The author's subsequent depression led to a trip to Montana, where communing with open spaces renewed her spirit and restored her equilibrium. Dog lovers will enjoy this tale and share Shanley's passion for her dogs. View Full Version of PW. Buy this book. Zeebra Books. Show other formats. When You Look At Me. When you look at me, what do you see?
I'm a girl who's full of Humanity. I'm someone who fights for what's right, And does no harm so I can sleep at night. Do you see who I am? Do you really see,. Pain To End All Pain. My heart yearns for a love unchanging. Aches from a fear unfading. I wake and fail before day ever begins. Begging for an end to all the pain I feel. Engulfed in a searing dryness from those meant to help me. Status: Now Hating Candy. Let me tell you of the week I grew up. No, not physically but mentally and emotionally. The physical age does not matter; what matters is that the week before I loved candy. Elegy for Myself.
Ode to the girl that died insideOf meMy best friend tells me to conjureUp her dead soul and shake handsWith herBut it would be like misery isshaking hands with sunshine and flowersHow oddOdd,. The pain he leaves you with is not your identity. I'm Just Kidding. Dear Friendship,. Dear Friendship, Why do you make me so happy? Why do you make me so confused? Why do you make me feel lost? Why so happy? Why so sad? Why so angry? Dear Love,.
One Day One day One day you wake up; You open your eyes. Everything blurs; Everything turns black and white. Ash surrounds your senses; All you feel is numb, Numb pain,. It was always happy endings, But this one seemed so different Knowing that you wouldn't be here anymore I never thought I could stomach the pain Hurting days and nights. My mother taught me valuable things. She taught me to treat everyone as equals whether they clean the toilets or sit in a shiny new office on the top floor. You Are Gone.
Leaving Her. Grace be that flower and how she glistens. Your eyes sift along and you don't see truth, It's not about the grace but who listens. She will need you to see through to the youth;. The Education of Pain. It always hurts me. But pursuing love is like trudging my heart through a lee. I can't help desires. They will come from deep inside, With no way to hide. I don't wish to disgrace them, But only to keep them calm. Rudy Valle. My Old Life. I just want my old life back, I had everything I wanted A job that I adored, A hobby that brought immeasurable joy, And a love that seemed unshakeable.
I live with a creature Deep inside my chest. This beast urges me to die,. Almost Pass For Normal. Painful Division. When did my feelings become second to yours? Why are my opinions wrong and absurd? When did my silence become your turn to speak? Why, to you, am I small and weak? Why, when I give the world, do you a. This is an ode to the boys who have hurt me. I will not talk about the ones who came before the ninth grade,.
Secret place. Hands held, hearts cradled. Eyes shut, fear of loss and pain. It all came to head that day. Back to the beginning,. Leaving the Shadow. Now she's the girl he told everyone about, bragging, changing, manipulating the reality of what really happened. She got stripped of her clothes, stripped of her trust, stripped of her youth. Finally, I'm free from you free from the pain you give free from the anger you clinged to me free from the hate of what you've done to me free from the fear you've bestowed me.
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Forgiving Myself. Every day flying by numbly, Until the day I decided the numbness coincided with failing to forgive myself I went under it, over it, around it, but never through it because that is where.
House of a Monster. That person is you. That's what it means To concede to the fear, To feed the bearer, To bleed from the wounds, bestowed on you from the pain you've taken even the words you've spoken to make it all better. I am a victim. I am a victim of my own mind. I hold myself captive. I am also my own abuser. For years I have abused myself into being the victim of my own mind. I Am A Warrior.
You can't hear me You can't see me You can't feel me You have given birth to me But you ignore me I am alive! Not your dearly departed And yet still to you I am a failure, forever imperfect. My Curse. They say god created us from clay. Still Lost. Silver Sight. Why am I the only one? Why don't they give up? Painful Christmas. This holiday is hollow, These cheery ones are lost.
Everyone is happy, It seems Everyone But me. I always feel alone,. Pain and Life Diamante. Pain Infinite, unbearable, Pulsing, living, screaming, Yelling my name, begging to stay, Fighting, questioning, hating, Confusing, lost,. Dark and Light. Both had their qualities, I loved them for different reasons.
The dark one was like me,. The Turtle. I was given a gift by someone I truly loved, A little green turtle, Something I could put on my key ring. She had one too, And it made our love grow stronger,. Through the darkness There shall always be light While through the joy There shall always be fright But through the pain There is nothing but might.
The Cold, Dark Pool. My day goes by, all a blurry haze. I'm slowly drowning in a cold, dark pool. People pass by, reaching out thier hands. Scared of Love. I was in love once, And a painful ordeal it was. I tried so hard to be the perfect one, To be the one that she wanted. Fallen Angel. I am a fallen angel, Darkness is my garment, And fury is my weapon. I was once wreathed in light, And I did the bidding of my master. Move On. Darkness is around me, I am hidden from the light, The life that I strive to live in. There was once a Bright Star, It penetrated the dark.
Lost Twice. It happened twice. I let myself believe. I thought that I might matter.
Special Needs Dogs
I loved and lost, And was broken eternally. This is Me. They say my writing is expansive It's alot to say When been through a life of tragedy And empty space The thoughts in my head you can never see Cause your never me Sometimes tears fall on these pages. Do you know the pain? What I'm suffering now Do you know how my head spins? When I'm constantly thinking about you Do you know the love? I have poured on you Do you know the stuggle? From My Window. You watched me from my window and took out your anger on my body with your eyes.
He shook me furiously and the thunder shook the house surrounding my fragile skeleton. They see reaching arms. Pain and Me. I can feel the pain sucking marrow from my bone leaving a blinding headache behind wishing for the pain to stop Yearning for the ache to fade Hoping for a moment of bliss To come and wrap me in a hug.
World of Dreams. Fear is Not to Be Run From. A tight emptiness in my throat A quick consideration of options but endlessly told to say nothing Youth does not hide the terror in trying or the knife swallowed as i do nothing. Scarlet Ribbons. Someone Save Me. Someone save me from this pain, It keeps me trapped inside my brain. Pay attention to the sunlight, the sunlight is the most warm, visible radiation of all. Down, down into the darkness it goes- the hot, the tender, the close.
Her face is broken with tears, Her heart is shattered with grief. Holding no sympathy, his face was blank. His heart is cold and dark. Love destroyed them,. Letters bleeding bodily into blank sheets Whispering wildly in her mind Flowing creatively through the ink Mind forgetting the outside world Only imagining the one within Wishing wholeheartedly to go. Holes In Souls. It always seems like something's missingFrom my hollow lifeAnd I appreciate the kissingBut there's a hole insideI'm looking for the thing to fill itThe missing fucking pieceSomething has to fit.
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A Voice. Fear, Find the ones that you hold dear. Fear, Keep them safe for I am near. Fear, You are the useless broken seer. Where are My Angels? These demons always plague me, They keep me in constant torment. Where could the angels be? The demons only get riled,. Everyone has demons, But mine are different. They feed on my pain, And play with my sanity.
They jump from shoulder to shoulder,. Every time I close my eyes, A star explodes inside my mind. This exploding star,. The Beast Inside. This demon in my head, It fills me with hatred And fuels my pain. It denies me sanity, And reminds me of my loss. It plays back my memories,. Black Hole. My life is a black hole, Sucking in everything around it.
Even light cannot escape my darkness, Even those that I love cannot withstand it. Someone Else. She was always by my side, And she took away my pain. She fixed all of my brokenness That was trapped inside my brain. She shone brighter than a star,. Something New. I am a tortured human soul, The world would be better, If I go. None More. Slow dancing to Sam Cooke under the mountaintop stars, Cooking creamy chicken parmesan alfredo Saturday night While hearing the pot singing and sizzling. Laughing until our insides crumble in pain,. You hide behind hills, Curves of rock snaking up, Strangling The lakes and rivers-- Your tears.
And the blades of grass, a fine-woven net To catch, To cut, To keep. You are not really there. Everything but Nothing. I never know what you are. Because every time I see you, it hurts a little less. You are everything and nothing Everywhere and no where I never know what you are.
I get thoughts. A lot. They crawl slowly through your brain. They take there sharp fingers and grind them into the flesh of your brain. Whats wrong with me? I cried and cried I'm gonna die. Die this way, There is no cure for my pain, Four new doctors, They're all the same. The X-rays are normal. EMG too. These Fucking Memories.
They slip;. She Was There. And when I needed you the most, there you stood with her in my place. All You Have Left. Silent, Loner. Empty, hollow. Childs Pose. I ignored it. What a terrible word that holds a painful truth. I dread these six letters, as anyone would. Your Requiem. The first thing my mother did, when a boy broke my heart, was open the windows. She said that letting in the air, and erasing his smell. Monday Blues. I could hear the wind, rustling through your veins, when you opened your mouth and the gnarled wings of a hummingbird fell out.
I could taste the regret,. Tears of Fear. I slept hard as a bear That eats so much food in a dark cave, What no one notices all the time, My ears can hear, but I have weary tears; Beyond the walls, there is so much fear,. I love to dance But it's been corrupted And corroded And with every twist and turn I fall deeper into a world Of my own. The Pain I Feel. You're mind is scarred. An Apology. I am sorry that my decisions led you to today.
Capable fears. And whilst my voice they won't hear and my face they may not see,. Why pick? Lady of Silver. There is no denying it, she was first I imagine her next to you, your arm wrapped around her As it had once been wrapped around me Sometimes I wish I were a less kind soul. Christmas: a tiny holy thingy blinking strings tie often streetpoles redded hands in boiling coffee not in mates palms smile holds a teeth holes sauced up by dentist. I'm Fine. I lie awake thinking While staring at my ceiling About so many things To name a few: my day Tomorrow The paint chip on The wall.
Let the aroma, the sweet intoxication, of the lilies take you away. Their white petals, beckoning, follow them. Just a reconnection. Please, it is all I ask. Just one spark could set ablaze our past. We could be something again. Yeh Dil Mera! Dhundhane Ek Hi Pataa.. Shayad Tumhe Dhundte Dhundte.. Zindgi Ki Ye. Cutting a Little Too Deep. I Weakened Myself for You. I weakened myself for you.
You heard me crying out for help but you acted like you could not hear. Somewhere before sunrise,before the first bird crows to dawnand the apathetic are yet to uncurlthe grit that gathers like dustbetween the fold of shallow eyes. Thorny Rose Bush. Clock is ticking…mind is wracking…thoughts are racing…. May, The Devil's Apple. And just like the serpent tempted Adam and Eve with the forbidden apple, the burning desire for you to be mine led me into your coils of damnation. Insane, Pain, Strain. I Love You Differently Now. The Lonely Boy.
Death says to meCome here my boy,I'll take you away I think, "I can finally flee"I am not playing coyThe pain will go away. I hope nobody trusts you againlike I did you I pray you never hurt another personlike you did me You carved into my soulAnd have taken peicesThey will never grow back. Thy Torn Skin. This letter is me saying goodbye. To Her. Fragility is the stability of the broken mind Do not confuse the lies that hold the two down To be fragile is the empowerment of the vulnerable To be stable is the advantage of the emotional.
Do you bleed? Goodmorning Honey. Goodmorning honey, so they say distant at heart.. Into A Fantasy Inspired by the song. Why Me? A teenager who is misunderstood by those who think they understand. Disturbed Emotions. Belov'ed Silver. Precious to me is he who's friendship is geater in value than any metal.
He who suffers the pangs of loneliness, self-mutilation of failure, stings of two unrequited loves, labido's growling stomach,. The Broken Spirits. Late at night, the broken spirits sit on barstools, hunched over the counter like question marks They ponder their place in this world They drown their sorrows in bourbon to escape the outer flood attempting to engulf them. Not A Game. Why is my mind so.
Why is my mind so blank? The colors that flash before my eyes, they mean almost nothing to me anymore I used to dance in the soft orange of a sunset wade in the blue waters of the distant ocean. I'll Never Know. I miss the memories I never made and I long for the love. Colors of Pain. There will be times when things between us might not feel so sweet. Those moments we look back on, wishing we could press delete.
I might find myself tripping, when I only meant to sweep you off of your feet. You want to love me but. You don't love me. You want to love mebut You don't love me. The Alternative. Our Society. Could You. Dreams die at an early age When you would rather support a celebrity, a stranger, other than your own children. When you can't make it to a parent teachers conference, To hear your child's accomplishments. In The Midst Of Night.
People are not all that they seem, streams of lowered self-esteem. Darkness running through and through, constantly running into you. My play-doh set. My brown barrette. My high top shoes. My young views.
The Enchantress Returns
My dirty shirts. My elbow hurts. My parents yelling. My lips never telling. Flowers Bloom. The water runs clear, and once it reaches bottom, it blooms into a pink flower. The slight sting of the water it welcomed, any pain is welcomed. The scars run deep through this tattooed. The Baltimore I Know. Old roads and new hoes, you know how this essay goes. Crime rampant on the streets. Homeless men, calloused feet. Overdoses, opiates. Young people with too much hate. Gun violence, death from crime. Because I Because I am a nice person,I will mother and worry over you.
Because I am a nice person,I will let you have your way. Because I am a nice person,I will let it slide. Because I am a nice person,. There you go again. Leaving me behind. Take me with you! No, don't take me. Not this time. I yearn, And when you finally offer, I reject. Because if I accept,. I try to run up it with every ounce of speed but then I trip and then I fall. Gravitating backwards she declines,Liquefying to earth's compression's,Ruined but intertwined,Cannot bypass innocent transgression. Undescribable pain, Writhing hands and feet, Radiating ove ones self, Yet it feels like nothing.
Crying with no tears, Clawing at the flesh, Yet it comes from within,. The Phone Call. Mom- Yes Imani. I- I have something to say. Mom- Yes Imani what is it. Pain Glennon Doyle Melton. They told you time would heal. That eventually you'd make progress. So you carry on. Sometimes you go days, weeks without crumbling. A year ago Loss turned grief took you from me Today.
And then three years later and look at us now.. I thought it was too obvious, but apparently not, based upon the comments below. Dune, along with Stranger in a Strange Land, catapulted sci fi out of the "golden age", and re-defined the genre. These two books are to sci-fi what the Beatles were to rock.
Everything after was different. This novel is set in a post environmental holocaust future with both a dystopia and a Utopia. It presents beautifully drawn characters in a technological wonderland with a hellishly corporate backdrop. The novel revolves around Shira and her quest to be reunited with her son - taken from her by the company she used to work for. In her quest she is joined by a wonderful cyborg named Yod and the novel tells of their relationship and brings into question what it is to be human.
The story is interspersed with the tale of the Golem in Prague which brings the questions around what is life into a longer history and gives it weight. As a science fiction novel it is so frighteningly possible - and in the not very distant future - but its real power is that we can already see how close we are to becoming a world in which corporations control private lives. There's some really wonderful moments like when Shira and co hack into the company's computer system using their minds, but flying in the shapes of birds, and when Shira is trying to teach Yod to understand the beauty of roses.
I don't want to give anything else away as there are also unseen twists. Plus there are kittens! Too dense, too pretentious, no likable characters and then for the last quarter Suddenly transformed to profound, disturbing, beautiful and lyrical. As someone else on this thread says, "Quite unlike anything else i've read". Start with the creation of a mind then follow it on a post-human diaspora through the multiverse. Over 2 generations ahead of its time - Still a contemporary science fiction novel of the highest quality - the central tenet still stands the ravages of time as a truly inspiring and though provoking possibility.
An amazing gem. Not sure if it's SF, biography, satire, or a combination of all these and more, but it's a genius little book which I read over 20 years ago for the first time; I re-read it ocassionally, and it's still fresh to me. An amazing series detailing the interactions between a number of species includinfg humans on a grandiose scale. A must read for any true lover of SF. When the author tries to explain what a twelve dimensional planet might look like in an alternative universe it boggles my poor little four dimensional mind, but in that giddy, vertigionous way Stephen Hawking sometimes managed in a Brief History of Time.
Except theres no spaceships, aliens, virtual realities in Hawkings book, which makes this book quite a lot better. Diapsora is a novel of big ideas. From the birth of a gender neutral new mind in a virtual reality where most of humanity live in the near future AD to exploration of the galaxy and on to other universes of increasing multidimensional complexity to the ultimate fate of our species and others, all in a pursuit of a mystery - how does the universe hmm, multiverse really work? How can we survive its indifferent violence? And where are the mysterious species who left microscopic clues behind in the structure of an alien planet warning of galaxy wide catastrophe?
As the book progresses the relative importance of these questions and answers change. What happens when the answers are complete? Are they ever? It does take a while to get going particularly if you're not familiar with 'hard sci-fi' but there are no 'cheats' used in traditional sci fi.
No transporters, FTL travel and the intelligent aliens are so utterly unlike the 'human' heroes they need several layers of 'relay-team' interpreters even to communicate. I look forward to the day mind wipes become more widely available so I can read it again for the first time. Like the best science fiction, it portrayed a plausible world growing out of our present - and the central figure is a believable human being doing currently-unbelievable things who grows, over the course of the book.
And totally gratuitously, it led to a number of sequels as rich and believable, in their way, as the first in the series was itself. Larry Niven is mainly know for his Ringworld series books. Generally his books are set in "known space" - a universe not too distant in the future - or close parallels to this creation. In "World of Ptavvs", Larry brings an alien known in "known space" as being extinct for millions of years to the present day.
The alien a Slaver had been in stasis and is unintentionally released and then sets about trying to enslave the earth. Fortunately Larry Greenberg, who had been trying to reach the alien telepathically whilst in stasis, is here to save the day. Without giving too much away, humans are related to the Slaver race, meaning of course that the World of the Ptavvs is earth. Some Slavers that have lost all their family rather than committing suicide will decide to protect the whole Slaver species.
If only Larry knew someone like that to protect earth from this Slaver What I like about the book is that the complete story spans from years into past and future. Space Opera it is not as the books are far too easy to read a couple hours to read this book but none-the-less Larry Niven creates a rich and compelling universe. It is prescient in its understanding of memes, no one else has come close. Not neccesarily the best SF book ever-that would in my opinion be one of Iain M. Banks's 'Culture' novels-but quite possibly the weirdest. If you thought the end of Herbert's Dune series was getting a bit strange, it has nothing on this-truly out there WTF!
By the way, are we including the Gormenghast trilogy in this? It's a beautiful balance of drama, speculation, humor, and the PKD's own special brand of paranoia. Well written, wll thought out, great plot develpoment, and all around awesome!!!! This book so beautifully demonstrates the point that what falls between two opposing, hard-held points of view is truth. Not science fiction by the contemporary definition.
This novel deals with what has been coined "inner space" rather than the more outer-space oriented, Le Guinesque fantasies. JG Ballard was a prominent figure of the new wave of science fiction: a collective of novelists who emerged in the s and were mostly concerned with the birth of the space age and the atom bomb, for example. This was a time when events of the so-called real world began to seem stranger than fiction. As a result, novelists of this era began to write about dystopian near-futures rather than settings vastly remote in time and distance. High Rise deals with the effects of the man-made, physical landscape, in this case an east London aparment block - on the physcology of the tenants.
The rigidly defined social structure, too-easy access to amenities and desire of the tenants to resign from their lives as mindless functionaries, sets in motion a descent into a microcosmic catastrophe. Ballard's ruthless imagination is on show here in all its glory. This book changed my life. Strictly not Sci-Fi, but a theological meditation on perception, sanity and counterculture.
One of my favourite books, up there with Camus and Satre in my opinion. The protaginist is a man undergoing a nervous breakdown who interprets his psychosis as religious revelations. Astoundingly well-written, profound and funny. Refutes the view of science fiction as 'Cowboys and Indians in Space. The author is a bit of a nutter, but the Mission Earth books are an excellent read. And, the hero grows up a little. Eurasia including Britain has been conquered by Bolshevism. All because Adolf Hitler emigrated to New York in to become a science-fiction writer.
That's the framing story. LOTS tells of a mythologized Germany "Heldon" in a future post-nuclear world that rose up to defeat the evil mutant forces of Zind and their humanity-destroying rulers the Dominators. The only reason it's not more popular is because it's too real in many respects.
It lacks that warm and fuzzy Hollywood-like ending needed for today's pop culture. Still, it's a brilliant series of books. I recommend them all. Like all great science fiction Shikasta and its four companion volumes has a serious philosphical core; It is beautifully written, and is a cracking read. It is plausible and utopic, offering a glimpse of a future of equality and sexual freedom with humankind and nature in balance, while pointing at the frailties of current reality and pertinently criticising organised religion, ideology, and colonialism. Lessing's imagination runs riot, and the fourth volume, although slim, has one of the finest takes on survival in a hostile environment I have ever read.
One of the most compelling compendium of five book s. Fast paced, excellently written and many thought provoking ideas playing merry hell with history, time, space and logic. Not to mention a great cliffhanger ending. This is not a book, it is a short story, a very short story, but it was the inspiration for Clarke And Kubrick's collaborative epic It sums up humanities constant desire to discover 'someone else, out there.
We are so lonely, like a kid who has lost it's mom. So much SF is devoted to our quest for contact, but the original short sums up the anticipation so well. This collection of short stories is full of wit humour and dystopian futures. Book bindings that rewrite books, aliens infiltrating society as four foot high VW mechanics and faulty time travellers taking part in their own autopsy and ticker tape parade. This book is the most imaginative i have ever read and i'm overwhelmed by its brilliance whenever I read it.
I have laughed, cried almost and felt almost every emotion in between and if one person reads it because of me i shall be happy. Most people read the dystopia - Brave New World, but Island was a utopian dream - one of the first books that really affected me. Also anything by John Wyndham - many of his books successfully made it to films, Day of the Triffids and Village of the Damned.
I also loved The Chrysalids - never understood why it didn't become a film. But the sci-fi crown must go to Peter F Hamilton - he has the ability to create entire universes and includes the entire shebang of sci-fi within each series - aliens, technologies, societies, superhuman abilities, etc. I'd just like to put in a moan about the way bookshops display Sci-Fi - they integrate it into Fantasy.
I've nothing against fairies, elves and goblins, but this genre tends to look backwards to times when knights were armed and everyone else was nervous. Sci-fi generally looks forward to the future with technology or societies or takes alternative universes and extrapolates. So why do bookshops display them together? Do they have no concept of either genre? Moan of the day over. Serves up visual imagery of technological advances that we have now attained or on the way to achieving.
Corporate pervasiveness in holographic advertising projected anywhere, futuristic ways of engaging with celebrity idols, cosmetic surgery making people look like an amalgamation of famous stars, old technology lying around in scrap heaps in amongst hi-tech wonderment. Its all happening. And who could forget the way Razor girl introduces herself to Case after hes just had in effect an organ transplant? Truly unbeatable. In mho, it marks the emergence of contemporary SF as Literature.
And because Dan Simmons wrote such a beautiful novel back in , a generation of SF writers has emerged to compose a species of fiction unprecedented in the history of Literature, a species that thenceforth redefined the idea of the SF novel. That may be overstating the case, but the purity and overpowering poetical sensibility of Simmon's writing cannot be disputed. And in no way to diminish the achievements of Gene Wolfe and Robert Silverberg - the grandfathers of literary SF - but I thihnk that Simmons was the first novelist to deliberately embrace the so-called literary canon and weave it into a profound and beautiful SF tapestry.
But it is not simply a story well told, it is SF. And that means it is about ideas.
They are, in point of fact, novels that provoke wonder - which is exactly what science fiction has always been about. Unknown to him or us early on in the story is that he is in fact helping the military intercept missiles fired at earth from rebels on a moon base. Great little book! Wry observations on the military and humanity from the returning soldiers isolated from society by the effects of relativity on time caused by near to light speed travel. A great ending. A pacy read, sexy and like all good SF wrong on lots of details but contains many truths about mankind.
In a near-future world where technological progress has been frozen by the all powerful peace authority, renegade scientists discover the secret of the bobbles used to cloak weapons, bases and even cities and turn the technology to their own advantage to bring down the peace authority. At the local library when I was 17, I discovered the Uplift Saga. Starting with book 2.
Star Tide Rising. I loved its exploration of conciousness with the idea of spreading sapience to other animals on earth - dolphins and chimps. I found it very positive about humanity as alien hordes threatened to destroy human cultures or humanity itself. I've not read many sci fi where despite flaws you get drawn into such a pro humanity narrative. The setting was enjoyable, marooned on a water world with a crew of dolphins. I can easily imagine from his writings that such a place must exist.
I would recommend the rest of saga but for me startide rising stood out. It completely changed my view on life, the universe and everything - literally: the absurdity and hilarious nonsense of being alive. Just absolutely, unequivocally a masterpiece of joyful reading. As madly inventive as anything Dick wrote. From memory it has space travel, timeslips, psychics AND anti-psychics, half dead souls feeding off one another's life force in vats, inexplicable kinks in the nature of reality - but it's also tightly, economically constructed, which some of his books aren't.
Plus it's hands down the scariest book I've ever read. Because it is one of the best novels I've read in the past four years, and I don't just mean SF. It's based, when? It doesn't really matter it is so on the button that you just know that this is how things will be. Cyberpunks lost in the cities of the future with exactly the same angst and doubts that we here on earth suffer today.
Gibson is at the height of the game in SF I simple can't think of anyone, with the exception of Michael Faber and his Under the Skin that comes anywhere near. In a world heating up and regressing back to an ancient state, a man who lives in the lagoons above a flooded London struggles with the dying remains of old-world society and instead of heading north to safety decides to head south, towards the heat and towards the primal chaos the world is descending into.
This is J. Ballard's second novel and possibly the clearest examples of his highly metaphorical science fiction novels. In The Drowned World we start see the J. Ballard use his objective, unemotional style that is a characteristic of his early short stories in a novel. Sci fi at its worst is nothing more than cheap thrills - an update on the penny dreadful. At its best it offers nothing less than new stages on which to explore the nature of humanity. Le Guin's novel is at the best end of SF. It doesn't really matter that the setting is on some mythical planets; what is important is the people in the story, their struggles to make sense of life and society, their sufferings and their joys.
It is a deeply human book. Le Guin has a gift for looking beneath surface inessentials, even those connected with gender, and seeing through to the real. Finally, although this obviously won't appeal to all, it is the most faithful and gripping account of the process of scientific discovery I have ever read.
A lovely, memorable book, not just a good SF book but a great novel as well. Frankenstein is the seminal novel that deals with the human condition versus the unknown. Shelley takes us on a finely detailed journey among science and what can be created from it even from back in the recesses of the imagination. I first read Frankenstein when I was Shelley created a story where I hadn't felt such flow of sympathy between the creator and the monster.
It compelled me to think of my own existence in an unsure world. What better way to start a SF journey such as with Frankenstein's monster's thirst for knowledge and acceptance in a society that only saw terror in the unknown. Russian precursor to Brave New World and , which are probably on everyone's list. His Master's Voice is one of the purest, most philosophical and accomplished SF novels I've ever read. I'd recommend people read this because it's either, as Theodore Sturgeon said, "a literary landmark" or, as P K Dick claimed, "trash".
Folk should read it and decide for themselves. I'm with Sturgeon. A compelling, complex speculative fictional work. One of the best examples of its genre combining nuanced social commentary and interplay of dystopian and utopian imagination. Great ships, great robots and a knock-out plot from an author who takes general relativity seriously enough to work through its mind-scrambling implications. It proclaims the glories of science, technology and industry while at the same time reminding us of the poignancy of our own personal fragilities.
That, I think, is the real experience of us all in the 21st Century, sci-fi aside. This novel speaks with a poet's voice, as well. As relevant now as it was when written in the 's. The themes of genetic engineering and mutations in crops were way ahead of their time. A very British apocalypse, the first encounters of the man-eating plants are on Hampstead Heath. The rest of the book, often described as a 'cosy catastrophe', winds it's way through an eerily empty London and the English countryside. The now common theme of a motley band of survivors combing vacated cities for food and water has been copied endlessley.
Alex Garland admitted that the first 20mins of 28 Days Later was an 'exact replica' of the opening chapters of Day of the Triffids. Read it now if you haven't. Read it again if you have. Published in ; he was one of the founding fathers of Sci-Fi and helped lift the status of the genre from tacky cliche invasions, to a really rewarding choice of literature. Egan's book opens with an investigator looking into an odd abduction and takes us through a world where any ability TM can be uploaded into the narrator's head.
The investigation leads him to a bizarre experiment with quantum physics--and the discovery that loyalty, too, can be installed in the human brain. Egan plays with the idea of the quantum wave with deftness and assurance, and the way round the loyalty chip is a marvellous but logical twist in the tale. To continue along your lines, if all the fantasy books should burn in a cataclysm tomorrow, one which I would like to survive is "A wizard of Earthsea".
A book which teaches you something about human nature is a wise book. Sparrowhawk, an indisputably intelligent young man falls victim to his own vanity, causing great tragedy to himself as well others, and then goes trough great difficulties to make amends. Despite being a fantasy and the world is something you've never experienced before, nor will you experience it after , it is relevant, especially today, when a handful of young man and women admittedly less often have so much power bestowed upon them think Gates, the Google owners, then Zuckerberg.
On the bookshelf of my mind, it sits together with Mann, Beckett, Dostojevski, and Shakespeare. Unfortunately, today it is less know than many over-marketed, multi volume rainforest destroyers. This book kicks off one of the greatest SF story arcs of all time. Throw in the death of a beloved character in the Star wars Universe and the fultiliy of the events in the book What's different and great about The Sirens of Titan is that it's one of the few sci-fi novels to posit cock-up theory as the main driver for universal history, as it takes a sweeping, entertaining romp through the universe.
As Dougas Adams observed, its seemingly casual throwaway style is in fact the result of very tight writing. Oh, and it's very very funny. Technically SF as set in a postulated future as seen from , and very funny. It's a complex story with themes of religious fanaticism and patriarchy By the end there are, perhaps, as many questions raised as answered.
But for me, it is the strength of the women. Their stories, lives and sacrifices. Thought provoking about how Society works and human foibles - incredibly prescient I fear as Climate Change begins. But all the while, truly gripping as a straightforward adventure. I would recommend this book as it covers a one-year period in the time-frame of the planet Heliconia, a period of some several hundred Earth years, and presents a fine analogy of the rise and fall of a human civilisation that in the end cannot help, due to a major seasonal change, fall victim to the weather itself and the rulers of the planet become those whom the humans enslaved and trod upon during the hot portion of the year.
All the while, the planet is being observed from space by scientists who must endure their own evolution. I found the series to be well imagined and well written and have read it twice in the last 25 years, or so. John Windham was in the happy position of being able to write good prose whilst at the same time being a terrific ideas man.
The story about a group of weird children born into a rural English village after some rum doings asks big questions about competition, survival and who really is in control. It was made into a fairly solid horror film called Village of the Damned and the Hollywood remake wasn't too bad either. I know, it's not exactly SF but it's not even only an horror setting. There's the fear of unknown, the cosmic terror, the deep space and alien stars Gets right into the action without long-winded delving into the minutia of the fictional society's functioning; no moralizing on the superiority of the fictional society; doesn't rely on technology that wouldn't be available given current scientific understanding; fully-fleshed characters, especially female characters, the protagonist in particular; imaginative mirror society quirks.
A good antidote to the typical space warrior sub-teen crap We live in a time of possible nuclear war. Oil and other pollutants have caused irreversible damage to our ecosystem. This is great grown up and very prophetic sci-fi, written by a newly sober Walter Tevis The Hustler, Man who fell to Earth etc in the early 80s. Basically its the story of a bored and literally impotent millionaire as he stumbles through an energy starved future where the US can no longer afford to light its skycrapers and China is the number 1 economic power thanks to a strangely familiar form of capitalism, dressed in communist clothes.
It is so unbelieveably prophetic one of the key characters is a charming, well educated and articulate former Black president but the focus for Teavis is less on technology and more on political and economics, and people okay he still has something called the USSR bouncing around in the early s but he was an author, not Mystic Meg. There's also some wonderful stuff when Tevis' protagonist takes a trip to a very alien world to cure his boredom and lose weight read the book and it will make sense and accidently cures his impotence yes really!
Tevis also manages to create real characters you can believe in with real personal problems, and that's not something you always get done well anyway in sci-fi or speculative fiction. I'd recommend it to buy but its long out of print. I bought my tatty 2nd hand copy from a New York state library, via the tinternet. Regards FF. Neither the radio or TV versions have done any justice at all to this great, great book. Not only is every bit as funny as you'd expect for Adams, it also has one of the most fabulously cryptic plots you could hope for. I first read it a couyple of times in my late teens and enjoyed it enormously but it was three years later before it's true brilliance dazzled me.
I sat in a university tutorial listening to the tale of Coleridge dreaming up Kubla Khan in a laudanum haze but being disturbed by the man from Porlock, before he could set it down. I gasped and embarrassed myself in front of my tutor as the penny dropped regarding one of the finer points of the plot of DG. I made my way home, ignored my course work and the godawful "two part prelude" I was supposed to be reading and launched into Dirk Gently once again.
Adams was not only one of the funniest writers about, he also managed to examine ideas and science with a skill and a level of understanding that is often not appreciated. I delight in this book still and reread it regularly. It is a masterpiece and I wish somebody would make a proper film of it and not bugger it up. The first Banks book I read, this is a stunning introduction to the universe of the Culture, his egalitarian, post-scarcity society.
The book follows the journey of Morat Jernau Gurgeh, a cynical, arrogant, and brilliant game player to an imperialistic civilisation rife with inequality, sexual slavery and the brutal application of power. It's filled with Banks trademark witty dialogue, discomfiting themes and vivid, brilliant imagination. A classic. I read it when I was a child. Lovecraft's descriptions of a meteorite's odd substance that feed on live, disseminate and has an indefinable color triggered my imagination and populated some nightmares.
It is a very imaginative, yet credible, tale of a lone human's impressions of two opposed alien civilizations. The portrayal of the human and non-human characters involved is extremely well done, and novel is thought-provoking throughout. Though the story is set in a post-apocalypse America, it breaks with the 'traditional' disaster scenarios usually portrayed. Instead there is a beautiful child-like quality to it, enhanced by the sufi-like 'the end is the beginning' conclusion.
I'd picked up Stephenson's "Baroque Cycle" trilogy before finding Cryptonomicon and was instantly swept away by the astonishing depth and breadth Stephenson achieved while still keeping me turning the pages as fast as I could. After finishing those first three books I felt completely bereft of Stephenson's world and went out to get Cryptonomicon as soon as possible.
Told in two time periods and with multiple protagonists not to mention graceful and fascinating infodumps on cryptology, mathematics, early computing, financial systems, corporate law Each characters is thoroughly drawn, each landscape evoked in vivid colour, and all the while it remains brilliant fun. This is a first rate example of the alternate history branch of science fiction. Brave New World is perhaps the most terrifying and relevant dystopian novel written.
Social engineering and a mass produced society is counterpointed by the 'savages' outside, whilst stuck in the middle is John a reject from both societies. Written fantastically, keeping the reader on the edge. Its suspense kept me going, amazing Sc-fi from the 60s. I choose this because it is a brilliantly non-sf, sf book.
There are no guns, no super technologies, no obvious male heroes, no wars, etc. There is a spaceship but we never see it. All these cliches seem to be shunned as examples of very male-centric sf writing. The novel deals with themes of gender, sexuality, politics, religion and more. The inhabitants of the planet Gethen are entirely androgynous and visited by a male from the distant, more technically advanced planet Earth who tries to understand them.
The author seems to suggest that the duality inherent in the human race could be at he heart of negatives such as war Gethen has never known one as well as positives such as technological progress. I'll admit to not being a massiv fan of SF. This impressed because it is undoubtedly science fiction yet it drops nearly all of the conventions.
A ship setting off to visit an alien world, unseen by most humans. A narrator pondering his place withing his homeworld and his own society and speculating on the lives, motives and drives of the giant, unknowable, half unseen aliens he encounters, all explained in enthralling terms to an audience as unfamiliar with whaling as most modern readers are with the surface of Europa.
Blew me away when I first read it and still holds up when I re-read. A highlight from the pulp age, and pre-Hitchhiker sf humour. A Rat book was the first book I borrowed from the 'big' ie adult library and started a life-long love of sf. This trilogy is epic science-fiction at its best. Hamilton covers may characters and planets in a brilliant adventure through space, with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance.
As ever, Hamilton's books are sci-fi marvels, and I can safely say Night's Dawn is the best trilogy I have read, of any genre. I was going to suggest Dan Simmons masterpiece Hyperion but the article states I don't have to be quite that strict in my definition of what constitutes 'sf'. So Robert Holdstock's Lavondyss it is. A brilliant haunting and deeply distubing take on rural myths, Jungian philosophy,complete with gorgeous prose that fits into some sort of celtic myth cycle. Never read anything quite like it. I don't normally read SF, but the combination of medieval Germany and first contact, interwoven with physics, religion, and the multiverse was too hard to resist.
Eifelheim is a beautiful read, elegant and extremely moving. I've not read anything in the last five years that I've loved as much. Here's a book that's entirely SF but that actually improves if read as literature. It isn't just about content or form, but the sensibility, the connections it makes and the respect it has for the reader and our ability to work out the whole story from an incomplete account by a damaged but heroic first-person narrator.
It's about narrative, and it's a bildungsroman set in a world we can only know from that whole working-out-the-rules game and about a young man we can only know from knowing that world. It's very sixties: the author wrote the first draft, then learned how to do SF, then rewrote it in the late 70s once it was so out-of-synch with the times as to be entirely itself. Imagine 'In Watermelon Sugar' written by an adult.
Imagine the future bits of 'Cloud Atlas' by someone who knew what he was doing. Imagine 'The Road' made to seem almost beguiling until you figure out what is going to happen after the book ends. It's not about the obvious 'props' spaceships, robots, time-paradoxes , it's about making words work differently. This is the form of writing that amplifies what the mainstream can do, and was almost the last time we were allowd to read books this without any stigma.
Thanks a bunch, Mr Lucas.
A Second Chance for Inmates and Death Row Dogs
My family belong to a rather "literary" book club whose selection tended to consist of anything from the "top 20" in most high street bookshops. I suggested my sister set them Ender's Game to take them "out of the box" to try a different genre. The experiment was a success - and I was even asked to lend out the sequels So my recommendation is based on it being a good read and one that can represent the genre and be an introduction to "non-believers" :D.
A brilliant, mature, creative novel in verse. Amazing feat. It's a modern Diaspar, rich in detail and adventure but also, wonderfully, humour, which so much SF leaves out. The characters are unusually well drawn even for Banks and the narrative multi-layered and satisfying.
A Hugo winning classic space opera, with varied and well thought out aliens and an interesting premise about how transcended cultures interact with more primitive ones. Even though it was published 20 years ago it remains extremely fresh while some more modern books feel dated. This takes a well-worn piece of SF furniture and gives it an elegant, very English, reworking.
It could look to the unwary like a straightforward teenage boy's account of coming-of-age and his relationship witha girl his parents thought was beneath their station but it's much more piquant and subtle than this. The society described is treacherously similar to pre-War England specifically the West Country but the force of change isn't politics or war but astrophysics. Our narrator survives, but what it costs him to be able to tell us this is left unsaid.
If the details that aren't like a mangled 'Five Go To Smuggler's Cove' are put together in the right way the reader can anticipate some of the ending but the curt last line confused inattentive reviewers. Coney makes a lived-in world and its passing is made more painful than some real societies in less well-written autobiographies. I've noticed that a lot of people who loved this book thought they were the only one who'd ever read it, but I'll recommend it to strangers anyway.
There was a belated sequel that spelled everything out for the less nimble reader but nobody likes that as much. While some people have said this book is NOT science fiction, i feel its a seminal group of short stories in the general direction of SF. Despite only being a short novel, It manages to deliver the most crushing sense of isolation you could possibly feel - the kind you must feel when you are the last man alive on earth, and everyone else wants to drain you dry.
The passages of Robert Neville sat drinking whisky alone in the dark listening to classical music - as the haunting vampires are particularly effective. A dark - almost black sense of humour and an incredible explanation for the usually unexplained scientific aspects of a vampiric post apocalyptic world, combined with my personal favourite ending twist to any book I've ever read.
I love the period that this book is set in. No super technology, well, on the human's part anyway. The fact that the main character walks everywhere and get's his information from the newspaper or by word of mouth is interesting. No mobile phones, no internet etc The descriptions of the horror and violence make the reader use his or her imagination It's not gung ho in anyway any your actually able to digest what's going on. The parallel theme of man facing total anhilation and only having Victorian thinking to comombat it is very refreshing.
It isn't a simple good vs evil sci-fi book. Very strange novel indeed. This is the mutant love-child of Henry James and Theodore Sturgeon. Sex, murder, species Instead of neologisms with lots of apostrophes we have words such as 'job', 'she', 'family' reallocated to things we almost, nearly, if-I-hold-my-breath-and-screw-up-my-eyes comprehend.
In it was bewildering and it's the first half of a pair, the second of which was never even published but with the advent of wikipedia the idea of 'Cultural Fugue' and 'General Information' as a covert system of control are more graspable. In the opening section some kind of ultimate Kindle is used as a tool of slavery, and people have books chained to themselves as fetishistic signs. The novel's focus is a simple question: what if falling in love risked not just killing everyone you knew but unravelling entire worlds?
The usual space-opera stuff is happening off-stage, but in front of us is a meditation on 'the drunkenness of things being various'. And after what can be described as nail-biting climax there is an epistemological moment at the end if this first book that other writers would have made into whole trilogies.