Recommended Sci-Fi Books (for modern citizens)
click: recommended books (main menu)
Science Fiction + Speculative Fiction
My other sci-fi pages:
Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece
(2018) Michael Benson
Celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the film’s release, this is the definitive
story of the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey, acclaimed today as one of the greatest
films ever made, including the inside account of how director Stanley Kubrick and
writer Arthur C. Clarke created this cinematic masterpiece.
Regarded as a masterpiece today, 2001: A Space Odyssey received mixed reviews
on its 1968 release. Despite the success of Dr. Strangelove, director Stanley Kubrick
wasn’t yet recognized as a great filmmaker, and 2001 was radically innovative, with
little dialogue and no strong central character. Although some leading critics slammed
the film as incomprehensible and self-indulgent, the public lined up to see it.
2001’s resounding commercial success launched the genre of big-budget science fiction
spectaculars. Such directors as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, and
James Cameron have acknowledged its profound influence.
Author Michael Benson explains how 2001 was made, telling the story primarily
through the two people most responsible for the film, Kubrick and science fiction
legend Arthur C. Clarke. Benson interviewed Clarke many times, and has also spoken
at length with Kubrick’s widow, Christiane; with visual effects supervisor Doug
Trumbull; with Dan Richter, who played 2001’s leading man-ape; and many others.
Artemis (2017) Andy Weir
Andy Weir is the author
of The Martian
which was made into a
2015 movie by Ridley Scott. Artemis is a sci-fi story about life on the first
permanent moon base. It has already been optioned by Hollywood for a future flick.
The Handmaid's Tale (1985) Margret Atwood
A dystopian vision of a future in which [American] Christian fundamentalists
have executed the President, machine-gunned the Congress (blaming the assassinations
on Muslim fanatics), suspended the constitution, and created a new social order
in which women are, at best, commodities.
comments: There is no science in this fiction so the tag
"speculative fiction" is more appropriate. This story was written in 1984 but contains
many similarities to western life in 2017. For example, many people in this
story pretend to be pious bible-thumpers but are secretly sexual if not
perverse. Computerized banking enabled their society to become hijacked. Young men
have very little to do so are employed by the military/paramilitary groups to protect
the theocracy. Pollution (chemical, genetic and radioactive) prevents many people
from reproducing but only women are blamed. The new nation's capital has been moved
to Anchorage Alaska [ 24 years before anyone ever heard the name Sarah Palin ].
Many people in this story are obsessed with "the wall".
A Book Within a Book?
The Handmaid's Tale covers 313 pages divided
into 46 chapters and stands on its own as a chillingly brilliant cautionary tale.
What follows is another 15 pages in an apparent appendix titled "Historical
Notes" and I wonder how many people read this title then just closed the
book. This last fictional chapter is even more chilling if not down-right scary.
It begins as follows:
Being a partial transcript of the proceedings of the Twelfth Symposium on Gileadean
Studies, held as part of the International Historical Association Convention,
held at the University of Denay, Nunavit, on June 25, 2195.
Neuromancer (1984:2004:2016) William Gibson
Before the Internet was commonplace, William Gibson showed us the Matrix—a world
within the world, the representation of every byte of data in cyberspace. Henry
Dorsett Case was the sharpest data-thief in the Matrix, until an ex-employer crippled
his nervous system. Now a new employer has recruited him for a last-chance run against
an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence. With a mirror-eyed girl street-samurai
riding shotgun, he’s ready for the silicon-quick, bleakly prophetic adventure that
upped the ante on an entire genre of fiction.
comment: if you enjoyed the movie
Blade Runner or the video
game Deus Ex then
this book is for you
Divine Invasions : A life of Philip K. Dick (1989:2005) Lawrence Sutin
Divine Invasions is the definitive biography of one of America's greatest novelists
and science fiction's greatest ambassador to literary audiences. Philip K. Dick
loosened the bonds of the genre, ultimately making his reputation as a literary
writer who happened to write speculative fiction, and profoundly influencing such
writers as Pynchon, Delillo, David Foster Wallace, and Jonathan Lethem. Divine Invasions
is being reissued to coincide with the fall 2005 release of "A Scanner Darkly,"
a film based on Dick's novel of the same name.
- p12. Philip called his grandmother "meemaw"
Brave New World (1932) Aldous Huxley
I first read this dystopian sci-fi story 45 years ago but re-read it again after
a free PDF
copy. What I treat to re-read it as an Adult while using Wikipedia to retrieve
rare words like "freemartin" and "viviparous". I have always
believed that dystopian stories provide humanity with warnings about what might
go wrong with utopian plans.
- They still have lift-operators ("liftman") in the year 2540? (page
- this side of the Atlantic we use the phrase "Elevator Operator"
if anyone could ever remember such a job
- The author writes about "mescal" and "peyotl". Although
college students have continually experimented with "mescaline" and "peyote"
starting long before 1932, no government today is advocating for the recreational
use of these compounds.
- "mescal" could also mean "tequila" but mescal that "ought
to be called soma " (page 65) most likely refers to mescaline.
- They still have music recorded on paper rolls in the year 2540? At least
the author employs selenium cells to read them. (page 84)
- The author writes about oral contraceptives 28-years before they first appear
in the US (year: 1960)
- The author writes about recreational drug use (Soma) 90-years before US
voters in Colorado and Washington approved measures that legalize non-medical
use of cannabis (year: 2012)
- One of the primary story threads of
Brave New World
involves a man (Bernard) with a high IQ (Alpha-plus) who does not like to ingest
recreational drugs (Soma) even though the society in which he lives demand that
he does. To me, this is no different than those people today who limit their
consumption of grain alcohol or avoid it entirely.
- The author writes about banned books (page 91) and yet the author's own
still on the top-ten list of banned books more than 80 years after its first
- One of the secondary story threads involves a savage
(John) who appears to know more about humanity (partly by reading Shakespeare
which is banned in 2540) than Alphas and Betas
- Quote from page 91: "But inexorably, every thirty seconds, the minute
hand of the electric clock above his bed jumped forward with an almost imperceptible
click". The phrase "minute hand" indicates analog time displays
in the year 2540 but at least they are electric (I would assume that most clocks
in 1931 Britain would have been spring-wound).
- facts: in our world there are 86,400 seconds
per day (60 x 60 x 24)
- calculations: divide this number by 36 leaves
you with 2400 minutes; divide this number by 24 leaves you with 100 minutes
- Brave New World (1932) was published in
the first decade of the second quarter of the twentieth century (a few
years after the stock market crash of 1929 triggered the great depression of
the dirty thirties; many historians agree that this depression was a contributing
factor in the rise of Adolph Hitler along with the Nazi party in Germany)
- Brave New World Revisited (1958) is a non-fiction retrospective
published in the first decade of the third quarter of the twentieth
century and contains a lot of comparisons to that other dystopic novel
- page 8 quote: But liberty, as we all know, cannot flourish in a country
that is permanently on a war footing, or even a near-war footing
I was thinking about the USA as I read this
- page 10 quote: The shortest and broadest road to the nightmare of Brave
New World leads, as I have pointed out, through over-population and the
accelerating increase of human numbers -- twenty-eight hundred millions
today, fifty-five hundred millions by the turn of the century
he was out by 500 million because humanity reached 6 billion in 1999
The Stars, Like Dust (1951, 2008) by Isaac Asimov
The Currents of Space (1950, 2009) by Isaac Asimov
- First published in 1952 and republished in hardcover on May-2009
- it is one of the
15-Books Suggested by Asimov
- This was a very pleasurable read. Even through the story is now 57 years
old, it is still relevant while standing the test of time.
(I do not understand
how Asimov was able to write this story so that is didn't become "dated";
perhaps it has something to do with paying slightly more attention to humanity
and slightly less attention to technology)
- I recently read Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story "The
Adventure of the Six Napoleons" and marveled at the timelessness
it. While reading Asimov's The Currents of Space it became
apparent to me that Isaac Asimov, and his work, will become immortalized
like that of Shakespeare and Arthur Conan Doyle.
Robot Visions (1990) by Isaac Asimov
- In 2008-03-xx I purchased a good-quality hard-cover copy via
- A book of 18 short stories mostly about Robots including "Evidence
(I... I... a robot?)" and "The Bicentennial Man". My favorite
story was "The Evitable Conflict" which seems to open the door to
zeroth law of robotics.
- This book also contains 16 thought-provoking essays which should be read
by anyone going into artificial intelligence research or robotics
- Three of the stories (REASON, LIAR!, and EVIDENCE) mention that certain
robot restrictions exist for the Earth. This reminded me that Replicants (Blade
Runner) are illegal on Earth.
- ROBBIE was Asimov's first story and was published in 1940. A rewrite of
this story appeared in "I, ROBOT" in 1950 which includes an encounter
with a teenage SUSAN CALVIN in a New York museum
- ROBOT VISIONS is the best short story I've read in 10 years. It has a very
cool surprise ending.
- People who only get sci-fi from TV might think that James T Kirk was the
first person to trap a robot in a logical dilemma (see the 1968 Star Trek episode
Changeling") but Dr Susan Calvin did it much earlier in the 1941 story
- It has been many years since I read EVIDENCE (which was prior to reading
15-book set) but after rereading it, I now realize that this may be one
of his best short stories. Here are a few of my reasons:
- the paranoia of human impostors amongst us (Blade Runner, Battle Star
Galactica, Terminator, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, etc.). Quotes:
- You are perfectly well acquainted, I suppose, with the strict rules
against the use of robots on inhabited worlds
- You are also aware that all positronic robots are leased, and not
sold; that the Corporation remains the owner and manager of each robot,
and is therefore responsible for the actions of all
- Not the positronic brain, sir. Too many factors are involved in
that, and there is the tightest possible government supervision. (in
BR: one reason why the Tyrell Corporation buildings resemble a pyramid
is so the world government COULD detonate explosives causing the whole
thing to collapse inward upon itself; they would only do this if they
detected a Replicant insurgency)
- "It's been done experimentally by U.S. Robots," he said
reluctantly, "without the addition of a positronic brain, of course.
By using human ova and hormone control, one can grow human flesh and
skin over a skeleton of porous silicone plastics that would defy external
examination. The eyes, the hair, the skin would be really human, not
humanoid. And if you put in a positronic brain, and such other gadgets
as you might desire, you have a humanoid robot."
- the seed of the zeroth law of robotics is explored
during a debate on how a robotic attorney might find it necessary to violate
the first law of robotics by recommending, or supporting,
a human death sentence. (bad for the human, good for humanity)
Robot Dreams (1986) by Isaac Asimov
- In 2008-02-xx I purchased a good-quality hard-cover copy via
- it was sold to me by a London England book seller who purchased it from
the Maze Political Prison in Belfast Northern Ireland which was closed in
2000. So now I can't stop picturing Irish political prisoners sitting around
their cells reading about a better life in Asimov's usually-utopian sci-fi
- A book of 21 short stories
- a few of the AI stories are about robots; one which includes "Robot
Dreams" which is about Susan Calvin's (U S Robots and Mechanical Men Inc.)
discovery of a robot with rather disturbing dreams
- other AI stories seem to be about mainframe computers usually with a name
similar to "multivac"
- two of the stories "Does a Bee Care?" (1957) and "Spell My
Name with an S" (1958) seem to contain alien-contact themes also found
in "2001: A Space Odyssey". I'm not insinuating plagiarism on the
part of Arthur C Clarke. Synchronicity tells us that these themes may have been
part of the late 1950s culture.
- Many of these stories predate computer programming. It is interesting to
note that Asimov labels computer programmers (like Susan Calvin) "robot
psychologists" while supercomputer programmers (like Noel Meyerhof) are
labeled "grand masters".
- The last story is titled "Lest We Remember" and shows, to my satisfaction,
that Asimov was aware of the debate concerning IQ vs. EQ (Intelligence Quotient
vs. Emotional Quotient)
Pebble in the Sky (1950-2008) by Isaac Asimov
- First published in 1950 and republished January-2008 in hardcover for the
- This was a very pleasurable read. Even through the story is now 58 years
old, it is still relevant while standing the test of time.
(I do not understand
how Asimov was able to write this story so that is didn't become "dated"
over the years; perhaps it has something to do with paying slightly more attention
to humanity and slightly less attention to technology)
- I can see where Asimov developed the ideas for his
- Whether you read this book or not, at least reader the
- Page 131 mentions a three dimensional chess set composed of 8 transparent
levels played with twice the number of pieces. Up until this point I had always
credited Star Trek: TOS with this idea
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968/2000) Arthur C. Clarke
After rewatching this movie on New Year's day (2007-01-01), I visited
www.bookfinder.com to purchase a 1999 hardcover
copy of the book. What a treat; so timeless and yet still relevant.
Observations (and spoilers):
- there were many monoliths on Earth
- the monoliths were transparent rather than black
- one of the monoliths accidentally killed one of Moon-Watcher's companions
during "the experiments"
- Heywood Floyd flies by plane to the Kennedy Space Center and lands on a
runway near the VAB (vehicle assembly building). Clarke published this story
in 1968 which would have predated the shuttle's runway by almost 15 years.
- The space-plane was named Orion which happens to be the project name for
NASA's return to the moon in 2020. Click
here for more
- While flying to the moon on the Aries-1B, Heywood reads an electronic newspaper
which sounds suspiciously similar to connecting to the internet and then doubling-clicking
on an icon. Here is an excerpt from P.52:
...he would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship's information
circuit and scan the latest reports from Earth. One by one he would conjure
up the world's major electronic papers; he knew the codes of the more important
ones by heart, and had no need to consult the list on the back of his pad.
Switching to the display's short term memory, he would hold the front page
while he quickly searched the headlines and noted the items that interested
him. Each had it's own two-digit reference; when he punched that, the postage-stamp-sized
rectangle would expand until it neatly filled the screen and he could read
it with comfort. When he had finished he would flash back to the complete
page and select a new subject for detailed examination.
So there you have it. Clarke's imagination preceded the Apple Macintosh
(1984), Microsoft Windows (1985), the merged-protocol Internet (1973), and using
a computer for communication rather than number crunching. I wonder if he was
ever called to testify in the court case between Apple and Microsoft regarding
the graphic interface? :-)
- At Clavius base, the office equipment includes typewriters,
office computers, and telephones (see Page 60)
- Once properly heated by the first sunlight in 3 million years (it was dug
up during the 14 day lunar night), the monolith emits 5 radio burst.
- Deep Space Monitor 79 was designed by Americans scientists, built by British
engineers and launched by Russians. (see Page 80). Did Clarke
foresee the collapse of the USSR as well?
- book: The Discovery mission was originally planned for Jupiter but was
diverted to Saturn after the radio wave is emitted by TMA-1.
- movie: They only go to Jupiter because Stanley Kubrick worried that
he might not be able to produce believable rings for Saturn.
- The thin, card-sized plate, of the AE-35 unit lay on the bench under a powerful
magnifying lens. It was plugged into a standard connection frame, from which
a neat bundle of multicolored wire led to an automatic test set, no bigger than
an ordinary desk computer.
- problem with Hal:
- Frank does the first EVA to retrieve the primary AE-35
- The AE-35 passes bench-testing so Dave notifies Earth
- Earth says there might be a problem with Hal
- Hal now predicts a fault with the second AE-35
- Just as Earth begins to tell Dave and Frank how to disconnect Hal,
the antenna is moved and communications are lost. Hal claims this is
due to a failure of the second AE-35 (or related subsystem) which he
- Frank does the second EVA to repair the antenna.
- Hal kills Frank
- While Dave attempts to do a manual revival of Whitehead, Hal attempts
to kill them both by opening the pod bay doors and vent the atmosphere
- Dave ducks into an emergency shelter to put on a space suit
- Hal kills the three hibernating astronauts
- Dave does the first EVA to retrieve the AE-35
- The AE-35 passes bench-testing so Hal suggests they put it back
and let it fail
- Frank does the second EVA to put back the original AE-35
- Hal kills Frank
- Dave leaves Discovery to rescue Frank's body but is then locked
out of Discovery
- Hal kills the three hibernating astronauts
- Dave reenters Discovery by coming in through the emergency air lock
(without his helmet)
- Hal is disconnected from Discovery
- star gate
- the entrance to the star gate is inside TMA-2 ( a two mile high
black monolith on the lighter-side of the Saturnian moon, Japetus)
- TMA-2 is floating in orbit around Jupiter
- room at the end
- refrigerator is full of blue food
- ceiling TV above the bed displays programs collected over the past
two years (must have been collected by TMA-2 after a wake-up-call from
TMA-1). Dave's hotel room is seen in a TV program (so that's where his
hosts got the reference)
- Dave goes to bed and turns out the lights
- then the room dissolves around him
- his memory is relived in reverse order (and transferred somewhere?)
until he becomes a baby
- the monolith reappears, turns transparent, then reprograms the
baby (just like it did 3 million years ago to Moon-Watcher's clan
- no refrigerator
- no TV
- Dave goes to bed but the lights stay on
- Star Child
- he looks at the Earth then destroys the orbiting weapon systems
- he looks at the Earth but does nothing
First Born - A Time Odyssey: 3 (2007) by Arthur C. Clarke
and Stephen Baxter
- first published in December-2007
- this is the third, and final, book in their "A Time Odyssey" trilogy
- book-1 was A Time Odyssey: Time's Eye
- book-2 was A Time Odyssey: Sunstorm
- book-3 is First Born - A Time Odyssey: 3
- Although book-2 stands on its own, I don't think book-3 can be enjoyed fully
unless you've first read the previous two. I enjoyed it; but then again I am
a big fan of Arthur C. Clarke
"Russ Manning's Magnus, Robot Fighter" (1963-2008)
by Dark Horse Books
- Volume-1 contains Magnus, Robot Fighter comic book issues
01-07 (1963-02-xx to 1964-08-xx) 205 pages
- Also contains a Russ Manning biography
- click this
preview and you'll see Asimov's First
Law of Robotics in the lower left
- many of these stories seem to be the basis for many other sci-fi products,
- The Matrix
- Story #1 tells how one robot kidnapped 1,000 people then connected
them electronically to form a giant computer. In the Matrix, all
of humanity is connected to a computer to keep us dreaming while
our bodily fluids are drained off to run a power plant.
- Star Trek: TOS (The Original Series)
- Magnus is replaced with a robot equivalent then other people
don't know which one is human as is seen in the episode
What Are Little Girls Made Of?
- Magnus is beamed 60,000 light years (through sub-space) to the
robot planet called Malev-6 and then is taken captive by installing
a remote-controlled metal ring around his neck as is seen in the
The Gamesters of Triskelion
- The robot planet of MALEV-6 was created 1,500 galactic years
ago when a robot ship crash landed. Over the eons, hard radiation
from Malev corrupted/modified the ship's self repair system. This
is a variation of the story present in the episode
- humans are too dependent on robots as is seen in the episode
- although the evil genius-scientist Xyrkol is human with a beard,
he does have a prominent set of pointed ears which look just like
those on Mr. Spock.
- Babylon 5
- the last story tells us how the 1,000 people from the first
story are telepathic (were they selected as computer processors
because they were telepaths, or did they become telepathic as a
result of the experience?) and how they all held hands to increase
their psychokinetic powers so they can assist Magnus on Malev-6.
This sounds just like something that happened in Babylon-5 episode
Race Through Dark Places"
- Volume-2 contains Magnus, Robot Fighter comic book issues
08-14 (1964-11-xx to 1966-05-xx) 197 pages
- Volume-3 contains Magnus, Robot Fighter comic book issues
15-21 (1966-08-xx to 1968-02-xx) 176 pages
Robots and Foundation Series (15 book collection)
recommended for people interested in sci-fi
I had previously read a couple of these books in Secondary School (1966-1970)
then some more in college. Prior to the Summer 2004 release of "I, Robot
I decided to purchase and read a Spring 2004 reprint. Since the 1950 publication
of short stories didn't seem dated, I started on a quest to purchase new or
used hardcover copies of Asimov's 12 making sure to read them in Asimov's suggested
. Since then, the 3 books that Asimov said to not bother reading have
been republished. The last book of these 3 is titled "The Currents of
" and will be republished in hardcover on April 28, 2009.
Asimov's "Robots and Foundation"
In one of Richard Feynman's books I recall him stating something like "If
you really want to understand something then you must acquire books then be willing
to read them at least twice". While I'm certain that Feynman was referring
to math and sciences, no one would argue that this is also the key to fully understanding
the collected works of William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, or Arthur Conan Doyle.
It had been 7-years since I had read
Fifteen in the order recommended by the author. For this reason (along with
the fact that I was in another sci-fi dry spell) I began reading
Fifteen again. Just like what happens whenever you replay a piece of classical
music from Bach or Mozart, I am getting much more out of Asimov's stories.
- I, Robot
- Caves of Steel
- The Naked Sun
- Robots of Dawn
- Robots and Empire
- The Currents of Space
- The Stars, Like Dust
- Pebble in the Sky
Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human (1995) by K. W.
Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human is a 1995 book by K. W. Jeter
meant to be a sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 movie titled
Blade Runner. According to the dust jacket,
K. W. Jeter reportedly worked with
Philip K. Dick before
Dick's death in 1982 (the dustcover shows a picture of them standing over a
desk; could this be fake? Better get out your Voight-Kampff machine)
I previously read this book back in 1995 but decided to reread it after Ridley
Scott announced his intention to do a movie sequel to his movie. No one ever hinted
that Scott's sequel would be based upon Jeter's book but here is something to ponder:
- Jeter produced very believable explanation(s) for "who was the sixth
- When Scott released his redigitized Blade Runner Five-Disc Ultimate
Collector's Edition back in 2007, he overdubbed Bryant's dialog to
now say "two of them got fried running though an electrical field"
to fix Bryant's anomalous replicant count
Click here to read more about
this book including optional spoilers
2010: Odyssey Two (1982) by Arthur C. Clarke
- In January of 2010 I watched a DVD copy of the 1984 film 2010: The
Year We Make Contact and was so moved that I decided to purchase a
hard-cover copy of the book 2010: Odyssey Two ($8). What a
joy to reread.
- While the movie begins with a discussion at the VLA (Very Large Array) in
Arizona, the book begins on the detector assembly of the 300 m (1000 ft) radio
telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.
- Chapter 4 (titled "SAL 9000") is almost identical to what you
saw in the movie
- From the book we learn that Heywood Floyd is a little uncomfortable of the
20 year difference between himself and his second wife. So on reason why he
agrees to go on the mission to Jupiter is that hibernation will suspend 2.5
years of his life which might improve their subsequent time together.
- I had forgotten the final chapter titled Epilogue 20,001
- No where does Clarke tell us what
SAL 9000 means
(could it just be Secondary ALgorithmic computer?)
- Chandra mentioned that the information he learned during the restart of
HAL 9,000 will allow him to begin work on HAL 10,000
Rendezvous with Rama (1973) by Arthur C Clarke
The new celestial body that appears in the outer reaches of our solar system
in 2130 believed at first to be an asteroid, and named Rama by earthlings, soon
proves not to be a natural object. It is a vast cylinder - about thirty-one miles
long and twelve and a half across, with a mass of at least ten trillion tons - that
is moving steadily closer to the Sun. The five-thousand-ton spaceship Endeavour
lands on Rama, and when Commander Bill Norton and his crew make their way into its
hollow interior they find a whole self-contained world - a world that has been cruising
through space for at least 200,00 years and perhaps for more than a million. They
have, at most, three weeks to explore Rama: a dead world, as it seems at first,
though not without its perils, and with intensifying perils when it proves to be,
in its own astonishing way, very much alive. Yet in the end it is Homo sapiens who
poses the greatest menace, and whose exploits bring a continuously absorbing narrative
to its highest pitch of excitement.
I read this book 39 years ago but did
not realize (until now) that I had forgotten 90% of it.
Childhood's End (1953) by Arthur C Clarke
Large spaceships appear over Earth's largest cities. The Overlords have announced
that they will not to show themselves until 50 years have past, but they do have
a few demands: put a stop to racism; put a stop to war; put a stop to animal cruelty
(like bull fighting).
I thought I had read this book but I was mistaken.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) by Philip K.
I "think" something has happened to "my brain" in the past
30 years. I first read this book at age of 29 but I got way more out of it at age
of 59. For some reason I do not understand, portions of this book seem a lot closer
to the movie Blade Runner than I previously thought.
It is apparent to me now that this book could not be translated directly into a
movie because the emphasis on human defectives (chicken-heads and ant-heads), which
Dick included to be a literary foil for andys (replicants), would hurt the feelings
of too many human movie goers.
DADOES vs. Blade Runner (from
a recent re-read in 2011)
The Eternity Artifact (2006) L.E. Modesitt Jr.
Five thousand years in the future, humanity has spread across thousands of worlds
and has more than a dozen different governments existing in an uneasy truce. For
all this expansion, though, human beings have found no signs of other live close
to approaching that of human intelligence anywhere. This changes when scientists
discover Danann, a sunless planet traveling the void just beyond the edge of the
galaxy at such a high speed that is cannot be natural. It is a world whose continents
and oceans have been sculpted and shaped, with but a single megaplex upon it - close
to perfectly preserved - with tens of thousands of near-identical metallic-silver-blue
towers set along curved canals. Yet Danann has been abandoned for so long that even
the atmosphere has frozen solid. The preservation alone hints at a miraculous level
of technology. Within a few years, Danann will approach an area of singularities
that will make exploration and investigation impossible. Orbital shuttle pilot Jiendra
Chang, artist Chendor Barna, and history professor Liam Fitzhugh are recruited by
the comity government and its Deep Space Service [D.D.S.], along with scores of
other experts - predominantly specialists in aspects of hard physical sciences-
as part of an unprecedented and unique archeological expedition in an effort to
unravel Danann's secrets. This is the story of their voyage beyond the galactic
Kitchener - Waterloo - Cambridge,