A good way to expand your mind and dive into the unknown can be simply achieved by reading a good book. Science fiction books are probably the best choice if you want to explore the outer and inner universe and even go on an unprecedented trip through time.
Here are some of the finest science fiction books that will take you on a colorful journey. I must warn you – they are so good that you will ask for more when you finish reading them!
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
Being one of the greatest science fiction books, the Ender’s Game is a tale of the humanity in peril from an outer force. It’s a story which sets an emotional bond with all the readers as they go deep into the unwinding theme of survival and anxiety of an outer threat. When all the great minds of the planet Earth plan to defend their way of life and all that is dear, the strategy for the defense is unlike anything you could imagine.
An academy for the world’s brightest and best is the training ground for the upcoming generals and admiral soldiers. An investment for a safer future. The future is hanging by a thread against an overwhelming alien force. The attack happened already and the losses were millions of souls. They withdrew from invasion after suffering losses too. Now everyone is expecting the attackers to regroup and return to complete a total annihilation of Earth. The hope for survival is in retaliation. The only chance to survive is to strike them back and destroy the invading forces before they come back to finish the job.
Leviathan Wakes (Expanse) – James S.A. Corey
George R.R. Martin had great fun reading this book and you shall have tons of fun enjoying it too. Being a sort of space opera, it mixes the best of the sci-fi genre. Constant edge of the seat action packed joy ride – as I would describe it. In the book, a story is intertwined between the main characters and it pushes from the perspective of multiple points of view. These characters are developed and grow in the reader’s eyes as each chapter progresses. An attachment of the readers is a natural consequence as you will want them to survive and solve the unfolding story till the very end.
Based in the not too distant future when the solar system has been colonized, humanity once again struggles to accept the differences they have by living in different parts of our small system. Earth is a status symbol for those that live in the outer asteroid belt and mine for resources. Proud Martian citizens are terraforming and building grand domes which are their home on the red planet. And a political premise is founded for starting a war. A war between Earth, Mars and the rebel army from the outer asteroid belt. With all of them involved and dependent on resources, violence in the serenity of space is highly undesirable and yet it is apparently inevitable.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick
A well-known classic made even more famous by the now cult movie Blade Runner. It is a thriller set in a gloomy future, where corporations of industrial complexes rule the world and beyond. Humans have augmented and accepted having androids among them whether as companions or as a working force. An anomaly on a distant mining colony called for our main character’s involvement to investigate and retrieve the renegade androids that committed murder. They set off for Earth and they must be found and eliminated. Our protagonist is Deckard, a “blade runner”. A fancy name for not such a fancy job – finding and eliminating rogue androids. On his quest for finding them, he will meet and encounter many thought-provoking concepts which will challenge both his and the reader’s mind to think what makes and defines one of being human. An excellent book that is not too much detached and unlikely to become a reality as our own society progresses in technology development of artificial intelligence and human augmentation.
The Martian – Andy Weir
As soon as I found out that Ridley Scott took on directing a sci-fi movie based on a bestseller, I found and read the book out of curiosity (pun intended). It’s a sci-fi epic about a Martian Robinson Crusoe. Based in the near future, humanity daringly sets out on exploring the red planet. Our stranded hero was enjoying his time with his crew until a storm hit and prevented him from evacuating with others. We follow him through the adventure and torment as he tries to survive the rescue mission to retrieve him. There is a small problem – they think he died in the accident. We follow his survival and ingenuity of salvaging whatever he can in order to last as long as he can until someone comes back and rescues him. Even though a sci-fi novel – the book is mostly accurate in the facts and almost everything portrayed in the case of being stuck on Mars and finding means of surviving. From the beginning, you will go through joy and despair and cheer for each small success of our modern Crusoe as he experiences with you the solitude of the red planet.
1984 – George Orwell
Don’t mind the numbers, the book is a sci-fi cult masterpiece and highly recommended. Think of it as a window through the past, the present and the future. Even now it is relevant with its thought-provoking themes. Our main characters are mere mortals with no superpowers or fancy gadgets. They are human being and as real as you and me. They live their lives through daily routine just as we do and yet their world is a bit different. It has been divided after a great war and the citizens are constantly being monitored and have to conform with the rules imposed by the ruling Party, a behemoth political organization that controls citizens through propaganda and the fear of a new war. We follow Winston who tries to survive and adapt in a Big brother type of society that strikes down upon those who do not like to play by the book. Similarities with today’s world are apparent as we had multiple scandals regarding monitoring private citizens and analyzing the collected data. It is even more impressive that this book was written in 1949. One of the best science fiction books and a must read legacy by a true visionary.
What other thought-provoking science fiction books have you read? We’d love to hear your thoughts!