Science Fiction has changed enormously in the last several decades, probably more than any other fiction genre. Better writing and growing levels of sophistication have left the old Buck Rogers stereotypes far behind. Many kinds of SF have developed, often drawing on particular interests: sociology and anthropology, biotechnology, computers and their effects on society, alternate worlds, history, and more. The old drama, flair, and adventure still live on, especially in the "Space Opera" type of SF, but many works are thoughtful explorations of the human experience as it might be in various situations. Often, the Science has become unimportant, leading some writers and critics to suggest the term "speculative fiction" as a better name. Another change is a huge increase in the number of women writers (and readers), with an emphasis on social sciences and personal issues added to the "hard sciences."
If you already enjoy science fiction, we present these lists as possible reads or re-reads. If you think science fiction isn't for you, but haven't read any for a long time, try some of these books; titles marked "Starter" are especially suited for readers not used to SF conventions and techniques. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please stop by the Reference Desk!
The following booklists feature science fiction:
- Alien Contacts - selected novels in which humans encounter extraterrestrial life
- Alternate History - alternate histories selected by library staff - July 2011
- Anthropological Science Fiction - selected science fiction with an anthropological or sociological bent
- Biotechnology - selected science fiction titles with a focus on biotechnology
- Cyberpunk - selected cyberpunk titles
- Post Apocalyptic Fiction - stories of people struggling to survive after society has collapsed
- Science Fantasy - selected science fiction that feels like fantasy and fantasy that feels like science fiction - July 2011
- Sci Fi: Other Worlds & Parallel Universes - This reading list was compiled by Forbes Library librarians as part of the 2011 Novel Destinations Summer Reading program.
- Science Fiction Classics - selected mid-twentieth century science fiction
- Space Opera - grand, sweeping epics with a sci-fi setting
- Steampunk - alternate histories set in a Victorian world with a science fiction twist - March 2011
- Traveling Through Time - stories of time travel, and the science behind it - January 2011
Here are some science fiction websites we recommend as a way of further exploration.