Hi crew! 👋🏻 I have this annoying little habit of adding older books to my TBR and then just never reading them, and most of those older books on my TBR end up being sci-fi.
The term ‘classic’ is entirely subjective but my definition of classic sci-fi leans towards books published in the 20th century or earlier that have a cult following or have been cited as being influential. You may have a different definition of what makes something a ‘classic’ and that’s totally fine!
Neuromancer by William Gibson
This book is a very recent addition to my TBR thanks to a recommendation from a colleague of mine, and I’m really interested in this one. I don’t know much about it other than it being one of the earlier cyberpunk novels but I think going into this one without knowing very much about it could be a good thing. Plus, it’s under 300 pages which is always a bonus to me.
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
I haven’t seen any of the adaptations of this book outside of the Simpsons parody of The Omega Man, so this one really interests me. Zombies aren’t my favourite kind of monsters because there are only so many ways you can write them differently, but Matheson refers to the creatures in the book as vampires so I’m curious to see how he justifies that.
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
I have a gorgeous anniversary edition of this book in my collection and yet I constantly forget that I have it. It’s been a long time since I watched the movie, which I enjoyed, but I’m still curious to see how much it differs from the book. I think it’s also kind of telling that most of the books on this list I added when I was in a huge dystopian mood and my understanding of classic SF was just dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction. Oh, how time has shown me different things.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
It may not be a crime to be a British sci-fi fan who hasn’t read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but it sure does feel like one. This is one of many books that has been on my TBR for a long time and I will get around to it eventually, but this is one that I’m not getting to in a hurry.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
I have had an unread copy of this book for so long that it’s getting to be a little embarrassing. I’ve read plenty of dystopian novels where the society the characters live in is outwardly terrible to drive the point home, but one that masquerades as a utopia to keep the masses ignorant is one that’s very interesting to me. I will get to this one eventually!
Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell Jr.
If you didn’t know (but you should by now), John Carpenter’s The Thing is not only one of my favourite horror movies and one of my favourite sci-fi movies, but one of my favourite movies ever. I didn’t realise that it was based on a book until the title showed up in the credits and I’ve been curious about it ever since. Hopefully, this won’t be too difficult to find because I want to see how it compares to the movie.
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
One of my favourite novels is George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, even after it’s been misinterpreted as anti-communist (it’s not) or anti-socialist (it’s not) and taught horribly by teachers who are just following the curriculum, and I believe that this novel is a precursor to that. I haven’t read any Russian literature, and especially not Soviet literature because the government did have mandates in place that made sure most art was propaganda, and I’m not about that. That being said, I am curious to read an anti-totalitarian stance from someone who actually experienced living in the Soviet Union, rather than from someone on the outside making an allegory.
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
If I had a pound for every time I told myself I was going to finally read this book, I could be considerably better off than I am now. This book is in that grey area between Gothic literature and sci-fi because it’s seen as proto-science fiction just like Frankenstein, but the themes in it are firmly Gothic. I don’t really have much of an excuse to have still not read this book because it’s so short and I have a physical copy, but I just keep forgetting that it exists.
talk to me!
What classic SF books are on your TBR?