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Reading Science Fiction for the first time? Here are some book suggestions from Thrillist to begin with! It's organized chronologically, with the oldest in the beginning and the newer ones at the end: 33 Best Science-Fiction Novels
Books about SciFi
Afrofuturism by 2014 Locus Awards Finalist, Nonfiction Category In this hip, accessible primer to the music, literature, and art of Afrofuturism, author Ytasha Womack introduces readers to the burgeoning community of artists creating Afrofuturist works, the innovators from the past, and the wide range of subjects they explore. From the sci-fi literature of Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, and N. K. Jemisin to the musical cosmos of Sun Ra, George Clinton, and the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am, to the visual and multimedia artists inspired by African Dogon myths and Egyptian deities, the book's topics range from the "alien" experience of blacks in America to the "wake up" cry that peppers sci-fi literature, sermons, and activism. With a twofold aim to entertain and enlighten, Afrofuturists strive to break down racial, ethnic, and social limitations to empower and free individuals to be themselves.
Publication Date: 2013
Modern Sci-Fi Films Faq by (FAQ). Many science fiction movies from the last 40 years have blazed new vistas for viewers. They've reached further into the future, traveled longer into the past, soared deeper into the vastness of the cosmos, and probed more intently inside man's consciousness than any other period of film before. And audiences ate them up, taking four of the top ten spots in all-time ticket sales in America while earning more than $2 billion at the box office. Modern Sci-Fi Films FAQ takes a look at the genre's movies from the last 40 years, where the dreams of yesterday and today may become tomorrow's realities. This FAQ travels to a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... visits a theme park where DNA-created dinosaurs roam... watches as aliens come to Earth, hunting humans for sport... and much, much more. Filled with biographies, synopses, production stories, and images and illustrations many seldom seen in print the book focuses on films that give audiences two hours where they can forget about their troubles, sit back, crunch some popcorn, and visit worlds never before seen... worlds of robots, time travel, aliens, space exploration, and other far-out ideas.
Publication Date: 2014
Science Fiction Rebels: the Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1981 To 1990 by Mike Ashley's acclaimed history of science-fiction magazines comes to the 1980s with Science-Fiction Rebels: The Story of the Science Fiction Magazines from 1981 to 1990. This volume charts a significant revolution throughout science fiction, much of which was driven by the alternative press, and by new editors at the leading magazines. The period saw the emergence of the cyberpunk movement, and the drive for, what David Hartwell called, 'The Hard SF Renaissance', which was driven from within Britain. Ashley plots the rise of many new authors in both strands: William Gibson, John Shirley, Bruce Sterling, John Kessel, Pat Cadigan, Rudy Rucker in cyberpunk, and Stephen Baxter, Alistair Reynolds, Peter Hamilton, Neal Asher, Robert Reed, in hard sf. He also shows how the alternative magazines looked to support each other through alliances, which allowed them to share and develop ideas as science-fiction evolved.
Publication Date: 2016
The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction by Early science fiction has often been associated almost exclusively with Northern industrialized nations. In this groundbreaking exploration of the science fiction written in Latin America prior to 1920, Rachel Haywood Ferreira argues that science fiction has always been a global genre. She traces how and why the genre quickly reached Latin America and analyzes how writers in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico adapted science fiction to reflect their own realities. Among the texts discussed are one of the first defenses of Darwinism in Latin America, a tale of a time-traveling history book, and a Latin American Frankenstein. Latin American science fiction writers have long been active participants in the sf literary tradition, expanding the limits of the genre and deepening our perception of the role of science and technology in the Latin American imagination. The book includes a chronological bibliography of science fiction published from 1775 to 1920 in all Latin American countries.
Publication Date: 2011
In Other Worlds by At a time when speculative fiction seems less and less far-fetched, Margaret Atwood lends her distinctive voice and singular point of view to the genre in a series of essays that brilliantly illuminates the essential truths about the modern world. This is an exploration of her relationship with the literary form we have come to know as "science fiction," a relationship that has been lifelong, stretching from her days as a child reader in the 1940s, through her time as a graduate student at Harvard, where she worked on the Victorian ancestor of the form, and continuing as a writer and reviewer. This book brings together her three heretofore unpublished Ellmann Lectures from 2010: "Flying Rabbits," which begins with Atwood's early rabbit superhero creations, and goes on to speculate about masks, capes, weakling alter egos, and Things with Wings; "Burning Bushes," which follows her into Victorian otherlands and beyond; and "Dire Cartographies," which investigates Utopias and Dystopias. In Other Worlds also includes some of Atwood's key reviews and thoughts about the form. Among those writers discussed are Marge Piercy, Rider Haggard, Ursula Le Guin, Ishiguro, Bryher, Huxley, and Jonathan Swift. She elucidates the differences (as she sees them) between "science fiction" proper, and "speculative fiction," as well as between "sword and sorcery/fantasy" and "slipstream fiction." For all readers who have loved The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx and Crake, and The Year of the Flood, In Other Worlds is a must.
Publication Date: 2011
New Cthulhu by For more than 80 years H.P. Lovecraft has inspired writers of supernaturalfiction, artists, musicians, filmmakers, and gaming. His themes of cosmicindifference, the utter insignificance of humankind, minds invaded by the alien,and the horrors of history -- written with a pervasive atmosphere of unexplainable dread -- remain not only viable motifs, but are more relevantthan ever as we explore the mysteries of a universe in which our planet isinfinitesimal and climatic change is overwhelming it. In the first decade of the twenty-first century the best supernaturalwriters no longer imitate Lovecraft, but they are profoundly influenced by thegenre and the mythos he created. New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird presentssome of the best of this new Lovecraftian fiction -- bizarre, subtle,atmospheric, metaphysical, psychological, filled with strange creatures andstranger characters -- eldritch, unsettling, evocative, and darklyappealing.
Publication Date: 2011
Alien Constructions by 'Alien Construction' is a probing examination of how science fiction literature and film has presented feminist debates about difference, globalisation, and technoscience.
Publication Date: 2010
Escape Velocity by Today, movie theaters are packed with audiences of all ages marveling to exciting science fiction blockbusters, many of which are also critically acclaimed. However, when the science fiction film genre first emerged in the 1950s, it was represented largely by exploitation horror films--lurid, culturally disreputable, and appealing to a niche audience of children and sci-fi buffs. How did the genre evolve from B-movie to blockbuster? Escape Velocity charts the historical trajectory of American science fiction cinema, explaining how the genre transitioned from eerie low-budget horror like It Came from Outer Space to art films like Slaughterhouse-Five, and finally to the extraordinary popularity of hits like E.T. Bradley Schauer draws on primary sources such as internal studio documents, promotional materials, and film reviews to explain the process of cultural, aesthetic, and economic legitimation that occurred between the 1950s and 1980s, as pulp science fiction tropes were adapted to suit the tastes of mainstream audiences. Considering the inescapable dominance of today's effects-driven blockbusters, Escape Velocity not only charts the history of science fiction film, but also gives an account of the origins of contemporary Hollywood.
Publication Date: 2017
Now and Then We Time Travel by More than 400 films and 150 television series have featured time travel - stories of rewriting history, lovers separated by centuries, journeys to the past or the (often dystopian) future. This book examines some of the roles time travel plays on screen in science fiction and fantasy. Plot synopses and credits are listed for TV series from England, Canada, the UK and Japan, as well as for films from around the world. Tropes and plot elements are highlighted. The author discusses philosophical questions about time travel, such as the logic of timelines, causality (what's to keep time-travelers from jumping back and correcting every mistake?) and morality (if you correct a mistake, are you still guilty of it?).
Publication Date: 2016
Subgenres in Science Fiction
Science Fiction Subgenres
Alternate History (SF)
Mythic Fiction (SF)