This list represents the top five favorite science fiction novels that I have read thus far. To offer more variety I am only including one novel per series.
by Peter Clines
The novel is one of those that skirts the line of science fiction and fantasy. The main character has an insatiable and infectious curiosity but what he and his companions find was not at all what I was expecting. I love the mystery and setting of this book.
by Larry Niven
Ringworld is one of the first novels in my father’s collection that I ever read. While Niven never seems to be very good a story telling or even character development, he always excels at creating compelling worlds and describing them with the kind of detail and transports you there. For me the Ringworld is an exercise is grasping insanely large numbers. Wrapping ones mind around the idea that just the width of the ring is 125 times the diameter of the earth is near impossible. Now tray imagining 3 million time the surface area of the earth. Most people can’t even fully grasp the size of the city they live in. To put things perspective, it would probably take you a few hours to walk from one end of your city to the other (assuming you live in an average size city). On the Ringworld it would take you almost 37 years to walk from one edge of the ring to the other if you walked none stop. I won’t even bother telling you how long it would take you to walk all the way around the ring.
by John Ringo
While I don’t necessarily agree with Ringo’s politics I do find him to be a compelling story teller. In this novel one man with a dream and a little luck turns the human race around from being in forced servitude to quickly becoming one of the most powerful civilizations in the galaxy.
by Ernest Cline
This book is full of nostalgia for anyone who loves video games and grew up in the 80’s and early 90’s. Set in a near future semi-dystopian society this is ultimately an underdog story. I poor kid makes it big. What I love about this novel is the humor, technology, and pop-culture references.
by Peter F. Hamilton
This one was a no brainer for me. Ironically this book actually sat on my shelf for a while when I first bought it. I read the first dozen or so pages and had a really hard time getting into it. Eventually I picked it back up and after giving it some more time I couldn’t put it back down. Hamilton does a fantastic job of creating an entire universe that I want to live in. Wormholes, brain implanted computer systems, immortality, the book is full of the kind of science fiction I wish was science fact. To top it off the book is full of deep characters and a compelling story. Pandora’s Star is followed up by a sequel and then another trilogy that takes place in the same universe. Hamilton has also started working on a follow up to the trilogy.
As with all such lists they change all the time. I hope to post more about the books I am reading in the future.