You know, science fiction doesn’t necessarily have to focus on science. Below, we have 8 of the best science fiction novels that barely touch on the science behind the hows it all happened and mostly focus on the things that matter; like people.
So, if you’re a writer and you’re finding yourself going down the rabbit hole of the hows, try and think as much about the whos and whys. Most people can’t relate to a spaceship or a scientific process, but you’ll certainly get great understanding when your character is struggling to survive on an alien planet or fighting a monster of his own creation.
Frank Herbert’s epic science fiction story remains one of my most beloved novels. Sure it takes place on an alien world, but it is rooted in all things human. Love, war, hate and revenge are just some of the powerful emotions this novel touches on.
2. Flowers for Algernon
What does it mean to lift the veil of ignorance? What would be the impact on the person and the people who are both friend and foe of the newly enlightened? These are just a few questions this book tackles and addresses beautifully. This is the book that actually drew me to science fiction in the first place. Flowers for Algernon is for me, the book that opened my mind to possibility that how I see the world may not be how others see it. Great read.
3. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Science fiction can be hilarious, and Douglas Adams proves this with, The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But, don’t write off the power of comedy either, as Mr. Adams gives us the image of a universe where Earth is not at the center.
Neuromancer is a glimpse into the future. You want to surf the web? How about literally plugging in and surfing the network with your brain. Neuromancer had everything from cyborgs to full realized techno-terrorist. A high pace struggle to exist in a world where knowledge is a huge commodity and those that threaten to free it, is one of the greatest threats.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “Orwellian”, well this is the book that started it all! Brilliant social observations fill this novel. Mr. Orwell depicts the power of words with frightening results. If you can corrupt the power the words, you can corrupt the mind of those that understand them.
What is life? If you create it, does that make you God? Just how responsible are you for the life you’ve created? If you creation is evil, what does that make the creator? These are all questions touched upon in this great novel that’s often listed under horror, but is filled with scientific concepts (thus making it science fiction for me!).
7. World War Z
Another sci-fi book marked as horror, World War Z is mostly a discussion about how humanity survived an outbreak of the undead. Popularized by the film, World War Z actually bears little resemblance to the movie. But, don’t discount this novel. It’s an interesting take on storytelling, giving us a report’s viewpoint of trying to piece together just how humanity succeed in surviving an almost elemental enemy.
8. The Forever War