Le Guins story contrasts two worlds with very different political systems: one world (the planet) is very similar to earth, with nations and conflicts, the other one (the planets moon) is an anarchist society.
In a near f*ture world, nations have crumbled away and been replaced by new "tribes" like the neo-victorians. The two protagonists are a nanotech engineer who builds an interactive book, and a young tribe-less girl named Nell who ends up with the book by accident.
The world Neal Stephenson describes here is just as fascinating as the fate of the protagonits. This book completely changed my opinion of the victorians.
This book contains two stories about the near and far f*ture of humanity. The starting point is the invention of the "bobble," a spherical force-field impenetrable by any force.... and I will write no more lest I spoil it.
Follow the story of Arthur Dent, last surviving earthling, as he stumbles through the galaxy in his bathrobe. Great Comedy, great science fiction. What started out as a BBC radio play in the 70ies grew into a trilogy of five books (don't ask), a tv series with really bad sfx and amazing animations, audio books, and a movie with great vfx in 2005.
If you only ever read one science fiction book, then read the Hitchhiker.
A book from 1966 about a lunar colonys revolt against rule from Earth.
As a teenager I read Heinleins juveniles - that's what got me into science fiction. And Spock. Cory Doctorov writes juveniles for the 21st century. Less space travel, more hackers.
What would you do if you could change history? Kill Hitler, of course. Or, better yet: prevent that Hitler is ever concieved. Stephen Frys take on alternate history is funny and disconcerting at the same time.
A few years in the f*ture, the protagonits alzheimer is cured, and he wakes up to the world after missing 10 or 20 years. It takes him long to accept the augmented reality everybody around him is using, and we discover this new world with him.
This novel by an ex-uni-professor discribes the f*ture of education in a world where information is instantly available and worldwide collaboration commonplace. Sound familiar? We're almost there.
If you're into computer games you will love the games the school kids in this book get to play.
The protagonists are several generations of a familiy that live through the singularity - the only constant being the family cat. If you want to understand what the singularity is, read this book!
finally: space ships. Vernor Vinges story spans the whole galaxy, several civilisations, and the net that connects them. Written in 1991 this was the first book to take the idea of the internet and extrapolate it to a galactic size.
There is also an equally good sequel: A Deepness in the Sky.
This book was love at first sight for me - or better: love at first sentence:
The day war was declared, a rain of telephones fell clattering to the cobblestones from the skies above Novy Petrograd ....
and what do the phones say?
"Hello. Will you entertain us?"
Read this book to learn about the adhocracy.
In the late 21st century, advances in medicine have transformed Earth into a near paradise - after a big die-off. Those who want can live for 100 and more years. The story follows Mia Zimmermann, a 94-year-old woman who undergoes a radical new treatment that turns her into a youth again. With some unforseen consequences.
Another great science fiction book about the near f*ture that is both bizarre and realistic.
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