Some sci-fi books satirising all manner of life and creation
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.
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.
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. Still good for an occasional laugh.
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.
The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem (1971)
Cosmonaut Ijon Tichy attends the Eighth Futurological Congress with the Plenary Council of Student Protest Veterans, the Convention of Publishers of Liberated Literature, and a Phillumenist (matchbooks) Society also nearby. Revolution is in the air and a severe injury leads to some ultra-comedic cryogenics. One of Lem's funniest.
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.
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. Another winner from Stephenson.
Redshirts by John Scalzi (2012)
The 'redshirts' dilemma, of course, was a running joke with fans of the original series of Star Trek. You just knew if you didn't know the character assigned to an away mission, and he/she wore a red shirt… there was a good chance they weren't coming back. A leading light of contemporary sci-fi, Scalzi sheds no tears while having uproarious fun with the concept.