- SF books for a 14yo boy
FANTASY IS NOT SF.
Sorry. Pet hate of mine is SF being mixed in with fantasy. Nowhere near the same. I can’t stabd fantasy books (can you tell??)
There’s nothing wrong with fantasy if it’s well written, and isn’t a ‘paint-by-numbers’ pot-boiler with magicians, iron-thewed warriors, dragons…Posted 6 months ago
Kind of like Game Of Thrones, really…
There’s plenty of SF which is poorly written and just as tedious.
Roger Zelazney is a superb SF writer, but he also writes fantasy, some of which crosses into SF – his Amber series is fantastic, and dead easy to read, because, in common with the majority of SF and Fantasy from the 60’s and 70’s, the individual books are pretty slim, the first volume, ‘Nine Princes In Amber’, is 190 pages! That’s barely a chapter in some modern fantasy books, running to several hundred pages, if not more.
I’m pretty sure the OP’s son would love them, and paperbacks can be picked up for a couple of quid.
I reckon he might like Larry Niven, too, his ‘Known Space’ books have police procedural stories , great aliens like the Kzin, and Piersens Puppeteers, indestructible spaceships, Ring Worlds, neutron stars, loads of great stuff.NorthwindSubscriber
At 14 I was massively into Iain M Banks. Now, I was a nerdy kid so you could say maybe that’s not the best recommendation, but then again, he’s also a 14 year old that likes sci fi.
Peter F Hamilton’s Nights Dawn maybe? The books are enormous which could be a turnoff but they’re extremely readable (which is why they’re such a success; I’m still not convinced that they’re much good but I enjoy them anyway)Posted 6 months ago
Peter F Hamilton’s Nights Dawn maybe?
I was just about to add that as a suggestion, or maybe Fallen Dragon. (Which even has a teenage boy as the main character…) I’d echo the fact that they’re not exactly quality, but they’re great entertainment with lots of huge starships, explosions and a touch of humour.
Hyperion’s another good choice.Posted 6 months agojekkylSubscriber
Absolute top choice would be the novels by Nicholas Fisk. There are 2 that spring to mind. One called Grinny about an alien who comes to live with a family posing as an elderly Aunt, she bewitches the adults..it sounds a bit twee but it’s proper menacing. The other is ‘a rag a bone and a hank of hair’ about a futuristic world when a teenage boy has to live with clone children taken from the 40s, it’s really good and there’s an awesome twist. If only one get the latter… My other suggestion would be for ‘Chocky’ can’t remember the author but you might remember the TV series. There’s the Tripods as well which the BBC made the first book of.Posted 6 months agoPoopscoopSubscriber
Rendezvous With Rama, Arthur C Clark.
It’s what got me into SF books. Well, reading books generally actually. It’s a good read, gets going pretty fast. He won’t have to read a hundred pages before anything actually happens.
If he likes it, it is the first book in a whole series. All of which are absolutely great.Posted 6 months agosquirrelkingMember
Another vote for Nights Dawn. I wouldn’t say it’s anything more than superficial, it reads like a TV series to be honest (not necessarily a bad thing, it is very readable).
Also a vote for The Dark Side of the Sun and Strata.
Iain M may be pushing it, even in my mid 20s it took me a few goes to finally read Player of Games. Glad I did though.
My suggestions would be the Wool trilogy. Not sci-fi as opposed to dystopian but fairly light going. See also Extinction Game and Survival Game by Gary Gibson (the latter is better written) and the Metro trilogy by Dmitry Glukhovsky if you want something darker.Posted 6 months agoflyingmonkeycorpsMember
I would second the Mortal Engines series. Nice and easy to read but with some pretty complex themes, relationships and characters.
Also Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett I remember as being brilliant, but it’s a while since I read it.
Depends how advanced of a reader he is as well really. Maybe Dune (the first one) might be a good shout too, I read that around his age and loved it.Posted 6 months agoz1ppyMember
I demolished the local libraries SF section as a child, the ones that stayed with me are the Asimov The Complete Robot (short story collection), Dune from Frank Herbert (tell him to ignore the rest) & all of the Pratchett disc world series 😀
Oh and modern stuff, John Scalzi’s old man’s war series and his stand alones, funny & poignantPosted 6 months ago
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