Most of us enjoy a good science fiction novel, perhaps because we are all, in one way or another, fascinated by our own existence and possible futures.
In this post I take a look at 5 of the best science fiction books of our time..
5. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
Many books have a hero as the main character, but not Burgess! No, he has an anti-hero, Alex, a delightful young man who lives in a futuristic England, leading his friends on regular tirades of violence and mayhem.
The book can be difficult to get to grips with at first due to the slang that is heavily used, but don’t be tempted to let that put you off. If you have already seen the film, then you will have some understanding of what is going on. If not, then get yourself on google to find out what those words mean.
This seems like a lot of faffing about, but it is worth it to delve into the world and lifestyle that Alex inhabits.
4. Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Jules Verne
Jules Verne – it would be rude not to have him here! Having created so many fine works of literature, one of the all time classics has got to be Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
Most people will understand the plot from having watched films and/or TV adaptations of the highly acclaimed novel: A scientist has the theory that there are volcanic tubes leading down to the centre of the earth, he investigates this theory and is led, with his companions, into a prehistoric world.
However, like with all great works, it is best enjoyed in its original format. As one of the earliest forms of science fiction, any budding bibliophile would do well to have this on their book shelf!
3. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is an adaptation from a radio broadcast of a similar name. Adams managed to create a truly remarkable work of fiction that carried on with 4 more books, plus an extra text by Eoin Colfer.
The protagonist is Arthur Dent, one of the last remaining humans after Earth is destroyed, who becomes the focus of various alien characters, namely Trillian’s pet mice (really aliens in disguise) who want to investigate his brain to discover the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything, since it turns out that Earth was actually a huge computer pondering this very question.
This is a fantastic read and one that will have you hankering for the next book!
2. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
In a world where most people are infertile and only a few women are able to have babies, what happens?
According to Atwood’s tale, the children are forcibly removed and given to families in well-to-do positions within the Republic of Gilead, the fertile women are essentially treated as sex slaves to produce offspring and everyone else is categorised according to their status and abilities. It makes for a nightmare-ish place to live.
The novel has a lot of underlying themes to it, such as religious extremism, subjugation of women, false propaganda etc., that make it an incredibly thought-provoking read. Atwood at her finest, that’s for sure!
1. 1984 – George Orwell
If you’ve read the article 5 books you should read before you die, then you will probably have noticed that 1984 is on that list too.
It is also here because as well as being a truly exceptional work of literature, it is also one the greatest science fiction novels of our time. The reason for this is the way in which Orwell has managed to create a world that is not only so different, but in many ways is also so similar to our own.
It’s fantastical, yet realistic of where our future could lead us. It is a warning, pay heed…
Agree with my list? What would be on your top 5 Sci-Fi books?