Category Archives: List

29 Best Transhuman Science Fiction Books

transhuman

Transhumanism is the idea of using technology to (hopefully) improve the human condition. This can run the gamut from contact lenses to grafting brain implants into fetuses. Think cyborgs.

Books often delve into the question of where the line of human and non-human is, and what is means to be human. Since we don’t really know what it means to be human now (if indeed it means anything), that question gets complicated quickly. Throw in a few rogue AIs and a couple of competing species of runaway nanotechnology, and you’ve got yourself a story.

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31 Best Literary Science Fiction Books

You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack

From the book You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack by Tom Gauld

Literary science fiction is simply science fiction that’s better-written, has more realistic characters, and is more ambitious in exploring deep ideas than other books. Instead of just exploding spaceships and smart-mouthed robots, they can contain wrenching emotions that look at what it actually means to be human.

Its polar opposite would be something pulpy like Amish Vampires in Space.

Fortunately, there’s room for both brilliant, tortured writers and Amish Dracula in science fiction.

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23 Best Alternate History Books

Possible Earths

Possible Earths

Since the present time is just the wildly unlikely result of several trillion coincidences, it makes sense that humans would occasionally wonder what would happen if one or two events concluded differently.

Most alternate history stories are some variation of “What if Hitler had won the Civil War, and was a dinosaur?” but there are some great, well, alternatives, in the list below.

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21 Best Mars Science Fiction Books

mars

Even though Venus is the most Earth-like planet (despite it being hot enough to melt lead), Mars feels like a better neighbor. Venus is completely shrouded with khaki clouds, pale and unapproachable. In comparison, Mars is positively flirty, with its lusty red color and come-hither promise of terraforming.

It’s easier to imagine life on Mars than anywhere else, and many of the books below do exactly that.

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31 Best Soft Science Fiction Books

Soft Science Fiction

Soft science fiction tends to focus more on people and relationships than on technical details; more on humanity than technology (even though there’s usually some cool technology).

Science fiction author Poul Anderson, in Ideas for SF Writers, described H. G. Wells as the model for soft science fiction: “He concentrated on the characters, their emotions and interactions” rather than any of the science or technology behind, for example, invisible men or time machines.

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17 Best Pulp Science Fiction Books

pulp

Pulp science fiction does not try to be literature. Pulp’s lurid and ridiculous plots usually involve buxom damsels rescued by square-jawed, ray gun-toting heroes as they battle brutish monsters and spout god-awful dialogue.

You can spot pulp books by their colorful covers, often sporting women with their clothes mostly, but not completely, torn off by monstrous aliens.

One of the guiltier of guilty pleasures, pulp is great when you want action and adventure but have no patience for niceties like character development or accurate physics.

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