Some time ago I found I found a sight called Sci-fi Lists which has the top 100 science fiction books of all time
. I decided to attempt to read everything on that list. I'm still working on it but the first 5 were easy as two of my favorite books were in that number.
What strikes me the most about the list is the variety of books. I suspect that in most genres if you gave a list of the top 100 you would find authors on the list more and being becoming similar.
For today I thought i would share the first five of these books and my opinions on them.
1. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
This book is sometimes by favorite and sometimes second favorite book but I'm still surprised that it is number 1. This is a book about a young boy being trained to be a general in a war against an alien race.
There has been some controversy surrounding this book. The Essay Ender and Hitler
and the essay "Creating the Innocent Killer
" both try to explain this. I suspect most of this simply exists because of the popularity of the book.
Don't let either of these scare you away from this book. It is a great deal of fun and one of the best science fiction books available.
by Frank Herbert
What is there to say about Dune. I have read dune twice, the second time to confirm what I found the first time. I don't like Frank Herbert's writing style. He creates a deeply detailed world and interesting story and I recommend this book to anyone who likes stories with a lot of detail.
Dune is the story of Paul Atreides, a son of a noble forced to move to the planet Dune which is inhospitable but the only place to get spice. The name Dune is approprate because the story really is about this one world.
3. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov is science fiction master and this is considered his best work. In this book Asimov discusses the technology of psycho-history. The ability to predict the way events with large groups will turn out. The creator of this science discovered the empire was going to collapse and so created two foundations that would shorten that collapse from 30,000 years to a thousand.
Fantastic book, Asimov eventually tried to connect this with his robot series. I never really liked that idea all that much but it does not harm the book any. In addition some of the books after the original trilogy are not as good, but reading this is well worth your time.
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams
Typically I am not enamored with science fiction humor. I'm not sure why, but Hitchhiker's guide is the exception to that. Along with Ender's game this vies for my favorite book. What is odd is that the two couldn't be less alike, and neither could the authors.
Beginning with the destruction of earth to make way for a bypass this is a satire about Arthur Dent who is the last human saved off earth, which is a computer designed to discover the ultimate question of life the universe and everything. (the answer has already been discovered and is 42). Because the earth was so close to discovering it, it is suspected he may know the question.
As a radio play, a TV series, a movie and a book this is always fun and always a bit different from previous incantations but any of them are worth seeing. Just don't judge the others by any version.
5. 1984 by George Orwell
It is fitting that a political work should appear in the top 5 of science fiction books as it is one of the things that science fiction does well is illuminate things that we are often too close to see.
I read this in high school. My teacher had a list of genres and you had to read at least one book from each. I managed to fit science fiction and fantasy stories into 4 of the 5 categories. This was my classic and it is.
This book is often used as a metaphor, most commonly used as big brother, but what strikes me is how similar spam is to the books in this book which were created by computers.
In many ways these books couldn't be less like each other, and neither could the authors. From Mormons to athiests and trageties to comedies the science fiction genre is not one that lacks in tradition or personality. i would recommend any of these books to anyone whethere they think they like science ficiton or not.