The Post Picture Of Fictional Science Review;
Part 1 Of 2.
Science’s Fictional Hall Of Fame “The Greats”.
*See Novel; Dune (Frank Herbert),
*Review; Often quoted as “Science Fiction’s answer to Lord of the Rings”. And totally true.
This is one hell of an epic novel.
Pretty much everything is epic – huge ideas, huge scope, a story (if you count the sequel novels that spans millennia), compelling characters that leave their mark.
The cast is huge and varied, a tapestry of flesh that includes the likes of noble desert fighters, messiahs, conniving ‘witches’, and greedy emperors.
To top it off, there’s even giant sand worms ridden into battle. F**k Yea! Did I miss anything? There’s politics between major powers, love, a war that spans planets, treachery of the foulest sort, boy heroes who rise from the dust (literally) and villains that you just love to hate and hate to love, and this fascinating mishmash of just about every concept and idea all centrers around Spice, an almost magical substance that comes from one planet only – Arrakis, also known as Dune.
It’s a substance that enables interplanetary travel, the most valuable resource in the galaxy. For he who controls Spice, controls the known world. He who controls Dune controls all.
*See Novel; Ender’s Game (Ender Quartet) (Orson Scott Card),
*Review; One of the best science fiction books ever written and a modern classic, through and through. Ender’s game is the story of a young boy placed in a situation where there is no winning, a game that is of course a metaphor for life.
Some might call it Lord of the Flies in space and it is to a certain extent, but beyond some of the surface similarities, Ender’s Game is a different beast.
There’s a lot going on, plot-wise and theme-wise in this story.
A relentless alien threat, a young child thrown into a controlled futuristic version of a Lord of the Flies setting, and one of the best plot twists in the science fiction genre.
*See Novel; Starship Troopers (Robert Heinlein),
Review; Starship Troopers is classic Heinlein and my fill for one of his best novels written. It won the Hugo Award and deservedly so.
Unfortunately, most people know this book through the shamefully produced movie.
Really, forget the movie ever existed as it’s got nothing on the book itself; the only similarities shared are the character names, the bugs, and the power suits.
The quick and dirty summary of the book is that it’s a metaphorical look at war, both the cost of war and the pleasure of war.
Like every “classic”, the message is just as relevant now as it was decades ago when first published.
*See Novel; Foundation (Foundation Series) (Issac Asimov),
*Review; A pinnacle of Science Fiction literature, Foundation stands at the top. Many will argue Foundation is the greatest work in the genre while just as many wonder why others love it.
It’s roundly regarded as a classic in the genre by one of the grandmasters science fiction writers. The series has gained a slew of awards included a one-time Hugo award for “Best All Time Series” in 1966.
Grand concepts and epic story lines abound in this novel.
This is not so much a story of personal characters but of grand ideas. If you like to “think” when you read science fiction, Foundation will deliver.
*See Novel; The Stars My Destination (Alfred Bester),
*Review; A stunning classic that’s influenced a generation of writers and sub genres, including the Cyberpunk movement.
The Stars My Destination broke away from the main stream SF about supermen, heroes, and good guys. Instead of the handsome, altruistic good guy, we have a character who’s rather repugnant, both physically and morally; an amoral black hole who manages to suck out the good around him without spitting anything of value back into the universe. And despite this,we get it; we understand what makes this man tick. And by golly,we actually emphasis with him — which is the real genius of Bester.
*See Novel; 2001: A Space Odyssey (Author C. Clarke),
*Review; One of those genre defining, pop-culture inseminating books that’s practically on every ‘best of’ science Fiction list out there.
Besides all that, this is the novel that spawned that way cool famous phrase “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” A big Thank You for that.
Now you know when your little iRobot starts spouting that phrase when asked to vacuum the floor, you’re royally fucked.
Outside the annals of science fiction, people are familiar with the title from the cult-hit Stanley Kubrick-directed film. Many have seen the film, but fewer have read the actual book.
The movie and book are quite tied together as things go, with Author C. Clark working closely with Stanley Kubrick on the movie script and then adopting it to novel afterwards. The movie and book were meant to complement each other.
*See Novel; Hyperion Cantos (Dan Simmons),
*Review; A fantastic Hugo-winning space opera that merges the narrative element of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales with a futuristic space opera set in the distant future.
The whole series (not just the first book) is based on the assumption that man’s conquering the stars is inevitable and the complexities and troubles this brings.
It’s a wild, wild ride and one of the best damn science fiction books/series ever written.
This is a modern science fiction read that’s absolutely destined to be a classic.
The story centrers on six pilgrims and their tales. We find out parts of their history and the needs that drive them to this pilgrimage – a pilgrimage which is a certain death sentence.
For these pilgrims are seeking out the Shrike, a god like creature that legend says will kill all but one pilgrim, granting the one survivor a wish.
*See Novel; Neuromancer (William Gibson),
* Review; Released in 1984, Neuromancer is widely considered the progenitor of the Cyberpunk genre and the first science fiction to simultaneously win the “Triple Crown” awards (Nebula, Hugo, and Philip K. Dick award). This seminal novel brought many ideas that have seeped into our collective consciousness, including inventing now-used terms such as “cyberspace.”
It’s an ambitious novel full of unique ideas.
The pose is complex and full of technical jargon which may be off-putting to some (more than a few people have picked the book up only to put it down after a few pages). But this is a novel that if you push through becomes an electrifying read.
*See Novel; 1984 (George Orwell),
*Review; A novel of seminal importance that’s influenced society and pop culture like few others. 1984 is the novel that invented the term Big Brother (and no, we’re not talking about that uber crappy reality TV show that locks half a dozen sex-starved drug addicts into a room for a month).
1984 has often been used as a battleground tool in the war waged by the supports of personal privacy against the forces that push for more government control in our daily lives. It’s a stark warning for the 21 century against the pitfalls of government control.
*See Novel; 10 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy (Douglas Adams),
*Review; A comedic take on the whole science fiction genre that pokes fun of just about everything.
This work has transcended the genre to become part of pop culture.
The novel is one long tongue in cheek event – from the characters, to the plot, to the setting.
The humor is as British as they come which can lose more than a few that don’t get British humor.
This entry on the list is our ode to the Comedic subgenre of SF. It’s a journey through space and time that will have you laughing the whole way through that’s practically cackling with energy the whole way.
A must read for everyone if only so you can get the cultural references that refer to the book!
*See Novel; Ubik (Philip K. Dick),
*Review; What is a best science fiction list without the inclusion of one of the greatest science fiction writers ever? Yes, I’m talking about Philip K. Dick, a man ignored in his time but now Hollywood’s golden boy when it comes to drumming up new science fiction films that star A list actors.
The typical entry on a top list would be Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, a seminal science fiction short story that has influenced pop culture like few others.
Blade Runner, for one, was based closely on the short story. And we all know how much that film influenced future films.
Pretty much every new science fiction film that features an urban city rips out the dirty, vertical urban city sprawl depicted in Blade Runner.
*See Novel; The Forever War (Joe Haldman),
A futuristic account of an endless war that ends only to return home again to everything has changed so much you don’t fit in.
To say this is an allegory for the real world would be an understatement.
The novel gives a stunning look into the potential future of humankind and how society might evolve.
The Forever War won both a Hugo and Nebula award. If there was a novel written for veterans, this would be it. And given that the author himself served in the Vietnam War, the novel reflects his own loose metaphoric experiences in the story.
This novel is a direct discourse with Starship Troopers in the way that it takes an anti-military stance the whole way through. It’s a very sharp look at the whole Vietnam War if you read between the lines.
*See Novel; Snow Crash (Neal Stephenson),
*Review; A novel of startling ideas that influenced a generation of writers and pop culture. Some of the best cyberpunk science fiction out there.
Fans of dystopian fiction and cyberpunk will love this one especially those who adore the setting present in Blade Runner – a dilapidated futuristic Asian metropolis with little law and even less order.
The writing is sharp, the wit sharper, and the sarcasm even more so.
Stephenson brings you into HIS world, a world where society has been redefined and the rules of living are vastly changed. It’s a distant future that’s somewhat familiar while also alien.
There’s a lot of ideas in Snow Crash and complex ones at that. Stephenson looks at the not-too distant future; it’s a dismal place with no laws, private corporations controlling everything, and the Mob having their hands in the rest – including Pizza Delivery services.
*See Novel; A Fire Upon the Deep (Zones of Thought) (Vernor Vinge);
*Review; This stands as one of the best damn space operas ever created, standing shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Hyperion.
It’s packed with incredible ideas and interesting characters and wrapped around with high adventure.
Folks, it doesn’t get better than this. So read the damn thing. A Fire Upon the Deep is one of those books that some love and some hate, but needs to be read.
It’s a book with an incredible vision of the galaxy and man’s future among the stars, but it’s also a rip roaring tale that doesn’t get lost in all that “vastness”. A perfect combination between story and ideas.
This book won the Hugo Award and it’s pretty easy to see why it did. There’s a lot of “back story” going on, but the basic premise is this: the galaxy is divided up into various zones.
The more sophisticated the technology, the further zones you can go. The laws of physics are relaxed in the zones which make computing and technology such as faster than light travel possible that’s not possible in the Slow Zones.
Earth is stuck in the Slow Zone but humanity has in fact made it into the Beyond and founded a few civilizations. The irony is that when you have made it to the Beyond, it’s hard to reach the Slow Zone because the laws of physics are more restrictive.
The perfect utopia of the Beyond comes to a grinding halt when human scientists accidentally unleash an ancient evil that basically gobbles up the known world. And the fight to save the universe is on.
Check out some titles present in post publication part 2 of the Post Picture Of Fictional Science Review which include the following & much more…,
“THE END.”, Click The Following Link Here To Access Part 1.