Science fiction that made an impact.

Science fiction narratives have been mesmerising readers for decades. The futuristic worlds, unique settings, colonisation of planets, space travel and alien encounters, among other themes, have kept readers craving for more. Science fiction authors have delved into discussing concepts of science and technology to combine them with social issues and challenges. They are a compelling read for those who have a curious mind, are imaginative, and who dwell on thinking about the 'what if' factor about the future.

Here we will look at some of the books that fans of science fiction should read.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)

The story is about Victor Frankenstein, who creates a human-like figure by stitching human parts together. Shelley used the concept of science by using galvanisation as the process by which Frankenstein brings his creature to life, which is rejected by everyone for being repugnant.

Ice by Anna Kavan (1967)

The story is set in apocalyptic times when the existence of humanity is jeopardised by the melting of the ice shelf as a result of a nuclear war. Kavan's three characters struggle to survive in extreme circumstances. Kavan has not given names to her characters, but differentiates them based on their personality. She includes the themes of loneliness, addiction and mental illness, while putting in social allegories.

The Martian by Andy Weir (2015)

This novel was indeed a work of art. It blended science with fiction to create a story that could just be true. Three astronauts visit Mars in 2035 for a month. After six solar days, an intense dust storm compels them to leave the planet or their Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) will overturn. Astronaut Mark Watney is left behind when an antenna hits him. The crew must leave or they will remain stranded. Watney is an engineer and a botanist who experiments growing potatoes on Mars to survive. He does so by creating a humid environment in the Martian habitat by burning hydrazine to generate water. Watney knows that the next mission will land at Ares 4 in four years. This point is 3,235 kilometres away from his current location. The rover cannot travel that long so he has to modify it with solar panels and batteries.

Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)

Dune has remained one of the best science fiction novels of all time. The story focuses on Paul Atreides and his family as they take command of the planet Arrakis. The planet is unfit for human life, but is the only source of a spice called...

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