The Best Science Fiction Books of All-Time
As you probably already noticed, the posts about books are very popular. So I decided to take a small detour. This is a list of *the* 100 all time classics in science fiction. Enjoy!
- Dune by Frank Herbert
Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib. The troubles begin when stewardship of Arrakis is transferred by the Emperor from the Harkonnen Noble House to House Atreides. Paul Atreides, though, is far more than just a usurped duke.This story is a stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics. Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what it undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.
- Ender’s Game (The Ender Quintet) by Orson Scott Card
“In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut–young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.”
- The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
A beautiful omnibus edition hardcover, with bound in ribbon marker and gilt edges, including the complete Foundation novels by the Good Doctor: Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation. A landmark of science fiction’s “Golden Age,” Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy has long been regarded a visionary masterpiece whose astonishing historical scope perfectly conveys science fiction’s sense of wonder. Set in the far future, Foundation envisions a Galactic Empire that has thrived for 12,000 years, but whose decline into an age of barbarism lasting some thirty millennia is imminent-if the predictions of renegade psycho-historian Hari Seldon are accurate. Hoping to shorten the interval of this impending new Dark Age, Seldon convinces the Empire’s Commission of Public Safety to allow him enact a diversionary plan-one full of surprising subterfuges and intrigues intended to create and protect a Foundation on which the future Empire will be erected. Foundation and Empire advances the story farther into the future, in which a technologically advanced Foundation.
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
“IRRESISTIBLE. Characters frolic through the galaxy with infectious joy. ” –Publishers Weekly. Join Douglas Adams’s hapless hero Arthur Dent as he travels the galaxy with his intrepid pal Ford Prefect, getting into horrible messes and generally wreaking hilarious havoc. Dent is grabbed from Earth moments before a cosmic construction team obliterates the planet to build a freeway. You’ll never read funnier science fiction; Adams is a master of intelligent satire, barbed wit, and comedic dialogue.
- 1984 (Signet Classics) by George Orwell
View our future on George Orwell’s 1984. Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. ” The year is 1984; the scene is London, largest population center of Airstrip One. Airstrip One is part of the vast political entity Oceania, which is eternally at war with one of two other vast entities, Eurasia and Eastasia. ” ‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.
- Stranger in a Strange Land (Remembering Tomorrow) by Robert A. Heinlein
Stranger in a Strange Land, winner of the 1962 Hugo Award, is the story of Valentine Michael Smith, born during, and the only survivor of, the first manned mission to Mars. With the irascible popular author Jubal Harshaw to protect him, Michael explores human morality and the meanings of love. That aside, Stranger in a Strange Land is one of the master’s best entertainments, provocative as he always loved to be.
- Fahrenheit 451: A Novel by Ray Bradbury
In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s classic & frightening vision of the future, firemen don’t put out fires–they start them in order to burn books. Guy Montag is a book-burning fireman undergoing a crisis of faith. When his wife Mildred attempts suicide and his neighbor Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He’s moved to make some changes, and starts hiding books in his home.
- 2001: a Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
2001: A Space Odyssey is the classic science fiction novel that changed the way we looked at the stars and ourselves. It inspired what is perhaps the greatest science fiction film ever made–brilliantly imagined by the late Stanley Kubrick. Clarke wrote this novel while Stanley Kubrick created the film, the two collaborating on both projects. Even though history has disproved its “predictions,” it’s still loaded with exciting and awe-inspiring science fiction.
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
The story starts in 2021, after a big World War. Millions of people died and humans fled the earth. ‘Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn’t afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . . They even built humans.’ First published in 1968, but according to Amazon ‘still a masterpiece ahead of its time’.
- Neuromancer by William Gibson
The Matrix is a world within the world, a global consensus-hallucination, the representation of every byte of data in cyberspace . Case had been the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employees crippled his nervous system. Banished from cyberspace, trapped in the meat of his physical body, Case courted death in the high-tech underworld. With Neuromancer, William Gibson introduced the world to cyberspace–and science fiction has never been the same.
- I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
In this collection, one of the great classics of science fiction, Asimov set out the principles of robot behavior that we know as the Three Laws of Robotics. Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world–all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov’s trademark.
- Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
In one of Robert Heinlein’s most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the Universe–and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind’s most frightening enemy. Juan Rico signed up with the Federal Service on a lark, but despite the hardships and rigorous training, he finds himself determined to make it as a cap trooper. In boot camp he will learn how to become a soldier, but when he graduates and war comes (as it always does for soldiers), he will learn why he is a soldier. Many consider this Hugo Award winner to be Robert Heinlein’s finest work, and with good reason. Forget the battle scenes and high-tech weapons (though this novel has them)–this is Heinlein at the top of his game talking people and politics.
- Ringworld (A Del Rey book) by Larry Niven
“A new place is being built, a world of huge dimensions, encompassing millions of miles, stronger than any planet before it. There is gravity, and with high walls and its proximity to the sun, a livable new planet that is three million times the area of the Earth can be formed. We can start again. ” ”Niven’s style is such that you can be awed, then titillated, then amused all on the same page. . . . After more than thirty years, the story remains interesting, and the ideas fascinating. I highly recommend this audiobook, whether you’ve experienced Ringworld already or not. I enjoyed every minute.” –SFFAudio.com
- Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
An all-time science fiction classic, Rendezvous with Rama is also one of Clarke’s best novels–it won the Campbell, Hugo, Jupiter, and Nebula Awards. A huge, mysterious, cylindrical object (Rama) appears in space, swooping in toward the sun. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object Rendezvous with Rama is fast moving, fascinating, and a must-read for science fiction fans. Clarke collaborated with Gentry Lee in writing several Rama sequels, beginning with Rama II.
- Hyperion Cantos (4 Book Series) by Dan Simmons
From Book 1: On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope–and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands….
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley is rightly considered a prophetic genius and one of the most important literary and philosophical voices of the 20th Century, and Brave New World is his masterpiece. Brave New World remains absolutely relevant to this day as both a cautionary dystopian tale in the vein of the George Orwell classic 1984, and as thought-provoking, thoroughly satisfying entertainment. “Community, Identity, Stability” is the motto of Aldous Huxley’s utopian World State. Huxley foreshadowed many of the practices and gadgets we take for granted today–let’s hope the sterility and absence of individuality he predicted aren’t yet to come.
- The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
‘But “home” may be even more terrifying than battle, because, thanks to the time dilation caused by space travel, Mandella is aging months while the Earth he left behind is aging centuries.’ Haldeman and Avon Books have released the definitive version of The Forever War, published for the first time as Haldeman originally intended. The book tells the timeless story of war, in this case a conflict between humanity and the alien Taurans. Humans first bumped heads with the Taurans when we began using collapsars to travel the stars. Although the collapsars provide nearly instantaneous travel across vast distances, the relativistic speeds associated with the process means that time passes slower for those aboard ship.
- The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
The Time Machine is a science fiction novel by H. Wells, published in 1895. Wells is generally credited with the popularisation of the concept of time travel by using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposefully and selectively. The term “time machine”, coined by Wells, is now universally used to refer to such a vehicle. The Time Machine has since been adapted into two feature films of the same name, as well as two television versions, and a large number of comic book adaptations.
- Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
Without warning, giant silver ships from deep space appear in the skies above every major city on Earth. Manned by the Overlords, in fifty years, they eliminate ignorance, disease, and poverty. Then this golden age ends–and then the age of Mankind begins. “There has been nothing like it for years; partly for the actual invention, but partly because here we meet a modern author who understands that there may be things that have a higher claim on humanity than its own ‘survival.’ ”—C. S. Lewis
- The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is one of the high points of modern science fiction, a novel bursting with politics, humanity, passion, innovative technical speculation, and a firm belief in the pursuit of human freedom. A small band of dissidents, including a one-armed computer jock, a radical young woman, a past-his-prime academic and a nearly omnipotent computer named Mike, ignite the fires of revolution despite the near certainty of failure and death. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is the winner of the 1967 Hugo Award for Best Novel. Robert A. won the Hugo Award for best novel four times, a record that still stands.
- The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells first published this book in 1898. “The novel begins ominously, as the lone voice of a narrator tells readers that “No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s…Things then progress from a series of seemingly mundane reports about odd atmospheric disturbances taking place on Mars to the arrival of Martians just outside of London. At first the Martians seem laughable, hardly able to move in Earth’s comparatively heavy gravity even enough to raise themselves out of the pit created when their spaceship landed.”
- The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
From “Rocket Summer” to “The Million-Year Picnic,” Ray Bradbury’s writes about the colonization of Mars form an eerie mesh of past and future. Starting in the far-flung future of 1999, expedition after expedition leaves Earth to investigate Mars. Bradbury’s quiet exploration of a future that looks so much like the past is sprinkled with lighter material. Yet the collection ends with hope for renewal, as a colonist family turns away from the demise of the Earth towards a new future on Mars. Bradbury is a master fantasist and The Martian Chronicles are an unforgettable work of art.
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhous-Five is one of the world’s great anti-war books. Kurt Vonnegut’s absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut’s) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden. Don’t let the ease of reading fool you–Vonnegut’s isn’t a conventional, or simple, novel. Slaughterhouse-Five boasts the same imagination, humanity, and gleeful appreciation of the absurd found in Vonnegut’s other works, but the book’s basis in rock-hard, tragic fact gives it a unique poignancy–and humor.
- The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
Le Guin has created a fully realized planet and people. Le Guin. If there were a canon of classic science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness would be included without debate. Certainly, no science fiction bookshelf may be said to be complete without it. The Left Hand of Darkness was a groundbreaking book in 1969, a time when, like the rest of the arts, science fiction was awakening to new dimensions in both society and literature.
- Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age. In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately. From the opening line of his breakthrough cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson plunges the reader into a not-too-distant future. A breakneck-paced 21st-century novel, Snow Crash interweaves everything from Sumerian myth to visions of a postmodern civilization on the brink of collapse.
- The Mote in God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
The Mote In God’s Eye is their acknowledged masterpiece, an epic novel of mankind’s first encounter with alien life that transcends the genre. In the year 3016, the Second Empire of Man spans hundreds of star systems, thanks to the faster-than-light Alderson Drive. In the Mote the humans find an ancient civilization–at least one million years old–that has always been bottled up in their cloistered solar system for lack of a star drive. This is the first collaboration between Niven and Pournelle, two masters of hard science fiction, and it combines Pournelle’s interest in the military and sociology with Niven’s talent for creating interesting, believable aliens. The novel meticulously examines every aspect of First Contact, from the Moties’ biology, society, and art, to the effects of the meeting on humanity’s economics, politics, and religions.
- Ender’s Shadow (The Shadow Series) by Orson Scott Card
The novel that launched the bestselling Ender’s Shadow series. A Reading Guide for Ender’s Game. Ender’s Shadow Series: Parallel storylines to Ender’s Game from Bean: Ender’s right hand, his strategist, and his friend. The following Ender’s Shadow Series titles are listed in order: Ender’s Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Shadows in Flight. Ender’s Shadow is being dubbed as a parallel novel to Orson Scott Card’s Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Ender’s Game.
- Speaker for the Dead (The Ender Quintet) by Orson Scott Card
Ender’s Series: Ender Wiggin: The finest general the world could hope to find or breed. The following Ender’s Series titles are listed in order: Ender’s Game, Ender In Exile, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind. Ender’s Shadow Series: Parallel storylines to Ender’s Game from Bean: Ender’s right hand, his strategist, and his friend. The following Ender’s Shadow Series titles are listed in order: Ender’s Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Shadows in Flight.
- Jurassic Park: A Novel by Michael Crichton
“Unless your species evolved sometime after 1993 when Jurassic Park hit theaters, you’re no doubt familiar with this dinosaur-bites-man disaster tale set on an island theme park gone terribly wrong. But if Spielberg’s amped-up CGI creation left you longing for more scientific background and … well, character development, check out the original Michael Crichton novel”. As ever..the book really is better than the movie.
- The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
Alfred Bester is best known for his science-fiction novels, and The Stars My Destination may be his finest creation. (Bester fans should also note that iPicturebooks has reprinted The Demolished Man, which won the very first Hugo Award in 1953. ) Alfred Bester was among the first important authors of contemporary science fiction. When it comes to pop culture, Alfred Bester (1913-1987) is something of an unsung hero.
- The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
“The single most resonant and carefully imagined book of Dick’s career. ” – New York Times. This harrowing, Hugo Award-winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to wake. Winner of the Hugo Award.
- The Caves of Steel (R. Daneel Olivaw, Book 1) by Isaac Asimov
A millennium into the future two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. Isaac Asimov’s Robot novels chronicle the unlikely partnership between a New York City detective and a humanoid robot who must learn to work together. Like most people left behind on an over-populated Earth, New York City police detective Elijah Baley had little love for either the arrogant Spacers or their robotic companions. But when a prominent Spacer is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Baley is ordered to the Outer Worlds to help track down the killer. The relationship between Life and his Spacer superiors, who distrusted all Earthmen, was strained from the start.
- Gateway (Heechee Saga) by Frederik Pohl
Gateway opened on all the wealth of the Universe. and on reaches of unimaginable horror. When prospector Bob Broadhead went out to Gateway on the Heechee spacecraft, he decided he would know which was the right mission to make him his fortune. Three missions later, now famous and permanently rich, Robinette Broadhead has to face what happened to him and what he is.
- Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
Lord of Light is a classic tale of the far future from the incomparable Roger Zelazny. Experience it and you will understand why New York Times bestselling science fiction author Greg Bear says, “Reading Zelazny is like dropping into a Mozart string quartet as played by Thelonius Monk. ” In the 1960s, Roger Zelazny dazzled the SF world with what seemed to be inexhaustible talent and inventiveness. This is essential SF reading.
- Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
When psychologist Kris Kelvin arrives at the planet Solaris to study the ocean that covers its surface, he finds himself confronting a painful memory embodied in the physical likeness of a past lover. Could it be, as Solaris scientists speculate, that the ocean may be a massive neural center creating these memories, for a reason no one can identify. Long considered a classic, Solaris asks the question: Can we understand the universe around us without first understanding what lies within.
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870. It tells the story of Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus, as seen from the perspective of Professor Pierre Aronnax after he, his servant Conseil, and Canadian whaler Ned Land wash up on their ship. On the Nautilus, the three embark on a journey which has them going all around the world, under the sea.
- The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
Seventeen satellites are sent into the outer fringes of space to “collect organisms and dust for study”. Shortly thereafter, unbeknownst to Stone, the U. Army initiates the “Scoop” satellite program, an attempt to actively collect space pathogens for use in biological warfare. When Scoop VII crashes a couple of years later in the isolated New Mexico town of Piedmont, the Army ends up getting more than it asked for.
- Cat’s Cradle: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut
Cat’s Cradle is Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. A book that left an indelible mark on an entire generation of readers, Cat’s Cradle is one of the twentieth century’s most important works—and Vonnegut at his very best. Cat’s Cradle, one of Vonnegut’s most entertaining novels, is filled with scientists and G-men and even ordinary folks caught up in the game. These assorted characters chase each other around in search of the world’s most important and dangerous substance, a new form of ice that freezes at room temperature. At one time, this novel could probably be found on the bookshelf of every college kid in America; it’s still a fabulous read and a great place to start if you’re young enough to have missed the first Vonnegut craze.
- The Philip K. Dick MEGAPACK ®: 15 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Philip K. Dick
The Philip K. Dick Megapack assembles no less than 15 classic science fiction stories by Philip K. Dick. I haven’t read it, but a reviewer writes: “As short story collections go, this mega pack is an excellent deal. I was not familiar with Phillip K. Dick before reading, but I can now say that he is an excellent author. While the characters presented in these stories are generally not very deep, the themes are, and the writing style succeeds in making them horrifying, sad, or uplifting depending on the story. The one’s I most recommend reading are ‘Exhibit Piece’, ‘Second Variety’, ‘The Eyes have it’, and ‘The Hanging Stranger’, although none of the stories were anything less than good.”
- Contact by Carl Sagan
It is December 1999, the dawn of the millennium, and a team of international scientists is poised for the most fantastic adventure in human history. After years of scanning the galaxy for signs of somebody or something else, this team believes they’ve found a message from an intelligent source–and they travel deep into space to meet it. Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sagan injects Contact, his prophetic adventure story, with scientific details that make it utterly believable. It is a Cold War era novel that parlays the nuclear paranoia of the time into exquisitely wrought tension among the various countries involved. Sagan meditates on science, religion, and government–the elements that define society–and looks to their impact on and role in the future. His ability to pack an exciting read with such rich content is an unusual talent that makes Contact a modern sci-fi classic.
- A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet) by Madeleine L’Engle
A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). A Wrinkle in Time is the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal. Spurred on by these rumors, Meg and Charles Wallace, along with their new friend Calvin, embark on a perilous quest through space to find their father. Readers will feel a sense of power as they travel with these three children, challenging concepts of time, space, and the power of good over evil.
- The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
Only a few know the terrifying truth–an outcast Earth scientist, a rebellious alien inhabitant of a dying planet, a lunar-born human intuitionist who senses the imminent annihilation of the Sun. They know the truth–but who will listen? They have foreseen the cost of abundant energy–but who will believe. These few beings, human and alien, hold the key to the Earth’s survival. Winner of the Hugo Award and Nebula Award.
- The Day of the Triffids (20th Century Rediscoveries) by John Wyndham
In 1951 John Wyndham published his novel The Day of the Triffids to moderate acclaim. Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. But to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, one must survive the Triffids, strange plants that years before began appearing all over the world. Wyndham chillingly anticipates bio-warfare and mass destruction, fifty years before their realization, in this prescient account of Cold War paranoia.
- A Fire Upon The Deep (Zones of Thought) by Vernor Vinge
A Fire Upon the Deep is the big, breakout book that fulfills the promise of Vinge’s career to date: a gripping tale of galactic war told on a cosmic scale. Faster-than-light travel remains impossible near Earth, deep in the galaxy’s Slow Zone–but physical laws relax in the surrounding Beyond. ” When human meddling wakes an old Power, the Blight, this spreads like a wildfire mind virus that turns whole civilizations into its unthinking tools. And the half-mythical Countermeasure, if it exists, is lost with two human children on primitive Tines World. Vinge’s climax is suitably mindboggling.
- A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
A Canticle for Leibowitz is a true landmark of twentieth-century literature — a chilling and still-provocative look at a post-apocalyptic future. Seriously funny, stunning, and tragic, eternally fresh, imaginative, and altogether remarkable, A Canticle for Leibowitz retains its ability to enthrall and amaze. Walter M. Miller’s acclaimed SF classic. A Canticle for Leibowitz opens with the accidental excavation of a holy artifact: a creased, brittle memo scrawled by the hand of the blessed Saint Leibowitz, that reads: “Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels–bring home for Emma. As 1984 cautioned against Stalinism, so 1959’s. A Canticle for Leibowitz warns of the threat and implications of nuclear annihilation.
- Red Mars (Mars Trilogy) by Kim Stanley Robinson
In his most ambitious project to date, award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson utilizes years of research and cutting-edge science in the first of three novels that will chronicle the colonization of Mars. For centuries, Mars has beckoned to mankind to come and conquer its hostile climate. John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers, and Arkady Bogdanov lead a mission whose ultimate goal is the terraforming of Mars. Red Mars shows us a future, with both glory and tarnish, that awes with complexity and inspires with vision. Red Mars is so magnificent a story, you will want to move on to Blue Mars and Green Mars.
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A vicious fifteen-year-old is the central character of this 1963 classic. In Anthony Burgess’s nightmare vision of the future, where the criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends’ social pathology. ” This edition includes the controversial last chapter not published in the first edition and Burgess’s introduction “A Clockwork Orange Resucked.
- Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein
From the New York Times bestselling author of Starship Troopers and the first Grand Master of Science Fiction. The capstone and crowning achievement of Heinlein’s famous Future History, Time Enough for Love follows Lazarus Long through a vast and magnificent timescale of centuries and worlds. Heinlein’s longest and most ambitious work, it is the story of a man so in love with Life that he refused to stop living it; and so in love with Time that he became his own ancestor.
- The Dispossessed: A Novel (Harper Perennial Olive Edition) by Ursula K. Le Guin
A bleak moon settled by utopian anarchists, Anarres has long been isolated from other worlds, including its mother planet, Urras—a civilization of warring nations, great poverty, and immense wealth. Now Shevek, a brilliant physicist, is determined to reunite the two planets, which have been divided by centuries of distrust. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have kept them apart. To visit Urras—to learn, to teach, to share—will require great sacrifice and risks, which Shevek willingly accepts. But the ambitious scientist’s gift is soon seen as a threat, and in the profound conflict that ensues, he must reexamine his beliefs even as he ignites the fires of change.
- The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov
One of Isaac Asimov’s SF masterpieces, this stand-alone novel is a monument of the flowering of SF in the 20th century. It is widely regarded as Asimov’s single best SF novel and one every SF fan should read. During one of his assignments, Harlan meets and falls in love with Noÿs Lambent, a woman who lives in real-time and space. Then Harlan learns that Noÿs will cease to exist after the next change, and risks everything to sneak her into Eternity.
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Few creatures of horror have seized readers’ imaginations and held them for so long as the anguished monster of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. “We will each write a story,” Byron announced to his next-door neighbors, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley. The illustrious poets failed to complete their ghost stories, but Mary Shelley rose supremely to the challenge. Strong book-making for one of the world’s strongest and most remarkable books. ” Includes an illuminating afterword by Joyce Carol Oates.
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Daniel Keyes wrote little SF but is highly regarded for one classic, Flowers for Algernon. Algernon is extra-clever thanks to an experimental brain operation so far tried only on animals. Charlie eagerly volunteers as the first human subject. Then, ominously, the smart mouse Algernon begins to deteriorate. Flowers for Algernon is a timeless tear-jerker with a terrific emotional impact.
- Journey to the Center of the Earth (Dover Thrift Editions) by Jules Verne
A pioneer in the genre of science fiction writing, Jules Verne possessed an uncanny ability to imagine — often with startling accuracy — the future possibilities of science. In this classic novel, first published in 1864, the author introduces readers to Otto Lidenbrock, a professor of geology who ventures into a fantastical world within an extinct Icelandic volcano. Verne’s vivid imagination and masterful storytelling ability has made this book a popular choice among readers for more than 140 years. This version is believed to be the most faithful rendition into English of this classic currently in the public domain. The few notes of the translator are located near the point where they are referenced.
- Battlefield Earth: Science Fiction New York Times Best Seller by L. Ron Hubbard
Suspense, politics, war, humor and intergalactic finance. A towering masterwork of science fiction adventure and one of the best-selling science fiction novels of all time, L. Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth opens with breathtaking scope on an Earth dominated for 1,000 years by an alien invader and man is an endangered species. From the handful of surviving humans a courageous leader emerges Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, who challenges the invincible might of the alien psycho empire in a battle of epic scale, danger and intrigue with the fate of the Earth and of the universe in the tenuous balance.
- Riverworld: Including To Your Scattered Bodies Go & The Fabulous Riverboat by Philip Jose Farmer
To Your Scattered Bodies Go and The Fabulous Riverboat Combined for the first time in one volume. Imagine that every human who ever lived, from the earliest Neanderthals to the present, is resurrected after death on the banks of an astonishing and seemingly endless river on an unknown world. Some set sail on the great river questing for the meaning of their resurrection, and to find and confront their mysterious benefactors. On this long journey, we meet Sir Richard Francis Burton, Mark Twain, Odysseus, Cyrano de Bergerac, and many others, most of whom embark upon searches of their own in this huge afterlife. “Charts a territory somewhere between Gulliver’s Travels and The Lord of the Rings. “
- The Reality Dysfunction (The Night’s Dawn) by Peter F. Hamilton
In AD 2600 the human race is finally beginning to realize its full potential. Hundreds of colonized planets scattered across the galaxy host a multitude of prosperous and wildly diverse cultures. Genetic engineering has pushed evolution far beyond nature’s boundaries, defeating disease and producing extraordinary spaceborn creatures. And throughout inhabited space the Confederation Navy keeps the peace. An extinct race which inhabited the galaxy aeons ago called it “The Reality Dysfunction”.
- The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer (Bantam Spectra Book) by Neal Stephenson
In Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson took science fiction to dazzling new levels. Now, in The Diamond Age, he delivers another stunning tale. Set in twenty-first century Shanghai, it is the story of what happens when a state-of-the-art interactive device falls in the hands of a street urchin named Nell. Her life—and the entire future of humanity—is about to be decoded and reprogrammed…
- A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
Bob Arctor is a junkie and a drug dealer, both using and selling the mind-altering Substance D. Fred is a law enforcement agent, tasked with bringing Bob down. The only problem is that Bob and Fred are the same person. Now, both sides are growing increasingly paranoid as Bob tries to evade Fred while Fred tries to evade his suspicious bosses.
- Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga, Book 2) by David Brin
David Brin’s Uplift novels are among the most thrilling and extraordinary science fiction ever written. Sundiver, Startide Rising, and The Uplift War–a New York Times bestseller–together make up one of the most beloved sagas of all time. Brin’s tales are set in a future universe in which no species can reach sentience without being “uplifted” by a patron race. But the greatest mystery of all remains unsolved: who uplifted humankind. The Terran exploration vessel Streaker has crashed in the uncharted water world of Kithrup, bearing one of the most important discoveries in galactic history.
- The Sirens of Titan: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut
The Sirens of Titan is an outrageous romp through space, time, and morality. The richest, most depraved man on Earth, Malachi Constant, is offered a chance to take a space journey to distant worlds with a beautiful woman at his side. Of course there’s a catch to the invitation–and a prophetic vision about the purpose of human life that only Vonnegut has the courage to tell.
- Eon by Alison Goodman
Eon–the award-winning crossover fantasy that soars. Sixteen-year-old Eon has a dream, and a mission. For years, he’s been studying sword-work and magic, toward one end. But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a twelve-year-old boy. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
In the world of the near future, who will control women’s bodies. Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable. Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.
- Use of Weapons (Culture) by Iain M. Banks
The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances’ foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks and military action. The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought.
- Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding. You’ll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You’ll serve two years at the front. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine―and what he will become is far stranger.
- The City and the Stars (S.F. Masterworks) by Arthur C. Clarke
Clarke’s masterful evocation of the far future of humanity, considered his finest novel Men had built cities before, but never such a city as Diaspar. For millennia its protective dome shut out the creeping decay and danger of the world outside. Once, it held powers that rule the stars. But then, as legend has it, the invaders came, driving humanity into this last refuge. It takes one man, a Unique, to break through Diaspar’s stifling inertia, to smash the legend and discover the true nature of the Invaders.
- Sphere by Michael Crichton
A classic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Crichton, Sphere is a bravura demonstration of what he does better than anyone: riveting storytelling that combines frighteningly plausible, cutting edge science and technology with pulse-pounding action and serious chills. Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton is possibly the best science teacher for the masses since H. Wells, and Sphere, his thriller about a mysterious spherical spaceship at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, is classic Crichton.
- The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
In a world policed by telepaths, Ben Reich plans to commit a crime that hasn’t been heard of in 70 years: murder. That’s the only option left for Reich, whose company is losing a 10-year death struggle with rival D’Courtney Enterprises. But while police prefect Lincoln Powell knows Reich is guilty, his telepath’s knowledge is a far cry from admissible evidence. Even 49 years after its initial publication, The Demolished Man still stands as a true science fiction novel.
- The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein
Dan Davis was tricked by an unscrupulous business partner and a greedy fiancée into spending thirty years in suspended animation just when he was on the verge of a success beyond his wildest dreams. But when he awoke in the future, he discovered he had the means to travel back in time — and get his revenge. “Classic Heinlein. Useful insights about cats and time travel in a surprisingly modern story written 50 years ago..”
- A Stainless Steel Trio (Stainless Steel Rat) by Harry Harrison
One of SF’s most beloved rogues: the Stainless Steel Rat. Slippery Jim DiGriz is the Stainless Steel Rat: the galaxy’s greatest interstellar thief and con artist. In A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born, we see the origin and early days of Jim DiGriz’s brilliant criminal career, as our underworld hero is forced to work for the Good Guys. Conscripted again in The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted, this time into a planetary army, the Rat must avenge the murder of his mentor-in-crime. And in The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues, Slippery Jim must retrieve a missing alien artifact, while disguised as a futuristic rock-and-roller.
- Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
Alastair Reynolds’s critically acclaimed debut has redefined the space opera with a staggering journey across vast gulfs of time and space to confront the very nature of reality itself. Alastair Reynolds’s first novel is “hard” SF on an epic scale, crammed with technological marvels and immensities. Meanwhile, the vast, decaying lightship Nostalgia for Infinity is coming for Sylveste, whose dead father (in AI simulation) could perhaps help the Captain, frozen near absolute zero yet still suffering monstrous transformation by nanotech plague. Most of Infinity’s tiny crew have hidden agendas–Khouri the reluctant contract assassin believes she must kill Sylveste to save humanity–and there are two bodiless stowaways, one no longer human and one never human. A sparkling SF debut.
- The Player of Games (Culture) by Iain M. Banks
The Culture – a human/machine symbiotic society – has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh. Jernau Morat Gurgeh. The Player of Games. Master of every board, computer and strategy. Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game…a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life – and very possibly his death.
- A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
A Princess of Mars (1917) is a science fantasy novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the first of his Barsoom series. Full of swordplay and daring feats, the novel is considered a classic example of 20th century pulp fiction. Its early chapters also contain elements of the Western. This vision of Mars was based on the work of the astronomer Percival Lowell, whose ideas were widely popularized in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Barsoom series inspired a number of well-known 20th century science fiction writers, including Jack Vance, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C.
- The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her. In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin — barely of age herself — finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history’s darkest hours. Five years in the writing by one of science fiction’s most honored authors, Doomsday Book is a storytelling triumph. Connie Willis draws upon her understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and the indomitable will of the human spirit. The book, which won Hugo and Nebula Awards, draws upon Willis’ understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and the indomitable will of the human spirit.
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Profoundly dark, told in spare, searing prose, The Road is a post-apocalyptic masterpiece, one of the best books we’ve read this year, but in case you need a second (and expert) opinion, we asked Dennis Lehane, author of equally rich, occasionally bleak and brutal novels, to read it and give us his take. McCarthy’s Gnostic impressions of mankind have left very little place for love. But here the love of a desperate father for his sickly son transcends all else.
- Robert Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert Lazaro, Eric Gignac, Steve Erwin
Just outside our galaxy the atrocities of slavery thrive, and young Thorby is just another orphaned boy sold at auction. But when he crosses paths with a mysterious crippled beggar, his destiny is forever changed. Citizen of the Galaxy is an adaptation of the interstellar action/adventure, coming of age tale by the “Dean of Science Fiction” from Robert Heinlein. Citizen of the Galaxy is one of the classic Robert Heinlein juveniles, and would seem a perfect choice for a graphic adaptation — a relatively simple, straightforward plot, a wholly linear structure, a coming-of-age story with space slavers, all told in a relatively few number of pages
- The Fifth Head of Cerberus: Three Novellas by Gene Wolfe
Gene Wolfe’s first novel consists of three linked sections, all of them elegant broodings on identity, sameness, and strangeness, and all of them set on the vividly evoked colony worlds of Ste. Croix and Ste. Anne. Far out from Earth, two sister planets, Saint Anne and Saint Croix, circle each other in an eternal dance. It is said a race of shapeshifters once lived here, only to perish when men came. But one man believes they can still be found, somewhere in the back of the beyond.
- Ilium by Dan Simmons
Within, Simmons weaves three astounding story lines into one Earth-, Mars-, and Jupiter-shattering cliffhanger that will leave readers aching for the sequel. On Earth, a post-technological group of humans, pampered by servant machines and easy travel via “faxing,” begins to question its beginnings. On the Red Planet, they’ll find a race of metahumans living out existence as the pantheon of classic Greek gods. Simmons creates an exciting and thrilling tale set in the thick of the Trojan War as seen through Hockenberry’s 20th-century eyes. –Jeremy Pugh.
- Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy) by C.S. Lewis
The first book in C. S. Lewis’s acclaimed Space Trilogy, which continues with Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, Out of the Silent Planet begins the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom. Here, that estimable man is abducted by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice and taken via spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra. The two men are in need of a human sacrifice, and Dr. Ransom would seem to fit the bill. Once on the planet, however, Ransom eludes his captors, risking his life and his chances of returning to Earth, becoming a stranger in a land that is enchanting in its difference from Earth and instructive in its similarity. First published in 1943, Out of the Silent Planet remains a mysterious and suspenseful tour de force.
- Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs Novels) by Richard K. Morgan
While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”) making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen. Ex-U. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats “existence” as something that can be bought and sold.
- The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
On Mars, the harsh climate could make any colonist turn to drugs to escape a dead-end existence. Especially when the drug is Can-D, which translates its users into the idyllic world of a Barbie-esque character named Perky Pat. When the mysterious Palmer Eldritch arrives with a new drug called Chew-Z, he offers a more addictive experience, one that might bring the user closer to God. This Nebula Award nominee is one of Philip K. Dick’s enduring classics, at once a deep character study, a dark mystery, and a tightrope walk along the edge of reality and illusion.
- Have Space Suit, Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein
A classic novel from the mind of the storyteller who captures the imagination of readers from around the world, and across two generations First prize in the Skyway Soap slogan contest was an all-expenses-paid trip to the Moon. The consolation prize was an authentic space suit, and when scientifically minded high school senior Kip Russell won it, he knew for certain he would use it one day to make a sojourn of his own to the stars. But “one day” comes sooner than he thinks when he tries on the suit in his backyard — and finds himself worlds away, a prisoner aboard a space pirate’s ship, and heading straight for what could be his final destination.
- The Chrysalids (New York Review Books Classics) by John Wyndham
The Chyrsalids is set in the future after a devastating global nuclear war. David, the young hero of the novel, lives in a tight-knit community of religious and genetic fundamentalists, always on the alert for any deviation from the norm of God’s creation. Abnormal plants are publicly burned, with much singing of hymns. The Chrysalids is a perfectly conceived and constructed work from the classic era of science fiction, a Voltairean philosophical tale that has as much resonance in our own day, when religious and scientific dogmatism are both on the march, as when it was written during the cold war.
- Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry NivenJerry Pournelle
The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival–a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known. “Massively entertaining. “
- Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (Dover Thrift Editions) by Edwin A. Abbott
This masterpiece of science (and mathematical) fiction is a delightfully unique and highly entertaining satire that has charmed readers for more than 100 years. Published in 1880, this short fantasy takes us to a completely flat world of two physical dimensions where all the inhabitants are geometric shapes, and who think the planar world of length and width that they know is all there is. But one inhabitant discovers the existence of a third physical dimension, enabling him to finally grasp the concept of a fourth dimension.
- Way Station by Clifford D. Simak
An ageless hermit runs a secret way station for alien visitors in the Wisconsin woods in this Hugo Award-winning science fiction classic Enoch Wallace is not like other humans. Still, one final hope remains for the human race . though the cure could ultimately prove more terrible than the disease. Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel, Way Station is a magnificent example of the fine art of science fiction as practiced by a revered Grand Master. Heinlein that “to read science-fiction is to read Simak”.
- The Hunger Games Trilogy: The Hunger Games / Catching Fire / Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Suzanne Collins’s extraordinary worldwide-bestselling Hunger Games trilogy is now available in a paperback boxset. This edition features the books with the classic cover art in a striking new package. Now available, a paperback box set of the Hunger Games. This special edition box set features the original cover artwork from the ground-breaking, bestselling trilogy. The Capitol keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
- The Lathe Of Heaven: A Novel by Ursula K. Le Guin
A classic science fiction novel by one of the greatest writers of the genre, set in a future world where one man’s dreams control the fate of humanity.In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams have the ability to alter reality. He seeks help from Dr. William Haber, a psychiatrist who immediately grasps the power. George must preserve reality itself as Dr. Ursula K. Le Guin is one of science fiction’s greatest writers. George Orr has dreams that come true–dreams that change reality.
- Roadside Picnic (Rediscovered Classics) by Arkady StrugatskyBoris Strugatsky
Theodore Sturgeon Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those young rebels who are compelled, in spite of the extreme danger, to venture illegally into the Zone to collect the mysterious artifacts that the alien visitors left scattered around. But when he and his friend Kirill go into the Zone together to pick up a “full empty” something goes terribly wrong. . . . First published in 1972 and immediately acclaimed as a science-fiction classic, Roadside Picnic is included on almost every list of the hundred greatest science-fiction novels, despite the fact that it has been out of print in the United States for almost thirty years.
- Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
Norman Niblock House is a rising executive at General Technics, one of a few all-powerful corporations. His work is leading General Technics to the forefront of global domination, both in the marketplace and politically—it’s about to take over a country in Africa. Donald Hogan is his roommate, a seemingly sheepish bookworm. But Hogan is a spy, and he’s about to discover a breakthrough in genetic engineering that will change the world…and kill him
- I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Robert Neville may well be the last living man on Earth . An incurable plague has mutated every other man, woman, and child into bloodthirsty, nocturnal creatures who are determined to destroy him. Except, that is, for Robert Neville. Robert Neville may well be the last living man on Earth . . . but he is not alone. By day, he is a hunter, stalking the infected monstrosities through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for dawn.
- The Cyberiad; Fables for the Cybernetic Age (A Continuum Book) by Stanislaw Lem
Trurl and Klaupacius are constructor robots who try to out-invent each other. They travel to the far corners of the cosmos to take on freelance problem-solving jobs, with dire consequences for their employers. “The most completely successful of his books… here Lem comes closest to inventing a real universe” (Boston Globe). Illustrations by Daniel Mr—z. Translated by Michael Kandel.
- Anathem by Neal Stephenson
A #1 New York Times Bestseller, Anathem is perhaps the most brilliant literary invention to date from the incomparable Neal Stephenson, who rocked the world with Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, and The Baroque Cycle. Now he imagines an alternate universe where scientists, philosophers, and mathematicians live in seclusion behind ancient monastery walls until they are called back into the world to deal with a crisis of astronomical proportions. ”
- City on Fire: A novel by Garth Risk Hallberg
New York City, 1976. Meet Regan and William Hamilton-Sweeney, estranged heirs to one of the city’s great fortunes; Keith and Mercer, the men who, for better or worse, love them; Charlie and Samantha, two suburban teenagers seduced by downtown’s punk scene; an obsessive magazine reporter and his idealistic neighbor—and the detective trying to figure out what any of them have to do with a shooting in Central Park on New Year’s Eve. Told through multiple perspectives, Hallberg’s novel reveals a vast and varied web of characters whose lives intertwine around a shooting and the New York City blackout of 1977.
- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.
- The Many-Colored Land (The Saga of Pliocene Exile, Vol. 1) by Julian May
This is a spellbinding tale woven of equal parts epic and myth–with a liberal dash of hard science fiction. When a one-way time tunnel to Earth’s distant past, specifically six million B.C., was discovered by folks on the Galactic Milieu, every misfit for light-years around hurried to pass through it. Each sought his own brand of happiness. But none could have guessed what awaited them. Not even in a million years.
- VALIS by Philip K. Dick
What is VALIS? This question is at the heart of Philip K. Dick’s ground-breaking novel, and the first book in his defining trilogy. When a beam of pink light begins giving a schizophrenic man named Horselover Fat (who just might also be known as Philip K. Dick) visions of an alternate Earth where the Roman Empire still reigns, he must decide whether he is crazy, or whether a godlike entity is showing him the true nature of the world.
- Xenocide: Volume Three of the Ender Quintet by Orson Scott Card
A Reading Guide for Ender’s Game. The war for survival of the planet Lusitania will be fought in the heart of a child named Gloriously Bright. On Lusitania, Ender found a world where humans and pequininos and the Hive Queen could all live together; where three very different intelligent species could find common ground at last. Or so he thought. Lusitania also harbors the descolada, a virus that kills all humans it infects, but which the pequininos require in order to become adults.
- The Postman by David Brin
David Brin’s The Postman is the dramatically moving saga of a man who rekindled the spirit of America through the power of a dream, from a modern master of science fiction. Gordon Krantz survived the Doomwar only to spend years crossing a post-apocalypse United States looking for something or someone he could believe in again. Ironically, when he’s inadvertently forced to assume the made-up role of a “Restored United States” postal inspector, he becomes the very thing he’s been seeking: a symbol of hope and rebirth for a desperate nation.
- More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
First published in 1953, this most celebrated of Sturgeon’s works won the International Fantasy Award. In this genre-bending novel, among the first to have launched science fiction into literature, a group of remarkable social outcasts band together for survival and discover that their combined powers render them superhuman. There’s Lone, the simpleton who can hear other people’s thoughts; Janie, who moves things without touching them; and the teleporting twins, who can travel ten feet or ten miles. Separately, they are talented freaks. As they struggle to find whether they are meant to help humanity or destroy it, Sturgeon explores questions of power and morality, individuality and belonging, with suspense, pathos, and a lyricism rarely seen in science fiction.
- The Lost World: A Novel (Jurassic Park) by Michael Crichton
The Jurassic Park sequel. It is now six years since the secret disaster at Jurassic Park, six years since the extraordinary dream of science and imagination came to a crashing end—the dinosaurs destroyed, the park dismantled, and the island indefinitely closed to the public. There are rumors that something has survived. . . .
I can’t believe you made it to the end of this list! Personally, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and 1984 are my favorites. So what are your favorite sci-fi books?