The Best Year for Science Fiction Was 1953
5 Books | by Bob O’Keefe
Highly biased, but just look at this list:
The Demolished Man
In 2301, a psychopathic business magnate comes up with the ultimate plan to eliminate his competition and destroy the order of society.
In the near future, enormous silver spaceships appear without warning over mankind’s largest cities. They belong to the Overlords, an alien race far superior to humanity in technological development—and their purpose is to dominate the Earth. Their demands, however, are surprisingly beneficial—end war, poverty, and cruelty. Their presence, rather than signaling the end of humanity, ushers in a golden age—or so it seems. But it comes at a price. Without conflict, humanity ceases to work toward creative achievement, and culture stagnates. And as the years pass, it becomes more and more clear that the Overlords have a hidden agenda for the evolution of the human race—that may not be as beneficial as it seems. Originally published in 1953, Childhood’s End is Clarke’s first successful novel—and is considered a classic of science fiction literature. Its dominating theme of transcendent evolution appears in many of Clarke’s later works, including the Space Odyssey series. In 2004, the book was nominated for the Retro Hugo Award for Best Novel.
The terrifyingly prophetic novel of a post-literate future Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the source of all discord and unhappiness, the printed book.
More Than Human
Six misfits, one powerful entity. An award-winning novel about belonging by “one of the greatest writers of science fiction and fantasy who ever lived” (Stephen King). Individually, they are a seemingly simpleminded young man living in the woods who can read the thoughts of others, a runaway girl with telekinetic powers, twin girls who can barely speak but can teleport across great distances, and an infant with a mind like a supercomputer. Together, they are the Gestalt—a single extraordinary being comprised of remarkable parts—although an essential piece may be missing . . . But are they the next stage in human development or harbingers of the end of civilization? The answer may come when they are joined by Gerry. Powerfully telepathic, he lacks a moral compass—and his hatred of the world that has rejected him could prove catastrophic. Winner of the International Fantasy Award and considered Theodore Sturgeon’s masterpiece, More Than Human is a genre-bending wonder that explores themes of responsibility and morality, individuality, and belonging. Moving and suspenseful, lyrical and provocative, the novel was one of the first to elevate science fiction into the realm of literature, and inspired musicians and artists, including the Grateful Dead and Crosby, Stills and Nash. From the Nebula Award–winning author of Godbody, The Dreaming Jewels, and other great works of science fiction, this is an unforgettable reading experience and a must for anyone who enjoys Ramsey Campbell, Robert Silverberg, or Philip José Farmer. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Theodore Sturgeon including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the University of Kansas’s Kenneth Spencer Research Library and the author’s estate, among other sources.
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