The list author says: "I read a lot, and I read a wide variety. However, sci fi is my favorite and I read it every second or third book. I have tried to read a good selection of the classics, but lately I've been reading some more recent stuff."
"One of my absolute favorites. Just amazing. Good psychology, satirical allegory, great character, great concept... even an ending I can live with. I read the 1st sequel. Not as good, but OK. Hell, I'll probably read them all anyway since I loved the first so much.
"Whoa. This one is kind of disturbing, very very thoughtful. Not one of your action-packed deals, unless you count the action between your own neurons as you try to understand what she's saying. Awesome."
"Another clunker, same reasons. Cool concept, but the characters (especially the protagonist) are strictly comic-book. You have the macho-tough-guy, the wussy intellectual, the head-full-of-fluff-and-shirt-full-of-boobs girl, and of course Our Hero who's brilliant at everything from kung-fu to psychology, including being a legend in the sack. Yawn."
"Very interesting. Delany might write the prettiest prose of the bunch (so far), but the novel was just rushed. Everything happened too quickly, no time to develop. Another in the 'spuerbeing' subgenre. The included novella was great, though. I plan on reading more Delany."
"Along with 'fall of,' a great epic. Top shelf. Not quite as awesome as Dune, but in the same league. Warning: you must read both books, the first one has no ending. I read both Endymions, definitely a few notches below the Hyperions."
"The characters are a bit wooden, but it keeps moving and the concepts are interesting. Asimov is a clever writer. This series is a must-read for fans of the genre, at least the first three. I read all of them; the first three rule."
"This one really made me think about the future. Asimov has some valid concerns. Things I learned in this book are still with me and effect how I think about energy policy and events in the middle east."
"I wanted to read Butler, and this was the only one they had at the used book place. It was good, but didn't seem to live up to Butler's reputation. Not good enough for me to read the sequels. I plan on reading some of her others before I judge."
"More 'space opera' than science fiction. Ideas are kind of Ayn Rand-ish, at least superficially. I liked it and all, it's just really long and not all that thought-provoking. It's action-packed and a page-turner and all, and the characters are not just comic-bookish."
"Wow. This probably falls in the 'hard sf' subgenre. Gritty, realistic, believable mars colonization epic. Just awesome. Also, tremendous characterization, which is not always a specialty of sf, I'm finding. This one is anything but escapist. I read the first sequel, definitely worthy."
"My second stab at Niven, and much better. The plot moves quickly enough that the stock characters (dashing hero, beautiful maiden, impersonal Russian commander, etc.) don't drag it down too much. And the aliens are well-thought-out and very interesting."
"This probably counts as 'space opera.' A very cutesy, fairy-tale type book with shallow characters. Lots of intriguing scientific ideas, and it's certainly action-packed. Definitely a notch of two above Rigworld, but nothing like Hyperion, as far as epics go."
"'Endymion' and this book are the second half of the Hyperion series. The latter two are pretty different from the first two, and not nearly as good. Still, if you're hooked like I was, it's an OK conclusion."
"Good book, Herbert can definitely write. However, the ending comes so abruptly, it requires this ham-handed, pedantic 'author's mouthpiece' speech in order to explain. I'd rather the author had played it out more organically, less forced."
"Book 3 of Gateway series, Protagonist becomes more obnoxious and unbearable with each book. All of what was special about the original is gone by this point in the series, just an ordinary alien book."
"Very loopy and surreal, a fun read somewhere between Philip k Dick and Kilgore Trout (Vonnegut's fictional alter-ego). Zero character development, but a fun read. The scientific ideas were interesting, but were done a disservice by he zany style and frenetic pace."
"I liked this a lot. A good mix of the societal/scientific aspects with the human elements. Compelling characters, all of them deeply flawed, set in a post-energy-crisis world. I found the political aspects were especially well done."
"Very cool concept, fairly well done. All of humanity (from all ages) is resurrected together. It's a good story, but the author doesn't really get into the architects of the resurrection or their motivation. I'll read the first sequel, at least, to see if he had a plan for them or if the whole world was just a deus ex machina to manufacture moral dilemas."
"Aldiss is one of the best pure writers on this list. He creates an intriguing world and actually takes time to thoughtfully explore it. The story, while slow, unfolds very organically. I'll definitely be reading the sequels."
"Banks has quite a reputation, and mostly lives up to it here. The quirky pirate crew was cartoonish, and the action sequences told in tedious slow motion. However, a good enough read that I'll go back for more Culture novels."