1. The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
Rated highest by our SFSF panel, the story of Gully Foyle was universally admired for its fast pace and great story by all of us. We loved his development into monomania, and the tiger tattoo that rises to the surface when he gets angry.
We thought the transformation from space brute that chases the ship Vorga to the well spoken Geoffrey Fourmyle chasing its captain was excellently done.
2. The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story by Stephen Donaldson
The Real Story was certainly a short story and the constant rape and defilement may not be to the taste of some, but we felt the characters of Angus Thermopyle and Nick Succorso were extremely well developed for such a short book. We could see real people motivated by negative but very human emotions. Also Stephen Donaldson’s afterword added more levels to the book.
This book is a must read for all science fiction fans and fanatics.
3. Roadside Picnic by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky
Although we felt Roadside picnic did not develop the story as much as it could have, there was little question that we loved the premise of aliens leaving zones with lethal traps all around them.
The main character Redrick Schuhart was also very well developed and the deeper meaning behind the book was clear. It effectively portrayed a man destroyed by desperation and the limits to which people will go to protect what is theirs.
The ending was probably the most disappointing part of the book as it left a lot of questions unanswered, but at the same time none of our readers could put the book down. Like Buzzard Burbridge and all the other stalkers we could not get enough of the zone.