News Ticker

QUICK MEME: What’s the Last Science Fiction or Fantasy Book You Recommended to a Friend?

It’s a holiday weekend here in the States, which not only means picnic and beer, but also slow posting. And what better way to fill some empty space than with a quick meme!

So, answer this simple question:

Q: What was the last science fiction or fantasy book you recommended to a friend?

Bonus question: Why? What was it about that title that made you think that person would like it?

For me it was Flowers for Algernon, which I recommended to my daughter because the short story was in her schoolbook. In her schoolbook! Yay, education!

Your turn…

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

28 Comments on QUICK MEME: What’s the Last Science Fiction or Fantasy Book You Recommended to a Friend?

  1. One Hundred Years of Solitude, the other night.

    “What was it about that title that made you think that person would like it?”

    My girlfriend’s Colombian-American, she’d never read the book, and I…kinda gushed about it and Marquez, OMG he’s Colombian and he won the Nobel Prize and etc. So now she wants to read it.

  2. Houston has a number of science fiction and fantasy media exchange groups where you try to hook other people on what you are addicted to by bringing books and media to lend. The last book I was thinking of bringing and recommended to a female friend was Outlander by Diana Gabaldon which is a much higher than normal quality time travel romance that reverses some of the genre conventions.

  3. Congratulations on your Hugo.

  4. Captain Vorpatrils Alliance

    It’s Bujold’s latest and possibly last Vorkosigan book – what more needs to be said

  5. Chiang’s ‘Stories of Your Life and Others’ to a close friend of several decades. I didn’t just recommend it, I gave him a copy as a gift so he’d feel obligated to read it. (He never reads fiction so I needed to provide some motivation.)

    Why? Because what Chiang does is so beautiful, how could I not want to share it with good friends?


  6. The Greg Mandel (Mindstar Rising) trilogy, by Peter F. Hamilton. I wanted to ease someone into the genre via something other than straight, hard, science fiction.

  7. I have recommended Ready Player One by Ernest Cline to several friends of mine. They are gamers and science fiction fans who were kids in 80s and early 90s. I knew they would enjoy it and they did.

    Congrats on your Hugo!

  8. Congrats on the Hugo! The last SF book I recommended was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Recommended to my boss, and he loved it, even though SF isn’t “his thing”.

  9. Max Barry’s Machine Man – the Brazilian translation has just come out (done by yours truly), and I recommended it to my classes as a nice entry-level SF novel.



  10. Don’t you love an automatically timed posting, an interesting but mundane topic when WE WON A MOTHER-FRACKING HUGO LAST NIGHT!!!!


    Anyway: With my daughter, oddly enough, “Flowers” was a recommendation, but it didn’t take. No worries, sometimes a book will sit on her shelf for a year or so before she reads it. She did take Gaiman’s “Stardust” and Goldman’s “Princess Bride”, both of which she loved. It might have helped that she saw the movies, but both were books I suggested way earlier and sat on her shelves for a long while.

    At work, I’ve been slowly corrupting one co-worker. I got him started on Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series. That led to David Drake’s stories of Leary of the RCN, which is modeled after the O’Brian books. That led (most recently) to him reading a Hammer’s Slammers book (Drake), but I also loaned him a Stross (the first Laundry book), Niven’s collection of Draco Tavern stories and a multi-author anthology.

  11. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline to an old coworker who has an interest in video games and scifi. Oddly enough, the book was recommended to me by a member of a writing group I belong to.

  12. If you count The Age of Miracles as science fiction, then it’s the one I’ve recommended most lately. Before that it was Ready Player One.

  13. Terry Tyner // September 3, 2012 at 9:48 am //

    Like several others here, I recommend Ready Player One to anyone who will listen to me.

  14. Feed/Deadline/Blackout by Mira Grant to a friend who’s done some fairly impressive cosplay for local zombie pub crawls.

  15. Jerry Gaiser // September 3, 2012 at 10:02 am //

    Cordelia’s Honor by Lois Mcmaster Bujold – an omnibus of the first two novels in the Vorkosigan Saga. The two novels have enough romance to hook her, a great set of characters and a great gateway into all the Miles books. She’s enjoying the book.

    Oh… And congratulations on the Hugo. Well deserved.

  16. Just a minute ago on a readers list I’m on, I recommended Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels urban fantasy series. We were talking about a new sf TV series REVOLUTION about all electricity failing and the dystopia that follows.

    The premise is really faulty, and I thought Andrews’ idea of the return of magic stopping technology from working was a much better use of the premise.

  17. Ryan Viergutz // September 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm //

    Congrats on your Hugo!

    To one of my best friends, I rec’d Brandon Sanderson’s ‘The Alloy of Law’ because it’s a historical fantasy western. In the sense of the unusual setting, it’s like Amanda Downum’s Isyllt Iskaldur books.

    To another best friend, I tried to suggest Justina Robson’s ‘Keeping It Real’. I know he’d love its maniacal epic chaos and scifi fantasy blur, but he rarely reads fiction that isn’t franchised. :/

    My sister got me William Gibson’s ‘Pattern Recognition’ at a garage sale so that’s for Dad. He’ll adore it and I’ll reread it.

  18. I recommended Redshirts by John Scalzi to my Dad.

    why? When I was a kid we would always watch Star Trek together, we’d go see the movies together, everything, so I figured he’d get a kick out of a book that was a big Star Trek joke/lovefest.

  19. Joe Parrish // September 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm //

    The Rook by Daniel O’Malley, why because I have a lot of comic book friends and it fits that kind of vibe, and yet so many more. I also think I mentioned Pattern Recognition to a friend, my favorite of the new William Gibson, just finished for the fourth or fifth time.

  20. Jeanie Wallenstein // September 3, 2012 at 9:13 pm //

    Just to day I recommended The Ragged World by Judith Moffett to my dear friend who rarely reads SF. He loaned me Walter Miller’s short stories some time ago. Why? Did you ever read Judith Moffett? You know why! And like someone commented, I want to get this friend to read more SF without bashing him with straight up Sci and I like off sciences, social sciences, even medical sci in my SF!

  21. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series, prefaced as ‘the greatest book every written where in you will find every answer you ever needed’.

    And then handed to my 13yr old son as he left for boarding school at the start of the year. He phoned me a few nights ago and said he’d just read the bit about Deep Thought.

    ‘And?’, I asked,
    ‘and you are a bastard’. He answered, to which I chuckled cruelly.

  22. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. I pretty much recommend it to all of my friends to read. It uses a simple conceit and explores it through characters who you will remember long after the book is done. Also, it’s the second funniest book I’ve ever read (after HHG, of course). Seriously good book. Heartwarming, dramatic, and with a strong speculative element still in the real world. Go read it.

  23. The last books I gave as books were Mark Z. Danielewsky’s “House of Leaves” and “Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker Omnibus”, both to close friends who I thought would love them. Several people seem to have bought China MiΓ©ville’s Embassytown and The City & The City based on my recommendations. A friend who saw me read Alastair Reynolds “Chasm City” this summer (which I in turn had received as a birthday present from a friend) has now read and enjoyed it.

  24. I’ve been in a steampunk mood lately and one that just knocked me out was PHOENIX RISING by Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine. It’s a duo caper like George Mann’s ‘Newbury & Hobbes Investigation’ series which includes “Affinity Bridge” and “The Osiris Ritual.” Morris & Ballantine’s ‘Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences” series follows two agents for the above mentioned Ministry. Books, an archivist, and Braun, a feisty, buxom, red-head with an aptitude for demolitions take on London’s mysteries with a wit and gusto that only can be likened to Murtaugh and Riggs from the ‘Lethal Weapon’ series of movies. Trust me, you’ll love it.

  25. A friend wanted a ‘cozy fantasy’ that wasn’t ‘save the world’ or full of death/dismemberment or doom and gloom but was fun and interesting so I recommended Dragons of Wendal by Maria Schneider.

  26. Chatting with SF readers at Chicon, recommended Hugh Howey’s Wool. Can’t go wrong recommending Hugh Howey, and it is a thrill to imagine how much they’ll enjoy discovering him.

  27. Joann Lawler // September 4, 2012 at 7:18 pm //

    Anne Lyle’s The Alchemist of Souls. I just thought it was very well written. Then when the same friend needed some lighter reading, I pointed her at Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London/Whispers Underground, and she’s galloped through it and the two sequels.

  28. I recommended “My Soul to Keep” by Tananarive Due to an old friend. She emailed me that she loved it. πŸ™‚

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: