Top Ten SciFi Books and Why
Rather than giving a list of ten of my most favorite Science Fiction novels, I will comment on the similarities of seven in the genre with which I am familiar.
“Dune” by Frank Herbert
“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury
“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
“Nineteen Eighty Four” by George Orwell
“The Forever War” by Joe Haldeman
“Hyperion” by Dan Simmons
“Ring World” by Larry Niven
What I found of interest in the above seven books is their dystopian similarities. Oppression of human will under the weight of suffering is embedded in the story line of each along with the chronic degeneration of normalcy. I felt their fear in departing from the familiar. The emotion these books imparted to me is what made them special.
No matter how advanced the society in which these stories are anchored or how complex their plots, it is interesting to see how actions of their characters cause reactions beyond their control. As futuristic as these stories are, their characters fall victim to the same conundrums as characters in life-dramas past. It is the repetitiveness of the human condition that intrigues me.
These books all seem to speak to the impersonal nature of the universe that seems to spiral on with total disregard for human preference. In each case, the storm of consequences rushing over the characters is so overwhelming as to be suffocating. The sadness inherent in their detachment from what is happening to them moved me.
Present as an ominous backdrop to all of these stories is the dilemma of impermanence. Every idea, cause, person or thing once born, eventually withers and dies. All of these stories demonstrate, in one way or another, that there is no way out, no escape from life’s relentless momentum set in motion from the beginning.