I’ve tried to touch on different things here over the years, sticking with things that I love as a proud geek fanboy.
Just like a ferret, I’m not consistent. I bounce all over the place. Ooh, shiny!
I’ll talk about WoW for a month, and then out of nowhere you get a post about John Ringo books, or World War II heist movies, or Top Chef.
This pays off for me, because invariably you folks offer suggestions for things I’D like that you enjoyed, and boom, my music collection explodes with awesomeness, or I hear about a new old movie I end up loving, or like the other day, I take the plunge and buy Jim* Butcher’s first Dresden book, Storm Front, and really like it.
I have gushed about John Ringo before, and I also wrote a post about some of the older books and series I really, really loved a long time ago.
That’s not really very complete. Not when reading is something I have done all my life, and when writing and fiction are among my greatest passions.
I was emailed by Averna a few days ago, asking if there were any other series I would recommend for someone looking for something to read.
I might have a few series of books I could suggest.
What I’m going to do is list the series that retain a permanent place on my bookshelf, regardless of genre.
Each and every one of the following series is a collection of books that I enjoyed so much that I went out and bought all of them, keep all of them on my shelf no matter how little space I have, and will forever retain no matter how many times I do a purge to clear out the stuff I know I’ll never read again.
In many cases, especially on out of print series, I’ve spent many an hour driving around looking in used bookstores or online or by phone for that scarce copy of Sten #4, or something.
Most of my searching was done before there was such a thing as an internet, when finding that one damn book meant networking with eclectic booksellers across the country for weeks, so all you youngsters that can click a button and find that rare book in three seconds? Yeah, you can kiss my butt.
Again, these are the series that I directly support by “voting with my wallet”, by buying new books when they come out with actual cash, and suggest and keep because I love them, in some way.
Many of them I don’t love in all ways, but there will be something that is amazing.
For example, the World as Myth series by Robert Heinlein, some people are turned off by his writing because of the interpersonal relationship issues within the stories, but for me, the concept and way he explores the heart of the subject, worlds of imagination existing as reality somewhere, is just flat out brilliant.
Since 95% of my reading comes for free from the public library system whenever I want, spending money on books, for me, is one hell of a luxury purchase and I have to really want that series to be sitting on my shelves to make it happen.
The great thing about doing this, is that even if you don’t see anything that might be interesting, you get to mock some of my choices, agree with some others, or suggest your own. Score!
Science Fiction (general)
Space Cops – Three book series by Diane Duane and Peter Morwood
The ‘World as Myth’ books by Robert A. Heinlein
Time Enough for Love
The Number of the Beast
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
To Sail Beyond the Sunset
The Continuing Time by Daniel Keys Moran
Science Fiction (Military)
Posleen War/Legacy of the Aldenata by John Ringo
Sten series by Chris Bunch and Allan Cole
Northworld, RCN and Hammer’s Slammers series by David Drake
TimeWar series by Simon Hawke
Legion of the Damned series by William C. Dietz
Honor Harrington and Dahak series by David Weber
Empire of Man series by David Weber and John Ringo
Robotech novels/book series attributed to Jack McKinney
Prey series and Kidd series by John Sandford
Matthew Scudder novels by Lawrence Block
Jack Reacher series by Lee Child
Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly
Anything in the universe by Terry Pratchet
Dragonriders of Pern and especially the Dragonsong series by Anne McCaffrey
The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny
The Vlad Taltos series, and the Khaavren romances by Steven Brust
The Deryni series by Katherine Kurtz
The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan
The Legion of Videssos series by Harry Turtledove
Doc Sidhe series by Aaron Allston
Lord of the Isles series by David Drake
War God series by David Weber
Honorable fantasy mention;
They’re not a series, but each is freaking brilliant; Talion: Revenant, Eyes of Silver, and Once a Hero by Michael A. Stackpole.
Personally, I don’t enjoy a lot of his other books or series, but I thought Talion in particular was one of the finest works of fantasy fiction I have ever read in my life. Oh, and his Star Wars books also kick ass. A LOT of it. Rogue Squadron? Pretty win.
Rogue Warrior series by Dick Marcinko
Able Team series attributed to Dick Stivers
Dirk Pitt books, particularly the earliest ones, by Clive Cussler
Series I once had all of (or almost all of) back in the day, and wish I still did, but I don’t want them quite enough to spend thousands of dollars rebuilding them;
Casca: The Eternal Mercenary series by Barry Sadler
The Destroyer (Remo Williams and Chium) series by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir
Doc Savage by Kenneth Robeson
Damn it, I knew I was going to forget to include this one, I was driving around thinking to myself, “Gotta remember that series, don’t forget”, and sure enough, I hit publish? Forgot.
I heartily recommend for pure fun the Bureau 13 books by Nick Pollotta.If you have ever been a GM of any crazy fun role playing game, I dare you to read the first book, Judgment Night, and not kill yourself laughing. I shared these with Manny, and I thought he was gonna kill me. Seriously. At least try the first one. They are amazing.
The list above came from my head while I was at work… so it’s not only the permanent ones, but also the ones that came readily to mind.
Now that I’m home, I look at my shelves and see that I had let slip from my mind a few other series, and so let’s bring in the sad and forgotten, but still cherished loves;
Jack Higgens’ series of Sean Dillon counterintel novels
Stephen Hunter’s multiple interwoven series of awesome sniper/counter sniper books spanning generations
Robert Asprin’s Fool’s Company and Myth Adventures series
Raymond Feists’ Riftwar series
The Sword Dancer series by Jennifer Roberson
The Riddle Master series by Patricia A. McKillip
The Gandalara Cycle by Randal Garrett and Viki Ann Heydron
The Darwath Trilogy by Barbara Hambly
The StarWolves series by Thorarinn Gunnarsson
Funny how an entire series of books and stories can just fade from memory, only to rush in at once when you see them on the shelves.