99-B84E-7A9AF7908615.jpeg
    4.4 MB · Views: 4
  • 6186837E-7264-45DD-86E1-A9F4E3558EE0.jpeg
    6186837E-7264-45DD-86E1-A9F4E3558EE0.jpeg
    3.6 MB · Views: 4

sirlynxalot

Igniz's Servent
Noob of the Year
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Posts
1,072
I’m a bit of a NERD so I always keep an eye out for old sci-fi books even though I am not a reader. The only book I have read here is John the Balladeer. It’s a collection of short stories of a guy traveling through the Appalachians with a silver stringed guitar that he uses to fight all sorts of otherworldly stuff. It also happens to be a pretty expensive book! My kids like the Zork choose your own adventure style books.

If anyone sees anything they might like to read, feel free to PM me…
Many interesting looking covers there.
 
Top