SF books for a 14yo boy

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  • SF books for a 14yo boy
  • Gunz
    Member

    My Godson has asked for SF books for his 14th birthday and I’m struggling to think of anything as my daughter of the same age isn’t really into that sort of stuff. Anybody got any suggestions please?

    Premier Icon johnnystorm
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    Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy

    earlyAsimov compilations

    Marvel/DC Graphic Novels, Guardians of the Galaxy or similar?

    Harry Harrison – Stainless Steel Rat series – also Deathworld trilogy, plus maybe Bill The Galactic Hero. Loved them as a teenager, still love them now. Not kids books but if he’s an avid reader he’ll be fine.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
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    Mortal Engines?

    I found Asimov soooooo dull to be honest. Couple of his books are ok but the foundation series I just couldn’t get on with.

    mogrim
    Member

    Are comics and/or fantasy allowed?

    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??)

    Premier Icon johnnystorm
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    No, I wouldn’t recommend the Foundation series either, it’s pretty heavy going. I see my attempt to write “early” was typo’d as easily…. :/

    Gunz
    Member

    He’s all about the SF not fantasy. Thanks for the suggestions, I’d forgotten about reading the Stainless Rat stuff when I was younger, that’s now on the list. Please keep them coming, I’m looking at getting him about 4.

    petec
    Member

    FANTASY IS NOT SF.

    Has he started on the discworld set? 🙂

    They should keep him going for some time.

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy

    … is the right answer. I read it at about that age, it changed my life.

    mogrim
    Member

    FANTASY IS NOT SF.

    I know. I didn’t know if the boy’s mother knew it though, which is why I asked.

    I think I read the first Dune book at about that age. Watchmen might be another good one.

    tjagain
    Member

    Early Heinlein. Fall of moondust Have spacesuit will travel, Rocketship Galileo
    Stainless steel rat by harry Harrison and bill the galactic hero (only the first one)

    Premier Icon tiim
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    Echoing mogrim – Dune (maybe skip the sequels though . . .)
    Any of the Asimov short story collections (e.g. I, Robot) – I devoured them at that age.

    Yes it isn’t SF but an avid reader should be exposed to Discworld at this point if they haven’t been yet.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
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    Speaking of discworld, Terry Pratchett wrote 2 or 3 teenage friendly Sci fi books. I remember them being good reads.

    Edit: Dark Side of the Sun and Strata

    tjagain
    Member

    Niven tales of know space short stories collection

    Premier Icon vinnyeh
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    John Wyndham?

    CountZero
    Member

    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…
    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.

    Gunz
    Member

    Never mind my godson, I fancy reading a few of these myself. Thanks all.

    Some of the Michael Moorcock books are good.
    As are some of the Frank Herbet books.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    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)

    hels
    Member

    I was about to say Enders Game, I see somebody has done that. I read a lot of Robert Heinlein at that age. Starship troopers a good place to start.

    Gunz
    Member

    Forgot to say Enders Game was the first one I thought of, definitely on the list.

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
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    I remember enjoying Antigrav by Nicholas Fisk around that sort of age.

    mogrim
    Member

    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.

    jekkyl
    Member

    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.

    tjagain
    Member

    I would say no to nights dawn. A very complex set of interlocking tales that really needed a good editor. I had to red it twice to make sense of it. Unless he has a high reading age then stick to the simpler stuff

    Premier Icon nedrapier
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    John Wyndham?

    Good shout!

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
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    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.

    Premier Icon timbog160
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    My 14 year old rarely reads but has just lapped up Fahrenheit 451

    kayla1
    Member

    What about the Star Wars expanded universe stuff? The Rogue Squadron series is pretty good and ‘Dark Disciple’ is ace.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
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    Fisk and Wyndham, +1

    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.

    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.

    kcr
    Member

    Dark Materials trilogy? You can argue if it’s fantasy or science fiction, but the plot features the physics of alternative universes and the death of God, so perfect for kids.

    wordnumb
    Member

    How about an anthology of sci-fi short stories? The ones edited by Gardner Dozois were very good (think they stopped publishing them last year, though may still be going in the US) and pretty varied – so there’s bound to be something in each edition that he likes.

    z1ppy
    Member

    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 & poignant

    globalti
    Member

    Another vote for John Wyndham. Especially Day of the Triffids and The Chrysalids, my favourite: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chrysalids I must have read this half a dozen times.

    big_n_daft
    Member

    Ray Bradbury

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