Timothy Zahn's Star Wars Thrawn trilogy. This tells of the events following the fall of the Emperor Palpatine and of the struggles of the New Republic to get back on its feet.
Heh, heh, some definite 'soft' sci fi, but excellent nonetheless...if only the rest of the Expanded Universe was as good as the Thrawn trilogy, I wouldn't have given up on it 15 years ago.....indeed, I liked it so much that I started reading some of Timothy Zahn's other non Star Wars related works, 'Cascade Point' and all that....he's a great writer, and Grand Admiral Thrawn is still the ULTIMATE Star Wars villian.....and I think we tend to forget how many of Zahn's ideas actually became canon and were incorporated into the prequels....before 'Heir To The Empire', the capital world 'Coruscant' was simply called 'Imperial City' (obviously just a stand in until they could come up with a real name)...too bad Zahn couldn't have written the screenplays to the Prequel Trilogy...
4. Frank Herbert's Dune I was hesitant at first to read this, however, after diving into it I was fascinated by a space fantasy that mixes the Old Testament and the stories related to the prophet Mohammed with modern Western culture and our middle eastern energy dependence. Unique. The oil...er...the spice must flow!
aThe first book is okay, but the series gets dumber and less tolerable as it wears on. I gave up about 1/3 of the way through 'Children of Dune' and I doubt I will ever finish it.
When I restarted my SF con-going, around 20 years ago, Zahn was the first author I met. Got the trilogy signed.
He was at Dragoncon this year, got about 6 more things signed. I do recommend him as a writer.