Among all that is fiction, science fiction is something that is highly intriguing. The stories are bound to be unique, given the insane amount of knowledge present, and so much yet to be discovered. You will be surprised every time you read through any science fiction novel, and any new one will be poised to surprise you still. But illumination is not simply something that people look for in a novel. The story has to be gripping, the character development sublime, and the writing style unique. Most science fiction novels don't usually concentrate on these basic necessities of a novel. Here I have listed five of the best ones in the trade.
- The Forever War by Joe Haldeman: This novel is my personal favorite, primarily because I'm a big fan of Einstein's Relativity; and the time dilation factor couldn't be more effectively weaved into a story by anybody else. The time in which it was first published - the year 1974 - it may be considered as a coming-of-age novel. And certain aspects of it may be considered so even today. The story can be simply summarized as the numerous battles between humans and an alien species called Taurans, traced wonderfully through the ages. A movie on the same is currently in production.
- The Time Machine by H.G. Wells: This novella is a timeless classic by a prolific author. Almost every classic novel enthusiast is bound to have read this one. Wells might not have been the first person to play with time in a book many pure science enthusiasts had tried to provide rigorous proofs on time travel before 1895 but he is unquestionably the first one to coin the word 'time machine'. The novella describes the journey of an inventor who travels through time, back and forth. Two full-fledged movies have also been made on this one.
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne: The undisputed emperor of science fiction, Jules Verne, published his best one in 1870. There are many who will contradict my statement, but then again, you won't like the novel unless you have an interest in the deep oceans and the fascinating curiosities they harbor. The book traces the journey of three people - a French marine biologist, his faithful assistant, and a Canadian master harpoonist that embark on a mission to capture a mysterious sea monster and end up inside it. Aspiring oceanographers better not miss this epic.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke: A most comprehensive space novel in every aspect. Interesting to note is the fact that Clarke penned his novel concurrently with the film version, and published it after the release of the movie. The story is also not entirely unique, but is based on various short stories written by the same man, 'The Sentinel' and 'Encounter in the Dawn' to name a few. The movie as well as the book went on to become huge hits. It describes the unique journey of humanity and robotics combined. The book traces various themes of science like evolution, technology, and space.
I'd like to make a couple of honorable mentions 'Around the World in 80 Days' by Jules Verne and 'War of the Worlds' by H.G. Wells, both absolute classics.
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