Best Action Scenes in Science Fiction Literature

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by ryannaughton1138, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. ryannaughton1138

    ryannaughton1138 New Member

    Name says it all. What are the best action scenes ever to grace a science fiction novel? Here are some of my choices:

    The climactic showdown in Player of Games.

    The Final Battle of Ender's Game

    Emperor Gregor's ship saving Miles in The Vor Game

    The Klendathu Battle from Starship Troopers

    The Martian War Machines vs. the Thunder Child in War of the Worlds

    The Soldiers tale from Hyperion

    The Surprise Attack on the Barracks from All You Need Is Kill

    The Battles in the Hells from Surface Deatil (probably my favorite of the Culture Novels)

    What are your favorites?
  2. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    The Culture novels contain some spectacular action sequences.

    Recently, some memorable ones have been from Neal Asher's Ian Cormac series of Polity books. There are just too many in there but a few that really stick out are: the destruction of the habitats and orbitals by Skellor in "The Line of Polity"; Mr. Crane's journey through an ocean and the subsequent massacre in "Brass Man"; the confrontation between the 'knight' and the Sleer in "Brass Man"; the confrontation between the AI ship minds the Jack Ketch and the King of Hearts in "Brass Man"; the final confrontation between Cormac and Skellor in "Brass Man"; all the space battles in "Polity Agent" and and "Line War".

    The Ian Cormac books are pretty much an action extravaganza.
  3. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    @kenubrion, now that you've been reading Asher's Polity sequence of books, you've probably come across an insane amount of action. Which were some of your favourite action scenes (keeping it spoiler free)?
  4. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Well-Known Member

    A lot of the Vorkosigan stuff has great action scenes - I like the showdown in Barrayar a lot.
    Dark Eden - the showdown between John and David is well done.
    Ender's Game - the final game is fantastically well done
  5. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Most of the final space battles in the early Honor Harrington books are pretty fun.

    Armor - just about every fight sequence with Felix was tension filled and had me hooked!
    Excession - the description of an escaped drone in the vacuum of space attempting to recover it's memory of the previous few seconds after a blackout in just a few tenths of a second is some brilliantly riveting stuff.
  6. Royce Sears

    Royce Sears Well-Known Member

    Some of my favorite Science Fiction books for action scenes:
    The Mote in God's Eye: Generally speaking, the space, as well as character action scenes are fantastically written. (And the tech is pretty cool too!)
    Dune (classic action packed thrills but the gladiatorial scenes are my favorites)
    Boreas likes this.
  7. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I've pretty much forgotten this book except for a rough impression of the plot and remembering that I loved it at the time. Never did read the sequel to it, either.
  8. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Of course the huge surface battle on that one planet in that one book. Seriously I don't remember which book but it's either Polity Agent or Line War and it's the only battle on the surface of a planet that I recall Asher writing. But it was big.
  9. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I believe that was the penultimate Ian Cormac book, so Polity Agent. Right, that was insane. There are plenty of books that show planetary destruction on a mass scale, but nothing I can remember showed the mass chaos and mega-deaths from both a ground level and a birds-eye view quite as well as in that book. Seriously.
  10. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Some Neal Stephenson scenes:

    The opening of Snow Crash is pretty damn cool as the Hiro/Protagonist delivers pizza. There's a boarding action towards the end of Anathem that is spectacular (saying more would be ruining the surprise). There are lots of great action sequences in Seveneves like those final bits in retrieving the ice comet, the entire section involving the Big Ride as Izzy attempts to jump to higher orbits to reach that of the moon had me absolutely glued to the pages, plus there are some excellent, short physical combat scenes at the end which involves, amongst others,
    a Neanderthal and another character that has just gone through some epigentic shifts.

    I read All You Need Is Kill recently and I heartily concur. What a great and satisfying read. I want more!

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