In a conversation earlier today, someone asked whether there were five books that could be recommended as starter sci-fi novels.
That's tricky . . . . when I'm recommending sci-fi it's generally to someone who has already read some.
I came up with this list:
- The Star Fraction
[because of his cheeky historical threads and his political statements]
- The Mote in God's Eye
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
[because they explore among, obviously, other themes the effects of a species' physical traits on societal structures]
- Pattern Recognition
[because of his vision of a possible near future even though it is considered mainstream fiction and not sci-fi it does deal with VR]
- Ender's Game
Orson Scott Card
[because of his insights into the flexibility of morality actually I'd recommend the whole original series for the same reason . . . . however, I would not recommend some of his other books or his non-fiction writings because of some blatant homophobic and misogynistic leanings that I didn't see in this series]