Science fiction has become a cultural foundation for countless stories and things that practically shape large parts of modern society. The world would be a very different place if science fiction or sci-fi never became a thing. Just like how online gambling would not be the same if Jackpot Capital casino download wasn’t a thing.
I’m not talking just about the changes that would happen to entertainment and literature, science fiction has easily been one of the leading causes in the massive boom of more and more people becoming much more interested in more scientific fields.
Science fiction has also influenced a lot of ways that things look. There are a lot of things that don’t need to look the way they do but they do because someone thought they would look cool.
There are a lot of amazing science fiction books that are released every year and lots of them are definitely worth reading if you get the chance but there is no reason that you shouldn’t also be interested in the books that were released decades ago, the science fiction books that practically started the genre.
This is going back to the era of books with that authentic painted-looking covers and the price tag of a dollar fifty. Usually sold on some book stand or if you were really lucky it was included as a short story in a magazine you got monthly.
We’re going to be talking about classic writers like Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, and William Gibson.
The Foundation Series
It is funny how a series called Foundation is one of the foundational book series in sci-fi. It was written by Isaac Asimov and it’s one of his grandest series, spanning multiple books and following an overarching plotline that covers almost the entire galaxy.
If you read or have seen anything science fiction in the last fifty years you will probably see lots of things that were influenced in some way by this monumental and amazing book series.
The series takes place in the far future where humanity has united across the entire galaxy in what’s known as The Empire (Not the Star Wars one.). There are many new inventions and fields of sciences. One of those is psychohistory a made-up science about the prediction of the future through the mathematical analysis of society’s and how they would function with the choices they would make.
The field is incredibly complex for obvious reasons.
The amount of people who are professionals in this field of science is incredibly low compared to others. Except there is one man in the galaxy who is a master of this. His name is Hari Seldon.
He is a mathematical genius, unmatched by anyone else known in the galaxy.
While studying predictions of the future he comes to a disconcerting conclusion. The current galactic empire was inherently flawed and was already on an inevitable downward spiral to its demise that would leave the galaxy in bloody chaos for almost ten thousand years.
He understands that there is nothing that could be done that could stop this inevitable fall but he comes up with a plan to at least shorten the time between the collapse of society, order, and the empire and the formation of a new galactic empire that spans the galaxy.
For his plan to work he gets to work creating two colonies, that he calls Foundations, both on opposite ends of the galaxy. His plan; start creating an encyclopedia Foundation. A series of books containing all knowledge humans have ever known.
It’s meant to be able to be spread rapidly after the empires fall when the fires and chaos start to settle so that all of the knowledge that will be inevitably lost when something as big as a galactic empire collapses will be able to be relearned and humanity can rebuild.
Obviously, this isn’t the entire plot and there are some twists in the plan that I haven’t mentioned here because I’m not here to spoil the book for you, only tell you why you should read it.
The first book in the series, dubbed just Foundation, is split into multiple parts or short stories since that was what they were when Asimov first started writing the series. The book was originally published in parts to a magazine that Asimov wrote for before it was compiled together into its own book.
Even though the book is spread over almost two hundred years that doesn’t mean that it isn’t an amazing coherent plot with good characters, twists, and ideas that motivated science fiction for decades to come.
I give it my highest recommendation.
The Dune Series
Some might argue that the Frank Herberts Dune series really isn’t science fiction, and some of their arguments might stand, but I believe it has enough and has inspired enough science fiction to be given the title.
Dune is one of the greatest books of world-building you’ll ever read. It gives you a family forced to rule a barely hospitable desert of a planet, a house of archenemies that has been trying to kill and overthrow each other for hundreds of years, and a band of people entrenched in tradition and rigor habits lest they all die.
It gives you this and so much more while also explaining so much about this world and people that you can know how the system works like the back of your hand by the end of the novel.
And to make it all even better the lore never slows the plot down and bogs the story because explaining the world and history behind it is the story.
There really isn’t a better way to describe what Dune is.
At least not without a lot more words.
Dune is unarguably a critically amazing book and an inspiration for so many things, Star Wars included. It also has one of the first and best explanations for why so far into the future your cool action heroes have to resort to sword fighting to kill each other.
Read Dune, enjoy it and then think about reading the rest of the series. Because those are considerably more controversial. You either like the other Dune novels or you don’t, there is only a small in-between of you’ve started them and now you have to finish it or you won’t feel accomplished.
But Dune by itself is its own story that doesn’t need any sort of continuation if you don’t want it to. That’s just another thing about it that makes it so good.
You might think it’s cheap to put the same author on this list twice but that would probably mean you’ve never read Asimov’s work.
Isaac Asimov created the best-selling, inspiring series with Foundation and then he did it again with the Robot series.
The series is much about as much as the name suggests, robots, and the struggles and journey they go through. If I tell you anything else about it I’d probably spoil it.
You can even read both of the series together, look online for a recommended reading order and I assure you that you won’t be disappointed. Asimov is truly one of the greatest science fiction writers we’ve ever had.