I said earlier I'd mention neat books I like every once in a while, so I might as well start at the top of my list (after Brust). This is probably one all of you have read, but in case you haven't, one of the best stand-alone books to come along in recent times (imho) is Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game". If you want (very mild spoiler) reviews, you can see them on the Barnes & Noble site.
The book is actually the first of a four book series, but it works just fine as a stand-alone. The rest of the series, while interesting, would probably not be your cup of tea unless you are an avid speculative fiction reader. I think Ender's Game works regardless of your favorite genre, and in fact, it is a good introduction to what speculative fiction can offer over standard fiction (whether it is literary or pop fiction). One of the things I like most about most Card books is that he usually takes a lot of space to explore the ethics of a situation. This is very true for this series and the "Homecoming" series.
Some of Card's stand-alone stuff is pretty good, too. I thought "The Lost Boys" was really good. A little preachy, but it really surprised me. Card is a Mormon, and in real life, he's also a royal jackass, from what little I have read. Oh well, good books anyway.
I suppose I could link to these books using Amazon's "finder's fee" system, where if someone buys a book by following your link, you get a small kickback. I've always thought that was a little trashy. It's like turning an honest book review into a promotional ad, and I don't want anyone thinking I'm talking about how great a book is just so I can make a dime.Posted by Observer at March 1, 2003 08:51 AM
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