The best realistic science fiction books

Kfir Luzzatto Author Of Chipless
By Kfir Luzzatto

Who am I?

As an author who is also a patent attorney and an engineer, I often deal with projects that are the closest thing to science fiction. That is one of the driving forces behind my urge to write science fiction. However, I very much prefer realistic stories that may potentially come true to hard science fiction with intergalactic travel, robots all over, and time machines (although I have written space opera and a few other hardcore SF tales, and must admit having had fun with them). Still, I like realistic science fiction much more. It leaves more room for character development, and I find myself engrossed in it more easily.


I wrote...

Chipless

By Kfir Luzzatto,

Book cover of Chipless

What is my book about?

The chip in your brain is the source of your happiness and the key to your health. It guides you, it looks after you...and it turns you into a complacent slave.

When Kal, a young scientist, accidentally discovers how the chip is playing with his mind, his life is in danger. Amber is a chipless girl from afar with a problem of her own. They flee the city together. Amber is more important to the city rulers than Kal imagines. They must reach a safe destination, but time is running out for Kal. If they fail to get there in time, both his life and the hope of fighting the city tyrants will be lost.

The books I picked & why

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The Chrysalids

By John Wyndham,

Book cover of The Chrysalids

Why this book?

This book shows the reader a world that may be in our future, one that in many ways is not so different from what happens right now in some parts of the world. John Wyndham is a fantastic writer, and his writing takes you in and gets you invested in the story from the first pages. I couldn’t stop thinking about my takeaway from this story for a long time; actually, I still go back to it now, after many years, and have reread it three times, always finding something more in it.


They Walked Like Men

By Clifford D. Simak,

Book cover of They Walked Like Men

Why this book?

This story of alien invasion is hauntingly realistic and frighteningly fun. It has one of the most original plots I have ever seen and, despite the absurdity of the events recounted in it, this book has a ring of truth to it. You read something utterly preposterous and murmur to yourself, “this might happen!” After reading it, you will start looking at events around you differently.


The Man in the High Castle

By Philip K. Dick,

Book cover of The Man in the High Castle

Why this book?

This alternative history novel is a vision of what could well have been if things had gone slightly differently. The vision presented by the author is haunting because, throughout the book, you cannot free yourself of the thought that this could really have happened. It leaves you thinking about how easily your life could turn into a nightmare and how impotent you are to change the course of history. You finish the book feeling that you just dodged a bullet.


Friday

By Robert A. Heinlein,

Book cover of Friday

Why this book?

Robert Heinlein excels himself in this story narrated in the first person by a young woman, who is not really a human but rather a synthetic person but one you can relate to. Published in 1982, when much of the technology it describes was not yet in the realm of possibility, this book shows us an image of a chaotic world that may well be in our future. Serious issues sprinkled through this book’s pages are hidden between fun, fast action, a bit of licentious behavior, and some absurdity. Fun is guaranteed.


The Death of Grass

By John Christopher,

Book cover of The Death of Grass

Why this book?

Every now and then, we need a reality check; we need to remind ourselves that we are very much dependent on events over which we have no control and that a small event may end up causing our view of our self-important world to crumble. The Chung-Li virus that starts everything in this hauntingly realistic novel teaches us how insignificant we are compared to the forces that govern events on this planet. I felt much humbler after reading this book, and in a good way.


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