Science fiction is an adaptation of the author's view of nature and the author's view of the manmade world - what they are and what they might be. The author is intent to produce the most profound and gratifying ideas he can conjure using insight forged from a lifetime of interaction with ideas active in humanity's collective conscious. The author's view comes from all that civilization and culture has presented to him. So, science fiction is a vision derived from collective wisdom. When we apply concepts to his words and feel the author's intent, we experience an affirmation of the greatness of civilization and culture, an affirmation of both its present and future rewards. Science fiction expands the sense of wonder about what might someday be and what already is.
Below are brief descriptions for a few science fiction books that seem likely to present plausible scenarios for the future. A clickable link takes you to an online source for a downloadable version.
The Drowned World
Aurthor: J. G. Ballard
Publisher: Penguin Group Incorporated
First published: 1962
Pub. Date: 12/09/1976
Describes the earth in the middle of the twenty-first century when the temperature of the atmosphere has risen. Polar ice has melted flooding enormous areas of land. London is a swamp. Civilization has moved toward the poles. What has been abandoned has reverted to dinosaur-era-esque landscape. An expedition is sent out to survey the reminants of London. Three of the expedition members become overwhelmed by the psychological impact of their primal surroundings. The expedition heads back leaving the three behind to whatever fate awaits them.
The Beast That Shouted Love At The Heart Of The World
Aurthor: Harlan Ellison
Pub. Date: 01/01/1969
It is 2024. The Third War has destroyed civilization. The only remaining cities are deep underground, away from the radiation and savagery of the surface, where gangs known as Roverpaks forage and kill to survive. Vic is on his own in this desolated world, alone except for his sidekick Blood. Blood is an intelligent dog, a descendant from genetically enhanced lab animals. Depicts how brutal life is after a nuclear holocaust.
Make Room! Make Room!
Aurthor: Harry Harrison
Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Pub. Date: April 2008
$14.95 plus shipping at barnesandnoble.com
The year is 1999 and New York is in chaos from over population. 35 million people are struggling to find food, and to survive. The story of a policeman hunting a killer and his involvement with the victim's girl friend. Predicts what the future could be like if population continues its current rate of increase.
Brave New World
Aurthor: Aldous Huxley
Describes a future world in which social evils have largely been eliminated. The non satifying culture is made palitable by the pleasures of sex and psychotropic drugs. Genetic engineering produces individuals suited to various rolls in a world society operated by industrial principles. A couple of leading characters become dissatified and struggle to adopt a different mode of living.
Aurthor: Le Guin
Pub. Date: April 2002
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
File Size: 0.34 MB
$8 at Barnesandnoble.com
Takes place far in the future. A brillant physicist living in a anarchical society visits a world much different from his own and yearns for a way to transform both cultures. A character study and examination of what would make an ideal society.
The Gone-Away World
Title: The Gone-Away World
Aurthor: Nick Harkaway
ePub for Digital Editions Price: $25.95
PDF for Digital Editions Price: $15.95
Mobipocket Reader Price: $15.95
Microsoft Reader Price: $15.95
Set in the near future after our world has been distorted and degraded by war. Appealing characters, inventive, and intelligent.
Author: Neal Stephenson
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Describes our future society that has a group of monks who are dedicated to preserving forever the most important ideas. Once every ten years the monks come out of isolation and interact with society. Has humor, science, philosophical ideas and an adventurous plot.
Title: The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006 / Picador, 2006
Civilization has been severely degraded by the destruction caused by an intense nuclear war. A father and son travel south in hopes of reaching an area with a more survivable climate. Throughout their journey they witness a variety of extreme and barbaric acts used to survive by those left alive after the holocaust. A bleak but plausible account of what it might be like to survive a nuclear war or other such severe disruption of civilization.
Rainbows End : 0330451944
Title: Rainbows End
Author: Vernor Vinge
Date: May 2006
The near future when computer technology dominates everyday life, the government controls the flow of information, and you choose what reality you experience by selecting your preferences using computer-generated virtual reality technologies. The makers of the virtual reality programs are able to embed mind control features for their own purposes, manipulating the user, with only very subtle hints that anything is awry.
Thrivers In An Uncertain Future(kindle version), (nook version). Other formats available at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/122473.
Title: Thrivers In An Uncertain Future
Author: Alan Detwiler
The story of the near future when climate change has begun to have drastic effects on the lives of ordinary people. A pandemic further complicates the situation. The science of genetics has advanced somewhat beyond the present level and that enables another interesting development. It has some humor. Emphasis is on human character and what makes people admirable and endearing. It is the story of challenges that seem likely to present themselves in the near future and how mostly ordinary people meet those challenges.