Visions of Paradise

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Future history primer

I have been preaching a lot recently about the wonders of future history as a sub-genre of science fiction. This includes space opera (the more recent definition of it as any sf set in the wilds of outer space), planetary romances, and other far-future sf.

So it seems only fitting that I should offer this Primer of Future History SF as examples of how wondrous and exciting far-future sf can be. Most of these far-future novels have been written since 1960 since those are the years I have been an active reader of sf. The list is in roughly chronological order.

City / Clifford D. Simak
The Stars My Destination / Alfred Bester
The Man Who Counts / Poul Anderson
The Star King / Jack Vance
Lord of Light / Roger Zelazny
Nightwings / Robert Silverberg
Nova / Samuel R. Delany
The Left Hand of Darkness / Ursula K Le Guin
Ringworld / Larry Niven
Gaea trilogy / John Varley
Gateway series / Frederik Pohl
The Darkover series / Marion Zimmer Bradley
Brothers of Earth / C.J. Cherryh
Galactic Center series / Gregory Benford
Dying of the Light / George R.R. Martin
Speaker for the Dead / Orson Scott Card
Grass / Sherri S. Tepper
The Hyperion cantos / Dan Simmons
Alex Benedict series / Jack McDevitt
Galactic North trilogy / Alastair Reynolds

Feel free to add any suggestions to the above list. It is certainly not intended to be definitive.


  • Cordwainer Smith probably belongs in this list somewhere, with his Norstrilia, Rediscovery of Man, and other works (mostly short stories) about the future, probably thousands of years from now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 4:00 PM  

  • I definitely agree. NORSTRILIA was a fabulous novel. thanks.

    By Blogger adamosf, At 7:20 PM  

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