Library Data (SciFi)

The term “Library Data” is from the Traveller game – being the name for expositive entries for the “Ship’s Library” program that was originally used to fill in many details of the early Traveller game universe. It’s hard, perhaps impossible, to list every single science fiction novel that has influenced me. But this is a good selection of the ones that I remember and occasionally have reason to go back and re-read or otherwise reference.

  • Anderson, Poul – Many good works that are to many to count – but The High Crusade and the various Nicholas van Rijn and Dominic Flandry novels are worth special attention.
  • Bujold, Lois McMaster – The Miles Vorkosigan is great and well-worth the read.
  • Bradley, Marion Zimmer – The Darkover series, a classic series of tales of a lost colony, as well as a series that can work for a fantasy campaign as well depending upon where in the timeline you’re reading.
  • Card, Orson Scott – I first read Ender’s Game as a novella in the old There Will Be War anthology series.
  • Chandler, A. Bertram – The John Grimes series. I originally read these in old Ace? DAW? paperbacks, plus various bits in the old F&SF, or Fantastic, or Galaxy magazines that my parents had stored in the garage.
  • Cherryh, C.J. – I grew up reading the tales of the Alliance-Union universe, but also enjoyed her stand-alone novels and the Chanur novels as well.
  • Dickson, Gordon R. – His Childe Cycle of Dorsai novels is fantastic, but hardly the only things of his worth reading.
  • Drake, David – Military Scifi wouldn’t be the same without the Hammer’s Slammers series.
  • Foster, Alan Dean – Who can’t love his Flinx of the Commonwealth novels? Though he wrote plenty of other good scifi novels as well.
  • Harrison, Harry – The Stainless Steel Rat series has one of the greatest origin stories out there in my opinion.
  • Heinlein, Robert – Another one of those seminal authors, his Lazarus Long novels are great, as is Starship Troopers, Have Spacesuit – Will Travel, and Citizen of the Galaxy among others.
  • Herbert, Frank – While I am a great fan of the Dune series, I also enjoy and draw upon his other works as well like Soul Catcher and The God Makers.
  • Niven, Larry – Wow, the Ringworld series, the Known Space series, and multiple stand alone novels make his work worth eading overall.
  • Norton, Andre – The grand dame of science fiction, her Free Trader and Forerunner series were much beloved, as well as her Witch World series.
  • Piper, H. Beam – It’s all good, but Space Viking should be read by everyone interested in good scifi.
  • Pournelle, Jerry – His CoDominium novels, ’nuff said – though classics like The Mote in God’s Eye shouldn’t be missed either.
  • Tubb, E.C. – The Dumarest of Terra series.
  • Weber, David – A latter day Horatio Hornblower, the Honor Harrington series is worth reading as a naval complement to the ground-pounders of  Drake and Pournelle.
  • Zelazny, Roger – Known for his Amber series, his science fiction is just as good if not better in many ways. Lord of Light and Isle of the Dead always stick in my mind but they are far from the only ones.
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