Seattle Picks: Science Fiction Classics
Annotation:When Earth is destroyed to make way for a hyper-spatial expressway, Arthur Dent becomes a galaxy-hopping hitchhiker and joins with galactic tour guide Ford Prefect in a race to save the universe. Goofy, silly, classic.
Annotation:Only three people regain their sanity after darkness falls on the planet of perpetual light and it’s up to them to rebuild civilization.
Annotation:While warring factions prevent working toward solutions and a massive dust cloud threatens an annihilating ice age, scientists prepare to store all human knowledge and minds in a virus-infected computer.
Annotation:Vergil Ulam creates viral computer DNA and injects himself with it to protect his experiment from being shut down and the astonishing result is horrific as the virus spreads to other people.
Annotation:Gulliver Foyle’s sole undertaking is to continuously pursue the rescue ship that left his stranded vessel behind, traveling through outer space using nothing but his own mind.
Annotation:In lyrically dreamlike connected stories Bradbury tells of the conquest of Mars: the promise of a new beginning and the baggage of old fears and ingrained desires.
Annotation:A crash landing on an uncharted planet forces the Streaker crew, both human and dolphin, to fight aliens not only to survive but also to protect the mythical Progenitors – the First Race whose knowledge feeds the stars.
Annotation:The life of Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan and the birth of her damaged, genius son Miles are dramatized in this omnibus edition, setting the stage for Miles’ further adventures in the long-running Vorkosigan saga.
Annotation:A dying human race is offered another chance by the Oankali – the opportunity to create a completely new type of human/alien by combining their DNA – in a future society that may rue its choice.
Annotation:Lt. John Grimes of the Federation Survey Service commands a starship on a voyage of discovery and adventure to rival Star Trek in this first of a three-volume collection of John Grimes stories and novels.
Annotation:With the help of genius Ariane Emory, scientists on Cyteen have learned to replicate humans. Emory’s replicate risks murder on her rise to power in a society rife with political and personal betrayal.
Annotation:A gigantic cylindrical object appears in Earth’s galaxy, heading toward the sun, and a mission launched to intercept the craft finds tantalizing hints of an advanced civilization, yet no sign of sentient beings – at least not yet.
Annotation:An alternative history dramatizes the tragic results of a world in which Germany and Japan win World War II and share political power over the entire globe.
Annotation:A celebrity whose mind links directly into cyberspace; a young girl and a kidnapping plot; the shadowy Japanese mafia manipulating people at will: all create a poetically gritty story set against Gibson’s revolutionary cyberspace.
Annotation:Tracing William Mandella’s military career as he fights in a thousand-year war, this early novel of space travel illustrates the physics of relativity as past and present seem to occur simultaneously for Mandella.
Annotation:Valentine Michael Smith, raised by Martians on Mars, returns to Earth with mental powers that surpass his peers’ abilities and understanding, catapulting him into a life of fame and danger.
Annotation:Ecology, politics and culture combine on a planet so real you can feel the dust on your face. “Dune” is to Sci-Fi as “The Lord of the Rings” is to Fantasy.
Annotation:Shevek, a physicist and anarchist, travels from his home planet, Anarres, where collective endeavor is privileged, to Urras, where class structure, status and money reign. Can he change Urras or will it change him?
Annotation:Leisha Camden was born without the need to sleep. But as prejudice builds against the hyper-intelligent, hyper-productive Sleepless, Leisha faces more challenges than her talents prepared her for.
Annotation:It’s 2858 and human Louis Wu is sent with a two-headed companion and cat-like warrior creature by an alien named Nessus to explore a mysterious ring surrounding a star.
Annotation:Famous space prospector Bob Broadhead meets regularly with his robot analyst, whom he calls Sigfrid von Shrink, but avoids talking about his past. What really happened to him on his last mission?
Annotation:In 2026 the first hundred men and women who arrive to terraform Mars find a schism in the newly populated, multi-ethnic world they have created that could threaten the planet’s future.
Annotation:In this science fiction and fantasy blend, Valentine is a wandering juggler but his dreams tell him he is the rightful ruler of the planet Majipoor.
Annotation:In 21st-century America we’re all plugged into virtual reality simulations. Can Hiro Protagonist draw on Sumerian culture to save us from a computer virus threatening the technology and a drug threatening human health?
Annotation:A plague has suddenly destroyed nearly the entire human race. Isherwood Williams, strangely immune, sets forth to explore a world apparently devoid of man. Part post-apocalyptic tale, part meditation on the meaning of life.
Annotation:Six people with extraordinary abilities converge to determine if they exist to help or destroy mankind. Are they the next step in our evolution, or the final episode in the history of the human race?
Annotation:With the sun red and dying, Earth’s inhabitants die out until all that remain are the misfits, the magical and the strange. These stories encompass the wilds of a world without sunlight and the resurgence of magic.
Annotation:Captain Nemo captures Professor Aronnax and harpoonist Ned Land when they mistake his state-of-the-art submarine for a sea monster. Underwater adventure awaits!
Annotation:In this satiric romp, the richest man on Earth seizes the chance to travel to distant worlds. Aided by companions, he seeks the meaning of life, attempting to make cosmic sense out of fate.
Annotation:Time traveling from Victorian England to A.D. 802,701, the Time Traveller attempts to connect the society he knew with the two future groups – Eloi and Morlock – inhabiting the Earth.
Annotation:On an unnamed planet a small group of humans endowed with technological powers rules as gods, but a conflict of epic proportions erupts when one god, Sam, begins to doubt their monopoly of power.