See Article History Alternative Titles: SF, sci-fi, speculative fiction Science fiction, abbreviation SF or sci-fi, a form of fiction that deals principally with the impact of actual or imagined science upon society or individuals.
Leckie picked 10 essential science fiction books.
Inevitably the attempt to condense a huge field--one that often contains multiple subgenres, and has decades, if not centuries, of history--down to just ten or fifty, or let's be serious even a hundred items is going to end badly. It can't really be adequately done, and anyone reading the list is going to find their favorites are left off, or declare that the listmaker has a laughable idea of what's best and essential.
Science fiction has pretty much exactly this problem--a history of at least a century, arguably two if you're in the "Frankenstein was the first science fiction novel" camp.
A multitude of subgenres. And even if a reader could more or less keep up with everything published as science fiction in the past, in recent decades there's been so much more published that it's impossible to have read everything significant that's come out.
Any attempt to list the ten best science fiction novels is doomed to failure. So I'm not even going to actually attempt it.
These are ten of my favorites. It is perforce an idiosyncratic list, and if your favorites aren't here, either I had to leave them off because I'm only doing ten, or else we have different favorites.
Which is the way things should be! Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - Most of us were introduced to this story by one of the various movies made of it, or even just the image of Boris Karloff with flattened head and bolts sticking out of his neck, lumbering around and moaning.
But Shelley's monster was actually quite articulate, and able to speak at length and intelligently about the predicament in which it found itself. And while Shelley isn't terribly specific about just how Victor Frankenstein brought his creation to life, it's pretty clear that she was thinking in terms of scientific ideas of the time, taking the experiments of Galvani and Aldini and going one step forward with them--if applying electric current to a dead body does, indeed, give it some semblance of life, what then?
What does that mean? You can make the argument that this isn't really science fiction, if you really want to. And it's a good book. Not bad for an eighteen year old girl who basically wrote it for a holiday party game. Solaris by Stanislaw Lem - It was my parents who introduced me to Lem.
Which is a bit weird on the surface, because actually neither of them much liked SF and while they believed that I would eventually make a writer of myself, they would have much preferred I go for mysteries, which they loved, or at least some sort of thing they could think of as "literature.
Solaris may or may not be highbrow, but it's pretty darn trippy. An ocean-covered planet that may or may not be a single sentient being. If it is, it's an utterly alien one, and the humans who try to study it find themselves confronting their own past traumas and, ultimately, learning nothing about Solaris itself.
I'm given to understand this book exists in at least two translations from the Polish, the more recent much better than the older one. Brackett's Mars owes a debt to Burroughs, and so does Stark--born on Mercury, his parents die and he's adopted by Mercurians.
I have this as an old Ace double, back to back and upside down from each otherfull of pulpy goodness--ancient technology, body-switching, tribes from the Drylands of Mars massing for war, a world with space travel and interplanetary mining concerns, where the light of the two moons of Mars glints off swords, spears, and mail.
This is great, engaging adventure. The Star King by Jack Vance - I love Vance's language, the careful, almost-ponderous formality that even his rogues sometimes use, with great ironic effect. He also does wonderful visuals, and has a wry view of human nature and culture that I enjoy tremendously.
Some of Vance's best moments are throwaways--footnotes, bare mentions of the customs of some city or planet his hero is visiting, and his stories are great fun.
I'm hard pressed to pick a single one to recommend, honestly. The Star King is the first of a series of five in which Kirth Gersen sets about revenging his family, lost in a murderous slave raid carried out by the five super-criminal Demon Princes, each of whom gets a book.
I'm sorely tempted to just quote passages at you, but I won't. Just read some Vance if you haven't already. The Zero Stone by Andre Norton - Norton wrote so much, and was read so widely, that it's difficult to pick a single best, or to encapsulate her influence on the writers who grew up reading her.
The Zero Stone is as good a place to start as any and better than some--probably because she wrote so much, not all of Norton's work is particularly good. I say that as a diehard fan. Apprentice gemologist Murdoch Jern has inherited one thing from his murdered father--a ring set with a mysterious stone, found on an alien corpse drifting in space.
It's an ancient alien artifact that several someones are willing to kill to get hold of, and Jern has no one but himself and a mysterious small furry alien to rely on. Pure, pulpy adventure goodness. Le Guin - The "science" in "science fiction" isn't just physics and engineering.
It can also be linguistics, anthropology, and psychology. This is the story of Genly Ai, a man sent to talk the inhabitants of the planet Gethen into joining the interstellar civilization he represents.
The genderless nature of the Gethenians is probably the most famous aspect of this book, but it is hardly the only notable thing about it.These are the best science-fiction authors of all time, ranked by readers and fans.
This list include some highly recognizable and classic names, like Isaac Asimov and George Orwell, along with some contemporary science-fiction writers who are just beginning to make their mark on the genre.
Science fiction - Alien encounters: Since human beings are the only known form of fully sentient life, any encounter with nonhuman intelligence is necessarily speculative. Writers in the 17th and 18th centuries produced many tales of travel to and from other inhabited worlds, but works such as Voltaire’s Micromégas did not depict Saturnians as alien .
Calling all science fiction and fantasy writers! Has it always been your goal to enter and win a fantasy writing contest or science fiction competition? If so, enter the Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards Science Fiction/Fantasy Category for your chance to win cash prizes, and gain recognition.
The world of science fiction. Science fiction is a modern initiativeblog.com writers in antiquity sometimes dealt with themes common to modern science fiction, their stories made no attempt at scientific and technological plausibility, the feature that distinguishes science fiction from earlier speculative writings and other contemporary speculative .
Books shelved as science-fiction: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Dune by Frank Herbert, The Mar. Star Wars on Trial: The Force Awakens Edition: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time (Smart Pop) [David Brin, Matthew Woodring Stover] on initiativeblog.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
Order in the Court! Star Wars: the most significant, powerful myth of the twenty-first century .