The science fiction novel is a curious thing, if only because the genre routinely oscillates between pop culture fodder and high academic analysis (most especially in recent years). Previously discarded as pulp or pop fiction meant to entertain rather than educate or enlighten, in recent years some very smart people have taken note of science fiction’s ability to analyze, examine and otherwise communicate our deepest fears and our projected course as a society. As they say, the workings of science fiction generally become science, and in many ways science fiction sets an interesting precedent for us to examine as a species. That’s why we here at Goliath have rounded up 10 of the most important, most influential and otherwise greatest science fiction novels ever written, so as to better educate our readers on the intricacies of this divisive yet ultimately crucial genre of writing.
10. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick
It’s no secret that Hollywood owes a great debt to the late Philip K. Dick, the legendary and prolific science fiction author behind the stories we can only assume make up 98% of Hollywood’s science fiction quota (seriously, they’ve adapted everything). Films like Minority Report, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly and perhaps most importantly, Blade Runner, are all inspired by Dick’s work; it’s that last film that was inspired by the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, originally published in 1968. The story, which follows bounty hunter Rick Deckard as he’s tasked with eliminating six escaped androids, served as the basis for Blade Runner and exists in its own right as a riveting science fiction tale whose influence extends far beyond its cinematic counterpart and into the greater realm of science fiction writing, as innumerable authors have cited both this novel and Dick as primary influences on their work.