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

I've never managed to read Herbert, but I also forgot Dream Park. Like I said in my original post, 3 is impossible!
OOH! Did I mention the Callahan series?
Just three? Is that possible????
2001: A Space Odyssey (Good, in a creepy way)
Dune (The whole series)
Slaughterhouse 5 (I finished this the day before my band sight read Dresden...)
Ender's Shadow (Bean's story to Ender's)
etcetera, etcetera, etcetera
I notice that everyone is listing very old books. I grew up with Ender's Game and Heinlein like many of you but the author recently at the top of my list is Peter F. Hamilton. He has 2 different series which are both epic in scale, at least as epic as Foundation, and have more interesting sci-fi concepts than you might consider seemly in a single universe. That is one reason that I love him. He doesn't write a book about a single idea in a vacuum.

I read the Nights Dawn Trilogy first and, to be honest, it had an element which caused me some discomfort. It deals with what happens after we die, a subject I would never have agreed belongs in a proper sci-fi story. Despite that I ended up loving the series.

The Commonwealth Saga is equally heady stuff but great fun.

Of course Ender's Game will always hold a special place. Card hit it out of the park with that book.
For me, it's pretty simple:

  • Stranger in a Strange Lane
  • Job: A Comedy of Justice
  • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

What can I say? I LOVE Robert Heinlein!

But I also have to mention Zelazny's Lord of Light, Asimov's "Robot" novels and Foundation and Earth (the best of the "Foundation" series, IMHO), and Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, perhaps one of the cruelest books I have ever read.
I think we'll get along splendidly-- you've named half a dozen of my favorites!
I agree with Hiram about the Red Mars- it's science-based enough to be probable very soon.

All of Asimov's books that I have read contain new ideas, so love those!

In terms of Fantasy I really liked the first few Sword of Truth series!
hi people -  i have been reading Ursula K. LeGuin recently - and right now, i'd have to say my 3 faves are

"The Earthsea Trilogy

".  then again, there's always "The Hitchhikers' Guide" books . . . and . . . Philip K. Dick.  sorry, it's impossible :]

I'm going to have to go with:

 

         Dune: Frank Herbert

         Altered Carbon: Richard K. Morgan

         The Forever War: Joe Haldeman

 

Well, Dune has probably the most satisfying ending, ever. Altered Carbon has the best "rampage scene" in literature and the whole story is incredibly gritty and inventive. And The Forever War was just a great book, plus, yes. That is how the Army really works, they will fuck you in a heartbeat!

Crap, that's hard. 

 

"Glory Road" by Robert Heinlein is always number one. At any given time, numbers two and three vary with my mood... as of right now, I'd say, perhaps:

"American Gods" by Neil Gaiman

"Foundation" by Isaac Asimov

 

My reasons? Well, for "Glory Road" it's just... I don't know. Jealousy. The Hero gets whisked away by a beautiful woman to go on An Adventure! Of course, the best part is after-- that's why I love the book so much. He saves the day, and then... gets bored. Eventually he tries to go back home, but he doesn't fit in anymore. So he goes back out, adventuring. It's been my favorite book since I was 15 or so. 

"American Gods" is simply brilliant, and gets to me on an emotional level in ways I can't actually describe or even figure out. 

And "Foundation" because it was my introduction to Asimov and to real sci-fi, and because I adore the Magnificent Bastards that are always Asimov's best heroes. 

"Got any dragons you want killed?"  Glory Road is GREAT fun and certainly deserves mention.

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

Legion of the Damned by William C. Dietz

 

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