I guess the naming of your Top 10 Science Fiction Novels is going around. Well, of all the lists going around, this is one I'd like to participate in. Some were found on an old top 10 list of my favorite novels from some years ago on my old LiveJournal blog. Some were taken from my favorite novels list on my WorldsWithoutEnd.com page. And a couple were taken from browsing my actual book shelves.
10) Old Man's War, by John Scalzi A great read. Very quick, with lots of character development. The idea of recruiting the aged for military service, so as to capitalize on their life experience is a good one, and the author executes it well. I've enjoyed the sequels as well, but this one is great.
9) Jed the Dead, by Alan Dean Foster A strange, fun little novel. A good old boy finds a dead alien in a spacesuit, puts him in his truck, and takes him along, starting a very Weekend at Bernie's kind of adventure.
8) Golden Son, by Pierce Brown This is the second novel in a trilogy. The first one is a great novel. I think I rated it a four and a half. But this one... it makes you cheer, it makes you laugh, it gets you excited, and then it rips your goddamn heart out. It is the very definition of an emotional roller coaster. The series takes place in a future where the Solar System has been settled, and humanity has been separated into castes based on color. Reds, with rust colored hair and eyes, are miners, and lowly laborers. Whites are doctors and scientists. Pinks are bred to pleasure others. And Golds, with bronze skin, golden hair and eyes, and the looks of Adonises, rule the rest by birthright. But some on the bottom think that all should be equal, and use surgery to pass off a Red as a Gold to infiltrate the elite. Oh, it's fucking good.
7) The Martian, by Andy Weir This book really scratched the itch I have for real-ish science minutia. It's science fiction of the old fashioned variety. Love it, and really liked the movie, as well.
6) Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan This is part 1 of a trilogy, and man, it's a good one, but this first is the best. It sets up a world where artificial bodies are expensive, but plentiful, so that only the poor don't live forever. Planetary travel is now possible once one is not married to one's body. Digitize your consciousness, send it as a message to another planet, and download it into another body. The main character is a sort of P.I. muscle for hire type, and as noir mystery begins.
5) Armor, by John Steakley Armor is in the sub-genre of military science fiction. This book is somewhat similar in theme to Starship Troopers, a war of man vs. giant insectoid. The difference is that John Steakley masterfully focuses on one man, Felix. Felix is a soldier who is so successful at killing bugs that he comes back as a sole survivor on more than one occasion. His number gets lost in the bureaucracy, and unknowingly they send him to fight over, and over, and over. The moment when the army doctors realize he has done 20+ "jumps"(missions), when more than about 5 is unheard of, is so good you see it as clear as a scene in a movie.
4) Time Enough For Love, by Robert Heinlein I love Heinlein, and his Lazarus Long novels are when he was at his best.
3) The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov I'm cheating a bit by including a series as an entry, but this won't be the last time. This is the original three books, not the continuation he wrote 30 years later. There is no action, no character development, no romance, and not many books better. It is pure plot. When the Nebula Awards gave out a one time "best science fiction trilogy ever" award, The Foundation series won, even over Tolkien's Lord of the Ring series.
2) A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess The fact that the book is written in a slang language that you figure out as you go, only serves to immerse you deeper into its futuristic world where teenagers rule the night, so lock your doors. I fucking hated the movie, having read the book first.
1) The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series, by Douglas Adams My absolute favorites, in particular the first three. "The Vogon ships hung in the air in much the same way that a brick doesn't". You don't get better than that. "Then the shooting stopped, and for a minute, nothing happened. After a minute, nothing continued to happen." No one could ever write like Douglas Adams. I also adored his Dirk Gently books, and was sad that he never finished the promised third one.