Hot answers tagged

26 votes
Accepted

Book about land in the Mediterranean Sea before the sea came in

This is almost certainly Randall Garrett's Gandalara Cycle (which is actually seven books, but was later republished in three volumes). The first volume The Steel of Raithskar was published in 1981. ...
Mustapha Mond's user avatar
20 votes

Older sci-fi book about passive human-like herd animals vs predatory breeders

Mary Doria Russel's 1996 novel The Sparrow is about humans visiting a habitable planet in the Alpha Centauri star system, and discovering two sentient species: the herbivorous herd-like Runa, and the ...
Lexible's user avatar
  • 21.1k
19 votes

Sci-fi book with gender bending characters and space station on Venus?

I suspect that this is 2312, a hefty novel by Kim Stanley Robinson, first published in 2012. The plot can be roughly described as "a mercurial woman from Mercury meets a saturnine man from Saturn&...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Book identification. Very old Sci-Fi picture book with spaceships traveling in space and taking off from the Earth and strange aliens on other planets

Possibly the Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD : Terran Trade Authority Handbook from 1978? From the description: "The Terran Defense Authority Commander provides information on the design, development,...
beichst's user avatar
  • 25.5k
15 votes

Older sci-fi book about passive human-like herd animals vs predatory breeders

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells has protagonist arrive at Earth in distant future. Humans he sees lost most intelligence - they have language but only concrete nouns etc. Later he discovers other ...
MateuszL's user avatar
  • 502
14 votes
Accepted

Older sci fi series of books that take place with settlers from Earth on a planet (possibly called Harmony?) that is now cut off from Earth

Obsidian Prey (Ghost Hunters, Book 6), August 25, 2009, by Jayne Castle? From Goodreads: The world of Harmony has its own special glow, thanks to the aliens who left behind powerful amber and ...
Dosco Jones's user avatar
  • 14.6k
13 votes
Accepted

Sci-fi book with humanoid aliens disabling modern starships, dross, and a picture of Tobruk being destroyed

Looks like that is "Terran Trade Authority" by Stewart Cowley. There doesn't seem to be a wikipedia article for the series itself, but here is a reddit community and a fan site here. Terran ...
y7vc's user avatar
  • 1,379
12 votes
Accepted

Book featuring digital Artificial Life, virtual reality using idle compute cycles

Could be Permutation City by Greg Egan, published in 1994. There are VR worlds, and something called the Autoverse, The Autoverse is an artificial life simulator based on a cellular automaton complex ...
Shawn's user avatar
  • 2,325
10 votes

Book identification. Very old Sci-Fi picture book with spaceships traveling in space and taking off from the Earth and strange aliens on other planets

Possibly Space Wars: Worlds and Weapons. Lots of spaceship and some planet-side artwork.
RLH's user avatar
  • 1,123
10 votes
Accepted

Book read to my class in 1985, with a person/robot on cover with golden armor, standing next to a large rock looking out into the distance

This is likely The Guardian of Isis by Monica Hughes This book was pretty popular in school libraries, particularly in Canada as the author is Canadian. The book was originally published in 1981, but ...
Vanguard3000's user avatar
  • 8,756
10 votes

Book series with parallel earths and a secret governmental agency

As confirmed in a comment, this is Dave Hutchinson's Fractured Europe series. The book you remember is Europe in Autumn, and the books all start Europe in ... They were written from 2014 to 2018, ...
John Rennie's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Book where boy is transported to another world, solves riddle where answer is "strengths"

A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull. Book one of his Beyonders series. Jason Walker has often wished his life could be a bit less predictable--until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason ...
John Rennie's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Boy who is also a prankster gets body swapped with his school principal

This is Head Kid by David Baddiel. It was published in 2018, so within your timeframe. The boy is a prankster, the old head teacher retires, and he body swaps with the new one. From Goodreads: ...
fez's user avatar
  • 16.5k
6 votes

Fantasy book series involving an orphan, a kingdom in which women were second class citizens, and a city hidden in mountains

Maybe this is The Traitor Spy Trilogy by Trudi Canavan? Black Magic is the forgotten/forbidden magic, women in Sachaka are second class citizens, but there's a secret city in the mountains where they ...
yulerule's user avatar
  • 2,040
5 votes

Sci fi paperback. Antarctica, highly polished aluminum, melting ice, ancient alien ship

The hull is magnesium, not aluminum, but the scientists in John W. Campbell's 1938 classic "Who Goes There" discover an ancient alien spacecraft in the ice, to horrific (albeit well-known) ...
DavidW's user avatar
  • 127k
5 votes

Fantasy book about a princess who was mind-swapped with a cat by a witch

I think you might be talking about The Perfect Princess by Irene Radford, published in '95. It's the sequel to The Glass Dragon. Just as you described, the princess Rossemikka's (can't vouch for the ...
Melissa 's user avatar
4 votes

Older sci-fi book about passive human-like herd animals vs predatory breeders

This makes me think of a short story by Michael Kube-McDowell titled Slac// which has been collected into a book several times. In the story a human scientist is visiting a planet with a primitive ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 41.2k
4 votes

Partly NSFW sci-fi book where the US is divided; I read it around 1996 - 2000

The Leeshore by Robert Reed (his first novel, from 1987) From what I can remember of the book the US was split and one side was the former US and the other worshiped some "god." However, I ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 41.2k
3 votes

Magic/fae book series about a girl who finds a stone/rock and comes to some realization about its magic

Slightly challenging your question framing, might it have been a gem in a ring as per E. Rose Sabin's A School for Sorcery? A second long-fingered hand moved into the light, this one wearing a ring ...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
  • 221k
3 votes

Older sci-fi book about passive human-like herd animals vs predatory breeders

You don't say in which direction the narrator's change of perspective went. A possible match is The World Menders (1971), by Lloyd Biggle Jr. The summary on Wikipedia does not really emphasize the ...
Ethan's user avatar
  • 5,599
3 votes

Sci-fi book with gender bending characters and space station on Venus?

Could it be Venus and the Seven Sexes (1949) by William Tenn? On the planet Venus, the native Plookhs are a delicacy eaten by the many ravenous carnivores on the planet, so delicious that even ...
Edheldil's user avatar
  • 499
3 votes

Book where brains are harvested and used as computers, bringing them back to life and driving them insane

It's not an exact match to the description, but I know also that sometimes memory is imperfect so... this reminded me immediately of Wolfbane by Frederick Pohl & C.M. Kornbluth. Novel published in ...
Spike0xff's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes

Book about land in the Mediterranean Sea before the sea came in

It could be The Many Coloured Land by Julian May. To (lazily) quote Wikipedia: The Many-Colored Land is a science fiction novel by American author Julian May, published in 1981. It is the first book ...
j4nd3r53n's user avatar
  • 1,819
3 votes
Accepted

1990s or 2000s book where a boy is a ghost but his family doesn't realize it

Orson Scott Card's Lost Boys as per Paperback book, read in the 1990s, involving a man's son playing a too-good pirate video game with friends who disappear The novel, set in 1983, revolves ...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
  • 221k
3 votes

Book series about a girl with magic ability; her brother is revealed to have magic ability towards the end

You may be somewhat misremembering the Chrestomanci books by Dianna Wynne Jones. In one of the books ("Charmed Life") the boy, named Cat, and his sister, Gwendolen, are orphans who go to ...
amaru_0's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes

Older sci-fi book about passive human-like herd animals vs predatory breeders

This sounds like The Word for World Is Forest by Ursula Le Guin. It is about a colonised planet and its non-aggressive natives. And how they deal with the violent and greedy colonisers.
ilay's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes

Fantasy book with chaos lands that mutate adventurers based on their intrinsic attributes or habitual actions

This might be the Changewinds series by Jack L. Chalker. Charley Sharkin, swept into the parallel world of Akahler by a Changewind, becomes a pawn in a wizard's scheme of dark conquest using the ...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
  • 221k
2 votes

Book about land in the Mediterranean Sea before the sea came in

This isn't a great match for the description, but I'll mention Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus. In Pastwatch, a group of historians has a machine which allows them to view events ...
Kenster's user avatar
  • 6,717
2 votes
Accepted

Virtual reality world entered by touching a door handle

Prompted by @ToddWilcox: In Count Zero, Marly (the disgraced art expert POV character) is interviewed by a billionaire, Virek, "via a sensory link" (page 12): "Fraulein Krushkhova,&...
Joelogon's user avatar
  • 2,701
2 votes

Book about a human who travels to an alien planet to be a teacher

This book is Angry Young Spaceman by Jim Munroe. Sam’s going to another planet to teach English, where he hopes to earn enough creds to pay off his student loan and maybe buy a jetpack. He’s not ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 21

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible