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These Sci-Fi Books are So Good - You Have to Dive Into These Masterpieces At Least Once

Let’s travel to different futures.


These Sci-Fi Books are So Good - You Have to Dive Into These Masterpieces At Least Once

Opening these books is like entering a wormhole!


Some of these are from the 1960s. Others are from this century.


Regardless of the time they were published, one thing is for sure. These books will transport you into intergalactic and robotic adventures, all without leaving your bed.


Interestingly, many books discuss social and political issues. It is fascinating to see the realities of our world replicated in fictitious ones.


What are we waiting for? Let’s go through a short tour of each of these masterpieces.



These Sci-Fi Books are So Good - You Have to Dive Into These Masterpieces At Least Once

Surviving on Mars, an uphill struggle.


Andy Weir is a programmer and a novelist.


He originally published this novel in series format on his blog. It was later published in the form of a book.


“There aren’t many people who can say they’ve vandalized a three-billion-dollar spacecraft, but I’m one of them.”

This tells the story of an astronaut, Mark Watney who gets stranded on Mars.


The story is set in 2035 when NASA’s Ares 3 mission lands with plans to stay a month.

Due to a storm, the mission has to leave early.


“Astronauts are inherently insane. And really noble.”

During the evacuation, Watney is blown away and presumed dead. But he is not. Then begins Watney’s story of survival as he battles one obstacle after the other.


The novel will take you through many ups and downs. You will triumph with Watney on his successes, and you will be down on his failures.


Does Watney survive Mars? Read the book to find out.




These Sci-Fi Books are So Good - You Have to Dive Into These Masterpieces At Least Once

Emotions in a security bot!


The story of Murderbot is similar to the classic Iron Man movie, where he is made to kill.


The Murderbot Diaries is a sci-fi series. This series tells the story of a part human, part robot, security unit (SecUnit) droid.


“Pretending bad things aren’t happening is not a great survival strategy.”

The story is set in the future. Here interstellar travel through ‘wormhole technology’ is common. People live on planets that have been transformed for living.


Artificially intelligent entities perform various tasks.


“Ugh, emotions.”

The part human, part robot being, whose story we get to know, overrides its controller.

This way he gains independence and discovers himself. He hates emotions. Turns out he does have them though.


This SecUnit calls himself Murderbot as he is designed for combat.


This series has 7 books so far. Their titles are as follows:


  1. All Systems Red

  2. Artificial Condition

  3. Rogue Protocol

  4. Exit Strategy

  5. Network Effect

  6. Fugitive Telemetry

  7. System Collapse


“I was having an emotion, and I hate that.”

This sci-fi thriller is not only an adventure but also a journey of self-discovery. If you are uncomfortable with your emotions, you might even relate to Murderbot’s conundrum.




These Sci-Fi Books are So Good - You Have to Dive Into These Masterpieces At Least Once

Who are we, one or many?


The concept of multiverse fascinates me. It is one of the themes of the TV Series ‘Flash’.


I wonder, what would I be, in an alternate universe? Will I be a marine biologist like I have wanted? Or a veterinarian? I don’t mind being either.


“Death can be senseless, but life never is.”

This 2020 novel brings us the concept of multiverse in detail. Our protagonist, Cara is hired to transverse to parallel earths and gather data.


One can only travel to a parallel earth if his/her version in the destination earth is dead.


“Human beings are unknowable.”

Because of her travels, our protagonist comes to know of her own different versions and of the people she knows.


There is a discussion on the wealth gap. We see people divided between two areas, Wiley City and Ashtown. Wiley City is the upscale and well-to-do neighborhood whereas Ashtown is the slum. It is where Cara grew up.


“The multiverse isn’t just parallel universes accessible thorough science. They are in each of us, a kaleidoscope made of varying perceptions.”

With so many Earths and different versions of characters existing in the, the book can get confusing at times.




These Sci-Fi Books are So Good - You Have to Dive Into These Masterpieces At Least Once

A Superpower threatens all.


Arkady Martine tells us the story of Mahir Dzmare, an ambassador.


She is appointed to the Teixcalaanli Empire which occupies a significant portion of the universe. Meanwhile, Dzmare comes from a small and independent civilization called Lsel Station.


“This book is dedicated to anyone who has ever fallen in love with a culture that was devouring their own.”

Dzmare has to find the reason for the demise of her predecessor. Her job is to make sure that the Empire doesn’t annex Lsel.


The ambassador also has an ‘imago’ implanted in her skull, a technology that allows her to access the memories of her predecessor.


“Nothing touched by Empire stays clean.”

Dzmare has complicated feelings. She is fascinated by the culture of Teixcalaanlians which includes the citizens participating in poetry slams.


At the same time, she has to make sure her hometown stays safe from the Empire’s aggression.


This story explores the themes of colonization and cultural diversity among others.




These Sci-Fi Books are So Good - You Have to Dive Into These Masterpieces At Least Once

What if there was no gender?


This story is set in a fictional Hainish universe.


In this universe, humans have evolved on the planet Hain. People of Hain have occupied various planets. These planets include Terra (which is Earth) and Gethen.


“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.”

The planets have lost contact. There are efforts to connect different planets and establish a universal civilization.


Genly Ai is the protagonist who visits the planet Gethen (Winter) in order to convince them to join the Ekumen. (the galactic civilization)


He has to convince the government of two kingdoms that exist on it. That doesn’t go smoothly. And that is what the book is all about.


The twist is that the inhabitants of Gethen are androgynous. They are not male or female. They do develop sexual characteristics once in a lunar month when they can copulate.


Through the inhabitants of Gethen and their unique biology, the writer explores the themes of gender roles and their effect on society.


“A man wants his virility regarded. A woman wants her femininity appreciated, however indirect and subtle the indications of regard and appreciation. [Here] one is respected and judged only as a human being. It is an appalling experience.”

Interestingly enough, the child-rearing responsibilities are equally shared in Gethen. Something really difficult to achieve on our Earth.




These Sci-Fi Books are So Good - You Have to Dive Into These Masterpieces At Least Once

Economic power or military dominance, what’s more important?


This book was published in 1951. It is written by Isaac Asimov who was born in Russia and moved to America with his family as a child.


It was later expanded into the Foundation trilogy.


“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”

This story acquaints us with a brilliant Hari Sheldon. After predicting the fall of the Galactic Empire, he is exiled to the planet Terminus.


There, they work on preserving human knowledge under the ‘Foundation’ project.


“Dr. Seldon, you disturb the peace of the Emperor’s realm.”

Under threat, the Foundation works on creating trade relations with other planets. This makes them indispensable.


The story develops in an interesting way. We see political and trade relations, the overlap of religion, spies, mutinies, and much more.




These Sci-Fi Books are So Good - You Have to Dive Into These Masterpieces At Least Once

A battle over resources.


Rare and important minerals or natural elements found anywhere contribute to the importance of that region. They also have the capability of making that country or area rich.


Along with that, they contribute to political and geographical disputes because of their importance.


This is what happens in Dune.


“He who controls the spice controls the universe.”

In the distant future, there is a planet named ‘Arrakis’. It is the only one that can produce ‘spice’, a drug that extends life. This drug also enhances mental powers.


“Hope clouds observation.”

This story involves various conflicts over the planet. The Atreides seek to negotiate with the planet’s native Fremen people. The Fermen accept Paul, son of Duke Leto of House Atreides as a Messiah.


Their belief in him goes so far, that even Paul is unable to stop their ‘jihad’.


“When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way.”

The book discusses the themes of faith, politics, and the power of belief.




These Sci-Fi Books are So Good - You Have to Dive Into These Masterpieces At Least Once

In a society plagued by chaos, is religion the only hope?


This 1993 novel predicts the world in 2024.


The Earth is in a post-apocalyptic era. Climate change is at its peak. Society is disintegrating due to the financial divide.


“God is Change — Seed to tree, tree to forest; Rain to river, river to sea; Grubs to bees, bees to swarm. From one, many; from many, one; Forever uniting, growing, dissolving — forever Changing. The universe is God’s self-portrait.”

The author tells us the story of Lauren Oya Olamina, an African American teenager. She grows up inside a gated ‘community’.


Outside the community is chaos.


“Civilization is to groups what intelligence is to individuals.”

Lauren develops her private belief system, ‘God is Change’. After her community is attacked, Lauren sets off toward the North.


She gathers people and shares her religion ‘Earthseed’ with them.


To be honest, the ending of the novel sounds like the start of a cult to me. (Spoiler Alert!) Settling on a remote property… Hmmm… Wonder where I’ve heard it before!




These Sci-Fi Books are So Good - You Have to Dive Into These Masterpieces At Least Once

When lines between humans and nonhumans get blurred…


The earth is in ruins due to nuclear war. What happens next?


This science fiction novel explores one possibility.


“Mankind needs more empathy.”

Due to the radiation, most animals are endangered or extinct. Keeping a real animal is a status symbol. Poor people own robotic animals that look like real ones.


In this crossover of real and robotic, humans have set up colonies on other planets to escape the Earth. They have androids to serve them.


The Nexus-6 version of the androids is made of organic matter. It is very difficult to differentiate between humans and these androids. It can be done through a special test.


“Silence. It flashed from the woodwork and the walls; it smote him with an awful, total power, as if generated by a vast mill.”

To exterminate rogue androids, bounty hunters are hired.


The protagonist of this story is Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter for the San Francisco police department. The story traces his mixed feelings as he is hired to kill six androids of the new model that have escaped Mars.


We find these androids posing as humans. We also meet humans confused if they are androids or real humans.


Today, I learned of Elon’s Neuralink chip being implanted in a human for the first time.

There is no telling how far the technology will go. Perhaps the future will see us confused as well.




These Sci-Fi Books are So Good - You Have to Dive Into These Masterpieces At Least Once

Was our evolution affected by aliens?


Humans evolved from apes. They went on to create civilization and language.


And the future might see us making humans like us with the help of artificial intelligence.


“It was the mark of a barbarian to destroy something one could not understand.”

This story explores this theme and much more. It touches on subjects of human evolution, the role of technology, and the future of space travel.


In ancient times, man-apes were on the brink of extinction when a powerful monolith appeared, the story tells us. It granted them powers to build tools thus kickstarting evolution.


“Unlike the animals, who knew only the present, Man had acquired a past; and he was beginning to grope toward a future.”

In the future, a black monolith is seen on one of Saturn’s moons. A mission is set out to investigate.


While much goes on in between, the interaction again transforms the one who interacted with it. It does so in mysterious and supernatural ways.


This story will make you reflect on mankind’s past, present, and future.



 

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