Science Fiction Books Everyone Should Read

Recently one of the Alibris forum posts was asking if anyone knew a good book series to read. Series are great because once you get into the characters and story the fun continues. It’s like a good TV series where you don’t want it to end. I have some great science fiction series that I want to share, and a few more sci-fi books everyone should read before they leave the Matrix.

Well World series by Jack L. Chalker

The first is the Well World series by Jack Chalker. The Well World is a planet of hexagons where an alien and now-forgotten race used to experiment and create their own intelligent lifeforms, which were then scattered across the universe. This makes for a great story backdrop since, once our characters get to the Well World, the options are almost unlimited. The series starts with Midnight at the Well of Souls. 220px-WellMidnightSmall WellExilesSmall 200px-ReturnNathanBrazilSmall

Bio of a Space Tyrant series by Piers Anthony

The second book series is the ultimate space opera. It’s the Bio of a Space Tyrant series by Piers Anthony. This is a six-book science fiction series that follows Hope Hubris from his poor roots through his rise to power to become the Space Tyrant. This is known to be Piers Anthony’s most adult-themed work. The series starts with Refugee.

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Science Fiction by Ira Levin

At Alibris, all the great science fiction books of the past are waiting for you to find them, even when you can’t remember the name of the book. When I first started at Alibris every time I spoke to a bookseller, who I felt may know their science fiction; I’d try to explain this book that I had read years back and wanted to read again. All I really remembered was the main character sticking his arm into a slot to get his daily shot but he had wrapped it in cloth so that the drug would not enter. Then one day it finally happened, “That’s a book called This Perfect Day by Ira Levin,” someone finally told me. I looked it up and sure enough they were right! I ordered the book on Alibris and read it once again. I never really considered Ira Levin a science fiction author but nothing could be further from the truth. Two of his other books, which I just love, are also science fiction; The Stepford Wives and The Boys from Brazil.

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The Stainless Steel Rat and other books by Harry Harrison

Make_Room!_Make_Room!Stainless_Steel_RatAnother wonderful author is Harry Harrison. He wrote, Make Room! Make Room!, which was later turned into the movie Soylent Green. But my favorite book series by Harry Harrison are The Stainless Steel Rat books. It’s the story of con man James Bolivar DiGriz, alias “Slippery Jim” or “The Stainless Steel Rat.” Large portions of the first novel originally were published as two stories in Astounding Magazine.

The opening chapter of this book is among my favorites, so if you start it, I know you’ll love it. In the end Harry Harrison ended up writing twelve Stainless Steel Rat stories. The Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat has the first three novels.

Two books by Robert Heinlein

Finally let me end with a classic name everyone will recognize, Robert A Heinlein. He has two stories that I always recommend. The first is Starship Troopers and no you can’t get away with just watching the movie. The book has an entire race of aliens not even mentioned in the movie, the skinnies. I used to play Starship Troopers the Game and it had all three races so when the movie came out I was like, hey what happened? It’s a good read and you should give it a try. The second Heinlein book, and my favorite, is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. This is the story about the lunar colony’s revolt against rule from earth. Word on the street is, this may become a movie under the title Uprising, so hurry and read the book before it’s too late.

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For the article I tried to show the covers, as they were, when I first read them. No matter what cover you end up with, the stories are the same, and will transport you to a world of future imagination.

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