The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress (1) by Robert A. Heinlein. With the help of an artificial superintelligence, a culturally anarchist society on the moon wages war for independence against the oppressive, statist earth nations. And the women in this story all have handguns in their pocketbooks. And I can’t forget Snow Crash (2) by Neal Stephenson. It’s an incredibly wild ride through the future’s second layer of reality, which is virtual – the metaverse. I think Snow Crash is engaging, very fast paced, and totally original. I can guarantee you’ve never seen a world like this one (unless you’ve read some of Stephenson’s other works). This is an absolute must read within the contemporary american sci-fi canon. Oh, and one more: Time Enough For Love (3) by Robert A. Heinlein. If you’ve dabbled in Heinlein, and if you’re already familiar with Lazarus Long, his ostensibly immortal favorite character who appears in like half of his books, this will be your favorite book of all time. Spanning many centuries, many worlds, and many great loves, it confronts probably every taboo that exists, every assumption that you have about humanity that exists, and challenges it, but, like, from the perspective of your sort-of-grumpy grandfather. The last page made me cry.
Dune (4) by Frank Herbert. It’s a classic a sci-fi book that’s practically perfect in every way. Dune was turned down by more than a dozen publishers because it was considered “too epic.” That’s really the only reason you need to start reading it.
I’m going to go with Iain M. Banks’ Player Of Games (5). I consider it a fantastic book, one of the few I can get through these days. Banks is fantastic at building characters that you care about even if you can’t directly relate to them and he’s a master at constructing plots that move thematically without you even noticing it’s happening. It’s a tight book that tells a story about the difference between barbarism and civilization and how one is sometimes hidden beneath the other.
Will think about books (leaning toward Neuromancer (6) by William Gibson or A Scanner Darkly (7) by Philip K. Dick), but for the time being here are some radio shows from the late 1940s that dabble in science fiction. Very, very creepy.
Check out some of the episode descriptions: “A computer gives wrong information when it feels upset.”
– Jim Goad
Marc says, “The Carpetmakers (8) by Andreas Eschbach.”
I’m going to say Larry Niven’s Ringworld (9) saga. I think it’s incredibly engaging. Some will disagree with me when I say the characters are likeable (because Louis can be a dickhead a lot of the times), but that’s why he’s so likeable, at least, to me. Niven gives Louis life that way. He’s not some one-dimensional character that gets happy, sad, and angry. Louis is aloof, a prick, selfish (sometimes), inquisitive, among other ridiculous things I can’t remember at the moment.