Summer of Science Fiction

It’s embarrassing; I write science fiction but feel like a stranger to sci-fi classics. (By the way, I know not everyone likes the term “sci-fi”. That’s too bad.)

Later this week, I’ll leave for an out-of-state visit to see family. I’m expecting down time. (Down time! Imagine!) And I realized: What could be a better opportunity than a vacation to start three months of literary exploration?

From now until the end of August, I will read for the first time (all the way through) the following nine, well-known books.

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

Moving Mars by Greg Bear

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.

Ringworld by Larry Niven

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

I’m not sure which I’ll start with…it will depend on how much room is in my suitcase and on the selection at my sister’s library. However, I’m eager to read them all.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?


13 thoughts on “Summer of Science Fiction”

  1. While I’m a big fan of sci-fi, I haven’t read too many of the “classics” either. (I sort of feel guilty about it too). Of the ones on your list, I’ve only read 4, and of that only remember most of the story for 2 of them.

    The Forever War was awesome. It kinda set the standard for Military Sci-Fi (i.e. John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.) So if you like those books you’re going to love it. But it does take a kinda weird twist at the end. Oh, and the whole time spent traveling issue is super cool.

    I, Robot is really just a bunch of short stories that really make a fun history of robots. This is one you don’t have to commit to in order to get a lot of enjoyment from. Plus, you get to play around with the Laws of Robotics, and that’s just too good to pass up.

    I remember reading the Time Machine but I also remember liking War of the Worlds better. Still, considering how old the writing is, it’s incredibly impressive. So it’s worth reading because of that.

    451 is interesting, but wasn’t very engaging for me. But it has been a while since I read it.

    I’ve read some Philip K. Dick before (Man in the High Castle) and he’s just a strange guy to read. I don’t know how to put it.

    Well I’m done blabbing. It looks like your reading pile is going to be a lot of fun!

    1. Welcome to my blog! I’ve been curious about Dick’s stories for a while but haven’t read more than a passage or two. The work that inspired Blade Runner must be worth digging into, right?

      Thank you for your thoughts.

      1. Philip K. Dick is quite amazing — I’ve read 20 of his 32 or so novels and at least a hundred of his short stories. I highly recommend Man in a High Castle (of course), Martian Time-Slip (my personal favorite), Ubik (a classic), and just about anything else of his you can get your hands on….

        His worlds are insanely bizarre and unlike anything you’ve read — he’s an extraordinarily influential writers whose doing things QUITE early…

        1. Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep is the work that inspired Blade Runner — it’s very good as well…. and quite memorable.

  2. I was never much pushed on “I, Robot” and pretty much anything HG Wells makes me cringe, but looks like a great list otherwise. Ringworld, F451 and, in particular, The Forever War shouldn’t disappoint. Enjoy!

    1. One of these days, I’ll try reading Dune again. We weren’t right for each other when I was a teenager. Thanks for the well-wishes.

  3. While I would like to read at least four of the books on that list, I believe I only have Ringworld right now, and it’s buried in a box somewhere I’m pretty sure.

    The others I’m interested in are The Time Machine, I, Robot, and Fahrenheit 451. Possibly The Forever War as well since it’s gotten a lot of recommendations.

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Ringworld too.

    Good luck on your list and have fun with it! Have fun on your trip too!

    1. Thanks, Thomas! I get to hold my new nephew this week, which I’m loving.

      Some of the above books I’ll be checking out from my city’s library. I rarely buy a book without reading it first, because I don’t have the money or space for everything that looks interesting. Fortunately, the libraries in our region have a wonderful selection.

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