Rajeev Bharadwaj, a friend of mine introduced me to science fiction. It was an arena of books that i had never read before, and very soon i was devouring Sci-fi at an alarming rate 🙂
Isaac Asmiov’s Foundation series is perhaps the best introduction to this genre… The series was writtnenover a span of 40 years by the author! The enigmatic Hari Seldon and the branch of mathematics called psychohistory is the basis of the entire series of books and all that can be asked in great fiction is there… an absolutely believable setting of a galactic empire on the verge of collapse, one man actually fighting to hurry the collapse which he predicts will take 30,000 years into just a 1000 years, and all the mystery and suspense about how the Seldon plan (based on the foundation of psychohistory, which i will leave you to read about) will work.
Asimov has also written the Robot series and is actually credited with coining the word Robot. And the 3 laws of Robotics. Again a series of brilliant books about how robots become more and more human, until there is little to differentiate between man and machine…
He was a prolific writer and write on many, many diverse subjects… from the bible to the big bang theory and lamost everything in between! I especially enjoyed his short stories 🙂
The other author who i think about in hushed terms is Arthur C. Clarke… his novels are lyrical, with surreal beauty and superb plots. There were two of his books, Childhood’s End and the Fountains of Paradise which i absolutely loved… His Rama series which deal with an encounter with a mysterious alien space ship is also nice, though i didn’t find the endings of the series satisfying… He does have a habit of killing off his characters at the most inopportune times. His other very famous books are the 2001: Space odyssey series which almost, almost managed to mimic what happened with earth’s fledgling space program… you should read the books and then read up on the things that actually happened… i thnk only the monolith on the far side of the moon was not there :)… ofcourse you have no idea what i am talking about… read the books and you will know! 🙂
Dune is also a fantastic series set on a desert planet. So vividly written, it made me sweat and feel hot just reading it.
The Star Wars original trilogy is perhaps the BEST Sci-fi movies ever made… if you have not watched them, PLEASE do yourself a favour and buy them on DVD and watch them on as big a screen as possible with the volume turned on HIGH!
Before they went onto the gory german nazi movies, steven spielberg and George lucas gave us some really really nice feel good, happy ending sci-fi movies: ET, Star Wars, batteries not included, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones… According to me, all worth owning on high quality DVD and watching once every 2-3 years :), maybe sometime i will write a review for all of them :),
Just for the record, i really didn’t like the story of darth vader which was told in episodes I, II and III, which were actually made years after episodes IV, V and VI… its kind of complicated 🙂
As much as i loved Sci-fi, i love fantasy even more… but that’s for another post, some other day…