Here is a list of my top 20 favorite Sci-Fi books of ALL TIME (So far)
Nicholas Valentin Yermakov, born 1951, has quite a few impressive writing credits to his name, including Start Trek the Next Genration credits and a novelization series of the Friday the 13th franchise. he legally changed his name to Simon Hawke, and made that his pen name. He has also written near future adventure novels under the pen name “J. D. Masters”.
Check out his Timewars Series, any series of books with names like Cleopatra Crisis and Lilliput Legion have to be fun reads.
Roger Joseph Zelazny (May 13, 1937 – June 14, 1995) was a talented and prolific writer who is probably best known for his The Chronicles of Amber series. He was a master of World Mythology, using characters and myths from many cultures and times to weave his intricate stories.
Robert Edward Wilson, or better known as Robert Anton Wilson, born January 18, 1932, and died January 11, 2007 (aged 74), was an extraordinary intellect, and the writer of the cult series of books about the Illuminati, The Illuminatus! Trilogy (co-authored with Robert Shea.), Cosmic Trigger, The Schrodinger’s Cat Trilogy, The Historical Illuminatus Chronicles, and Masks of the Illuminati.
Wilson was an extremely educated man, whose expertise spanned several fields, such as Psychology, Philosophy, Futurist, Writing, and self-proclaimed “Agnostic Mystic” whose goal was to make people “Agnostic about Everything.”
In his books he pokes fun at every single conspiracy theory ever known to man, mainly by reinforcing them, compounding them with humor and unknowns, and then exploding them with farce and humor.
In his book he has an island called “Fernando Poo”, characters with names like Hagbard Celine and Mary Lou Cervix, and a man named “Ignotum Per Ignotius” (which is a phrase for a logical fallacy: “the unknown explained by the still more unknown”) . It deals with conspiracies known only as “Operation Mindfuck” and secret societies trying to “Immanentize the Eschaton” (which is a clever way of saying “bring about the end of the world”), he has famous historical people make guest appearances in his books such as the famous horror writer H.P. Lovecraft and the famous Occultist Aleister Crowley.
I am still reminded of a funny passage from the series, one character has been brought aboard a secret submarine known as the Leif Erickson, and is questioning if he can trust Hagbard Celine, and if this man does in fact have mystical powers such as ESP. The Character smokes a joint and ponders these dilemmas, and then hears Hagbards voice in his mind telling him to come to the bridge. He goes to the bridge, almost convinced this man does in fact have ESP and says “That was a pretty slick trick you did there putting your voice in my head”, Hagbard smiles and laughs, “Dude, I called you on the intercom. You’re just stoned.”
Pick up any or all of the series, you will have fun reading them, they will open your mind, make you feel like you took acid, have you wondering if you really do speak English, or if you actually are a brain in a jar somewhere being fed hallucinations.
Herbert George Wells, otherwise known as H.G., was a wonderfully prolific writer from the late 1800′s and early 1900′s (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) who is sometimes called “The Father of Science Fiction” and it is an apt title.
His work and ideas are globally known, and people of every Nation and every Language know his works such as “The War of the Worlds“, “The Time Machine“, “The Invisible Man“, “The Island of Dr. Moreau“, “The Food of the Gods and How it Came to Earth” and “In the Days of the Comet“.
He was a good visionary of mankind’s future, having accurately predicted Atomic Weapons (in his book “The World Set Free”) and the Internet (in his collection of essays titled “World Brain” in which he tackles the notion of a permanent world encyclopedia) and mechanized warfare in many of his works such as “The War in the Air”, but he wasn’t a good visionary for just having predicted these things, but in the light he portrayed them and with the hopeful future and kinder wisdom that he expressed that we could develop to wield these massive powers without destroying ourselves.
He had a difficult childhood, having been placed in several unhappy apprenticeships all the while pursuing a life in Academia that he eventually attained and became a Biologist. He often expressed socialist sentiment, having been a member of the Fabian Society.
Even though his works are world-famous, taking a stroll through his lesser known work is very rewarding, I highly recommend his short story “The Country of the Blind” in which an explorer tumbles into a hidden mountain village where a disease of the local environment robs newborns of sight. I also recommend “The Star” in which a star enters our solar system on a collision course, very interesting and reminiscent of the modern movie “Melancholia”, but one of my favorites of his short works is the story “The Land Ironclads” which can also be found in the audio-book collection The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories. His vision and excellent writing really shine through in that story.
Posted in Book Review, Wells | Tagged H.G. Wells, Herbert George Wells, In the Days of the Comet, The First Men in the Moon, The Invisible Man, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Shape of Things to Come, The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds | Leave a Comment »
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. born November 11, 1922
Indianapolis, Indiana and died April 11, 2007 (aged 84), was one of the most brilliant Science Fiction authors in history.
One of the most popular and successful of his works, Slaughterhouse-Five is widely considered one of the greatest American novels.
Vonnegut’s work is so insightful, humanist, and thought-provoking that he is probably the most read Sci-Fi Author outside of the genre, in fact he blends science fiction themes into his stories so effortlessly that it disappears into the story, and it can often be easy to forget you are reading Sci-Fi.
In his book Slaughterhouse-Five, one of the central characters Billy Pilgrim has become un-stuck in time and experiences and re-experiences pivotal moments in his life and the life of others. He experiences moments in the firebombing of Dresden (a somewhat autobiographical account of Vonnegut’s own experience as a POW in the Battle of the Bulge) and finds a relatively peaceful existence as a Zoo Exhibit on the Planet Tralfamador, where he is mated with a Porn Star, an event that all the Tralfamadorians routinely tune in to watch with great scientific interest. The book has a powerful anti-war theme, as would be expected from a Freethinker and Humanist. The theme of Time Shifting here foreshadows Vonnegut’s future work, the very excellent Timequake,
in which an unknown celestial event causes a ripple in space-time snapping everyone in the world (universe?) back in time ten years, but not their consciousness, so free will is temporarily revoked, and everyone must watch passively in horror as the universe replays itself, fully aware of the future they already knew, but trapped, unable to change the past, until they reach the moment of the original time-quake. The ten-year prison sentence affects people terribly, destroying their awareness of free-will to the point that when the universe snaps back into normal time it doesn’t make much difference, until the ever-present and un-affected character Kilgore Trout (who appears in many of Vonnegut’s novels and is an alternate persona of the author) re-awakens the world with his mantra ”You were sick, but now you are well again. And there’s work to be done.”
A mantra that works well in life even if their hasn’t been a celestial event.
I don’t know a single person who regretted reading a Vonnegut novel, pick up and read either slaughterhouse-Five, Cat’s Cradle, or Timequake, I can promise you won’t regret it.
Posted in Book Review, Vonnegut | Tagged Anti-War, Best Sci-Fi Writer, Book Reviews, books, Cat's Cradle, Freethinker, Freethought, Galapagos, HUmanist, Science Fiction, Slaughterhouse-five, Timequake | 2 Comments »
Jules Gabriel Verne, needs no introduction. Every comprehensive list of Greatest Sci-Fi Authors necessarily includes Verne.
His work was visionary, and many consider to be one of the foremost contenders for the title “Father of Science Fiction”. He is one of the top 5 most translated authors of all time, and almost everyone in the world knows his stories such as “Journey to the Center of the Earth“, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea“, “From the Earth to the Moon“. (All the previous links are to the FREE kindle editions)
Harry Norman Turtledove, born June 14, 1949, is a brilliant writer, who has done work in the genres of historical fiction, alternate histories, and Sci-Fi.
He is a Historian, and has a PhD in Byzantine history. He has been dubbed “The Master of Alternate History”, and has strong elements of Military Sci-Fi as well in many of his novels.
I personally found his series “WoldWar | Colonization” to be entertaining and fascinating. It takes a special kind of genius to do an alternate history universe where an Alien Invasion happens in the middle of World War II.
I highly recommend you pick up this series and read. If you are like me and are also a history buff, you would enjoy many of his other series, which include a series in which the Byzantine Empire rose to world dominance. Fascinating reading!!
Posted in Book Review, Turtledove, Uncategorized | Tagged Alien Invasion, Alternate History, Best Sci-Fi Writer, Book Reviews, Byzantine Empire, Colonization, Historian, PhD, Sci-Fi, Science Fiction, The Master of Alternate History, World War II, WorldWar | Leave a Comment »