Reprise – Science Fiction Book Lists

Have you earned your science fiction chops? Everyone needs the classical underpinnings of a good sci-fi reading background. It should include at least the following, although some of these authors have many more titles:
Robert Heinlein
·         Strangers in a Strange Land
·         Starship Troopers
·         The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
·         Time Enough for Love
Arthur C. Clarke
·         Childhood’s End
·         2001: A Space Odyssey
·         The Fountains of Paradise
·         The Light of Other Days
·         3001: The Final Odyssey
Ray Bradbury
·         Fahrenheit 451
·         Something Wicked This Way Comes
·         The Martian Chronicles
·         The Illustrated Man
·         The October Country
·         Death is a Lonely Business
Isaac Asimov
·         Foundation Books (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation
·         I Robot
·         The End of Eternity
·         The Robots of Dawn
Kurt Vonnegut
·         Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel
·         Cat’s Cradle: A Novel
·         Mother Night: A Novel
·         Breakfast of Champions: A Novel
·         The Sirens of Titan: A Novel
Douglas Adams
·         The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
·         Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
·         The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul
·         The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time
·         The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
·         Life, the Universe, and Everything
·         Mostly Harmless
·         So Long and Thanks for all the Fish
Frank Herbert
·         Dune
·         Dune Messiah
·         The Dosadi Experiment
·         Destination Void
·         Children of Dune
·         God Emperor of Dune
·         Heretics of Dune
·         Chapterhouse Dune
Aldous Huxley
·         Brave New World
·         The Doors of Perception: Heaven and Hell
·         Eyeless in Gaza: A Novel
George Orwell
·         1984
·         Animal Farm (not really sci-fi, more political allegory)
You could then branch into fantasy like Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” books (I think there are 12 so far, Harry Potter sort of fits in here also. Perhaps the Carlos Castenades “Don Juan” books, the “Star Wars” books, and the “Star Trek” books might also make the list.
These books help define where our future will go. Do books predict the future or create the future? It doesn’t matter. If you have a great sci-fi background you will be there. These books are mind-expanding, like algebra. OK, maybe you don’t like algebra, but algebra is brain training. It sets up certain pathways in your brain that you might not develop from any other discipline (although geometry also helps, and physics). In terms of helping with logical thinking I don’t think there is a more powerful tool than mathematics.
If you don’t read these books you will also fall behind the cultural curve. Certain allusions will elude you. Who are the Aes Sedai? What is a space elevator? Who is Trillium? What are suspensor chairs? It will just go on and on, the number of potentially important things you will not know.
Here is the rest of my sci-fi “hits” list.
Carlos Castenades – becoming a “warrior”
·         The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
·         A Separate Reality:  Further Conversations with Don Juan
·         Journey to Ixtlan:  The Lessons of Don Juan
·         Tales of Power
·         Second Ring of Power
·         The Eagle’s Gift
·         The Fire from Within
·         The Power of Silence:  Further Lessons of Don Juan
·         The Art of Dreaming
Kim Stanley Robinson
·         Red Mars
·         Green Mars
·         Blue Mars
J. K. Rowling
·         Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
·         The Chamber of Secrets
·         The Prisoner of Azkaban
·         The Goblet of Fire
·         The Order of the Phoenix
·         The Half Blood Prince
·         The Deathly Hallows
Margaret L’Engle
·         A Wrinkle in Time
·         A Wind in the Door
·         Many Waters
·         A Swiftly Tilting Plane

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