No One Would Have Believed...
February 2, 2009 3:16 PM Subscribe
First contact and apocalyptic sci-fi recommendations please.
posted by turgid dahlia to Media & Arts (44 answers total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
I am a big fan of first contact science fiction, first contact being the moment wherein the human species – generally the protagonists – make contact with extraterrestrial intelligences or artefacts. I’m thinking along the lines of Sagan’s Contact, most of Stanislaw Lem’s work (The Invincible, Solaris, His Master’s Voice and the wondrous Fiasco), but particularly Clarke’s Rendezvous With Rama, Pohl’s Gateway, Budrys’ Rogue Moon and Bear’s Eon.
I find the latter sorts of stories particularly thrilling. An abandoned BDO (Big Dumb Object) filled with mysteries and terrors, which must be explored and scientifically understood. They are equal parts creepy and fascinating.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be an intelligence or an artefact. Baxter’s Moonseed was remarkable, and that was basically about a kind of dirt.
And for me, apocalyptic sci-fi (I’m thinking Footfall, The Forge of God, Blood Music, etc.) is great because it’s fun to watch the human race get wiped out, or nearly so. I know this is technically two questions but I figure science fiction aficionados would be happy to share their favourites in both genres.
So I guess I’m just after suggestions along those lines: hard (preferably) sci-fi about humankind’s first experience with a mysterious alien force, be it hostile, neutral, friendly, or simply extinct; and hard (preferably) sci-fi about humankind being taken to the very brink of continued existence.