I recently started reading a book and felt I needed to share. I'm a huge Sci-Fi buff and I just read The Shape of Things to Come by H.G Wells (Author of War of the Worlds). The book was written in 1933 and is a Sci-Fi history book written from the perspective of a historian from 2105. He covers the history from 1900-2105 (remember, all of it but 1900-1933 is fiction). I found the book to be incredibly interesting, in that it delves into the final unification of mankind. For Wells, the unifying force of humanity was a confederation of technicians, engineers, and scientists merged into an authoritarian dictatorship that methodically eliminates religion, politics, and cultural diversity. Some of the things he writes about are eerily correct (he predicts the internet!)The book is a great read, it is incredibly immersive, and I would suggest it to anyone who enjoys Sci-Fi or alternate history.
My absolute favorite book is Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (soon to be a movie!). It helped shape my view on the world including my conversion to athism. The book takes place a hundred years after an alien invasion which united the world and the hero an young boy named Ender must become a brilliant space commander to prepare humanity for another imminent attack. One of the problems faced by Ender is how to fight an enemy that is spread across the Galaxy where they can afford the loss of a planet but he cannot lose a battle or Earth will be destroyed dooming all of humanity. What I took away from the book is that humanity is isolated to earth and an external event such as a meteor, solar event, or nuclear war could very easily extinguish humanity. After reading this book, I realized that most religions accept an apocalypse as inevitable which I feel is unacceptable and which strongly influenced my view on the world.
I should mention that Orson Scott Card is my favorite author and is a conservative christian. He does not insert heavy handed religious symbolism in his books like some authors. A prime example would be C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia which I enjoyed but could have been much better if some of the chapters weren't blatant propaganda.
So now I've shared a few books that I've enjoyed and have helped shape the way that I see the world. What are your favorite books/books you've read recently and what did you enjoy/learn from them? : )
Hey, there's this book called "Our Holy Hell: the" . . . . . . .aw, forget it!
AHAHAHA! I'd read the other posts as well and when I started to read your post I was about to kick myself for inviting that spam. I'm in a library and managed to turn my laugh into a cough. Good one!
Well, for better or worse (choose one!), the posts along with their author has gone where the woodbine twineth ... or something like that.
No disrespect to you, Ivan, but I could not resist the joke once I saw your post. Thankfully they have gotten that racist skin head idiot out of here now!
Red Leaves, By Thomas H. Cook, didn't think I would like this one, but it gets really good in the middle and towards the end, I literally could not put it down.
Child 44, By Tom Rob Smith, I just have a thing with kids and murder mystery for some reason...
One book that turned around some of my thinking was "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James W. Loewen. This book is from 1995 and tells the white wash of American history and the real reasons that other cultures do not like some of our "historical heroes." The book is extremely well documented and was an eye opener for me.
Speaking of morals, a couple years ago I picked up Aesop's Fables. I hadn't read those stories (or had them read to me) since early elementary school. They're quite fun to read......and much more moral than the bible.
Ivan, I know you're asking for book recommendations, but speaking of the book The Shape of Things To Come, I recently rented and enjoyed the 1936 film version. Netflix: Things to Come
If you like films you can also view it in its entirety on YouTube: Things to Come
Whoah! I didn't realize there was a movie. I'll have to check it out, thanks!
My all time favorite is Hyperion by Dan Simmons. In large part it is Simmons' incredible writing skills that makes the book. If you are in to the Alternate History sub-genre, Harry Turtledove is the master. Harry Harrison is also a great Alternate History writer. As an intro to Turtledove I would recommend, The Agent of Byzantium .
I've heard great things about Hyperion, that's definitely on my list of books to read. Never heard anything about Agent of Byzantium but after reading a plot summary, I'll have to check it out.
Just over a year ago I wrote a science fiction book will attempt to attach the first three chapters to this. The book is called Hope's Landfall.
With reference to C.S.Lewis I would say that it is interesting reading the Chronicles of Narnia reading between the lines you can see his belief changing constantly through the period of his writing. Lewis did also write some science fiction seem to remember reading Out of the silent planet and Prelandria.
Conservative Christian? Nah, Orson Scott Card is Mormon. A very crazy one, too. Readers tend to miss the Mormon symbolism he puts in his writing because not a lot of people are aware of what to look for. I dunno, I used to like his stuff, and Ender's Game and what I've read of the Shadow branch were very well written.
But then there's Speaker for the Dead, and boy did that one get preachy! Xenocide, too, if I remember correctly. Oh, and *especially* Children of the Mind. It was a long time ago and I was in high school, but yeah, I remember being turned off of the religious-ness of it all.
After finding out more on Mormonism and Mormon theology, I can't help but make parallels to the points made in Card's books. In the later books of the series, he goes on about metaphysics and souls actually being a type of particle...? The basic gist of it was that soul-particles could grow super powerful and god-like, and could split off to create their own universes. It's a Mormon teaching that we were all souls before we were born, and these souls are the children of god's mind (hence the title Children of the Mind). Some Mormons also believe in exaltation, where believers can progress to become gods themselves, who would in turn continuously create more souls/spirit children for all eternity.
The stages of piggy life are also symbolic of the Mormon "three estates" and "three degrees of glory", and... and... I really wish I didn't know all this stuff now. It's ruining my childhood memories. :(
*cough* Anyway... For sci-fi books, my all-time favorite is still Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, followed closely by the Dune series. Katana-wielding pizza delivery guys and sandworm-riding eco-jihadists, f*** yeah.