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Any book that opens with the sentence ‘The existence of earth is a myth’ is one that needs reading! The dystopian view of humanity so evident in 'Dark Pilgrim Rising' continues in this novel, so when loyalty, courage and honesty do appear they shine like beacons. It takes an excellent author to maintain a series successfully over four books but this is what R Peter Ubtrent does in this next novel in the absorbing and complex 'Dark Pilgrim' series.
This intricately constructed book has at its heart pain and relationships, and often the pain of relationships.
In contrast to the enormity of the crisis facing the galaxy, emotions on a personal level play an important part in this novel. Again, a tightly woven, many layered plot entertains us as the Imperium’s reluctant saviour embarks on a desperate, dangerous plan. Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books FlowchartNPR recently provided the results of a top-100 list of the best science fiction and fantasy ever written. Even more frustrating was the entire lack of usability it provided for those wanting to enter into the dangerous and large world of science fiction and fantasy fiction: there were no blurbs, categories or context.
Thankfully, the fine folks over at SF Signal have compiled the below flow chart to help you get the most out of a relatively mediocre list, with some fun questions and actual flow to the chart.
Science Fiction writersa€”much like their cousins over in Fantasya€”are renowned for being able write volume upon volume of prose, great tracts of novels, seemingly without end.
Regardless of what you think of his politics, OSC wrote an amazing novel in Ender’s Game. I can’t be the only kid, who at the age of 10 found myself entranced by the futuristic yet feudal world of Pern, with its engineered fire-breathing dragons, deadly threadfall, and telepathic bonding. Starting with Princess of Mars, and on for 11 novels and countless stories, the grand high king of pulp crafted the tales of Barsoom, the dying world of Mars. A recent series of novels, of which The Last Colony was a Hugo nominee for best novel in 2008.
Another recent series, Buckell’s Crystal Rain and its sort-of sequels are a refreshing take on science fiction, that challenges the traditional Euro-centrism of the genre.
Okay, let’s take one of the key works of English fiction a€” Canterbury Tales a€” and recast it in the far future, about a group of pilgrims going to the tombs of Hyperion.
This classic series of pulp novels from the 30s and 40s became a major influence on a generation of SciFi writers and comic book creators.
Imagine every human who ever lived was suddenly resurrected on the banks of an unimaginably long river. 97% OF OUR READERS ALSO READ THIS ARTICLE: 10 Cute Cartoon Characters We'd Secretly All Like to Screw6. That's how they hook you, the writers of pulp fiction, when you are trapped in the void of your own mind. Every science fiction fan knows that the objective is to read everything, just not on the toilet. For the rankings here, I look at the series as a whole, the level of impact the series has had on the genre, the quality mantained by the series as the books progress, the quality of ideas presented in the book, the quality of the characterization (something that earlier classic science fiction works had which newer works put a lot more emphasis on) and of course, how damn entertaining the plot itself is.You can view the crowd-ranked version of this list and vote on the entries at the bottom of this page. Fresh off his guest appearance at the Museum of Science Fiction's pre-opening summer event, Escape Velocity, acclaimed author James Suriano brings readers his SciFi Political Drama, Dark. In the 25th Century, countries and borders no longer exist and Earth is ruled by one directly elected President. The Huffington Post debuted author, James Suriano's fast paced politically charged novel will take you for a thrill ride along the campaign trail with President Haakon and his team, as they race against time to try and sway voters on Earth, The Moon, and Mars to unseat the Android President. Suriano's novel will capture your imagination and have you questioning whether the realities of today's politics will lead us into the world of Dark. Suriano's first novel, Inbiotic, grabbed readers around the globe the moment it came out, garnering audiences from The US, France, Germany, Brazil, India, Australia, Japan, Canada, and the UK.
Starts with A Mote in God's Eye, the award winning first book in the series of 2 with the 3rd book written by one of the authors.Nothing will prepare you for this book. Are you ready to dive off the high board into the books that earned a special Hugo in 1966 for the best all-time series?
But being an avid fan of the medium now, I wish to Odin my folks had had the smarts to do so!
There’s a lot more to comic books and graphic novels than capes, tights, unitards and kryptonite. And even when those things are included in a story, today’s comic output is far more intelligent and complex than its detractors give it credit for. Sure there are some comic titles that offer nothing but brainless, effortless entertainment. All right, grab my hand and help me down from this soapbox, ’cause I’ve got some wicked awesome comic book and graphic novel titles to tell you about! This list is by no means a be-all-end-all rundown of the only graphic novels or comic book series that you should show share with the family. Follow the adventures of the fierce Wolfriders, the peaceful Sun Folk, the mountain-dwelling Gliders, the sea-adventuring Wavedancers, and the war-ready Go-Backs.
Doors in the basement leading to other worlds, monstrous kidnapping spiders, elven kings, a talisman with mysterious powers, and a brother and sister pitted against a sinister evil.
There are plenty of Wizard of Oz adaptation out there, in every medium, but Shanower is a master of the Oz-lore and a brilliant storyteller and his series about the magical land is a MUST-READ for anyone with even the slightest interest in that mystical world. This classic Japanese science fiction series is aimed perfectly at the younger generation, though the action set pieces and lovable characters make it addictive for readers of all ages. Herge’s Tintin is a young reporter who gets swept away on exotic quests and adventures all over the world.
Among his many thrilling, intelligent books is Tom Strong, an homage to both the golden age of superheroes and the serial adventurers of the early 20th Century who put every kid that followed their adventures on the edge of his or her seat. Knights in shining armor, damsels in distress, evil tyrants with blood on their hands, and young rebels willing to risk it all for victory and ever-lasting peace.
This beautifully drawn and expertly plotted comic series tells the story of famous characters from fairy tales and folklore who escape their own land and the Adversary who’s taken over, to seek refuge in our world. There are currently three volumes and a few one-shots on the shelves, and they are all exciting, contemplative, funny, heart-wrenching, and perfect for children of all ages. Crazy-good writer Grant Morrison and crazy-good artist Frank Quitely team up here for their own version of Homeward Bound. Bandit, Tinker, and Pirate (a dog, cat, and rabbit) were all kidnapped and placed in robotic armor and given the ability to speak through brain implants.
It’s only three issues long, but WE3 packs more of a wallop than most 70-issue arcs on shelves today. What happens when a mysterious force causes every man in the world to die at the same time? Another entry from the master storyteller himself, Alan Moore, is The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I’d suggest this for the more advanced kid readers, not because of any outrageous content, per se (at least not in the first two volumes), but more because of the complex nature of the tale. If ever a series of graphic novels could ever be said to surpass most volumes of literature in complexity, scope, thematic resonance, and sheer intelligence, then this is definitely one of them. And there you have the top 15 fantasy and sci-fi graphic novels that you really need to introduce your kids to.
Like I said before, some of them might be appropriate for everyone while others ought to wait until your kids’ teen years, but they are all worth reading. Geeks Raising Geeks is the only community on the Internet where geeky parents can convene, find awesome geeky gear that they can use in their daily life, learn how to help their children embrace their inner geek and share in all the fun together.
Yet again he creates an intriguing universe peopled by diverse, superbly drawn, unique characters. It is the first in the 'Dark Pilgrim' series, so there is of necessity a lot of scene-setting since this promises to be an epic science-fiction series.
Ailanthus, Tethys and their rather unlikely band of friends, having escaped from the horrific penal colony of K’ar Krack’a, begin to attempt to build new lives. It opens and closes with references to the Ynos, threatened at first but posing a threat themselves at the end.
And still the author keeps up mesmerized and surprised as events in the galaxy continue to twist and turn in directions we could never have foreseen. Rivalled by Mishi to take the role of Emperor of the Imperium, there is really precious little to be emperor of. Characters - cunning, treacherous, loyal and brave - perform the actions and win the reader’s and each other’s disgust or admiration. Often these tomes are filled with nothing so much as overly lengthy location descriptions and predictable plots. It’s a book that just about every high school boy connects with on a deeply visceral level. Impressive in their longevity (19 novels and counting) McCaffrey’s Pern stories are perhaps not the most cerebral of novels, and they sit on a line somewhere between SciFi and Fantasy that can cause many a pedantic argument. Populated by giant four-armed brutes, beautiful topless aliens, noble beasts and immense treasures, the stories inspired generations of writers to follow.
The series puts humanity as a troubled race in a universe full of other species, which they must battle against for livable planets. Banks, the Culture is described as a grand, a futuristic pan-species society, a liberal anarchy, completely egalitarian and loosely governed by super-intelligent AIs. Every person who had ever lived from the point of early homo sapiens onwards, with all their food needs met and their cultures in conflict. Spread over dozens of novels ranging every setting imaginable, Moorecock’s Multiverse is SciFi, Fantasy, and just about every other genre you can think of. Few dispute the grandeur and influence of Dune itself, but the sequels (Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse: Dune) are more philosophical and at times much harder to follow. Quite possibly the funniest works of the English language, the absurdist comedy of HGttG is an instant barometer of someone’s worth.
Picture yourself as a puberty-aged kid forced to go to some family gathering where the house smells of old people and there is absolutely nothing to do, for hours. The price of admission is a big red ring on your ass and a plundered book stuffed into your underwear as you clandestinely seek out some isolated privacy to - read more.
Still wildly popular and selling off the shelves after nearly 50 years, the Dune series has spawned a movie, computer games, board games, and numerous authorized sequels (sic).

Card has landed himself in a lot of hot water for his political commentary, primarily driven by his personal religious viewpoint. It's time to plunge you into the soft science realm where psychology, behavior and culture take center stage. So do your kid a favor, Oh Geekly Mom or Dad: If you have even the barest inkling that your little man or lady might be interested in stories told through sequential art, don’t delay in putting a really good graphic novel in their hands! Each one of these is a book chock full of big ideas, relatable characters, exciting adventures, and moral lessons aplenty. There are even some that are so far along the brainless and effortless route, that they’ve traveled well beyond entertaining and into the realm of complete and utter pointlessness.
I was raised on Jaws and Stephen King novels and while the content never bothered me, not everyone is the same.
It’s the perfect series for young fans of fantasy and the issues are available for FREE here. It’s a great way, though, to introduce and enthrall your kids to characters from classic literature. He is the founder of GeeksRaisingGeeks and enjoys everything from killing orcs & trolls to building ergonomic workstations. Alexis Locke, created by The Agency 65 years ago, is called back into service after fifteen blissful years of reclusive living in Alaska by Cav, the boss she hates. Mr Ubtrent slowly and steadily weaves the strands of his cleverly crafted plot together towards an ending that is both unexpected and somehow inevitable.
It is a complex rather than complicated novel with many subplots and layers, and calls for concentration.
But the world they find themselves in isn’t really much different, full of criminals and liars all trying to steal credits and simply survive.
Unresolved issues and hints that surfaced in the previous book are dealt with, but new ones emerge to intrigue us. The excitement continues with the Restoration now thrown into the broiling mix, working to bring down the Church of the Blessed Prophets which it sees as an “infection”. The characters, many of whom are now very familiar to us this far along in the series, continue to develop. The Ynos have destroyed most other lifeforms in the galaxy and even Earth is preparing to be evacuated.
In this novel, even more than the others, it seems that strong females emerge, which is perhaps fitting as the need to save and nurture the remnants of humanity becomes more pressing. However, some of the true greats of Science Fiction have surpassed the limits of the form, and created vast inter-twined plots set across multiple novels, and multiple time periods.
Perhaps it’s because the novel was written in conjunction with the immensely influential film, or maybe Clarke tired of the saga of the monoliths. Yet even for all this, they’re extremely fun reads for young adults, and maintain their interest throughout the series.
Adults at the age of 65 are allowed to sign up for the military, and when they join, their brains are transferred to younger clones, jam packed with nanotech and genetically souped up abilities, before being sent into the fray. Buckell’s from the Caribbean, and he adds a distinctive flavor to his work, bringing island patois and outlook to series. Notoriously long, the Baroque Cycle is made up of eight books spanning three volumes spanning 1660-1714, and is heavily thematically linked to the development of science and technology. However, the Hyperion Cantos is a magnificent work of literary depth, filled with allusions to seminal works of English literature, plus the machinations of a human interplanetary Government on the verge of collapse.
Massive conspiracies, alternate dimensions, sex, drugs, rock & roll, fnord, all hail Eris Discordia. Sprawl has slightly more known, comprised of the excellent Neuromancer (1984), Count Zero (1986) and Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988), plus three volumes of short stories.
There’s steampunk, high fantasy, post-apocalyptic wastelands, time traveling dandies, Russian assassins, evil Sun Gods, and much more. Technically part of Niven’s significantly larger Known Space series, there are seven books devoted just to this curious alien artifact, filled with genetically altered humans and a vast amount of unimaginable technology. The seminal first book in the series, Dune, is widely recognized as the world's best-selling science fiction novel.
Under that sign are a dozen different sub-genres and each of these has one or more series that are the best of their type.
He is often identified as one of the three giants of science fiction (along with Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Maybe it's the idea of living in a world without hunger, disease, violence and suffering and how the absence of these elements transforms basic motivation.
This whole idea about broken things is defined by the concept of The Singularity -- a field that Vinge is the master of. If you are a fan of social science fiction or just science fiction with deep characterization that makes you think deep and hard about the way things are and how they got to be the way they are, this is a series for you.Butler is perhaps the best-known African-American female writer of science fiction.
But all too often comic books are still disparaged as an unintelligent and unworthy storytelling medium. But then again, there are novels, plays, movies, songs, operas, poems, essays, biographies, paintings and dance pieces that do that, too. If your kid has any interest in the medium, this list will cultivate their love for stories like these and pretty soon they’ll be branching out on their own! For each of these selections, I’d advise you give the pages a quick peek first to make sure your kid can handle it.
Amulet is a series that will captivate your youngins and pull them into a magical world of unimaginable wonders. Bad Island is the story about a family shipwrecked on a very strange island in the middle of a vast ocean. The television show Firefly was terribly short-lived, which was unfortunate, considering the enormity of the universe created by Joss Whedon and Tim Minear, the likability of each character, the mysteries and enigmas with solutions only hinted at, and a whole host of unanswered questions. She owes him nothing and doesn’t want to get involved in investigating the series of deaths of five well respected scientists. The cast of alien species, including the Dwad-Mehstiv, Kroor, Druzni, Drek and H’chalks, is an intricately created and plausible one. There is conflict and tension everywhere - between The Church of the Blessed Prophets and the struggling Imperium, between some of the various alien species, and within the Imperium itself. Themes and subplots weave through the story, carrying us towards the exciting conclusion that leaves us wanting to continue following this imaginative and epic science fiction adventure. Whether he is or isn’t, and whether he can or cannot bring himself to assume this role, is the uniting theme of this book, set in a very disunited galaxy. Not only does Ailanthus face it, but he knows he will perpetrate it himself if he is to unite the warring galaxy.
The F’gat Ynos are slowly but surely destroying every planet they come across, intent on wiping out the human race. The surviving friends from the first 'Dark Pilgrim' adventure are scattered, yet still bonded together, a tiny focus of hope for the future. None of them are bad novels, it’s just the blinding strength of the first in the series makes them dim in comparison. After the astonishing Ender’s Game, Card went on a more philosophical bent with Speaker For The Dead, Xenocide and Children of the Minda€”which is where many readers lost the series.
The staid morality found therein has dated poorly, but if you can turn off modern sensibilities for a couple of hundred pages, the sheer scope of adventure will draw you in.
Comparatively short to the other entries on this list (only four novels at present), Scalzi’s series artfully combines military action with philosophical depth, and has been compared to Heinlein at his best.
Well, a whole bunch of 20th century rock stars play gigs, some people enslave others, and Mark Twain builds a steamboat. Everything about the novels borders on post-modern absurdism, which makes them essential reading. Yet throughout such disparate novels you will constantly find recurring characters in the archetypes of the Eternal Champion, the Lords of Order and the Dukes of Chaos, who battle for control of the multiverse, while others fight for the balance. Unfortunately, he died before finishing the final book in the famous series, so we’ll never know how the epic of sandworms and spice will end. What’s funny is that the sequel to the original book was only written to try and patch up the scientific flaws in the first, due to bitching by fans. In spite of this, his Ender series is so good you shouldn't be dissuaded from reading it, despite the author's intrusive mormon ideas that leak through his pen.
Are you tired of reading books where the aliens are basically humans wearing weird costumes?Then read this series -- one of the best about 'first contact' out there.
Basically this means that as civilization accelerates it is also abandoning things, ideas and people who can't keep up.
In 1995 she became the first science fiction writer to ever receive the MacArthur Fellowship (commonly called the Genius Grant).
That being said, each of these titles has an enormous amount of heart, intelligence and compassion to offer each and every reader, no matter their age. But if your child has reached a level of maturity where you’re okay with him or her reading stories that feature some adult themes and imagery, then you CANNOT allow them to go through life without having read this series. But then he reveals that one of them is the son he dishonestly told her had died shortly after birth. Nonetheless, the author offers us hope in the positive human values of loyalty, courage and love. Ailanthus and Tethys, human friends currently on a savage penal colony, are bent on surviving in a place where few last more than five years.
Through their unique eyes we are given a satirical view of the human race with its faults and foolishness. R Peter Ubtrent is an extremely talented author and plunges the reader into a rich, persuasive and fascinating alternate universe. The virus is still having a fiercely negative impact on humanity, as are the Drek and the Ynos.
There is general chaos as the hyper gates normally allowing galactic travel are closed as a defencive measure. Plus, there’s an upcoming John Carter film by Mark Andrews and Andrew Stanton of Pixar. The three novels are independent of one another, but take place in the same universe, and share a common character or twoa€”including the Rastafarian badass Pepper.

Set in the 22nd century, the Saga is spread over 7 books (and one more in the works) following Seafort from being a Midshipman to the leader of Earth, and usually stuck making horrible no-win situations along the way. As flippant as that may seem, Farmer takes a diverse array of disparate historical figures, liberally mixes in original ones, and sets them the task of figuring out the how and why of their sudden resurrection.
Those infamous grey skys, console cowboys, cybernetic killing machines and nation sized Zaibatsus.
In fact, this series is arguably the best militaristic science fiction series ever written. This series puts a lot of effort into developing a fascinating human society and a complex and enthralling development of and entirely 'alien' alien society. TenNapel is a wonderful cartoonist and storyteller who weaves a tale of high adventure and deep intrigue. The Imperium, the presiding body, is also trying to survive, now that its Emperor has been assassinated. Rohini becomes a key figure in keeping the Imperium’s collapse at bay since the new Emperor is neither popular nor diplomatic. He packs more into a page in terms of linguistic ability and sheer entertainment than many authors do in an entire book. Anolis returns with bounty hunters in tow to avenge his brother’s death on Ailanthus and Tethys, whom he holds responsible, forgetting their once close friendship and loyalty. Also, if you can get hold of it, try and read the comic adaptation of 2001, it was one of Jack Kirby’s finest works.
It was after this that Card wrote the Shadow novels, a parallel set of stories that felt like he was milking the franchise.
The original four novels are probably the strongest, but it’s an incredible body of work, and intriguing in its world building.
You focus on the people that do the dirty work, and help other societies get closer to joining the Culture. While the series does lose its strength in later volumes, it wins massive points for originality, and involving very interesting characters.
While cyberpunk feels dated under the light of modern technology, it still packs a gritty punch.
There is just the right amount of mystery and suspense to keep you captivated the who way through.This stunningly good novel The Mote in God's Eye, written collaboratively by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle and first published in 1974 gave us the Moties. Vinge is a retired professor of mathematics, best known for his exceptional science fiction vision.
The target audience may be of the younger variety, but the whole geeky family can get behind this excellent book. We find these diverse qualities throughout the book and also fittingly embodied in Alexis, who is thus a very appropriate heroine for this excellent novel. It faces uprisings from the Church of the Blessed Prophets and also from the Noble Houses, which had all previously been powerful rulers.
Can he bring peace to the huge diversity of co-existing lifeforms that include humans, Kroor, Dwad Mehstiv, Ynos, Morype Slugs, H’Chalk and Druzsni. The epilogue closes with the observation that humans are chaotic, but this meticulously organized and tightly constructed novel suggests the exact opposite! The truth concerning the history of the Dark Ages of Human Bondage emerges but as Ailanthus declares sarcastically, “Now that we’ve been enlightened, we all know better.” There seems to be no end to the darkness in sight. Ailanthus, the Emperor, is still trying to unite the Imperium, the Noble Houses within which are being challenged by The Restoration, whose members are growing more and more desperate. B’cha the Kroor assassin is another familiar figure to reappear but this time fails in his mission. It reads a bit like a darker Hitchhiker’s Guide, packed with black humor and surrealism.
It's an older work, but it hasn't aged at all and is certainly readable even in the post 2013 era. His Zone of Thought series includes A Fire Upon The Deep, published in 1992 and winner of the Hugo, A Deepness In The Sky, winner of the Prometheus and The Children Of The Sky.
Lilith's Brood was originally called the Xenogenesis series with publication as early as 1987. If that is not enough, the Lord Cardinals of The Church of the Blessed Prophet continue to scheme and complicate matters in their attempts to retain control of both the Church and the Imperium. All of the main characters reflect on what their status will be within the new order, if and when it finally comes. Mostly it's because Herbert delivered a masterfully crafted world so beautifully layered and rich in detail that it became the template for every "epic" science fiction series that came afterwards.
Robert A Heinlein, one of the giants of science fiction was consulted on this book and he famously blurbed the book saying, "Possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read." He was right. Don't be scared by his credentials - save that for his dark vision of the singularity-driven future. Butler masterfully departs from traditional science fiction focus and directly explores issues of gender, genetics, slavery, captivity and sexuality in this highly regarded series.
She finds herself caught up in scheming that involves the past and the future and isn’t confined to the Earth. The Dei Glorium, Ailanthus’ intended spouse, has vengeance up her sleeve with potentially devastating effects. This series began publication in 1987 and includes nine books of which Excession is frequently noted as the most popular.
And Anolis, working with two bounty hunters and a Kroor, still wants to repay his brother’s death, brought about by Ailanthus’ actions in the past.
In Lensman, the members are given a Lens, a symbiotic creature which gives them the mental powers of telepathy with which to police the galaxy, with plenty of now dated rip-roaring adventure, and more than a fair share of Eugenics. Winner of both the Hugo and the first Nebula award ever given, Dune was published in 1965. Banks' work focuses on a post-scarcity world where all of the basic needs of humanity are being met.
His novels also examine how technology accelerates human evolution in sometimes disastrous ways.
The series plunges you into the life of an imperial family in a feudal interstellar society. If there is a fault to be found with this series it is simply that you will need to block out a month of time because there are 28 books in the series to date spanning 1986-2012. The ideas introduced are fascinating (though ultimately a flawed idea as proven by science).
This setup pushes politics to the edges where people can act against the basic policies of the culture in order to achieve the Culture ideal. Dune is both high-technology science fiction and feudal fantasy all woven into one epic braingasm series. But if you want a series with some of the best deep characterization in the genre with plenty of space battles, planetary politics, and galactic warfare out there, this series can't be missed. This positions the series as psychological science fiction with a direct exploration of artificial intelligence, or, you know, hard and soft science fiction. These are NOT dry old books full of visionary concepts but dull on action, plot, and characters. Spinning at the center of this story are complex politics, religion, ecology, advanced technology and people behaving badly.
In fact he does this so well that it doesn't freaking matter what he says or does outside of the book. In this post scarcity world of the Culture your mind will be working overtime trying to come to grasp with the amazing ideas presented.
All of this is set on a difficult desert planet that is home to massive worms and spice' a drug-like substance that transforms humanity. There's also a lot of fun when this perfect society bangs against the primitive and barbaric cultures its forced to deal with that don't share in this utopia. Yea it's more a combination of space opera, planetary romance, and science fantasy than hard sci-fi.
The book is recommended reading for the American Marine Corps as a study in military training.
The Culture novels are both thrilling as well as fascinating and to boot, you can be sure that beneath the thrill there's always a number of fascinating set of philosophical questions buried in there as well.
The third is a let down and rumor is there will be another book coming out in the series. Yea yea, those grand blow-your-mind ideas present in some of the other classic works (like foundation) are not there.But dammit to hell, it's such a sweeping epic of character and enviroment struggling against each other that this series just can't be missed. All in all, this is one of the very best science fiction series ever written and one of those series that you see topping all the best list charts for good reason.Bar non, the Zone of Thought books are probably the best portrayal of how a true galactic society might actually work. No other series comes close to portraying this as accurately as the 'Zone' books.The series is space opera with a twist of the hard science and dash of social science fiction sprinkled in. Overall, it's a towering epic that just must be read.The first three books are good reads but the series winds down and gets pretty bloaded by the time you reach the 6th book.
The books cover generations, however, and you read about the decendents of characters you loved in the first one. In fact, this series is enormously popular and you get to learn things without feeling like your brain is about to shatter.
Unless you are crazy about the Dune world, give a skip to the sequels written by Frank's son, Brian. The other books in the series (and novellas) are good enough reads, but lack the brilliance of the first and second books. A popular starting place in the Culture Series is Player of Games which is a good introduction to the series and the culture world, but wrapped in an exciting package of action, suspense, and intrigue. Worth reading if you absolutely have to have your "Dune fix" but are really not even in the same class as daddy's origional works.
Another loved book is Consider Phlebus, which has a more space operatic feel to it than the other books in the series.

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