Awesome Science Fiction Books
In 1932, English writer Aldous Huxley published "Brave New World" and foretold a future in which individualism is abhorred, the population is permanently limited and everyone is strung out on a hallucinogen known as soma. Many critics today describe this anti-utopian story as a science-fiction classic. But another 10 years or so would pass before mainstream publishers began embracing sci-fi as a genre. The years before, during and after World War II marked sci-fi's Golden Age and thrust a new generation of writers — Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein, Clarke and many others — into the public consciousness.
We used that Golden Age as one of several criteria to decide whether a book made it on this list. Sci-fi books published before 1940 didn't make it; those books published after did. We also used the two major science fiction awards — the Hugo and Nebula — as measuring sticks. All our entries received one of the awards; many received both. Next, we organized our winners into five themes central to the genre (close to home, far, far away, alien invasions, near future, and man and machine). Finally, no author could make the list twice. Got that? Let's head to Mars.
10: Close to Home: 'Stranger in a Strange Land'
When H.G. Wells wrote of Martians coming to Earth in "The War of the Worlds, " he made them malevolent warmongers. In "Stranger in a Strange Land" (1961, Putnam), Robert Heinlein turned this idea on its head by making the Martian invader one of us. The book's central character is Valentine Michael Smith, a human born during the first manned mission to Mars. After being raised by Martians, Mike returns to Earth, where he experiences human culture as any alien would. But Mike isn't a passive observer. Under the watchful eye of his companions and protectors Jill Boardman and Jubal Harshaw, Mike founds the Church of All Worlds in an effort to help humans overcome their fears and jealousies.
"Stranger"became an international best-seller, proving to publishers that sci-fi could produce breakout hits. It also solidified Heinlein's stature as one of the founding fathers of the genre. He followed up his most famous book with two other now-classic sci-fi stories: "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" and "Time Enough for Love."
9: Close to Home: 'Red Mars'
In the 1980s and 1990s, after several unmanned missions revealed tantalizing clues about Earth's next-door neighbor, many sci-fi writers chose the colonization of Mars as their subject. No one did it better than Kim Stanley Robinson. His ambitious novel "Red Mars" (1992, HarperCollins) didn't seem like speculative fiction at all. It read like a how-to manual, except with riveting characters and a tense, engaging plot. The story focuses on the "first hundred" — the initial party of settlers who must carve out a life on Mars and begin the terraforming process that will pave the way for future settlers. As with any international endeavor of this magnitude, it doesn't take long for disagreements to arise. Some believe that the planet should be preserved. Others want to transform it into a second Earth, regardless of the costs.
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You like sci-fi? Well I've got a hot one for ya.2007-04-29 08:01:34 by :-)
This is one of the greatest classic science fiction books ever written but it may be hard to find because it's out of print. You can try searching the Internet for it, or you can browse through used bookstores and occasionally come across a copy. Whatever you do to find one of these is worth the time and the few bucks because this one will blow your head clear into another universe:
The Weapon Shops of Isher, by A.E. Van Vogt
Van Vogt's concepts are mind boggling. And his writing style is so awesome that you will not be able to put this one down and go to sleep. The book will grap you on the first page and you'll be hooked
The Bone Bed - finished it today2013-06-27 20:27:23 by Glibbons
Holy wow, what a drop dead awesome crime fiction novel!
I don't care what author Patricia Cornwell has done in her real life - her books, her characters, her mysteries are staggeringly awesome creations, with word craft and narrative genius and plotting that is simply, well, fucking incredible.
She has whole chapters that are almost entirely dialogue ... and that might sound kinda boring, but holy mackerel, I don't think I've read another book where "just dialogue" could generate so much tension, mystery and suspicion.
And the forensic science - holy wow, this is the REAL shit, not the glossy stuff we see on TV ...
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