It is a novel of discovery, but also a novel of compassion and hope. Despite some dubious plot points Perdido Street Station features one of the most mesmerising and terrifying monsters I've ever come across.Described with a stunning, fluid, dreamlike intensity, in a wonderfully rendered world, the Slake Moths made Perdido Street Station the most memorable sf novel I've read. Banks novels are great because you have to think quite hard to understand them while you're reading them.Well the answer is yes sometimes and particularly in this book albeit some unknown space drug.But like the genre of sci-fi itself Dick uses such concepts as vehicles for what I would see as Dicks’ big idea.While not as evidently prescient as Huxley or Orwell, Zamyatin explores a potential extrapolation of the Soviet ideal.
Schismatrix not only helped birth what we now think of as the "New Space Opera" (e.g.
A challenging and interesting book best read with some understanding of the culture within which it was written (although the film adaptation is also of high quality).
This book features on every 'Best of' list at some time or other and there's a good reason: it is a hilariously perfect and lovingly absurd journey of a simple human being through the wild riot that is existence.
It's got everything - essentially it's about Imperialism and Rhetoric, but it has many lessons and much wisdom for those interested in learning about Imperialism, especially the modern-day form of 'Aid' and 'helping the natives' - but then justifications for Imperialism have usually been wrapped up in fluffy-feel-good 'humanitarian' terms A good SF novel should be, above all things, a good novel.
Sturgeon, a great short-story writer, uses the genre to explore what it is to be human, and how we can strive to be more.