some interesting science fiction

by uzwi

Frankenstein, 1818, Mary Shelley
The Time Machine, 1895, HG Wells
The War of the Worlds, 1898, HG Wells
The Purple Cloud , 1901, MP Shiel
The House on the Borderland, 1908, W Hope Hodgson
Metropolis, 1927, Fritz Lang
Last & First Men, 1930, Olaf Stapledon
At the Mountains of Madness, 1936, HP Lovecraft
Out of the Silent Planet, 1938, CS Lewis
The Golden Amazon, 1944, John Russel Fearn
1984, 1949, George Orwell
The Paradox Men, 1953, Charles L Harness
Shambleau & Others, 1953, CL Moore
Dan Dare: Operation Saturn, 1953/4, Frank Hampson
Them!, 1954, dir Douglas
The Man with Absolute Motion, 1955, Silas Water
Tiger Tiger, 1955, Alfred Bester
The Incredible Shrinking Man, 1957, dir Arnold
Quatermass 2, 1957, Nigel Kneale
Journey Into Space, 1953/8, Charles Chilton
The Sirens of Titan, 1959, Kurt Vonnegut
Rogue Moon, 1960, Algis Budrys
The Voices of Time, 1962, JG Ballard
The Alley God, 1962, Philip Jose Farmer
A for Andromeda, 1962, Fred Hoyle & John Elliot
V, 1963, Thomas Pynchon
The Secret of Sinharat, 1964, Leigh Brackett
The Terminal Beach, 1964, JG Ballard
The Anything Box, 1965, Zenna Henderson
Alphaville, 1965, dir Goddard
Babel 17, 1966, Samuel R Delany
Mr Da V & Other Stories, 1967, Kit Reed
Report on Probability A, 1968, Brian W Aldiss
The Final Programme, 1968, Michael Moorcock
The Atrocity Exhibition, 1969, JG Ballard
Roadside Picnic, 1971, A&B Strugatsky
Vermillion Sands, 1971, JG Ballard
334, 1972, Thomas M Disch
Ten Thousand Light Years from Home, 1973, James Tiptree Jr
The Clangers, 1969/74, Oliver Postgate
The Grain Kings, 1976, Keith Roberts
Altered States, 1978, Paddy Chayevsky
Timescape, 1980, Gregory Benford
Repo Man, 1984, dir Cox
Neuromancer, 1984, William Gibson
Schismatrix, 1985, Bruce Sterling
The Unconquered Country, 1986, Geoff Ryman
Escape Plans, 1986, Gwyneth Jones
A Spaceship Built of Stone, 1987, Lisa Tuttle
Tank Girl, 1988, Martin & Hewlett
Flatliners, 1990, dir Schumacher
War Fever, 1990, JG Ballard
Sarah Canary, 1991, Karen Joy Fowler
Feersum Endjinn, 1994, Iain M Banks
Fairyland, 1996, Paul J McCauley
Event Horizon, 1997, dir Anderson
What’s He Building in There ?, 1999, Tom Waits
Under the Skin, 2000, Michel Faber
Synners, 2001, by Pat Cadigan
Natural History, 2003, Justina Robson
Samorost, 2003, Jakub Dvorsky
Dare, 2005, Gorillaz
The Weight of Numbers, 2006, Simon Ings

As with the fantasy list, there’s no attempt to provide “balance” between old & new, to weight each decade evenly, or to make the list exhaustive. It’s just stuff that turned me on when I read it or watched it; or which still turns me on now. I haven’t tried to correct for the fact that most of it originated in the US or UK. I haven’t played the game, “I know an earlier & more contentious example of sf than you” because (a) if I ever did, I’ve forgotten it & (b) apart from Wells & Shelley I don’t care about anything much before the turn of the 20th Century. If you want to claim The Epic of Gilgamesh or something, be my guest. If I’ve missed off your favourite book, or left out a category of authors, the same.

Some of these picks come with a caveat: I don’t much like either the metaphysics or the outcome of Flatliners, for instance, but I think the basic idea–killing yourself for fun–is so sound it makes up for a lot. To avoid revisionary items like “the first 20 minutes of Stargate but the rest is such shite”, I curbed this tendency.

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