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Customer Discussions > Science Fiction forum

lighthearted sci-fi without major character deaths or angst

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Showing 1-25 of 74 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 2, 2012, 9:28:00 PM PDT
D. Politis says:
The sci fi books I have read lately are dark. Lots of angst and depressing. What lighthearted sci fi books would you recommend, without major character deaths, that leave you feeling happy after you read them?

I am hoping for humor, happy endings, and spaceships.

I have been working my way through Terry Pratchett's Discworld series (yes I know that is not science fiction) but it is a good example of what I am looking for in the sci fi world. Any suggestions?

Posted on Jul 2, 2012, 9:33:16 PM PDT
Only thing that is close is Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, or some of Bujold's Vorkosignan sagas. No, Bujold has a lot of poignancy mixed in.
Most good books, do.

Posted on Jul 2, 2012, 9:45:42 PM PDT
Anne McCaffery's Tower & the Hive will give you a happy feeling... Characters die when called for, but it's not like those books where you can't pick a hero cause you know s/he'll be dead by the next page.

Posted on Jul 2, 2012, 10:14:10 PM PDT
2theD says:
Kim Stanley Robinson's Pacific Edge

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2012, 10:31:06 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jul 3, 2012, 5:38:00 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012, 4:51:52 AM PDT
Webways to the Universe is a light, adventurous space-opera
with action and a happy ending. Available on Kindle also.
242 pages. (Yes, I wrote it, but it is still very much what you
are looking for.)

Posted on Jul 3, 2012, 8:12:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 3, 2012, 8:34:12 AM PDT
K. R. says:
Just have some of the older authors to suggest..

John Varley's Mammoth or Red Thunder
Anne McCaffrey's Acorna universe series or The Crystal universe series or The Brain & Brawn Ship series
Robert A. Heinlein's juveniles - Have Space Suit-Will Travel, or Farmer in the Sky,.. or maybe if you want something a bit more adult his "The Number of the Beast".
Andre Norton's books - there are many to choose from..
James White's Sector General Novels

John Scalzi - Fuzzy Nation
John Myers Myers' - Silverlock
Roger Zelazny's - Doorways in the Sand

Also look at the books by Piers Anthony or Alan Dean Foster or Harry Harrison..

Posted on Jul 3, 2012, 8:45:44 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 3, 2012, 8:46:56 AM PDT
Try Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep": it's like "Star Wars" with puppies. Connie Willis's "To Say Nothing of the Dog" is a screwball time-travel romance. Both work as sophisticated entertainments and serious novels of ideas while maintaining a light-hearted mood. Both have won the Hugo.

Two comic novels by (believe-it-or-not) Phillip K. Dick remind me of Terry Pratchett. Dick, probably the most influential and important science fiction writer of all time, could be extraordinarily grim. "Ubik" and "Valis," on the other hand, are hysterically funny explorations of the necessary absurdities of hope.

Finally, try "Frek and the Elixir" by Rudy Rucker, a sparkling intergalactic romp with a startling level of satire and invention. Imagine "Discworld" with quantum mechanics instead of magic. Though I mention it last, it's probably the place to start.

Posted on Jul 3, 2012, 9:03:35 AM PDT
"I Think You Ate My Sandwich" could be up your alley. I fully admit that I'm the author but this discussion thread got recommended to me and it fits your description.

If you haven't read them yet, anything by Douglas Adams. Hitchhiker's Guide, yes, but don't neglect Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency as it is pure brilliance.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012, 9:26:50 AM PDT
Julie says:
Try "Rhubarb" by M.H. Van Keuren. It's lighthearted and meets your three criteria.

Posted on Jul 3, 2012, 9:33:14 AM PDT
Nathan Lowell's Solar Clipper Trader series has garnered a legion of loyal fans and meets your criteria. I've enjoyed all but the latest one (although most of his fans like it). Here's a link to to the first book: Quarter Share (Solar Clipper Trader Tales Book 1)

Posted on Jul 3, 2012, 9:52:15 AM PDT
ErikR says:
It's a bit surrealistic and somewhat deeper than it may first appear, but I really enjoyed Stanislaw Lem's "The Cyberiad", it actually made me laugh out loud a few times.

Posted on Jul 3, 2012, 11:39:49 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jul 3, 2012, 2:31:00 PM PDT]

Posted on Jul 4, 2012, 1:36:07 PM PDT
D. Politis says:
Thanks for all of the suggestions everyone! I have read Anne McCaffrey before and I loved Quarter Share. The rest of these are new to me and I'm going to be busy reading.

Posted on Jul 4, 2012, 5:14:58 PM PDT
GreyDay says:
James Schmitz's books are fun and upbeat.

Posted on Jul 5, 2012, 5:58:12 AM PDT
Ada Davis says:
Bujold's Vorkosigan saga can be grim, but here's one that fits your description, and will leave you smiling:
A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga)

Posted on Jul 5, 2012, 12:31:31 PM PDT
Who was deleted and why? We're a pretty innocuous bunch, here. I think you're not supposed to quote parts of a book. Was that why?

Posted on Jul 5, 2012, 5:31:04 PM PDT
cat b says:
If you like Anne McCaffrey, you might also like the "Crystal Singer" series. No dragons, but a compelling sf world with characters that really draw you in. Enjoy!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012, 6:10:31 PM PDT
C. Hallman says:
Try Valerie Gaumont's Channel Riders series, starting with Pilot. She puts a real spin on space travel! I'm on the 4th book in the series and am fully engaged in the whole premise.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012, 8:25:55 PM PDT
K. R. says:
"Who was deleted and why?"

Probably someone who was self-promoting a book that they had written - Amazon considers that a no-no..

Posted on Jul 5, 2012, 9:20:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 5, 2012, 9:32:42 PM PDT
Mike Shepherd's Kris Longknife series ( may be right up your alley. It's got great characters, a lot of normal humor between them (a must for me) and all the spaceships and scifi a person could want.

Also, anything by Elizabeth Moon will be sure to satisfy. Specifically her Vatta's War series (starts with Trading in Danger).

I'm also obligated to shill my husband's book, Outsystem, which is a storry following Major Tanis Richards in the year 4123 as she endeavors to get a colony ship, the GSS Intrepid, out of the Sol system in one piece.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012, 1:22:29 AM PDT
Simon Haynes says:
Science fiction comedy is my favourite genre, and there's precious little of it. The Red Dwarf books are good examples but they're getting on a bit now, and perhaps not light-hearted?

There's the Callahan Series by Spider Robinson, and Robert Asprin has Phule's Company.

Don't forget the Wikipedia page for Comic SF literature:

Posted on Jul 6, 2012, 2:09:25 AM PDT
if you are looking for Sci-fi comedy then there is a list on goodreads titled 'Best Comedic Sci-Fi Books'. There could be titles there you haven't read or new authors you haven't heard of.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012, 2:27:23 AM PDT
Dino P says:
I agree with the previous mention of The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem. I'd recommend just about any of his collections of short stories. Try The Star Diaries. The first story, "The Seventh Voyage", is an SF comic masterpiece. Mortal Engines is also great - each story is about a different race of alien robots, and Lem gives you great insights into their "alien-ness". You may or may not agree with some of his overt messages, but the stories are written with such good humour and invention, and such an economy of language, that I find them a riveting read.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012, 7:17:03 AM PDT
Nihlus says:
Anything Star Trek
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  64
Total posts:  74
Initial post:  Jul 2, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 9, 2017

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