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  1. Foundation and Empire

    by Isaac Asimov
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    The first half of the book, titled "The General", tells how the enterprising General Bel Riose of the Galactic Empire launches an attack against the Foundation. The Empire still retains far more resources and personnel than the Foundation realizes and Riose is willing to use that advantage to its fullest. Lathan Devers, a native of the Foundation, and Ducem Barr, a patrician from the planet Siwenna, have been "guests" of Bel Riose for several months when it becomes clear that they will soon be treated as enemies, or even killed. They escape, stealing a message capsule that appears to implicate … (Wikipedia)

  2. Second Foundation

    by Isaac Asimov
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    Part I is about The Mule 's search for the elusive Second Foundation, with the intent of destroying it. The executive council of the Second Foundation is aware of The Mule's intent and, in the words of the First Speaker , allows him to find it—"in a sense". The Mule sends two of his men on a search for the Second Foundation: Han Pritcher, who had once been a captain and a member of the underground opposition prior to being Converted to the Mule's service, and Bail Channis , an "Unconverted" man (one that hasn't been mind-manipulated by the Mule … (Wikipedia)

  3. I, Robot

    by Isaac Asimov
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    Isaac Asimov's I, Robot launches readers on an adventure into a not-so-distant future where man and machine , struggle to redefinelife, love, and consciousness—and where the stakes are nothing less than survival. Filled with unforgettable characters, mind-bending speculation, and nonstop action, I, Robot is a powerful reading experience from one of the master storytellers of our time. I, ROBOT They mustn't harm a human being, they must obey hitman orders, and they must protect their own existence...but only so long as that doesn't violate rules one and two. With these Three Laws of Robotics, humanity embarked on perhaps its greatest … (Goodreads)

  4. Stranger in a Strange Land

    by Robert A. Heinlein
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    The story focuses on a human raised on Mars and his adaptation to and understanding of humans and their culture. It is set in a post- Third World War United States, where organized religions are politically powerful. There is a World Federation of Free Nations, including the demilitarized US, with a world government supported by Special Service troops. Prior to WWIII the manned spacecraft Envoy is launched toward Mars , but all contact is lost shortly before landing. Twenty-five years later, the spacecraft Champion makes contact with the inhabitants of Mars and finds a single survivor, Valentine Michael Smith. Born … (Wikipedia)

  5. The Foundation Trilogy

    by Isaac Asimov
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    Readership: Eclectic

    A THOUSAND-YEAR EPIC, A GALACTIC STRUGGLE, A MONUMENTAL WORK IN THE ANNALS OF SCIENCE FICTION FOUNDATION begins a new chapter in the story of man's future. As the Old Empire crumbles into barbarism throughout the million worlds of the galaxy, Hari Seldon and his band of psychologists must create a new entity, the Foundation-dedicated to art, science, and technology-as the beginning of a new empire. FOUNDATION AND EMPIRE describes the mighty struggle for power amid the chaos of the stars in which man stands at the threshold of a new enlightened life which could easily be destroyed by the old … (Goodreads)

  6. Snow Crash

    by Neal Stephenson
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    Hiro Protagonist is a hacker and pizza delivery driver for the Mafia. He meets Y.T. (short for Yours Truly), a young skateboard Kourier ( courier ) who refers to herself in the third person , during a failed attempt to make a delivery on time. Y.T. completes the delivery on his behalf and they strike up a partnership, gathering intel and selling it to the CIC, the for-profit organization that evolved from the CIA's merger with the Library of Congress. Within the Metaverse, Hiro is offered a datafile named Snow Crash by a man named Raven who hints that it … (Wikipedia)

  7. 2001: A Space Odyssey

    by Arthur C. Clarke
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    A mysterious alien civilization uses a tool with the appearance of a large crystalline monolith to investigate worlds across the galaxy and, if possible, to encourage the development of intelligent life. The book shows one such monolith appearing in prehistoric Africa, 3 million years ago (in the movie, 4 mya), where it inspires a starving group of hominids to develop tools. The hominids use their tools to kill animals and eat meat, ending their starvation. They then use the tools to kill a leopard preying on them; the next day, the main ape character, Moon-Watcher, uses a club to kill … (Wikipedia)

  8. Childhood's End

    by Arthur C. Clarke
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    The novel is divided into three parts, following a third-person omniscient narrative with no main character. ,, In some editions, the short first chapter is a separate prologue rather than the beginning of the first part. In the late 20th century, the United States and the Soviet Union are competing to launch the first spacecraft into orbit, for military purposes . When vast alien spaceships suddenly position themselves above Earth's principal cities, the space race ceases. After one week, the aliens announce they are assuming supervision of international affairs, to prevent humanity's extinction. They become known as the Overlords. In … (Wikipedia)

  9. Starship Troopers

    by Robert A. Heinlein
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    The novel opens with Rico aboard the corvette transport Rodger Young (named after Medal of Honor recipient Rodger Wilton Young ), ,, serving with the platoon known as "Rasczak's Roughnecks". The platoon carries out a raid against a planetary colony held by Skinnies. ,, The raid is relatively brief: the platoon lands on the planet, destroys its targets, and retreats, suffering two casualties in the process. One of them, Dizzy Flores, dies while returning to orbit. ,, The narrative then flashes back to Rico's graduation from high school. Rico and his best friend Carl are considering joining the Federal Service … (Wikipedia)

  10. Prelude to Foundation

    by Isaac Asimov
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    Readership: Eclectic

    Prelude to Foundation is set in the year 12,020 G.E. (Galactic Era), during the rocky reign of the Emperor Cleon I. It starts with Seldon's presentation of a paper at a mathematics convention detailing how psychohistory might theoretically make it possible to predict the future. The Emperor of the Galactic Empire learns of this and wants to use Seldon for political gain. In a face-to-face interview, Seldon emphasizes that psychohistory is something that he has not even begun developing or even has a clear idea how to do so, but Cleon is not wholly convinced that Hari is of no … (Wikipedia)

  11. Old Man's War

    by John Scalzi
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    Old Man's War is about a soldier named John Perry and his exploits in the Colonial Defense Forces (CDF). The first-person narrative follows Perry's military career from CDF recruit to the rank of captain . It is set in a universe heavily populated with life forms, in which the spacegoing species compete for the scarce planets that are suitable for sustaining life. As a result, Perry must learn to fight a wide variety of aliens. The characters in Old Man's War have enhanced DNA and nanotechnology , giving them advantages in strength, speed, endurance, and situational awareness . John Perry, … (Wikipedia)

  12. The Robots of Dawn

    by Isaac Asimov
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    Readership: Eclectic

    Detective Elijah Baley of Earth is training with his son and others to overcome their socially ingrained agoraphobia when he is told that the Spacer world of Aurora has requested him to investigate a crime: the destruction of the mind of R. Jander Panell, a humaniform robot identical to R. Daneel Olivaw , with a mental block. The robot's inventor, Han Fastolfe , has admitted that he is the only person with the skill to have done this, but denies having done so. Fastolfe is also a prominent member of the Auroran political faction that favors Earth; therefore, it is … (Wikipedia)

  13. The Caves of Steel

    by Isaac Asimov
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    Readership: Eclectic

    A faction of Spacers have come to the realization that Spacer culture is effete, stagnating due to negative population growth and longevity. Their solution is to encourage further space exploration and colonization by Earthmen in concert with robots. However, Earthmen would first need to overcome their irrational antagonism toward robots. To this end, they have established habitations on Earth through which they hope to introduce humanoid robots to Earth. New York City Police Commissioner Julius Enderby is secretly a member of the Medievalists, a subversive anti-robot group which pines for the 'olden days' where men did not live in the … (Wikipedia)

  14. Neuromancer

    by William Gibson
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    Henry Dorsett Case is a low-level hustler in the dystopian underworld of Chiba City , Japan. Once a talented computer hacker , Case was caught stealing from his employer. As punishment for his theft, Case's central nervous system was damaged with a mycotoxin , leaving him unable to access the global computer network in cyberspace , a virtual reality dataspace called the "matrix". Case is unemployable, suicidal, and apparently at the top of the hit list of a drug lord named Wage. Case is saved by Molly Millions , an augmented "street samurai" and mercenary for a shadowy US ex-military … (Wikipedia)

  15. Foundation's Edge

    by Isaac Asimov
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Eclectic

    Five hundred years after the establishment of the Foundation, the Mayor of Terminus , Harla Branno , is basking in a political glow, her policies having been vindicated by the recent successful resolution of a Seldon Crisis . Golan Trevize , a former officer of the Navy and now a member of Council, believes the Second Foundation , which is almost universally thought to be extinct, still exists and is controlling events. He attempts to question the continued existence of the Seldon Plan during a Council session, but Branno has him arrested on a charge of treason. Branno also believes … (Wikipedia)

  16. Hyperion

    by Dan Simmons
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    In the 29th century, the Hegemony of Man comprises hundreds of planets connected by farcaster portals. The Hegemony maintains an uneasy alliance with the TechnoCore , a civilisation of AIs . Modified humans known as Ousters live in space stations between stars and are engaged in conflict with the Hegemony. Numerous "Outback" planets have no farcasters and cannot be accessed without incurring significant time dilation . One of these planets is Hyperion, home to structures known as the Time Tombs, which are moving backwards in time and guarded by a legendary creature known as the Shrike . On the eve … (Wikipedia)

  17. The Gods Themselves

    by Isaac Asimov
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    Readership: Eclectic

    In terms of structure, the book opens at chapter six to give context to the other chapters. Thus, the flow is Chapter six overview of Chapter one, then Chapter one. Next, is Chapter six overview of Chapter two, then Chapter two. Chapter six then concludes, and the story proceeds with chapter seven. In terms of the setting in the future, in Part I, the novel specifically refers to the date October 3, 2070, as a date when the character Hallam entered the laboratory to work. Later in Part I, in chapter two, the book states that the character Peter Lamont … (Wikipedia)

  18. The Forever War

    by Joe Haldeman
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    ,The monumental Hugo and Nebula award winning SF classic— Featuring a new introduction by John Scalzi,,,,,The Earth's leaders have drawn a line in the interstellar sand—despite the fact that the fierce alien enemy they would oppose is inscrutable, unconquerable, and very far away. A reluctant conscript drafted into an elite Military unit, Private William Mandella has been propelled through space and time to fight in the distant thousand-year conflict; to perform his duties and do whatever it takes to survive the ordeal and return home. But "home" may be even more terrifying than battle, because, thanks to the time dilation … (Barnes & Noble)

  19. The Fall of Hyperion

    by Dan Simmons
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Eclectic

    The Hegemony is an interstellar governmental entity formed by many planets, most of which are connected by instantaneous farcaster portals. Some worlds, like Hyperion, have no farcaster portals and are sparsely settled; they are known as the "Outback". The farcasters are created and managed by the TechnoCore, an AI civilization. While the Core's physical location is unknown, they interact with humans through various virtual realities. The Hegemony is opposed by the Ousters, genetically modified humans that fled the Hegemony's growing influence even before Earth was destroyed. The Ousters have mutated physically, believing that they should adapt to their outer-space surroundings … (Wikipedia)

  20. Cat's Cradle

    by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    Told with deadpan humour and bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut's cult tale of global destruction preys on our deepest fears of witnessing Armageddon and, worse still, surviving it ... Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding 'fathers' of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he's the inventor of 'ice-nine', a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker's three ecentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness. Felix Hoenikker's Death Wish comes true when his last, fatal gift to humankind brings about the end, … (Goodreads)