recent earth based science fiction books
long earth series (2012 – ) by terry pratchett and stephen baxter
the long earth (2012) is the first book in what will be a 5 part series. its a great start to a very interesting idea about alternative earths but not in the way you expect. the collaborating authors have obviously taken the idea and developed it in directions that we can only guess at. the long earth goes in a direction and speed that is surprising.
the long war (2013) or the long bore? we dont know the steps that the co authors pratchett and baxter are taking the long earth series but was this the long war or just the start of it? the book seems to be setting up the rest of the series unless the subtlity of a war in the long earth universe completely stepped my by. perhaps it was a long feint that make the readers have a long feint?
the basic science fiction ideas and worlds are so good that the rest of the books have to be great.
lexicon (2013) by max barry
good book, does not really involved technology but a clever idea about the power of words. the plot is nicely constructed. there are a couple of disappointments, one which a main character also states, the other is perhaps the author could have done more with the power the people have. minor grumbles for what is an interesting and alternative idea for a book.
perhaps a little inspired by neal stephensons snow crash book. if you like the lexicon story then you may also like to watch the rather good and intriguing pontypool movie – a tony burgess low budget film that explores a variation of this idea but was made in 2008 based on his book pontypool changes everything
reamde (2011) by neal stephenson
completely ludicrous and amazingly over long (1000+ pages of small print!). its a sort of sci fi book based in the very near future involving gaming, terrorists and stuff. but if you like clive cussler style improbable stories then this is for you. thats just my opinion of course, as many people love it. the only printed book i had to buy the kindle version of so i could physically read it and wished i had not, but as i managed to get it as a USA version for only $0.99 that helped me endure the pain. the best and cleverest thing about it is the title.
for the win (2010) by cory doctorow
internet gaming based sci fi book set in the very near future. if mmorpg, gold farming, economics and workers rights interest you then this book is very likely to suit you. if not then avoid as it is written for a specific interest group.
older sci fi books
snow crash (1992) by neal stephenson
amazing as published in 1992! and all about the internet, virtual reality and some other mind blowing ideas and stuff. plug yourself in and enjoy the crash.
ubik (1969) by philip k dick
old but awesome, a must read into the sci fi world and mind of this amazing author. for those who have read most of his work there is also the very cheap philip k dick megapack: 15 short science fiction stories which has rarer earlier sci fi stories of his mostly published in those pulp magazines.
otherland (1996 – 2001) by tad williams
otherland: city of golden shadow was the first of the otherland book series and it was superb for its time, but although a good story, might have lost its stunningness due to technology catching it up and films perhaps inspired by it.
queen of angels (1990) by greg bear
if you like hard core sci fi technology and ideas then greg bears books are for you. published in 1990 it combines future tech, society, virtual reality, human psychology, madness, murder, detective story and more.
childhood’s end (1953) by arthur c clarke
stunning. no one forgets this book, just see the face of someone when you mention it. a science fiction must read. just buy it and read it without looking at any reviews.
flowers for algernon (1966) by daniel keyes
a short novel. DO NOT read any review about this book or the back of it otherwise the book is no surprise. just read and enjoy the short story.
the ganymede takeover (1967) by philip k dick and ray nelson
philip k dick writing on lsd with another author who must have been along for the trip, and what a sci fi aliens invading earth trip it is. you will never guess the plot and its action and reality philosophy all the way.
close encounters of the third kind (1977) by steven spielberg
the book of the stunning movie by steven spielberg. follows the film very closely and gives you a few extras that they didnt or couldnt put in the film at that time. nice and easy to read. if you have seen the film then you have read the book.
dhalgren (1974) by samuel r delany
one fucked up sci fi book. lots of controversy, discussion and puzzlement in regards to what this book is about. it seems fairly obvious with a few mysteries left though or not explained. the book is very long and wandering. one of those books that you read once and never again or not for 30 years. a bit like a homosexual 2001: a space odyssey. if it was half the length then it may have elevated it into a great novel but you want it to get to that ending …
obviously tell everyone, especially good mates, that it is the greatest book ever and must be on their book bucket list, as there is a good chance they may like it or have a right go at you.
the earth war (1963) by mack reynolds
retro sci fi story with a retro war idea but future thinking about society and the control of humans.
short sci fi book that you can not get bored with as its wham, bam thank you mam.
click for a more detailed the earth war book review.
chessboard planet (1946) by lewis padgett
boom! 1946! omg. buy. read. marvel.
click for a slightly more detailed review of the chessboard planet book. 1946!