As a creative writer, to me, science fiction is any well grounded speculation on a possible future for humanity. It is not enough to go off on a flight of fancy. It is not a tool to use to merely justify your own imaginational wish-fulfillment. It is a device for getting yourself and others to think about human beings, about life, and about where it is all headed.
Must-Read Novels in the Genre
Childhood’s End A novel with some great speculation on how humanity might respond to the arrival of friendly, superior beings.
Children of Dune I choose this novel from the Dune series as it stands out, for me, from the perspective of thoughtful speculation on a possible future for humanity. The emergence of the Golden Path of Leto Atreides the 2nd. A way for humanity to find harmony and peace. The goal Leto Atreides comes to pursue based on his experiences of a harsh world, and based on his internalizing of the gathered wisdom of all his predecessors.
Brave New World The classic within my genre, and based on my definition of science fiction. Human beings programmed to accept a certain station in life and not to question it. One man, Bernard Marx, comes to question his place, and the brave new world is the story of his quest to break free of his conditioning. A cautionary tale of a conditioned human race, losing touch with its instincts. Prophetic in its time of the Fascism of the Nazis.
The Dispossessed A story of a man called Shevek, from a small world, seemingly utopian, located on a planet, Anarres, circling another planet filled with capitalist corruption, Urras. It follows his encounter with the corrupt planet, going there to present his scientific theories about time to them. Highlighting local prejudices and misunderstandings between the two cultures. A great exploration of difficulties involved in the very concept of a Utopian society when put into practice in this very real environment that Guin creates.