I normally don’t like Scifi, especially because as a science graduate I hate being pigeonholed into being a Scifi geek and also because like fantasy it’s not a genre I find myself drawn to, despite attending at least 10 Sci fi conventions this year, I don’t even like Star wars.
However recently I found myself on a bit of a Scifi reading kick, and I found some books that are truly awesome, so without further ado here’s some great reading recommendations from me, alongside one definite don’t.
The Demolished man – Alfred Bester – Winner of the first Hugo award for science fiction, one of the most prestigous sci fi prizes. This follows a buisnessman who is trying to assassinate a rival, his only problem is that his world is populated with Espers (psychics). This feels very like Philip K dick (especially minority report) one of the 2 Sci fi authors I actually really like. This is a great read that poses a lot of questions about morality and ideas of guilt. For a novel that was written a long time ago, it is also still a entirely modern read, it feels appropriate for today.
Fantastic Voyage – A novelisation of a movie, which is normally odd but in this case it was written by Isaac Asimov, an author I have never read but one that we sell a lot of at cons. This really appealed to me as an idea because I am a biologist, the story of people being shrunk inside a submersible and going inside a body to heal someone from a life threatening blood clot. I really enjoyed this some of the science of the shrinking may be a bit dodgy, but again it has aged well mostly because most of the science is based on the human body, a subject that was as well understood at the time as it probably is now, although some biochemistry/surgical techniques have advanced. A really great read, some of the way the characters speak has aged but a fantastic read all the same.
The Martian – Andy Weir – The most modern of my recommendations and also probably the most scientifically accurate. In fact it reads a little like a popular science book with a plot. I love this novel but I think the heavy scientific content may make it only of interest to people with a scientific bent. This is another novel with a strong biological leaning as the main character is a botanist. I read this in 2 days, and found it truly gripping the Science for me made it more nail biting and believable and it discusses some serious moral questions, such as how far would you go to save one man. A remarkably well told and thrilling story this is going to be a classic in the years to come
And now for my definite don’t – The soft machine by William S burroughs – this is a random collection of gay sex anecdotes stringed together with a barely coherent plot at best, at times this novel is quite offensive – I have no problem with people of all races and sexes mixing and being together but this novel crossed several boundaries of good taste for me.
If you have any great sci fi recommendations let me know in the comments below