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30
votes

Greatest Science Fiction Novels

These science fiction novels are the cream of the crop. They're revolutionary, epic, and superbly written. Which are the best?

Greatest Science Fiction Novels

1.

8
votes

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams


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2.

8
votes

2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clark

2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clark

1968 - A team of well-train astronauts sets off on a mission to Saturn after the discovery of black monolith on the moon. The mysterious artifacts sends off a signal to Saturn that could be the clue to the origin of human civilization. Aboard the ship, however, all is not well. The crew is guided by an mad AI, Hal 9000, who is programmed all-too-human. As Hal tries to murder crewmembers one-by-one, they fight back, ultimately arriving at their destination to discover the mysteries of the universe.

3.

7
votes

Dune - Frank Herbert

Dune - Frank Herbert

1965 - Dune is the epic struggle for control of Arrakis, a harsh desert planet home to monstrously over-size worms producing Spice, the galaxy's most precious natural resource. After his father's assassination, heir-to-the-throne Paul Atredies flees into the wilds of Arrakis to rally the bedouin-like natives against his mortal enemies, House Harkonnen. As Paul learns the ways of the worm-riding natives, he discovers new powers within himself and plots a revolt against the usurpers. Dune pairs a vividly realistic depiction of an alien planet ecology with a classic coming-of-age hero's journey.

4.

6
votes

1984 - George Orwell

1984 - George Orwell

1949 - 1984 is a the cautionary tale of a future totalitarian government run amok. The world is run by 3 states, each watching over and controlling its citizens like rats in a maze. Power is kept through constant surveillance and a never-ending barrage of propaganda. As Winston Smith, the story's protagonist, starts to question the situation, he discovers a lover of similar opinion. Together they decide to join a rebel group to fight for their freedom. 1984 is a classic for shining a light on the dangers of an all-powerful, all-seeing, information-controlling state.

5.

4
votes

Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein

Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein

1961 - Today is Valentine Micheal Smith's first step on Earth. He is the sole survivor of the first mission to Mars. He's also heir to a vast financial empire and de facto owner of Mars, but raised by Martians, he knows nothing of Earth customs. A fish out of water, Mike struggles to navigate the treachery of business and politics and outsiders aim to rob him of his inheritance. Taking sanctuary at the secluded estate of Doctor Jubal Harshaw, Mike comes to terms with the human condition.

6.

4
votes

Starship Troopers - Robert Heinlein

Starship Troopers - Robert Heinlein

1959 - Starship Troopers is the story of the Bug War through the eyes of a Juan Rico, a young, Federal Service cap trooper. When humanity goes to war with the Arachnids, an aggressive species of alien insectoids, Rico and his platoon of suit-powered troopers are on the front lines. The story is underpinned by Rico's first-hand experience of boot camp and flashbacks to his high-school moral philosophy class. More than a most science fiction novels, Starship Troopers layouts out the author's bold political philosophy, which reserves true appreciation of freedom for those who fight for it with their own hands.

7.

3
votes

Foundation - Isaac Asimov

Foundation - Isaac Asimov

1951 - Foundation is first in a trilogy of novels set in the distant future, in a society on the brink of a new Dark Age. Psychohistorian, Hari Seldon, scientifically predicts this grim future and sets about to prepare for the coming days. Seldon devises a plan to safeguard the knowledge of the human race by summoning the brightest minds in the galaxy to a remote world, which is to serve as a sanctuary from the tide of chaos. But, a power struggle between the foundation members and corrupt warlords soon threatens the survival of humanity's last glimmer of hope.

8.

3
votes

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

1985 - Aliens have attacked Earth twice. A third attack would spell destruction. Humanity's only hope lies is a group of highly-trained military tacticians raised to lead the entire human fleet into battle. Ender Wiggin is the best of the best. His life consists of endless drills and manoeuvres to prepare him for the final confrontation. Is Ender ready? He's smart, he's top-off his class, he's trained to out-think the enemy, but he's also a 12 year old boy. Follow Ender as he coops with the hardships of military training and the pain of being pried away from his family at the age of 6.

9.

3
votes

I, Robot - Isaac Asimov

I, Robot - Isaac Asimov

1950 - I, Robot is a collection of stories about the nature of robotics and the implications of robot servitude on society. Here Asimov sets up his three famous laws of robots: 1) A robot cannot injure human beings, 2) a robot must obey human beings as long as it doesn't lead to violation of law #1, and 3) a robot must protect itself as long as it doesn't lead to violation of law #1 and #2. The stories in this collection all deal with interesting edge cases that result from the three laws. Stories include robots gone crazy, robot politicians, robots with a sense of humor, and robots running society.

10.

2
votes

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

1954 - Fahrenheit 451 is the story of a mindless, book-burning society more interested in the fictional reality offered by the tube than experiencing the real world, or thinking for themselves. But, Guy Montag is having second thoughts. While his wife is busy with her fictional TV-family, Guy discovers beauty in his next-door neighbor's books. Soon an outlaw, Guy flees from the state to join a group of scholars who keep books in their head, preserving them for a more tolerate future society.

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