Great SF

I’ve always loved Science Fiction. From the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, to my first reading of Neuromancer in 1997. What a summer that was, I’d finished my A-levels, was preparing to go to work for IBM, and also listened to OK Computer, which was released that year. Below are four Science Fiction novels that I have read and enjoyed over the past few years.

The Stars My Destination” by Alfred Bester. This one I came across via William Gibson – he has consistently named it his favourite, and after reading it the influence on him is clear. The introduction of the concept of “jaunting” – the ability for humans to teleport themselves at will – is only limited by the ability of the person to imagine the space they want to go with sufficient clarity.

Accelerando” by Charles Stross. From a near future character that has created software that automatically patents his every business thought, to an orbiting group of lobster based AI, Acceralando starts fast and bends time to go faster. Available for free from the author here.

Tau Zero” by Poul Anderson. A future world ruled by Sweden. My introduction to so called “hard” SF. A starship aiming to explore the stars suffers a brake failure, meaning all they can do is accelerate to the end of the universe. Where next?

Diaspora” by Greg Egan. A scrupulously accurate in research terms hard SF writer. Famously has no images available of himself online. Diaspora deals with a group of people digitising and copying themselves 1000 times, and dispatching micro-spaceships to the farthest corners of space in attempt to understand the universe. As an astounding ending as I have ever read.

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