Soft Science Fiction Books

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A list of popular soft science fiction books. Soft Science Fiction: A broad spectrum of science fiction that deals with soft sciences, social science, and human affairs. Unlike Social Science Fiction, Soft Science fiction doesn't necessary deal with Social implications or strictly focus on them. Vote on the entries and/or submit new entries to the list.
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1

1984

by George Orwell

4.62 avg rating

View our feature on George Orwell’s 1984.

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is more timely that ever. 1984 presents a "negative utopia," that is at once a startling and haunting vision of the world—so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of entire generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.

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Flowers For Algernon

by Daniel Keyes

4.3 avg rating
With more than five million copies sold, Flowers for Algernon is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance--until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie?
An American classic that inspired the award-winning movie Charly.
Nebula
Hugo
3
23
3

Fahrenheit 451

by Ray Bradbury

4.05 avg rating
Ray Bradburys internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future.

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television family. But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didnt live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

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Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep

by Philip K. Dick

4.6 avg rating
"The most consistently brilliant science fiction writer in the world."
--John Brunner

THE INSPIRATION FOR BLADERUNNER. . .

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was published in 1968. Grim and foreboding, even today it is a masterpiece ahead of its time.

By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . . They even built humans.

Emigrées to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn't want to be identified, they just blended in.

Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.

"[Dick] sees all the sparkling and terrifying possibilities. . . that other authors shy away from."
--Paul Williams, Rolling Stone
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Dune

by Frank Herbert

4.19 avg rating
Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Muad'Dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family--and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what it undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.

Nebula
Hugo

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The Dispossessed

by Ursula K. Le Guin

3.6 avg rating

Centuries ago, the moon Anarres was settled by utopian anarchists who left the Earthlike planet Urras in search of a better world, a new beginning. Now a brilliant physicist, Shevek, determines to reunite the two civilizations that have been separated by hatred since long before he was born.

The Dispossessed is a penetrating examination of society and humanity -- and one man's brave undertaking to question the unquestionable and ignite the fires of change.

Nebula
Hugo
Locus Science Fiction
John W. Campbell
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16
1

A Brave New World

by Aldous Huxley

5 avg rating

"Aldous Huxley is the greatest 20th century writer in English." —Chicago Tribune

Aldous Huxley is rightly considered a prophetic genius and one of the most important literary and philosophical voices of the 20th Century, and Brave New World is his masterpiece. From the author of The Doors of Perception, Island, and countless other works of fiction, non-fiction, philosophy, and poetry, comes this powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations. Brave New World remains absolutely relevant to this day as both a cautionary dystopian tale in the vein of the George Orwell classic 1984, and as thought-provoking, thoroughly satisfying entertainment.

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Stranger In A Strange Land

by Robert A. Heinlein

4.43 avg rating
Here at last is the complete, uncut version of Heinlein's all-time masterpiece, the brilliant novel that grew from a cult favorite to a bestseller to a classic in a few short years. It is the story of Valentine Michael Smith, the man from Mars who taught humankind grokking and water-sharing. And love.
Hugo
12
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3

The Lathe Of Heaven

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Locus Science Fiction
Nebula
Hugo
13
9
4

A Clockwork Orange

by Anthony Burgess

3 avg rating

A newly revised text for A Clockwork Orange’s 50th anniversary brings the work closest to its author’s intentions.

A Clockwork Orange is as brilliant, transgressive, and influential as when it was published fifty years ago. A nightmare vision of the future told in its own fantastically inventive lexicon, it has since become a classic of modern literature and the basis for Stanley Kubrick’s once-banned film, whose recent reissue has brought this revolutionary tale on modern civilization to an even wider audience. Andrew Biswell, PhD, director of the International Burgess Foundation, has taken a close look at the three varying published editions alongside the original typescript to recreate the novel as Anthony Burgess envisioned it. We publish this landmark edition with its original British cover and six of Burgess’s own illustrations. 6 illustrations
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The Giver

by Lois Lowry

4 avg rating
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
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Ubik

by Philip K. Dick

3.67 avg rating
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Vorkosigan Saga

by Lois McMaster Bujold

4.33 avg rating
When enemies become mare that friends they win. In her first trial by fire, Cordelia Naismith captained a throwaway ship of the Betan Expeditionary Force on a mission to destroy an enemy armada. Discovering deception within deception, treachery within treachery, she was forced into a separate peace with her chief opponent, Lord Aral Vorkosigan he who was called 'The Butcher of Komarr' and would consequently become an outcast on her own planet and the Lady Vorkosigan on his. Sick of combat and betrayal, she was ready to settle down to a quiet life, interrupted only by the occasion ceremonial appearances required of the Lady Vorkosigan. But when the Emperor died, Aral became guardian of the infant heir to the imperial throne of Barrayar and the target of high-tech assassins in a dynastic civil war that was reminiscent of Earth's Middle Ages, but fought with up-to-the minute biowar technology. Neither Aral nor Cordelia guessed the part that their cell-damaged unborn would play in Barrayar's bloody legacy. Publisher's Note: Cordelia's Honor is comprised of two parts: Shards of Honor and Barrayar. Together they form a continuous story following the life of Cordelia Vorkosigan nee Naismith from the day she met her then-enemy Lord Aral Vorkosigan through the boyhood of her son Miles. Barrayar won the Hugo Award for best science fiction novel of the year.
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Grass

by Sheri S. Tepper

5 avg rating
Hugo
Locus Science Fiction
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Riverworld

by Philip Jose Farmer

4 avg rating

"Charts a territory somewhere between Gulliver's Travels and The Lord of the Rings."
--Time

To Your Scattered Bodies Go and The Fabulous Riverboat
Combined for the first time in one volume!

Imagine that every human who ever lived, from the earliest Neanderthals to the present, is resurrected after death on the banks of an astonishing and seemingly endless river on an unknown world. They are miraculously provided with food, but with not a clue to the possible meaning of this strange afterlife. And so billions of people from history, and before, must start living again.

Some set sail on the great river questing for the meaning of their resurrection, and to find and confront their mysterious benefactors. On this long journey, we meet Sir Richard Francis Burton, Mark Twain, Odysseus, Cyrano de Bergerac, and many others, most of whom embark upon searches of their own in this huge afterlife.

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