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Best starter books for SciFi/Fantasy

  • Aug 26, 2009
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When friends ask me what books they should read, these are the ones I recommend first. They aren't always the most critically acclaimed books, but they tend to be a great introduction to a prolific author -- if you like one of these books, you will have a treasure trove of other novels waiting for you.
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of
Terry Pratchett collaborated with Neil Gaiman to write Good Omens, one of the funnier books about the Apocalypse ever written. This is a great book to read if you are potentially interested in either author -- if you don't like it, you probably won't like anything by either Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett. If you do, there are now a hundred other books on your reading list.
Ender's game cover
A great introductory science fiction book even for fairly young kids, but it holds up well for adults. An interesting plot, great characters, and complexity -- without overly complex language.
Doomsday Book
A brilliant character driven science fiction novel -- if you are into time travel, this is a great novel, and if you like this, you will like a lot of Connie Willis's novels. This is much darker than her average fair.
A Fire Upon The Deep
Classic mind bending science fiction, with completely different cultures and ideas. This isn't light reading, but it is fun reading.
A Game of Thrones
A classic fantasy epic. Unfortunately, George R.R. Martin has slowed down somewhat, so it is unclear when he will finish this series, but the books are the best introduction to pure fantasy out there.
Assassin's Apprentice
Interesting character driven fantasy, with complete standalone series by a prolific author
The first of the Foundation novels, the defining classic Sci Fi novel by the master Isaac Asimov. Lots of talking, so this isn't everyone's cup of tea.

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About the list creator
Ari Miller ()
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I mostly write about my main obsession, tennis. When I'm not experimenting with new tennis racquets, I love to watch a good movie or read a great book. I'm a fan of both non-fiction (especially books … more
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