May 30, 2023

Top 10 Sci-Fi Books with the Best Technology



Published May 22, 2023, 2:20 a.m. by Courtney


1. Dune by Frank Herbert

2. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

3. 1984 by George Orwell

4. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

5. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

6. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

7. The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

8. The Black Hole by Charles Burns

9. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

10. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

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hi there we're the huguenots bringing

you the best sci-fi novels of all time

and today we're doing the top 10 best

tech ideas that have ever been done so

excited about this Cody what's number

10. number 10 we're going to start with

Ice Nine from vonnegut's novel cat's

cradle which is uh in the novel

essentially a chemical compound ice-9

that turns anything it touches any water

it touches moisture Etc into a very

um aggressive version of ice uh the

unmeltable unmelt completely unmeltable

and it's a it's a a metaphor for nuclear

war and uh nuclear proliferation and the

hand in the

idea that we could have weapons so

powerful in the hands of the few and how

how terrifying that is and it really

hits home

um when when you think about what all

the planets water and moisture freezing

just because some one person decided to

touch this compound to something yeah

that scene where it's like starting to

proliferate yeah I'll never forget it

crazy scene terrible scene anyway number

nine I'm gonna go with the ansible from

uh Ursula caliguin's heinous cycle so I

think the dispossessed or left hand of

Darkness later the same exact technology

was taken by Orson Scott Card for use in

the Ender's Game Universe he also calls

it the ansible

um what it does is it allows

instantaneous communication between any

two places in the Galaxy

um you know these days I think we would

say it was using quantum entanglement

which may or may not actually work but

anyway the point is it's a really

interesting idea and particularly when

Ursula K Le Guin is using it in her

books and all of those heinous cycle

books it's about sort of cultural change

because you can't possibly move like

large objects you can't have trade

Between Worlds it's just too expensive

but you can exchange ideas and watching

how just ideas can change societies and

change people is extremely powerful and

I think probably

realistic to how Interstellar travel

will be for us it will make no sense to

move physical objects between stars but

maybe even if we have to move into the

speed of light we can move ideas

um so yeah it's just really a powerful

idea that I think says a lot about what

our future might be like yeah um number

eight is rendezvous with Rama by Arthur

C Clarke and that is the the ship Rama

um the cylinder that's flying through

these the future human solar system and

we explore the ship uh we won't spoil it

for you but essentially it's a great

idea because

um it's the first kind of realistic Arc

ship that uh I've seen I mean we we get

Arc ship Concepts a lot in you know uh

human cryo sleep Etc how do we travel

children of time recently very famously

yes exactly

um and and Rama's feels realistic

because well I can't tell you that but

you should definitely read it so number

eight rendezvous Rama the ship yeah how

do you make the systems not break down

over all that time Arthur C Clarke

thought about it anyway okay uh number

seven I'm gonna go with the artificial

blooms in barrier and just in general

and all the workhouse again books by uh

Lois mccaster Bujold uh these are

episodic books you can just drop into

mostly any of the books in the series

they're all so well written such amazing

characters incredibly fun and in general

they're the sort of like long run Arc of

these stories is about this family who's

part of the ruling Elite of this planet

Barry are trying to change kind of their

like backward patriarchal extremely

militaristic Society into being sort of

like a more forward-looking

technologically advanced rich and equal

world and the the artificial wombs are

just sort of an understated very cool

part of that and it does a lot to like

sort of help break gender Dynamics

um and I think that's something probably

that will happen in our future and we'll

do a lot to help

um you know make it so people can live

their lives any way they want single

father you can have a kid mom doesn't

have to stop going to work for a while

to have a kid like all that kind of

stuff and just explore in a really good

way I'll also call out the first time I

ever saw this was actually in eldest

Huxley and he uses it for some very

Sinister stuff in Brave New World

um we have that episode coming out next

week so come back but uh anyway

particularly in the forecast again

series I think such a well done concept

yeah absolutely

um coming in at number six we have uh

the the ancillaries in ancillary Justice

um ancillary Justice is a novel well and

then a Trilogy they answered

um about uh ships who are artificial

intelligences who control human bodies

um so it's one mind controlling many

many human bodies and it explores the

ideas of of what what uh personality

would develop out of a being who lived

like that

um and it's a fascinating exploration of

that and and a cool idea

um again about something that seems

plausible that might happen in the

future

um and fantastic novel nonetheless yeah

that novel and that idea totally blew my

mind such a cool exploration of that and

we're not spoiling anything that's very

clear in the beginning of the book which

is the whole book sort of like delves

much further into how that goes

okay number five I'm gonna go with

Ender's Game but a p probably a piece of

tech you're not expecting from Ender's

Game the fantasy game that Ender plays

so while he's in battle school there's

this Fantasy game he's playing on a

tablet computer

um and it's just an image that stuck

with me my whole life you know probably

I probably read Ender's Game for the

first time 20 years ago

um and when I reread it recently I

realized that was one of the things that

I've actually stuck with me the longest

and I think the reason that is is

because

the game in the game world he can do

anything he wants you know there's no

like you can only pick up certain

objects or whatever he can truly do

anything he wants and the game is being

created specifically for him and so in

in Ender's Game that no one really

understands like what the computer's

trying to achieve and it's kind of part

of the twist at the end that I won't

spoil but I think that idea of a

responsive game that's extremely

immersive is very powerful and the

question they're raising about like how

could you use that to shape someone's

thoughts and like who's trying to shape

His Thoughts with this are

really really worth thinking about and

something I think we'll have to

encounter in the near future so yeah

just such a numbers of crazy games yeah

and and the idea that it can be custom

tailored to him specifically right that

that's that's a very cool um idea uh

honorable mention also would be spoiling

if I said a lot more about it but um the

VR game and three body problem which

serves a similar function yes very much

in the same vein yeah okay number four

uh memory called Empire by RK day

Arcadia Martin is about a woman from an

outer rim Planet who's going to the

center of the political Galaxy

um and has to fight through uh the the

bureaucracy and the politics

um

and the piece of tech that's fascinating

in that novel is the Indigo machines

which are specific to her call her space

Colony their machines that are implanted

in the brains of diplomats that are uh

that that have an old identity on file

basically of the previous Diplomat or

you know the previous scientist who's in

your field it's not only diplomats

um and it creates this really

interesting way of thinking about

identity through bio enhancements when

you have someone else's personality

embedded in your brain and they're

morphing the the personalities are

morphing together into one thing over

time

um and it seems like something that

could happen with bio enhancements and

how how you know might be part of

Humanity's evolution in our identities

yeah extremely extremely cool idea okay

number three we're gonna go with

travel at effectively the speed of light

uh which I think is most well explored

in a way that really makes it hit home

in the Forever War

so the Forever War is a book by Joe

Haldeman definitely one of the best

sci-fi novels of all time if you have

not read it you must

um and it's about uh

it's about Humanity experiencing first

Contact and then going to war with this

alien race and it all happens far off

they don't know where Earth is and we

don't know where their home planet is or

they're fighting over these jump points

but to get to the jump points you have

to accelerate to effectively like you

know 999 percent the speed of light and

that means that the time dilation gets

really crazy so he's on the two-year the

soldiers on a two-year campaign but over

the course of the war what because he's

spending so much of that two years at

extremely high speeds hundreds of years

are passing on earth and the way that

impacts his personal relationships and

his ability to understand his own

culture it just really brings home in a

very visceral way that traveling

Interstellar distances is always a

one-way trip you can never go home and

um this book just really brings that

home in a really really incredible way

yes fiction at its finest uh analogizing

High concepts for us so we can

understand them and uh instinctually

feel them uh number two is another great

example of that which is the anxiety or

anxiety is the dizziness of Freedom by

Ted Chang which is uh Novella it's about

tablets that are invented that split

multiple universes from the moment that

they're turned on and parallel timelines

of the character who's turning on the

tablet essentially and so the tablet

lasts so long as its battery lasts and

it's it's information lasts and what you

can do is you can speak between the one

parallel universe and the other with

yourself or whoever has the tablet on

the other end so you can see what kind

of impact your choices had

um and and the version of yourself

that's doing better or worse than you

are and all the implications they're in

um and this this is a really interesting

way of exploring the idea in a shorter

format in the novella

um because you get

to focus just on what happens to the

world when these tablets are invented

it's an incredible story and it's a

really character first human way of

looking at looking at this technology

and why yes such a fun great exploration

of Multiverse I totally agree and that

uh that's that story is in his

collection exhalation uh he has two big

books out collected short stories

exhalation is is my personal favorite of

the two but they're both so great anyway

so if you're looking to get the book get

exhalation by Ted Chang and that story

is in it yes thank you for that um and

what about number one number one okay

number one we're gonna go with

uh I guess we'll call it the metaverse

from Snow Crash uh because that's the

one that really I think brought it home

first for me but this is an idea that

was first explored in uh Neuromancer

William Gibson yeah and it's he doesn't

even have a name there really I guess

we'll call it cyberspace and then later

after snow crash you see it in the

Matrix which

um you know really explored it an

interesting interesting way the Oasis

and ready player one but broadly

speaking let's call this like extremely

immersive virtual reality

um

and

it's in all of those are incredible

pieces of fiction Ready Player one is

maybe like less highbrow and kind of

just fun but you should absolutely read

snow crash Neuromancer and if you have

not seen The Matrix like go do that

right now but in any case just this idea

that I think as time goes on we spend

more and more of Our Lives sort of like

inside screens and those screens will

keep getting better and better like

these ideas seem like certain to be true

and just these are all different ways of

exploring them

uh in various shades of dystopia versus

Utopia and

um it's I'll never forget the the crazy

sword fight scenes from uh from snow

crash or

um you know in The Matrix when you can

learn things instantly because of this

VR machine just in general this idea of

fully immersive virtual reality I think

is is the tech idea in sci-fi that that

seems most imminent in in extremely

changing our our world and lives exactly

and it also has the um it also proves

that science fiction and fiction in

general have the power to determine how

the world develops planting those ideas

like is this possible in the heads of

people

um

who actually can make them happen has

been

one of the most fun ways to see science

fiction play out and actually affect our

world in in the reverse way and also

hopefully help us with these huge

transformative technological ideas

because we've explored them in fiction

before hopefully we can avoid doing them

in the terrible ways uh we'll see

exactly an alternate history to to warn

us about the pit exactly of things all

right well those are the top 10 Tech

ideas in science fiction as we think

them and we'd love to hear your thoughts

come join us on the Discord good seeing

you everybody keep reading

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