I know we've all read a lot of fantasy/sci-fi over the years, but if you were allowed to keep just three books, which three would you choose? I had to really think about it to narrow my choices to just three, but here they are:

"Dune" by Frank Herbert
"Lord of the Rings" by JRR Tolkien
"Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card

Since I'm still reading books by new authors, my list may change over time. If you want to explain why you chose the books you did, I'm curious and would love to know.

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Replies to This Discussion

Octavia Butler's Lilith's Brood. Just awesome, the ideas on bio-engineering and future technology all mixed into one are fascinating. She also proposes an intelligent race with three genders.

The Red Mars series - is just great because a lot of what the novel presents just MIGHT happen in the remote future. This is where sci-fi demonstrates an almost prophetic element of possibility.

Dune was a great read but the movies didn't do the novel justice I think
Hey Nano, try and find a copy of Fahrenheit 451 on audio book. Ray Bradbury is the reader and its fabulous to hear in his voice. I would add "1984" by Orwell. Not sure about a third favorite, way too many to choose from.
"Lord of the Rings" (althought one of my favourites) is not a sci-fi book.
"Dune" is great.
I don´t like Bradbury, my brother loves his writings, but I just don´t get him. May be it has something to do with me being force to read them in secondary school.
Wow.

I can't do it. I just can't do it. I learned to read on Science Fiction way back in the early 60's, I don't think I could even narrow it down to three authors, let alone three books! Clifford D. Simak, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Diane Duane, Frederick Pohl, Kurt Vonnegut, Frank Herbert, Larry Niven, Spider Robinson...
You crack me up Sean, I get like that every time I set foot in a book store! I head right to the sci-fi section and end up trying to narrow down my purchases from 9 or 10 books to 2 to 3. I think if I were rich that I'd probably buy out the whole department. I would love to attend a casual get-together with all of my favorite authors so I could ask all sorts of questions. I'd probably end up driving them crazy! lol
SFWA is setting up a Contact an Author program that lets fans email writers. Not all authors are registered in it yet; some may choose not to participate, and others may simply not know about it. (I just found out about it by accident! But you can always contact me through A}N if you want.) This might help you a little with some of those questions.
3 of the 4 Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin.
Dan Simmons' Hyperion has to be my number one, based in large part on Simmons' incredible writing skills. I don't think anybody can read Simmons without a strong visceral response.
Harry Turtledove's So Few Remain (alternate history)
Kim Robinson's Mars Trilogy
I should've put the Hyperion series in my top three too, but it is very difficult to narrow it down to just three, isn't it? I'd be hard pressed to come up with one world in all the books I've read, as the one I most would like to live in! I can't write but I do value having a great imagination, nothing is better than losing myself in another universe for a few hours.
I hadn't thought of it in quite this way before, but essentially we writer function as travel agents, booking you vacations in exotic realms.
Well, the same could be said for atheism, n'est-ce pas?
Dune is also allegorical of the Middle East of course - especially given Herbert's extensive background as a journalist there.

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