In the last year, I decided to go back to science-fiction novels and learn what is out there. Here are my favorite scifi authors.
- Frank Herbert for his Dune saga. Some interesting trivia: Frank is a college dropout and Dune was rejected by nearly twenty publishers before being accepted by a small publisher (Chilton). Among other things, Star Wars is a Dune derivative. Among ideas explored are: AI is dangerous and should be forbidden, seeing the future can be a curse, human beings should think long term. He became a full time writer only at the age of 52. His son Brian tried to expand on Dune, but do not bother: he does not get Dune.
- David Brin for the Uplift saga. David has a Ph.D. in space science. His work is concerned with ecology: how do species and intelligence evolve and how can we protect planets? I find it fascinating that we may, one day soon, allow monkeys to speak (why not) through genetics.
- Dan Simmons for Hyperion. Oddly enough, Dan writes about AI and its consequences for humanity, but it is not immediately apparent when you start reading him. Very original. Are you a slave to your technological devices? How do you know you are not being fooled?
- Georges-Jean Arnaud for his Compagnie des glaces saga. The saga is made of over 60 novels! He describes life after a catastrophe that has left Earth frozen. In order to survive, the few surviving human beings become dependent on sophisticated railroad companies. Other than the terrible climate and sex, the main theme is the importance of anarchists. Unfortunately, Arnaud is probably the greatest French scifi writer of the XXth century: his work is deep and ambitious, but incredibly messy. He has other good scifi novels.
I plan to try my luck next with Iain Banks. I am actively looking for recommendations on what to read next.