Science-Fiction

I am also a big fan of science-fiction and especially cyberpunk. That’s why I’ve put together this list of various science-fiction novels. I can recommend any of them and I think anyone who enjoys science-fiction should check them out.

 

The Foundation Trilogy:

I am an absolute fan of space operas. The Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire
and Second Foundation) is as good as it gets. The books are not so much novels per se, but they are a series of short stories written by Asimov. They tell the story of the fall of the Galactic Empire and the rise of the Foundation by help of the Seldon Plan. The books focus more on clever ploys by characters and things that happen after huge space battles. There are some stories that are a bit weak, but especially the longer stories in book two and three are absolutely amazing. If you enjoy Science-Fiction I’d highly recommend to check these books out. There is a reason I put them in the first position.

 

 

 

Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep:

As I mentioned above I love cyberpunk. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is one of the first cyberpunk novels ever written. The novel is set in a dark, post-apocalyptic future. In the novel the titular androids, called replicants, are banned from Earth and used for cheap labor on Mars. The story focuses on Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter who is tasked to find and kill six escaped androids who fled Mars.

The novel engages in a number of philosophical topics, such as what it means to be human and paints quite a grim picture of our future. It is a great read and I can say that its Philip K. Dicks best work.

 

 

Frankenstein:

Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein is the proto-science-fiction novel. The book in itself is a bit different from its depiction in popular media and focuses quite a bit of the backstory of the character of Frankenstein. It is quite interesting to find out his reasoning behind the things. There is also quite a bit of talk about his pseudo-science, which was interesting. Overall he is painted in a rather positive picture in my opinion.

There are long parts of the book that focus on the creature and its reasoning. While some of those were interesting, there is quite a long part in the middle of the novel where the creature learns about humanity, which drags on quite a bit. Once that part is over and we move into the conflict between Victor Frankenstein and the creature he created it gets good again.

In general though the book is, apart from some parts, quite a good and enjoyable read. I’d recommend it for people who are really interested in the true story of Frankenstein.

 

Dune:

Frank Miller’s Dune is one of the most popular science-fiction novels of all time. I remember that it was David Lynch’s adaption of the novel that got me interested in science-fiction in general.

The world building of the book was great. I was really drawn into the galactic power structures, the different houses as well as the religious background. There was some interesting ideas portrayed in the book, especially considering ecological topics. The story in general wasn’t too extraordinary or original, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Even though the book wasn’t perfect and in my opinion doesn’t live up to the high reputation it got, I’d still recommend it for readers of science-fiction.

 

 

Rendezvous with Rama:

This was the first of Arthur C. Clark’s books that I read. This book was rather strange and not really not what I was expecting at all, but in a good way. There is not a whole lot of action and it is not your typical space opera. The novel is more about interesting ideas and thoughts.

I think it is a really interesting and short read. For what it is worth though it is really enjoyable and I’d really recommend it to fans of science-fiction.

 

 

 

 

Scanner Darkly:

This is another novel written by Philip K. Dick. I’d call this book a light science-fiction novel, since apart from a few things it is not too futuristic.

The story itself deals with two characters. One is Bob Arctor, who is a junkie and drug dealer, who is using and selling the mind-altering Substance D. Fred is a law enforcement agent, tasked with bringing Bob down. It would be a simply case if not for the fact that Bob and Fred are the same person.

The book includes an extensive portrayal of drug culture and drug use and deals with the resulting problems like paranoia and the altering of the human mind.

I really enjoyed this one a lot when I first read it. It is quite a grim and dark novel, but it explores a lot of interesting topics. I really recommend it.

 

Neuromancer:

William Gibson’s novel is one of the best if not the best known novel in the cyberpunk novel. The novel tells the near-future story of Case, a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer for one last job against a powerful artificial intelligence.

I really loved this novel. It has it all, weird characters, sprawling cities, cyberspace, virtual reality and much more. Gibson’s world building and the atmosphere in the book is fantastic. It is a dark, gritty and rather dystopian world, but it feels very unique.

The same is true for many of the characters in the world.They are all interesting in their own ways. In general the book often reads like a noir-type of book, added in with all sorts of futuristic ideas.

In any way I think this is a book that anyone who is interested in science-fiction should read. Especially now, that we are moving more and more into the direction of virtual-reality and AI, this book is an interesting, yet dark outlook into the future.

 

The Forever War:

This is an interesting book. It started out as your typical science-fiction book. Humans met aliens, conflict emerged and war started. I got to say the beginning of the book dragged on a bit and it didn’t seem all that special. It was the standard military training and went towards the first battle with the enemy.

The book got truly interesting after this first part. From then on the book went into quite a few interesting directions and explored a couple interesting ideas. I am not going to spoil anything about it here, but I am going to say that getting through the first part of the book is well worth it.

In general, I liked the book for its ideas and questions. What I didn’t really enjoy was most of the battles. They all seemed stilted and boring in certain ways, but on the other hand they were quite realistic. I enjoyed the book. I’d recommend it for people interesting in science-fiction that is a bit more interesting and complex as well as those who are into military fiction.

 

Starship Troopers:

I am a big fan of the movie and this book had been on my to-read-list for a long time. I finally got to read it last year. This book was quite a bit different from what I expected.

I thought it would mostly be an action packed science-fiction novel, but it was much deeper than that. Many parts were devoted to discussion of Heinlein’s future society, military doctrine and training.  The book sure has action parts, but unlike in the movie, they are not a focus, at least it seemed that way to me.

Overall I’d recommend this book to anyone who is interested in science-fiction or a fan of the movie as well as people who are generally interested in military fiction.

 

 

Hardboiled-Wonderland and the End of the World:

Murakami is generally a mixed bag for me. I enjoy some of his novels, while I think others aren’t that good. This one is my favorite novel by him. The book is split into two narratives, who are both equally bizarre.

One of the narratives in the book is set in the future. The narrator is a a “Calcutec”. It basically means he is a human who can encrypt data without any computer, simply in his brain. The story starts out, as the narrator is sent into the Tokyo sewers.

The second narrative is much more bizarre than the first one. It is set in a fantastical world in a strange, isolated Town.

There is not much more I can say about the book without giving away too much. In general though it is a very weird, yet very good book. If you enjoy weird literature and narratives, you should give this one a try.

 

Otherland:

I read the Otherland series as a teenager and absolutely loved it. It is the series that got me really interested in the topic of virtual reality and anything related to it.

The series is set in the future at the end of the twenty-first century and deals heavily with the topic of virtual reality. The story start when the main character Irene “Renie” Sulaweyo’s brother falls victim to a disease known as Tandagore Syndrome, which in its most serious form is a deep coma from which the patient cannot wake.

Irene begin to investigates what has happened to him and start discovering strange goings-on in the Net, including an evil hypnotic entity and the constant reappearance of a mysterious golden city.

This sets in motion events spanning over four books and including countless characters and various narratives. By its virtual reality nature, the book allows various settings who are all extremely interesting. I really enjoyed the book back when I read it and I have to commend Tad Williams for his creativity.

I really recommend this series for people who are looking for a long series and people who are really interested in novels about virtual reality or set in virtual worlds.