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Books To Read
Sci Fi Books
The old sci-fi art in general is still the best to me--it looks the most fantastical! Too much photorealism makes images seem...real and not fantastical. They lose the sci-fi feel to me then and just seem like almost exact copies of the known real world. I love digital art too and I love doing it, but digital can make images look too accurate.... --Pia (Ringworld - Larry Niven)
Hard sci-fi/philosophy/culture: The late scientific genius Carl Sagan (through the mouthpiece of protagonist Ellie) contemplates an event in which real-life SETI-project satellites encounter evidence of extra-terrestrial life. How would scientists react? How would governments act? How would the world as a global community act? What philosophical questions would it raise for our place in the cosmos?
Sci-fi/Philosophy: Humans can become morally blind-sided by their will-to-power — no more so than when in charge of unscrupulous objectives of corporate entities. It is stressed that we need to apply a deeper sense of empathy and "free love" for our fellow humans (a concept that Heinlein coined called "grokking"). Widely regarded as one of several germs for the 1960s hippie movement.
Philosophy of Science/Religious Allegory: Something to read, not only for the literary/cultural precedents, but for Shelly's virtuous command of the English language. The book inspires many interpretations. The first and most apparent meaning (to me), is the myopia of science and how well-intentioned projects (especially those that "play God") have the potential to cause harm and misery on a massive scale. Apt — given the year of publication (1818) and the rise of science-led industrialism.
Futurology: Fascinating piece of "speculative fiction" that — in 1992 — helped popularise the "avatar" neologism (avatar is a Sankrit word for incarnation) and to further imagine the types of virtual reality universes (within the "metaverse") that our children could someday visit. As with "Habitat" and "Neuromancer", Snow Crash is a novel with some brilliant and original ideas on prospective technology — said to have inspired NASA Worldwind, Google Earth, smart vehicle design and augmented real
Economics/psychology/sociology: "A rogue economist" offers some surprising statistics and perspectives on everyday services/experiences that the average person fails to consider. Whether it sets out to be or not, this book is fraught with information on human psychology and the simple ways in which human behaviour can be shaped.