Assorted Misfits
If you don't fit in, you are probably doing the right thing


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We
by Yevgeny Zamyatin (1921)


The ever-present eye of The Benefactor knows all, individuality is a thing of the past, and nature has been sent into exile. A new spaceship will allow humankind to impose the benefits of reason on whatever alien races they can find - that is until D-503 rediscovers his soul. Russian writer chillingly predicts the rise of Stalinism and beats Orwell to the punch by a quarter century.





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A Clockwork Orange
by Anthony Burgess (1962)


Jailed for delinquent excesses, an ultra-violent youth is subjected to an experimental form of aversion therapy. Complications arise when his sense of humanity and love of classical music are destroyed. His confessions are told in a Russified near-future teenage jargon. U.S. editions prior to 1986 omitted the controversial last chapter, absent also in the Stanley Kubrick 1971 feature film.





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Flowers for Algernon
by Daniel Keyes (1966)


Moving story - told through diary entries - of a subnormal floor sweeper named Charly who has his intelligence raised by artificial means. When the lab mouse used to test the process (Algernon) dies, it is found that Charly's high-IQ will deteriorate at a rate "directly proportional to the quantity of the increase". The book raises some serious questions about science and humanity.





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The Dispossessed
by Ursula K. Le Guin (1974)


This book highlights the challenges inherent in building the ideal socialist society. The impoverished anarchists on the almost-barren moon live in a small, but ecologically sound society, whereas rich mother planet Urras is technologically-driven. Shevek must make the journey to the utopian mother planet to challenge the complex structures of life and living, and ignite the fires of change.





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Eon [S1]
by Greg Bear (1985)


The 21st century was on the brink of nuclear war when the 300 kilometer-long stone flashed out of nothingness and into Earth's orbit. NASA, NATO, and the UN sent explorers to the asteroid's surface... and discovered marvels and mysteries to drive researchers mad. For the Stone was from space, and within the hollowed asteroid was Thistledown... the remains of a vanished civilisation.





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Ilium
by Dan Simmons (2003)


The Trojan War rages at the foot of Olympos Mons on Mars, observed by Zeus and his immortal family, as well as 21st century professor Thomas Hockenberry. On Earth, a small band of the few remaining humans pursues a lost past and devastating truth, as four sentient machines depart from Jovian space to investigate the potentially catastrophic emissions coming from the Red Planet.





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The Windup Girl
by Paolo Bacigalupi (2009)


Biopunk tale of corporate profits, terrorism and post-human evolution. Anderson Lake is a 'Calorie Man' working undercover for AgriGen, leaving no stone unturned searching Bangkok's street markets for foodstuffs that may already be extinct. There he meets Emiko, one of the bioengineered New People who has been abandoned. Calorie companies rule the world, the oil age has passed, and the side effects of bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe.





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The Long Earth [S1]
by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter (2012)


The Silence was very faint in the office of the transEarth Institute, an arm of the Black Corporation. Almost drowned out by the sounds of the mundane world. The faceless office, all plasterboard and chrome, was dominated by a huge logo, a chesspiece knight. This wasn't Joshua's world. None of it was his world. In fact, when you got right down to it, he didn't have a world... he had all of them.


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