Best Science Fiction Novels

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These literary works try to extrapolate the future impact of technology through fascinating narratives. The difference compared to other genres, such as fantasy and horror, is the scientific and technological plausibility. How many have you read The best science fiction novels?
science fiction novels
  The science fiction is a future contemporary literary genre exploring possible worlds, and is distinguished from other speculative genres like fantasy and terror, by the scientific and technological plausibility.  The genre formally emerged in the West, where the social transformations brought about by the Industrial Revolution for the first time led writers and intellectuals to extrapolate the future impact of technology . At the beginning of the 20th century, a series of standard science fiction ‘sets’, also called subgenres, had already been developed around certain themes: space travel, robots , extraterrestrial beings, time travel … Common sci-fi storylines typically feature human behaviors stemming from the process of technosocial change, and include prophetic warnings, utopian aspirations, elaborate scenarios for wholly imaginary worlds, titanic disasters, bizarre travels, and political upheaval of many extreme tastes. HG Wells, CS Lewis, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov , James Tiptree, Jr., Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Arnold, Stanisław Lem or Carl Sagan are some of the most representative authors of this genre. Some of the works that we collect in this gallery have inspired successful and splendid film adaptations, which are new works of art in themselves due to the mastery of the language of the big screen; and most of them, in turn, have made a deep impression on popular culture.
'1984', George Orwell (1949)

‘1984’, George Orwell (1949)

1984 is a novel by the English author George Orwell published in 1949 as a message against totalitarianism. The chilling dystopia made a deep impression on readers , and its ideas were incorporated into mainstream culture in a way that very few books did. The book’s title and many of its concepts, such as Big Brother and the Thought Police, are instantly recognized and understood, often synonymous with modern political and social abuses. Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning after years of brooding over the twin threats of Nazism and Stalinism. His description of a state where daring to think differently is rewarded with torture, where people are monitored every second of the day, and where party propaganda trumps freedom of expression and thought is a sobering reminder of the evils of unaccountable governments. Winston is the symbol of the values ​​of civilized life, and his defeat is a poignant reminder of the vulnerability of such values ​​in the midst of almighty states.
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley (1932)

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley (1932)

Brave New World was written between World War I and World War II, the height of an era of technological optimism in the West. Huxley picked up on that optimism and created the dystopian world of his novel to criticize it. Much of the anxiety that drives Brave New World is due to a widespread belief in technology as a futuristic remedy for the problems caused by disease and war . Unlike his fellow citizens, Huxley felt that such confidence was naive and decided to challenge these ideas by imagining them taken to the extreme.
'The Time Machine', HG Wells (1895)
‘The Time Machine’, HG Wells (1895) It is considered one of the first works of science fiction and the pioneer of the subgenre of travel in time. The novel is a fable , as well as a scientific parable, in which the two societies of Wells’s own period (the upper classes and the working classes) are reformulated as equally ‘degenerate’ beings. ‘Degeneration’ is evolution in reverse: Wells represents a world in which human struggle is doomed. 
'Fahrenheit 451', Ray Bradbury (1953)

‘Fahrenheit 451’, Ray Bradbury (1953)

This dystopian novel is considered perhaps the most important work of American author Ray Bradbury and has been praised for his stance against censorship and his defense of literature as necessary both for the humanity of individuals and for civilization. The story takes place in an unspecified city in the distant future. The protagonist, Guy Montag, is a firefighter whose job it is to set fire to houses in which books have been discovered .
'The War of the Worlds', HG Wells (1897)

‘The War of the Worlds’, HG Wells (1897)

The novel details a catastrophic conflict between humans and extraterrestrial ‘ Martians ‘. It is considered a historical work of science fiction and has inspired numerous adaptations and imitations. Questions of order and hierarchy are at the center of The War of the Worlds. When Martians first land in England, they are not perceived as a threat. Most men and women, in the suburbs of London and the city, continue to go about their business. Even after the Martians kill multiple people, daily life is not significantly disturbed. In the face of imminent attack, the English people cling to established regimes and existing social structures.
'Contact', Carl Sagan (1985)
‘Contact’, Carl Sagan (1985) Sagan , an astronomer who was linked to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, became one of the most famous popularizers of the 20th century. The hit novel Contact , which was adapted for the screen a year after Sagan’s death in 1996, was Sagan’s best-known foray into fiction, bringing scientific principles to mainstream entertainment. The main character, astronomer Ellie Arroway, detects a signal from a nearby star, a repeating sequence of the first 261 prime numbers, which she deduces could only be sent from an intelligent civilization.
2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke

2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke

This novel inspired the script for the 1968 Stanley Kubrik-directed film masterpiece, considered one of the greatest works of film in history. The novel ran in parallel to the film version, and both were based on Clarke’s 1948 short story  The Sentinel , which deals with the discovery of an artifact on the Moon left there by ancient aliens .
'Ring World', Larry Niven (1970)

‘Ring World’, Larry Niven (1970)

This series of novels proposes an alternative universe , an artificial world with a surface area three million times larger than that of Earth. This universe would have been built in the shape of a ring by beings called Pak, and it is inhabited by a number of different species of evolved hominids.
'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?', Philip K. Dick (1968)

‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’, Philip K. Dick (1968)

Adapted for the cinema as the celebrated film Blade Runner  (1982), the illusion centers on artificial creatures dealing with what is authentic in a dystopian future.
'I, robot', Isaac Asimov (1940–1959)

‘I, robot’, Isaac Asimov (1940–1959)

This is a collection of nine short stories by science fiction writer Isaac Asimov who imagines the development of ‘positronic’ (human-like, with a form of artificial intelligence) robots and wrestles with the moral implications of technology. The stories originally appeared in science fiction magazines between 1940 and 1950, the year they were first published together in book form. Asimov’s treatment of robots as ethically programmed rather than marauding metal monsters was highly influential in the development of science fiction.
'Journey to the Center of the Earth', Jules Verne

‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’, Jules Verne

It is the second book in his popular Voyages Extraordinaires series (1863-1910), which contains novels that combine scientific fact with adventure fiction and laid the foundation for science fiction. Axel Lidenbrock, the teenage storyteller, lives in Hamburg, Germany, with his uncle, Professor Otto Lidenbrock, an impetuous and determined geology professor. Verne’s story , set in May 1863, begins when the latter rushes home to show Axel his latest acquisition: a runic manuscript by renowned Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson.
'Foundation', Isaac Asimov (1951–1953)

‘Foundation’, Isaac Asimov (1951–1953)

The famous trilogy is one of his earliest and best-known works, which began when he was only 21 years old. It helped redefine the science fiction genre with its perfect blend of science fact with fiction . Foundation is established in the future, when the world is barely remembered and humans have colonized the galaxy.
'Slaughterhouse Five', Kurt Vonnegut (1969)

‘Slaughterhouse Five’, Kurt Vonnegut (1969)

This is a peculiarly structured (non-linear) pacifist novel that combines science fiction with historical facts, in particular Vonnegut’s own experience as a prisoner of war in Dresden, Germany, during the Allied bombing of that city in early 1945. The novel is considered a modern classic. ‘Neuromancer’, William Gibson (1984) This work inaugurated the cyberpunk  movement  within the science fiction literary genre, and is a reflection on a computer-driven dystopia. Neuromancer tells the story of its protagonist, Case, an unemployed hacker who is hired by a mysterious new employer named Armitage.
'A Clockwork Orange', Anthony Burgess (1962)

‘A Clockwork Orange’, Anthony Burgess (1962)

Set in sad dystopian England, it is the first-person account of a juvenile delinquent who undergoes state-sponsored psychological rehabilitation for his aberrant behavior. The novel satirizes extreme political systems that are based on opposing models of humanity’s perfectibility or incorrigibility. Written in a futuristic slang vocabulary invented by Burgess, partly by adaptation of Russian words, it was his most original and best-known work. ‘Ubik’, Philip K. Dick (1969) This science fiction novel, published in 1969, deals with the  multiverse : a variety of realities, each within another; and reflects on philosophical concepts such as life after death.
'Soy leyenda', Richard Matheson (1954)

‘I am a legend’, Richard Matheson (1954)

This is the story of the last man left in a world populated by a kind of vampire monsters . The work was later adapted for several successful films. This theme had already been explored by the author: his debut as a professional writer was the terro story  Nacido de hombre y mujer  (1950), which deals with a mutant child born to normal parents. The behavior of the boy’s parents, however, leads readers to wonder if the latter were not, in fact, the real monsters. ‘The Left Hand of Darkness’, Ursula K. Le Guin (1969) The book, set on an icy planet called Gethen, or Winter, is a vehicle for Le Guin’s Taoist view of the complementary nature of all relationships. Gethen is inhabited by a race of androgynous humans who can change sex roles during periods of monthly heat, so at different times any individual can be a mother or father. The plot is interspersed with anthropological commentary on the Ghettons, as well as excerpts from their own folklore and philosophy, and follows the exploits of Genly Ai, the first ambassador to Gethen of the Ekumen (the league of known worlds), who with the help of Estraven, a sympathetic Gethenian, attempts to bring the peoples of Gethen to the Ekumen. ‘Portico’, Frederik Pohl (1977) It is the first part of a tetralogy about some mysterious extraterrestrial beings: the heechee. Explore the exploitation, by humans, of an alien technology found within an abandoned space base within an asteroid . ‘Red Mars’, Kim Stanley Robinson (1992) This is the first part of the Mars trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars) that chronicles the settlement and terraforming of the planet Mars through the points of view of a wide variety of characters, spanning nearly two centuries. Meanwhile, the Earth suffers from overpopulation and ecological disasters. ‘Dune’, Frank Herbert (1965) It is the first part of a successful dystopian trilogy. The story begins 10,000 years in the future, in our own galaxy , in a great galactic empire of feudal structure. ‘The Sirens of Titan’, by Kurt Vonnegut (1959) In this novel, Vonnegut envisioned a scenario in which the entire history of the human race is viewed as an accident in the search on an alien planet for a spare part for a spaceship. ‘Snow Crash’, Neal Stephenson (1992) The novel is about a future globalized society that has abandoned conventional land-based government and reformed along the lines of electronic cults . ‘Solaris’, Stanislaw Lem (1961) Solaris is a deeply philosophical work on contact with a completely alien intelligence : a sentient ocean that surrounds planets. The novel was adapted to the cinema in two films, from 1972 and 2002.
'El cuento de la criada', Margaret Atwood (1985)

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, Margaret Atwood (1985)

The book, set in New England in the near future, posits a Christian fundamentalist theocratic regime in the former United States that emerged in response to a fertility crisis. All women are assigned to various classes: the chaste childless wives of the commanders; the housekeeper Marthas; and the reproductive servants, who deliver their descendants to wives and are called by the names of their assigned commanders. It was adapted to the cinema and also in the format of a television series, with a very good reception.
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