Table of contents:
- 1. "Journey to the Center of the Earth" by Jules Verne
- 2. "Time Machine" by H.G. Wells
- 3. "Aelita", Alexey Tolstoy
- 4. "Head of Professor Dowell", Alexander Belyaev
- 5. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- 6. "I, Robot" Isaac Asimov
- 7. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
- 8. "Andromeda Nebula", Ivan Efremov
- 9. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
- 10. "The Land of Crimson Clouds", Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
- 11. "Solaris", Stanislav Lem
- 12. "Stranger in a foreign land" by Robert Heinlein
- 13. "Dune" by Frank Herbert
- 14. "Mind Exchange" by Robert Sheckley
- 15. "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" By Philip K. Dick
- 16. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur Clarke
- 17. Slaughterhouse Five: Children's Crusade by Kurt Vonnegut
- 18. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- 19. "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
- 20. "The Martian," Andy Weyer
2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 06:26
Talking head, time travel, alien threat and the answer to the main question of being - there are no restrictions in this genre.
1. "Journey to the Center of the Earth" by Jules Verne
Professor Liedenbrock and his nephew Axel find and decipher a mysterious manuscript. Its author is an alchemist who claims that there is a whole separate ecosystem in the center of the planet. In search of ancient dinosaurs and outlandish plants, the heroes go to the bowels of the Earth, not suspecting what they will find there.
Jules Verne is one of the founding fathers of the science fiction genre. Since childhood, he dreamed of travel, and when he grew up, he wrote books about them that have become classics. In his work, the author did not limit himself to wandering around existing places, but fantasized about those that could be outside of reality.
2. "Time Machine" by H. G. Wells
The hero of the novel travels to the distant future with the help of an ingenious design. From the 19th century, he finds himself in a world where progress could not overcome social problems, but only exacerbated them. Humanity was divided into two types - Morlocks and Eloi. Leaving the time machine unattended, the guest soon discovers that she is missing. This means that he is stuck here.
H. G. Wells was the first to write a book on time travel using complex mechanical devices. Thanks to this novel, a subgenre of "chrono-sci-fi" appeared, in which the hero has the technical ability to travel to the past or the future.
3. "Aelita", Alexey Tolstoy
Tolstoy wrote the novel Aelita 40 years before the first manned flight into space. His heroes went to Mars and found a civilized humanoid society there. But they are struck by the local dictator Tuskub's style of government and economic inequality.
Soon, earthlings become the cause of unrest on the red planet. The position of the main character is aggravated by the fact that Aelita, the daughter of Tuskub, falls in love with him against the will of her father.
4. "Head of Professor Dowell", Alexander Belyaev
Marie Laurent gets a job as an assistant to a successful Parisian surgeon named Kern. By chance, she reveals his secret: during the experiment, the doctor managed to revive the human head separately from the body.
The owner of the head, Professor Dowell, died under mysterious circumstances. Marie had known him in the past. She learns from him that the surgeon is actually a criminal doing terrible things, and decides that he must be stopped.
5. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
In the XXVI century, the culture of consumption has won the final victory. People no longer believe in anything other than the production of products and services, for which they live and work. Society is like an ant colony, where everyone has a role to play. Children no longer appear naturally. They are grown in incubators. Their role in society is predetermined in advance: some will be laborers, and some will be the elite.
The only person born to a mother is trying to change the system and instill in people the concepts of freedom and beauty. But they don't understand him. This is such a brave new world.
6. "I, Robot" Isaac Asimov
“I, a Robot” is nine stories-memories of the protagonist Susan Kelvin. She was born at the end of the 20th century, when another world war ended and active space exploration began. For this task, we have launched the mass production of robots with artificial intelligence. Susan discusses the interaction of smart but emotionless machines and humans with their complex moral dilemmas.
It was here that Asimov first published the three main laws of robotics:
- A robot cannot harm a person or, by its inaction, allow harm to be done to a person.
- A robot must obey all orders given by a human, except when these orders are contrary to the First Law.
- The robot must take care of its safety to the extent that it does not contradict the First or Second Laws.
7. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
According to Ray Bradbury, by the beginning of the 21st century, we should have already colonized Mars. In the chronicles, he collected works about the life of earthlings on his home planet, as well as there, far in space. Stories are not built into one universe, the surroundings change from story to story.
Either the red planet is completely inhabited by people, then the newcomers stumble upon the resistance of the aborigines, then something mysterious happens to the astronauts during the expedition. The author's humor and his peace-loving philosophy remain unchanged.
8. "Andromeda Nebula", Ivan Efremov
The novel describes an ideal future with perfect people. They are healthy, friendly, hard-working and educated. Regular space flights have ceased to be dreams, and peace and understanding reign on Earth. But even in such a spotless place, there are problems.
For example, there is a less pliable form of life on a neighboring planet. Efremov also described apathy in one of the main characters, symptoms reminiscent of depression or emotional burnout, when it was not yet customary to talk about them out loud.
9. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Scientists are conducting an experiment to increase intellectual abilities on a laboratory mouse. The result was successful and they rushed to apply the method to humans. Charlie, a dim-witted janitor, who happily agreed to a risky operation, gets to them.
Subject soon grows smarter. He quickly learns new knowledge and skills, and after a while he becomes smarter than those who set up this experiment. However, Charlie notices that something strange begins to happen to the mouse, and fears that he himself may repeat her fate.
10. "The Land of Crimson Clouds", Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Earthlings equip an expedition to the mysterious Venus. Previous attempts to land on it ended in failure. The crew is faced with a serious task: to test a new type of carrier, which should put an end to a series of failures. In addition, the bowels of Venus hide dangerous ore, samples of which must be delivered to Earth.
Fortunately, the flight is successful. The team touches the surface of the planet. But it’s too early to throw up our hands victoriously. Dangerous adventures are just beginning.
11. "Solaris", Stanislav Lem
Lem's mystery novel tells the story of a hero's life on a space station in the distant future. Psychologist Chris Kelvin joins the research crew on the planet Solaris. Quite quickly, he realizes that something is wrong.
One of the scientists, shortly before Chris's arrival, committed suicide, another is in voluntary confinement, and the third is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The reason for everything that happens lies in the mysterious Ocean of Solaris, which has the ability to create phantoms that drive people crazy.
12. "Stranger in a foreign land" by Robert Heinlein
Mike Smith is an orphan who was picked up and raised by the Martians as their own child. Having come to his native Earth for the first time, he does not feel at home. The hero does not like the rudeness and ignorance of people. Compared to the fragile and delicate inhabitants of Mars, they seem savage.
Despite the fact that Heinlein slightly exaggerated the roughness of future earthlings, much in the fantasy novel is shown accurately. Mike will now have to either come to terms with new circumstances, or try to change society. He chooses the latter.
13. "Dune" by Frank Herbert
This is the first novel in a series that introduces the reader to the complex world of The Chronicle of Dune. Humanity has long gone beyond its planet and now inhabits entire galaxies. But only the external decorations have changed. Inside, the people remained the same. They are torn apart by wars, they seek to gain power by any means and put resources above human life.
The story begins with the fact that two powerful families cannot share one planet. In the meantime, they are fighting among themselves, exhausted by thirst and drought, the population finds a new ruler, for whom they are ready to go anywhere, even if it means a civil war.
14. "Mind Exchange" by Robert Sheckley
In the future, it is not necessary to leave your home to find yourself on another planet. It is enough to move your mind into the body of another creature. But, of course, it's not that simple. Wanting to go on a journey, Marvin Flynn transplants consciousness into the body of a Martian. He, in turn, occupies the hero's torso.
Only after completing all the necessary procedures, Marvin realizes that he was deceived. The inhabitant of Mars is wanted on his home planet for fraud. And while the earthling is trying to figure out what to do, the intruder takes his body in an unknown direction.
15. "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" By Philip K. Dick
Another name for the novel is Blade Runner. Humanity finally destroyed the planet during another world war in the near future. Being on Earth is dangerous to health, and people went to space colonies. But there are those who stayed.
The migrants are given androids as assistants, which outwardly do not differ in any way from a living person. Some have such an advanced intelligence that they do not want to serve people. They kill their masters and flee to Earth to avoid punishment. And the task of the protagonist Rick Deckard is to figure them out and destroy them.
16. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur Clarke
Earthlings find a strange object that looks like a stone. It sends a strong impulse into space, and scientists manage to trace where it is directed. The signal has reached the planet Iapetus, and people are sending an expedition there. But its goals are reliably known only to the artificial intelligence built into the spacecraft. He is forbidden to tell this secret to the crew.
Members of the team, unaware of where and why they are actually flying, give the on-board computer instructions that contradict its mission. Very soon the machine gets bored with this confusion, and it begins to act against the interests of people, putting their lives in jeopardy.
17. Slaughterhouse Five: Children's Crusade by Kurt Vonnegut
Although the novel is considered autobiographical, to get to the point, you have to delve into the metaphors and get around the traps of the author. He mixed seemingly disparate genres - realism and science fiction. It all starts in Dresden during the Second World War. Soldier Billy Pilgrim is bombed.
He is later abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamador. They reveal the secret of time: it does not flow at all, events do not follow one after another. The novel is built on the same principle. Billy seems to travel in time: now he is running ahead, now he is somewhere in the past. And the main question remains, what is happening to him and how the war is connected with it.
18. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Arthur Dent lived in peace until someone needed to destroy his house for a new road. The approvals are ready, construction is about to begin, but the hero does not despair. Finding no better way to fight, he lies down on the ground. If the bulldozer goes, then only over his corpse.
And then more serious difficulties arise. It turns out that a similar fate awaits Arthur's entire home planet. She stands in the path of the galactic highway and is subject to demolition. Rescuing himself, Arthur and his alien friend flee from Earth. On the way, they will find out the answer to the main question of life and the Universe.
19. "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
The novel opens the yet unfinished cycle of the same name. It all starts with an attack on the solar system from the outside. The insect-like enemies of mankind, the beetles, almost destroyed the population of the planet. People have barely repelled two invasions, and the aggressors are preparing a third.
Andrew Wiggin named Ender is a genius child. From childhood he is trained to become a military commander. And he will lead an army that will finally defeat the beetles. In addition to difficulties during training, Ender also has to deal with family problems.
20. "The Martian," Andy Weyer
A sudden onset of a sandstorm causes an emergency evacuation of the team that landed on Mars. Retreating to the ship, they considered that their comrade had died, and flew away without him. But Mark is alive. Due to technical problems, he was left without means of communication and cannot send a message to Earth.
The next ship will arrive only in four years. The hero now needs to not only think about how to survive this long period, but also get to the place where the new mission will land.