I know books r 4 noobs, but I'm going on a looooooooooong vacation, need something thick and/or in a series to read on the plane & train rides. I haven't read much fiction lately (read: almost nothing for the last two years) and I'm looking for the next book I love. I was thinking some self-confessed geeks/nerds/etc. here would have some personal favorites to share. My favorite books ever are: Ender's Game, Starship Troopers, and The Forever War. Fitzpatrick's War and Replay are up there also (SF set in '60s Atlanta = awesome bonus) I love SF in general, especially hard SF and space opera (yeah, I know, they're like opposite ends of the spectrum). I like thinking man's SF. I read suspense for page-turning fluff, but with SF, I wanna be challenged. Epic scale is a big favorite of mine, and I admit to liking at least a splash of war, even if it's only the backdrop. But I don't usually dig stuff that's overly depressing or feels...I dunno. Psychologically heavy. If I wanna be down about war, I'll think about work. Heinlein, Asimov, and Clarke are obvious winners, but I've read most of their seminal works. Other favorites are stuff by Dan Simmons (Hyperion, etc. was impossibly good), Peter Hamilton, Alistair Reynolds, Tony Daniel, and Simon Green (Shadows Fall was a blast). I loved the Dune series, but thought his son bastardized the sequels. Alan Dean Foster is fun also, but I like his more serious stuff. The Damned trilogy was okay, but the Journeys of the Catechist was phenomenal. One of the most original series I've ever read. I don't read fantasy except David Gemmel, and he's dead and I own all his books. On the non-SF side, I dig Lee Child's Reacher novels. Also Robert Crais and stuff by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Fast-paced, semi-believable suspense. I think that's a decent snapshot. So yeah, any suggestions?