Our universe is a vast and complicated place, and we’re far too small to discover all of its secrets right away. However, there are those out there who have incredible imaginations which allow them to reflect, dream, and speculate about life on other planets, our collective future, and the overall meaning of it all.
Bright Side has chosen seven books that will enrich your knowledge and fire your imagination about what lies out there in the vastness of the universe, and what might await us as a species in the future.
Dan Simmons depicts the world of the future — interstellar hegemony linking hundreds of planets, cosmic nomads, artificial intelligence (AI), mysterious Time Tombs, and the ruthless Shrike — ’the angel of death.’ It’s a world where the life and fate of a soldier and a priest, a scholar and a poet, and a detective and a consul are intricately intertwined.
Orson Scott Card
Civilization is under potential threat. For several decades, mankind has been struggling against an alien race, and now all of its chances to win are gradually decreasing. In this hopeless situation, a child is born — a genius, who is able to defeat the alien species. However, this is no solution either, as if he wins, it will be at the expense of billions of lives.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
The first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series seems to be about space, but in reality, it’s about ordinary people, our contemporaries, the absurdity of life, and the bureaucratic machine. Add in the unique and subtle humor of Adams, and you’ll witness the most cheerful end of the world ever dreamed up. Warm socks, snacks, and a blanket (optional) are obligatory items while reading this novel. And don’t forget about the number 42 — ’The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.’
Humanity has successfully colonized much of the solar system, but not interstellar space. Mars, the Moon, and Asteroid Belt are already populated, but not the stars. The water carrier ’Canterbury,’ transporting ice from the rings of Saturn to the stations of the Asteroid Belt, pinpoints a distress signal from the ship ’Skopuli.’ But the most surprising thing is that there is not a living soul on board.
The Vor Game
Lois McMaster Bujold
Miles Vorkosigan is the son of Emperor Gregor, who was born disabled into a society intolerant of physical disabilities: a cripple with fragile bones and a height of only 4’11’, yet witty and handsome. Miles is one of the most unconventional heroes of all time — the novel, and even the whole series are worth reading for him alone.
As you can see, Game of Thrones is not the only work of George Martin. Tuf is an eco-engineer, vegetarian, snob, and a lover of cats, who finds a huge spaceship that disappeared thousands of years ago. Most of the DNA of all the plants and animals of the Earth are on board of Tuf’s spaceship. Now, Tuf is a mercenary, who solves the entire universe’s problems for a ’reasonable’ amount of money.
Frank Herbert paints a picture of a world filled with many dramatic fates, whilst at the same time analysing an entirely new philosophical system in detail in the epic novel Dune. He raises many urgent and contemporary issues, such as maturity, love, and betrayal. He depicts amazing characters who are not just trying to survive and make money, but who are real and ready to sacrifice themselves for an idea. No wonder that now, 50 years after its release, this book is still popular around the world.