Scientifical Satires
Some sci-fi books satirising all manner of life and creation


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The First Men in the Moon
by H G Wells (1901)


A scientist invents gravity-resistant matter, covers a large sphere with it, and heads off to the moon with a friend. Amidst lush vegetation they discover an underground society of highly-regimented insectoidal beings led by the satirical Grand Lunar. As usual, the novel is full of subtle socio-political commentary and shades of socialism.





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The Space Merchants
by Frederik Pohl & C.M. Kornbluth (1953)


A good old-fashioned leftist attack on the shortcomings of capitalism. Giant advertising agencies dominate the world, go to war with each other, and use drugs and ad-propaganda to turn us into mindless pulp. Kornbluth died before his time, but for a while was the crackling wit behind Pohl's leftism and a fine writer of short stories.





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Cat's Cradle
by Kurt Vonnegut (1963)


Vonnegut takes aim at science and religion in this side-splitting nuclear age parable. A scientist invents 'ice-nine' because a general is tired of soldiers' boots getting muddy. An array of misfits take us through some typical Vonnegut mayhem. There is never any doubt about what will happen in the end, but gee it's fun getting there.





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The Witches Of Karres
by James H Schmitz (1966)


Rollicking space opera that scored a Hugo nomination in 1967. A spacefaring merchant trader 'rescues' three young slavegirls from their oppressive masters. He soon discovers that they are witches from the prohibited planet of Karres. All sorts of madcap mayhem follows as he runs afoul of spies, pirates and creepy aliens.





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Ubik
by Philip K Dick (1969)


A time-twisting 'forward into the past' story and a topnotch comedic outing from PKD. The head of future anti-psi security agency which jams up nosy telepaths is apparently killed. Fragments of reality become disjointed as time begins to move backwards. The line between life and death gets blurred beyond belief. Brilliantly bent.





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Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams (1979)


It's the end of the world as we know it - and when a book is this funny - I feel fine. The guide, of course, is what we segue to as we follow Arthur Dent, the last human left alive, on his unlikely travels around the galaxy. By book four in the "trilogy" the jokes were wearing a little thin. This one, however, is not to be missed for the world.





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The Diamond Age
by Neal Stephenson (1995)


Stephenson's popular follow-up to 1992's Snow Crash has nanotech engineer John Percival Hackworth stealing a copy of a computer-interactive book he designed for his wealthy employer. Neo-Victorian society is never the same again when an underprivileged girl gets a hold of it and radically reprograms the future.





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MaddAddam [S3]
by Margaret Atwood (2013)


Rather than be pigeon-holed as a science fiction writer, for Margaret Atwood it has always been the story that is the thing. Here she goes from the serious to the sublime, as her MaddAddam trilogy concludes by charting a course into the maniacal. A man-made plague has swept the Earth, while the survivors and bio-engineered green-eyed Crakers try to pick up the pieces.


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