Some Recommendable Literature:

(in a completely random order... for now, anyway)

Singles (go to Series)

Einstein's Bridge
by John Cramer
“Hard science” Sci-Fi; Communication between different (baby/bubble-)universes; Conspiracy -- why (really) the Superconducting SuperCollider was canceled; the (un)surprising scarcity of intelligence; the existence of only two broad types of societies: centralized (where an entire civilization becomes a single hive-mind) and uncentralized (free-for-all) -- dubiously, the latter seems to manage a standoff.

Indistinguishable from Magic
by Robert L. Forward
For various phenomena that so far exist only in Sci-Fi literature we currently: (1) know the technology albeit perhaps not the financing; (2) know the theory albeit perhaps not the technology; (3) know nothing. Accentuated with examples from his own Sci-Fi writing, this is an excellent handbook for “hard science” Sci-Fi (would-be) writers.

Otherness
by David Brin
A collection of short stories and commentaries: some are exceptionally witty, some are exceptionally profound; some are both. My favorite quote: “To the problem of imperfect knowledge [Science] suggests a new and unprecedented solution---honest work.”

Theories of Everything: The Quest for Ultimate Explanation
by John D. Barrow
A thorough inquiry into the possible meanings of, the very possibility of, and salient features of (current candidates for) a Theory of Everything; from before Socrates to beyond String Theories, from Canons to Chaos, from linear predictability to uncomputability.

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
by Robert A. Heinlein
Written in a plausible evolution of English, from the perspective of freedom-fighters on Luna, including a multiply prosthetic-armed human and a self-conscious computer; why are some jokes funny and others aren't; military advantages of the lower-gravity Moon over the higher-gravity Earth. Motto: TANSTAAFL! And, the best advice ever (attributed to Manuel's father): “Mind own business and always cut cards.”

Friday
by Robert A. Heinlein
The (in)humanness of the genetically (un)engineered humans; impoliteness as a first sign of a decaying civilization. Some reasonable, yet reasonably fresh thoughts on the desire to belong, to love and be loved, in spite of clear superiority in so many ways.

Job : A Comedy of Justice
by Robert A. Heinlein
Many-world interpretation of quantum mechanics, literal creationism, equal rights to all mythologies, “Where [insert your true love's name] is, is Heaven”, God and Satan take turns at creating worlds and are answerable to a higher (businessman-like) beings, ... all thrown together --- and it works!

Glory Lane
by Alan Dean Foster
An irreverent and amusing explanation of where 12% of our Universe is, and why its burping might destroy the other 88%. Except, of course, an impeccably complexioned and proportioned air-head saves the day (and the Universe), in spite of the bumblings of a nerd, his punk brother, a variably digited alien, a computer-fought space war, an ever-increasing list of higher and higher intelligences, ... with a kiss. Now that you know the plot, read it anyway.

Dreams of a Final Theory
by Steven Weinberg
In what sense is the “final theory” -- final? Why do particle (string) theorists believe that their subject is the most fundamental? Why is mathematics so unreasonably effective and philosophy so ineffective (for the purposes of advancing theoretical physics)? Do we need the hypothesis of God? About these and many other questions about contemporary high energy theory ---from one of its forefront developers and practitioners. A personal, if well argumented account; you may disagree with him, you may deny his conclusions, but you cannot deny his straightforward candor.

Fact and Fancy
by Isaac Asimov
Published forty years ago, and still fascinating. That is, for those who like the science in science fiction or just plain want to be up to speed on numerous facts that can be estimated “on the back of an envelope”. An excellent handbook for “hard science” Sci-Fi (would-be) writers.

Go to Series

Tristan Hübsch, 2000


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