Monday, January 19, 2009

Brad's Top 10 Science Fiction Novels of All-Time

So there was a time in my life when I read little else but Science Fiction novels. Over the years I have re-read a few of them, and found most of them to be better than I remembered. Here is my list of my 10 favorite Science Fiction novels.

As an aside, I believe true science fiction, good science fiction, is not merely stories that substitute techno-babble for either a good story or use technology in place of "magic" to miraculously accomplish something, or else it would just be fantasy with lasers instead of wands and space ships instead dragons. Real science fiction examines people, humanity, relationships and involves in the telling of the story science and technology. It is first about people, then about science. It's not some excuse to just babble on about possible futuristic toys. A good Sci-Fi story tells you something, or even better... makes you think about the human race and about yourself.

Without further ado...

  1. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card) - I read this book after college, and never knew why I waited so long. I did it in one sitting too, all through the night. Gripping story-line of a kid genius in training to be a general that deals with interesting questions of leadership.
  2. That Hideous Strength (C.S. Lewis) - I liked this book the best of C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy. In my opinion there there little in the way of science in this book, but it still fits that genre as well as any other. Medieval lore meets historical science fiction in this page turner.
  3. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) - A sci-fi comedy that is absolutely hilarious, especially if you enjoy British humor and the abuse of non sequiturs.
  4. Dune (Frank Herbert) - Classic of the genre that explores the messiah complex, family and kingdom level intrigue in a desert science fiction setting.
  5. The Last Question (Isaac Asimov) - Actually a short story, very thought provoking ending.
  6. The Andromeda Strain (Michael Crichton) - A wicked nasty virus from space breaks out in the US and scientists try to stop it. Likely formed the basis for more than a few sci-fi TV series plots. *cough*stargate*cough*
  7. Rendezvous With Rama (Arthur C. Clarke) - A interesting "adventure" style book revolving around mankind's curiosity and interest in an alien artifact, time capsule, spaceship traveling through our solar system.
  8. Prelude to Foundation (Isaac Asimov) - I liked this prequel better than the original Foundation mostly due to the style in which it was written. Foundation was broken into what could almost be called "mini-novels" while Prelude to Foundation read straight through with multiple plot twists and a catching ending.
  9. A Wrinkle In Time (Madeleine L'Engle) - A family's father goes missing and his intrepid children travel the universe in search of him. Not exactly a children's book, but often targeted at them due to the primary characters.
  10. The Positronic Man (Isaac Asimov) - Intriguing story about a robot who is nearly (?) human. Brings to mind questions of what really makes one human.
  11. 2001 A Space Odyssey (Arthur C Clarke) - Another book about human nature thinly disguised with technology and "the future".
Top 10 Science Fiction Novels Brad Wants To Read:
  1. 1984 - George Orwell
  2. Starship Troopers - Robert A Heinlein
  3. Neuromancer - William Gibson
  4. Speaker For The Dead - Orson Scott Card
  5. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K Dick
  6. Ringworld - Larry Niven
  7. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  8. Hyperion - Dan Simmons
  9. Flowers For Algernon - Daniel Keyes
  10. More Than Human - Theodore Sturgeon
Did I miss your favorite? Am I lacking something good? Let me know!

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