Entertainment/Science Fiction and Fantasy

From Quiz Revision Notes

Ben Aaronovitch - Rivers of London (2011) is the first of a series of novels which follow the activities of PC Peter Grant who is recruited into a branch of the Metropolitan Police that deals with magic and the supernatural in a London where the gods of the city’s rivers (the Thames and its tributaries - Fleet, Lea, Brent etc.) exist in the real world.

Douglas Adams was an English author who died in 2001, aged 49.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a comedy science fiction franchise that was originally a 1978 radio comedy broadcast on BBC Radio 4, before developing into a ‘trilogy’ of five books. Follows the misadventures of the last surviving man, Arthur Dent, following the demolition of the Earth by a Vogon constructor fleet to make way for a hyperspace bypass. A supercomputer named Deep Thought calculates that the number 42 is The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything. Don't Panic is a phrase on the cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979) – Arthur is rescued by Ford Prefect. They are thrown out of a Vogon spaceship and are rescued by Zaphod Beeblebrox in the spaceship Heart of Gold

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980) – Milliways, the restaurant of the title, offers guests a spectacular view of the universe blowing up.

Life, the Universe and Everything (1982) – Ford and Arthur travel through the space-time continuum to Lord's Cricket Ground.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (1984) – Arthur returns to Earth, and discovers that this Earth is a replacement provided by the dolphins in their Save the Humans campaign.

Mostly Harmless (1992) – the title is derived from the entry for Earth in the revised version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Eion Colfer was commissioned to write the sixth instalment of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, entitled And Another Thing... (2009).

Dirk Gently is a character that appears in three novels. He describes himself as a “holistic detective” and specializes in missing cats and messy divorces.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987) – tells a complex, humorous story involving historical figures, aliens, and time travel.

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988) – when a passenger check-in desk at Heathrow Airport disappears in a ball of orange flame, the explosion is deemed an act of God. But which God, wonders Dirk Gently?

The Salmon of Doubt (2002) – was unfinished when Adams died; an unfinished draft is included in a posthumously published collection of the same name.

Brian Aldiss was greatly influenced by H. G. Wells.

Helliconia trilogy – is set on the Earth-like planet Helliconia. It is an epic chronicling the rise and fall of a civilisation over more than a thousand years as the planet progresses through its incredibly long seasons, which last for centuries. The trilogy consists of the books Helliconia Spring (1982), Helliconia Summer (1983), and Helliconia Winter (1985).

Supertoys Last All Summer Long (1969) – is a short story set in a dystopian future where families must request permission to bear children. Henry and Monica Swinton struggle to understand their A.I. son David. Used as the basis for the first act of the Steven Spielberg film A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

Poul Anderson was born in Pennsylvania to Scandinavian parents.

The Broken Sword (1954) – is a fantasy novel set during the Viking age. Tells the story of Skafloc, elven-fosterling and originally son of Orm the Strong.

Three Hearts and Three Lions (1961) – is a fantasy novel. Holger Carlsen is transported to another Earth, where he is destined to play a part in the war between Law and Chaos. Assisting him are Hugi, a dwarf, and Alianora, a swan maiden.

Tau Zero (1970) – is a hard science fiction novel. It follows the crew of the starship Leonora Christine, a colonisation vessel aiming to reach the nearby star Beta Virginis.

Isaac Asimov was born in Russia in 1919 or 1920. His family moved to the US in 1923 and he became a US citizen in 1928. He was a professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He wrote or edited more than 500 books, and his books span all ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System.

Pebble in the Sky (1950) – debut novel. Part of the Galactic Empire series.

Foundation series – was originally a trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation) published in three collections. Two sequels: Foundation's Edge (1982) and Foundation and Earth (1986), and two prequels: Prelude to Foundation (1988) and Forward the Foundation (1993) have been added to the series. The premise of the stories is that, in the waning days of a future Galactic Empire, the mathematician Hari Seldon spends his life developing a theory of psychohistory, a new and effective mathematical sociology.

Foundation (1951) – for twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon can see into the future – to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.

Foundation and Empire (1952) – The first half of the book details the story of Bel Riose, a general in the decaying empire who decides to conquer the Foundation. The second half of the book details the rise of the Mule, a mutant who can control people's minds.

Second Foundation (1953) – is about the Mule's search for the elusive Second Foundation, with the intent of destroying it.

Lucky Starr is the hero of a series of Young Adult science fiction books by Asimov, using the pen name Paul French.

Robot series – is a series of 37 science fiction short stories and six novels.

I, Robot (1950) – is the first work in the Robot series. It is a fixup novel of short stories. The first short story is Robbie.

The Three Laws of Robotics were introduced in the 1942 short story Runaround (included in the collection I, Robot) :

First Law

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

Second Law

A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

Third Law

A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

J(ames) G(raham) Ballard was associated with the New Wave of science fiction.

The Drowned World (1962) – depicts a post-apocalyptic future in which global warming has caused the majority of the Earth to become uninhabitable.

The Burning World (1964) – describes a world that has suffered an extensive drought, causing the world's populations to head toward the oceans in search of water.

The Crystal World (1966) – a doctor in the Cameroon jungle encounters an apocalyptic phenomenon that crystallises everything it touches.

For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles

Iain M. Banks also wrote mainstream fiction as Iain Banks. ‘M’ is the initial of his adopted middle name Menzies.

The Culture series or Culture cycle refers to a series of nine novels and a short story collection (The State of the Art) that centre around the Culture, a post-scarcity semi-anarchist utopia consisting of various humanoid races and managed by very advanced artificial intelligences.

Consider Phlebas (1987) – first book in the Culture series. Revolves around the Idiran–Culture War.

Against a Dark Background (1993) – is Banks’s first science fiction novel not to feature, or be set in, the Culture.

Feersum Endjinn (1994) – a large section of the novel is written phonetically in the first person, the book’s title being an example of the style.

For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles

Stephen Baxter

Raft (1991) – debut novel. The first book in the Xeelee Sequence.

The Time Ships (1995) – is an authorised sequel to The Time Machine by H. G. Wells.

The Massacre of Mankind (2017) – is a sequel to The War of the Worlds, authorised by the Wells estate.

Alfred Bester - The Demolished Man was the winner of the inaugural Hugo Award in 1953.

Pierre Boulle - Planet of the Apes (1963) tells the tale of three human explorers from Earth who visit a planet orbiting the star Betelgeuse, in which great apes are the dominant intelligent and civilized species, whereas humans are reduced to a savage animal-like state. Adapted into a 1968 film starring Charlton Heston.

For other works by this author see: Historical Fiction

Ben Bova

Grand Tour – a series of novels about the exploration and colonisation of the Solar System by humans in the late 21st century.

Orion (1984) – a series about John O’Ryan (Orion) a warrior demi-god who travels through time to save mankind who finds himself variously in the company of Odysseus, Alexander the Great and King Arthur.

Ray Bradbury

The Martian Chronicles (1950) – is a fixup novel consisting of previous short stories that chronicles the exploration and settlement of Mars, the home of indigenous Martians, by Americans leaving a troubled Earth that is eventually devastated by nuclear war.

Fahrenheit 451 – was published in 1953. Dystopian novel where books are outlawed and ‘firemen’ burn any that are found. It is divided into three parts: ‘The Hearth and the Salamander’, ‘The Sieve and the Sand’, and ‘Burning Bright’. The central character is Guy Montag, a fireman who begins to hide books in his house and read them. The title of the book refers to the temperature at which book paper catches fire. Adapted as a film in 1966 directed by François Truffaut and starring Julie Christie.

A Sound of Thunder (1952) – is a short story. It is often credited as the origin of the term "butterfly effect", a concept of chaos theory.

Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962) – a traveling carnival run by the mysterious ‘Mr. Dark’ arrives in Green Town, Illinois, the home town of two 13-year-old best friends, Jim Nightshade and William Halloway. The nightmare begins.

For other works by this author see: Horror Fiction

Marion Zimmer Bradley - The Planet Savers (1958) – is an introduction to her multi-novel Darkover series about the planet Darkover, the only inhabitable planet orbiting the red giant Cottman.

Gillian Bradshaw - Down the Long Wind – a trilogy set in the time of King Arthur and centered on Gwalchmai ap Lot (aka Gawain). Hawk of May (1980), Kingdom of Summer (1981) and In Winter's Shadow (1982).

David Brin

Uplift – a series of novels set in the Uplift Universe, where a civilization is perpetuated by the act of ‘uplift’, a developmental process to transform a certain species of animals into more intelligent beings by other, already-intelligent beings. Sundiver (1980), Startide Rising (1983), The Uplift War (1987), Brightness Reef (1995), Infinity's Shore (1996) and Heaven's Reach (1998).

The Postman (1982) – in a post-apocalyptic world Gordon Krantz finds and puts on a postman’s uniform and claims that he represents the ‘Restored United States’. Filmed in 1997 starring Kevin Costner.

John Brunner - Stand on Zanzibar (1968) is about an overpopulated world and is a Hugo Award-winning dystopian novel. The title refers to the claim that the world's population could fit onto the island of Zanzibar if they were all standing upright.

Lois McMaster Bujold has won the Hugo Award for best novel four times. The bulk of her works comprises three separate book series: the Vorkosigan Saga, the Chalion series (aka The World of Five Gods series) and The Sharing Knife series.

Vorkosigan Saga – is a series of novels featuring Miles Vorkosigan, a physically impaired interstellar spy and mercenary admiral from the planet Barrayar, set approximately 1000 years in the future.

Chalion – is a fictional landlocked medieval kingdom. Novels in the series include The Curse of Chalion (2001), Paladin of Souls (2003) and The Hallowed Hunt (2005).

The Sharing Knife – is a romance/fantasy crossover series. The original story grew so long that it was split into two volumes: Beguilement (2006) and Legacy (2007). A sequel, was also divided, into Passage (2008) and Horizon (2009).

Edgar Rice Burroughs

A Princess of Mars (1912) – is the first novel in the Barsoom series. Barsoom is a fictional representation of the planet Mars. John Carter, a Confederate veteran of the American Civil War, is mysteriously transported to Mars. He falls in with a tribe of Green Martians, or Tharks, who capture Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, a member of the humanoid red Martian race. Adapted into the 2012 film John Carter.

At the Earth’s Core (1914) – is the first novel in the Pellucidar series. Pellucidar is a fictional Hollow Earth. The stories initially involve the adventures of mining heir David Innes and his inventor friend Abner Perry after they use an ‘iron mole’ to burrow 500 miles into the Earth's crust. Pellucidar is inhabited by prehistoric creatures of all geological eras. In a crossover event, Tarzan, who was also created by Burroughs, visits Pellucidar.

The Land That Time Forgot (1918) – is the first novel in the Caspak trilogy. Set in World War I, a German U-boat, U-33, discovers the island of Caprona which has a tropical climate and is occupied by prehistoric creatures. Filmed in 1974 starring Doug McClure. Sequels: The People That Time Forgot (1918) and Out of Time's Abyss (1918).

For other works by this author see: Novels - USA

Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Game – the first of a series set at an unspecified date in Earth's future. The novel presents an imperiled humankind after two conflicts with the Formics, an insectoid alien species they dub the "buggers". The protagonist is Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin, who attends Battle School, an Earth-orbiting space station. Won the 1985 Nebula Award and the 1986 Hugo Award.

Speaker for the Dead – is a sequel to Ender’s Game. Won the 1986 Nebula Award and the 1987 Hugo Award.

The Tales of Alvin Maker – is a series of six alternate history fantasy novels set on the American frontier in the early 19th century. Alvin Miller, the seventh son of a seventh son, is born with unusual magical abilities that make him a ‘Maker’. Novels in series: Seventh Son (1987), Red Prophet (1988), Prentice Alvin (1989), Alvin Journeyman (1995), Heartfire (1998) and The Crystal City (2003).

Ted Chiang - Story of Your Life (1998) is a novella. Louise Banks tries to decipher an alien language. Adapted into the 2016 film Arrival.

Arthur C(harles) Clarke was born in England in 1917 and emigrated to Sri Lanka in 1956. In 1945, he proposed a satellite communication system using geostationary orbits. He was a lifelong proponent of space travel.

The City and the Stars (1956) – is a complete rewrite of his first novel Against the Fall of Night. Takes place one billion years in the future, in the city of Diaspar.

Rendezvous with Rama (1973) – Rama is a vast alien spaceship that enters the Solar System and will provide mankind's first encounter with alien intelligence.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film. Partly inspired by earlier Clarke short stories including The Sentinel (1951). A mysterious black monolith appears firstly in prehistoric Africa, secondly on the Moon in 1999, and thirdly on Iapetus (a moon of Saturn) in a mission led by Dave Bowman and maintained by a HAL 9000 computer.

2010: Odyssey Two (1982) – Heywood Floyd embarks on an odyssey to Jupiter with American colleagues aboard a Soviet ship, the Leonov, to revive Discovery, the spaceship captained by Dave Bowman in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

2061: Odyssey Three (1987) – follows Heywood Floyd, and his adventures from the 2061 return of Halley's Comet to Jupiter's moon Europa.

3001: The Final Odyssey (1997) – centres around the revival of Frank Poole and his attempts to save humanity from disaster.

Susanna Clarke - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2004) is a debut novel. It is set in England during the Napoleonic Wars and presents an alternative history where magic is widely acknowledged.

Michael Crichton

The Andromeda Strain (1969) – a group of scientists investigate an Extraterrestrial microorganism that has apparently killed the entire population of Piedmont, Arizona.

Jurassic Park (1990) – is centred on an attempt to create a theme park of cloned dinosaurs on the fictional island of Isla Nublar near Costa Rica, that is owned by John Hammond, the founder of InGen. Adapted into a 1993 film directed by Steven Spielberg.

The Lost World (1995) – is a sequel to Jurassic Park. On the island of Isla Sorna, dinosaurs have survived and been allowed to roam free but now there is a more ominous threat from InGen who have a plan to capture and bring the dinosaurs to the mainland.

Timeline (1999) – tells the story of a group of history students who time-travel to 14th century France to rescue their professor.

For other works by this author see: Novels - USA

L(yon) Sprague de Camp

Let Darkness Fall (1939) – an archaeologist is transported back to Rome in 535 CE where he changes the course of history.

Rogue Queen (1951) – part of the Viagens Interplanetarias series. A female ‘worker’ in a hive community discovers that a change in her diet transforms her into a fertile ‘queen’. The novel broke an apparent taboo of having sexual themes in science fiction works.

The Goblin Tower (1968) – the first novel in the Novarian series and also his The Reluctant King trilogy – The Goblin Tower, The Clocks of Iraz (1971) and The Unbeheaded King (1983) – featuring the sword and sorcery hero King Jorian of Xylar.

Philip K(indred) Dick wrote 44 novels and over 100 short stories.

The Minority Report (1956) – is a novella. John Allison Anderton is the creator and head police commissioner of the Precrime Division, in which three mutants called "precogs" predict all crimes before they occur. Adapted into the Steven Spielberg film Minority Report.

The Man in the High Castle (1962) – is set in San Francisco in an alternate history in which the United States is ruled by the victorious Axis powers. Japan rules the Pacific Coast states, Nazi Germany rules the Atlantic Coast states, and the Rocky Mountain states are politically neutral. It is the only Dick novel to win a Hugo Award.

We Can Remember It for You Wholesale (1966) – is a short story. Douglas Quail has a strong desire to visit Mars, brought about by a suppressed memory of actually being there as a secret agent. Adapted into the film Total Recall.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) – is set in a dystopian future Los Angeles of 2019. It tells the story of bounty hunter Rick Deckard policing the local population of androids who are known as replicants. Loosely adapted into the Ridley Scott film Blade Runner.

Ubik (1969) – is set in a future 1992 where psychic powers are utilized in corporate espionage. It follows Joe Chip, a technician at a psychic agency.

A Scanner Darkly (1977) – is a semi-autobiographical story set in a dystopian Orange County. The protagonist is Bob Arctor, member of a household of drug users, who is also living a double life as an undercover police agent.

VALIS (1980) – The title is an acronym for Vast Active Living Intelligence System, Dick's gnostic vision of one aspect of God.

Stephen R(eeder) Donaldson is the author of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, a ten-book series about a leper who is destined to be the saviour of another world. Split into 3 ‘Chronicles’: The First Chronicles - Lord Foul's Bane (1977), The Illearth War (1977) and The Power That Preserves (1979); The Second Chronicles - The Wounded Land (1980), The One Tree (1982) and White Gold Wielder (1983); The Last Chronicles - The Runes of the Earth (2004), Fatal Revenant (2007), Against All Things Ending (2010) and The Last Dark (2013).

Arthur Conan Doyle

George Edward Challenger, better known as Professor Challenger, is a fictional character in a series of science fiction stories, including The Lost World.

The Lost World (1912) – concerns an expedition to a plateau in the Amazon basin of South America where prehistoric animals still survive. The setting is believed to have been inspired by reports of Percy Harrison Fawcett's expedition to the borderland between Venezuela and Brazil, in a mountain called Mount Roraima.

For other works by this author see: Historical Fiction / Crime Fiction

Lord Dunsany - Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany – The King of Elfland’s Daughter (1924) – Alveric, the son of the Lord of Erl, travels to Elfland to win the hand of Lirazel, the king’s daughter.

David Eddings is the author of several fantasy novel series, including The Belgariad (1982–84) and its sequel The Malloreon (1987–91); and The Elenium (1989–91) and its sequel The Tamuli (1992–94).

Michel Faber - Under the Skin (2000) is a debut novel. Set in Scotland, it traces Isserley, an extraterrestrial who, manifesting in human form, drives around the countryside picking up male hitchhikers whom she drugs and delivers to her home planet.

For other works by this author see: Novels - World

Philip José Farmer

The Riverworld series – set on Riverworld, an artificial world populated by ‘reconstructed’ humans including the explorer Richard Burton, Samuel Clemens, England’s King John, Tom Mix, Jack London, Cyrano de Bergerac, Aphra Behn and Alice Liddell. The novels: To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971) – Hugo Award winner, The Fabulous Riverboat (1971), The Dark Design (1977), The Magic Labyrinth (1980) and The Gods of Riverworld (1983).

Jasper Fforde is best known for his Thursday Next novels.

Thursday Next is the daughter of Wednesday Next and Colonel Next. In her parallel universe, England is a republic, with George Formby as its first president, the Crimean War is still being fought and characters in books and those in 'real life' can jump in and out of novels. She is a Literary Detective (LiteraTec) who works in Swindon. Thanks to advanced genetic engineering Thursday has a pet dodo called Pickwick.

The Eyre Affair (2001) – debut novel. First novel featuring Thursday Next, who pursues a master criminal through the world of Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre.

The Big Over Easy (2005) is the first of the Nursery Crime novels set in the same alternate reality as the Thursday Next novels and describe the investigations of DCI Jack Spratt and his assistant, Sergeant Mary Mary.

Shades of Grey (2009) – is a dystopian novel story that takes place in Chromatacia, an alternative version of the United Kingdom wherein social class is determined by one's ability to perceive colour.

Diana Gabaldon - Overlander is a series of historical fantasy novels. Focuses on nurse Claire Randall, who time travels to 18th century Scotland and finds adventure and romance with the Highland warrior Jamie Fraser.

Neil Gaiman is best known as an author of comic books and graphic novels.

Stardust (1999) – is a fantasy novel concerned with the adventures of Tristran, a half-Faerie, half-human boy. Adapted as a film in 2007.

American Gods (2001) – is a fantasy novel centered on an ex-convict named Shadow. Won the Hugo and Nebula awards in 2002.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013) – follows an unnamed man who returns to his hometown for a funeral and remembers events that began forty years earlier.

For other works by this author see: Literature - Childrens

William Gibson is widely credited with pioneering the science fiction subgenre known as cyberpunk. He coined the term "cyberspace" in his short story Burning Chrome. Sprawl trilogy – first set of novels, composed of Neuromancer (1984), Count Zero (1986) and Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988).

Neuromancer – is notable for being the most famous early cyberpunk novel and winner of the so-called science-fiction ‘triple crown’ (the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the Hugo Award). Set in the future, the novel follows Henry Case, a washed-up hacker hired for one last job, which brings him into contact with powerful artificial intelligence.

The Difference Engine (1990) is an alternative history novel by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. It is widely regarded as a book that helped establish the genre conventions of steampunk. Explores a world in which Charles Babbage built a practical mechanical computer in the mid-19th century.

Newt Gingrich is a former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, who together with William R. Forstchen has written a trilogy of alternate histories of the American Civil War – Gettysburg (2003), Grant Comes East (2004) and Never Call Retreat: Lee and Grant: The Final Victory (2005) – in which Robert E Lee wins the Battle of Gettysburg but is subsequently beaten by Ulysses S Grant at the Battle of Frederick, bringing the war to an earlier conclusion than in reality.

William Goldman - The Princess Bride (1973) is a fantasy romance novel that tells the story of a farmhand named Westley, who must rescue his true love Princess Buttercup from the odious Prince Humperdinck. Adapted into a 1987 film directed by Rob Reiner from a screenplay written by Goldman himself.

For other works by this author see: Novels - USA

Joe Haldeman - The Forever War (1974) is a military science fiction novel. William Mandella is a physics student conscripted for an elite task force in the United Nations Exploratory Force being assembled for a war against the Taurans, an alien species.

Deborah Harkness is the author of the fantasy All Souls Trilogy about Diana Bishop whose powers of witchcraft are activated when she requests a book from the Bodleian Library in Oxford. The trilogy consists of A Discovery of Witches (2011), Shadow of Night (2012) and The Book of Life (2014). The trilogy has been adapted as a television series as A Discovery of Witches.

Harry Harrison

The Stainless Steel Rat (1961) – the first in a series of novels featuring ‘Slippery’ Jim diGriz, a charming con-man, thief and rogue.

Make Room! Make Room! (1966) – is set in a severely overpopulated world (1999 New York) where resources are fast running out. It was the basis for the 1973 film Soylent Green.

Robert A(nson) Heinlein was born in Missouri in 1907. He was a pioneer of hard science fiction. For much of the later 20th century, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein were informally known as the "Big Three" of English language science fiction writers.

Starship Troopers (1959) – is set in a future society ruled by a human interstellar government dominated by a military elite. The story follows Johnny Rico through his military service in the Mobile Infantry. Last of the “Heinlein juvenile” novels that were written for Scribner's young-adult line.

Stranger in a Strange Land (1961) – tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human who comes to Earth in early adulthood after being born on the planet Mars and raised by Martians, and his adaptation to and understanding of humans and their culture. Title is taken from the Book of Exodus in the Bible.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966) – is about a colony of prisoners and their descendants on the moon who are overseen by a supercomputer nicknamed Mike, who has become self-aware. TANSTAAFL (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) is a central, libertarian theme in the novel.

Time Enough for Love (1973) – follows Lazarus Long, who is officially the oldest human being alive, having lived over 2,000 years. He has grown weary of life and has decided it is finally time to die.

Frank Herbert is best known for the novel Dune and its sequels. Following Herbert's death in 1986, his son Brian Herbert and author Kevin J. Anderson continued the series.

Dune (1965) – is set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which various noble houses control planetary fiefs. It tells the story of young Paul Atreides, whose family accepts the stewardship of the planet Arrakis. While the planet is an inhospitable and sparsely populated desert wasteland, it is the only source of melange, or ‘spice’, a drug that extends life and enhances mental abilities. Melange is also necessary for space navigation, which requires a kind of multidimensional awareness and foresight that only the drug provides. As melange can only be produced on Arrakis, control of the planet is a coveted and dangerous undertaking.

The five sequels written by Frank Herbert are – Dune Messiah (1969), Children of Dune (1976), God Emperor of Dune (1981), Heretics of Dune (1984), and Chapterhouse: Dune (1985)

Fred Hoyle was an English astronomer and author.

The Black Cloud (1957) – debut novel. Tracks the progress of a giant black cloud that comes towards Earth and sits in front of the sun, causing widespread panic and death.

L(afayette) Ron Hubbard was the founder of Scientology who also wrote science fiction novels including Battlefield Earth (1982) and the ten-volume Mission Earth (1985-1987), nine of which were published posthumously.

Aldous Huxley

Brave New World (1932) – is set in a futuristic World State, whose citizens are environmentally engineered into an intelligence-based social hierarchy. First line: “A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories”. Title taken from Miranda’s speech in The Tempest.

For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles

Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go (2005) – is a dystopian novel where the lives of ordinary citizens are prolonged through a state-sanctioned program of human cloning.

The Buried Giant (2015) – is a fantasy novel set in England following the death of King Arthur. An elderly couple set off across a troubled land in the hope of finding a son they have not seen in years.

Klara and the Sun (2021) – is told from the point of view of Klara, a solar-powered AF (Artificial Friend), who is chosen by Josie, a sickly child, to be her companion.

For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles / Historical Fiction / Crime Fiction

P(hyllis) D(orothy) JamesThe Children of Men (1992) is a dystopian novel. The world has been stricken by a mass infertility crisis, now in its twenty-fifth year. The novel focuses on a small group of resisters who do not share the disillusionment of the masses.

For other works by this author see: Crime Fiction

Richard JefferiesAfter London (1885) is a post-apocalyptic fantasy novel set in a future in which urban civilization has collapsed after an environmental crisis.

N(ora) K(eita) Jemisin is the first author to win three successive Hugo Awards for Best Novel, as well as the first to win for all novels in a trilogy.

The Inheritance Trilogy consists of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2010), The Broken Kingdoms (2010) and The Kingdom of Gods (2011).

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – debut novel. Yeine Darr, mourning the murder of her mother, is summoned to the magnificent floating city of Sky by her grandfather Dekarta, the ruler of the world and head of the Arameri family.

Broken Earth trilogy consists of The Fifth Season (2015), The Obelisk Gate (2016) and The Stone Sky (2017).

The Fifth Season – takes place on a planet with a single supercontinent called the Stillness. Every few centuries, its inhabitants endure what they call a ‘Fifth Season’ of catastrophic climate change. Follows three females across the Stillness from different time periods: Essun, Damaya, and Syenite. Won the Hugo Award in 2016.

The Obelisk Gate – follows Essun, a powerful orogene driven out of her home at the beginning of the first book, and Nassun, her daughter. Won the Hugo Award in 2017.

The Stone Sky – revolves around Essun and her daughter Nassun separately rushing to the other side of world to an ancient city called Corepoint to end the conflict with Father Earth. Won the Hugo Award in 2018.

The City We Became (2020) is the first of a proposed Great Cities series. New York and the other great cities in this version of Earth are sentient beings.

Robert Jordan is the pen name of American author James Oliver Rigney, Jr.

The Wheel of Time is a series of epic fantasy novels set in an unnamed world that, due to the cyclical nature of time as depicted in the series, is simultaneously the distant past and the distant future Earth beginning with The Eye of the World (1990). A prequel New Spring was published in 2004. The series was finished by Brandon Sanderson after Jordan's death in 2007.

Daniel Keyes - Flowers for Algernon is a short story (1959) and novel (1966). The eponymous Algernon is a laboratory mouse who has undergone surgery to increase his intelligence by artificial means. The story is told by a series of progress reports written by Charlie Gordon, the first human subject for the surgery, and it touches on ethical and moral themes such as the treatment of the mentally disabled.

Stephen King

The Dead Zone (1979) – follows Johnny Smith, who is involved in a car accident and falls into a coma. When he wakes up, he finds that one part of his brain is seriously damaged, making it a ‘dead zone’, First story to feature Castle Rock.

The Running Man (1982) – was the first novel published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. The story follows protagonist Ben Richards as he participates in the reality show The Running Man in which contestants, allowed to go anywhere in the world, are chased by the general public, who get a huge bounty if they kill him. Adapted into a 1987 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Dark Tower (1982-2012) is a series of eight novels. Roland Deschain is the last surviving gunslinger, a man whose goal is finding and climbing to the top of the Dark Tower. Inspired by the poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came by Robert Browning.

The Green Mile (1996) – tells the story of death row supervisor Paul Edgecombe's encounter with John Coffey, an inmate who displays healing and empathetic abilities. ‘The Green Mile’ is the nickname of the Cold Mountain Penitentiary death row. Adapted into a 1999 Frank Darabont film.

11/22/63 (2011) is a novel about Jake Epping, a time-traveller who attempts to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

For other works by this author see: Horror Fiction

Ursula K(roeber) Le Guin The Earthsea Cycle, also known as Earthsea, is a series of high fantasy books. Earthsea is a vast archipelago of hundreds of islands surrounded by mostly uncharted ocean.

A Wizard of Earthsea (1968) – first novel in the Earthsea series. The novel centres on a young magician named Ged, born in a village on the island of Gont.

Hainish Cycle is a series of novels that deals with a galactic confederation of human colonies founded by the planet Hain

Rocannon's World (1966) – debut novel. First novel in the Hainish Cycle. An ethnologist sent to a bronze-age planet must help defeat an intergalactic enemy.

The Left Hand of Darkness – is part of the Hainish cycle and established Le Guin's status as a major author of science fiction. It is set on the ice-bound planet Gethen whose inhabitants are human but, for 28 days of the year, genderless. Won the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1970.

The Dispossessed – is part of the Hainish cycle. The novel follows Shevek, a native of the moon Anarres. The even-numbered chapters are set on Anarres and the odd-numbered take place on Urras. Won the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1975.

Ann Leckie - Ancillary Justice (2013) is the first book in the Imperial Radch trilogy and is the only novel to have won the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke awards.

Fritz Leiber - Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are two sword-and-sorcery heroes who are the protagonists of Leiber's best-known stories.

Stanislaw Len was a Polish science fiction author.

Solaris (1961) – chronicles the futility of attempted communications with the extraterrestrial life inhabiting a distant alien planet named Solaris. Adapted into films by Andrei Tarkovsky and Steven Soderbergh.

Ira Levin

The Stepford Wives (1972) – concerns Joanna Eberhart, a young mother who suspects the submissive housewives in Stepford may be robots created by their husbands. Filmed in 1975 and 2004 with Katharine Ross and Nicole Kidman respectively playing Joanna.

The Boys from Brazil (1976) – Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman tracks down Josef Mengele who is trying to create a Fourth Reich. Adapted as a film in 1978 with Gregory Peck as Mengele and Laurence Olivier as Lieberman.

For other works by this author see: Horror Fiction / Plays

C(live) S(taples) Lewis

The Space Trilogy or Cosmic Trilogy is a series of science fiction novels –

Out of the Silent Planet (1938) – A philologist named Elwin Ransom voyages to Mars and discovers that Earth is exiled from the rest of the Solar System.

Perelandra (1943) – Elwin Ransom journeys to Venus in which the first humanoids have just emerged.

That Hideous Strength (1945) – a scientific think tank is secretly in touch with demonic entities who plan to ravage and lay waste to planet Earth.

For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles / Literature - Childrens

Liu Cixin - The Three-Body Problem (2008) – Earth is awaiting an invasion from the closest star system, which, in this universe, consists of three solar-type stars orbiting each other in an unstable three-body system.

George R(aymond) R(ichard) Martin is the author of the series of epic fantasy novels A Song of Ice and Fire, which were adapted into the HBO series Game of Thrones.

A Game of Thrones takes place on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos. The principal story chronicles the power struggle for the Iron Throne among the great Houses of Westeros following the death of King Robert. The Wars of the Roses and the French historical novels The Accursed Kings by Maurice Druon were an inspiration for the novels.

Novels in the A Song of Ice and Fire series –

A Game of Thrones (1996)

A Clash of Kings (1998)

A Storm of Swords (2000)

A Feast for Crows (2005)

A Dance with Dragons (2011)

The Winds of Winter (forthcoming)

A Dream of Spring (forthcoming)

Julian May wrote The Saga of Pliocene Exile (aka The Saga of the Exiles) - one-way time-travellers to Earth’s Pliocene epoch discover it is inhabited by a race of aliens. The aliens can be loosely correlated with aspects of Celtic mythology such as the Tuatha Dé Danann. Novels in the series - The Many-Colored Land (1981), The Golden Torc (1982), The Nonborn King (1983), The Adversary (1984).

May’s Galactic Milieu series is related to The Saga of Pliocene Exile series, being a sequel and incorporating a prequel.

Anne McCaffrey is the author of the multi-novel Dragonriders of Pern series. She was the first woman to win a Hugo Award for fiction and the first to win a Nebula Award.

Dragonflight (1968) – a fix-up of the novellas Weyr Search and Dragonrider, this is the first book in the Dragonriders of Pern series. Human colonists of the planet Pern use telepathic fire-breathing dragons to destroy the dangerous ‘Thread’ which rains down from the sky.

China Mieville is a British author of speculative fiction.

Perdido Street Station (2000) – is set in the fictional world of Bas-Lag, in the large city-state of New Crobuzon. Perdido Street Station is a railway station.

The City & the City (2009) – follows a wide-reaching murder investigation in two cities that occupy the same space simultaneously. Set in the fictional Eastern European twin city-states of Besźel and Ul Qoma.

Michael Moorcock fostered the development of the science fiction "New Wave" in the UK

Elric of Melniboné is the eponymous antihero of a series of sword and sorcery stories centering in an alternate Earth.

The Eternal Champion is a fictional character and a recurrent feature in many of Moorcock’s novels.

Jerry Cornelius is an urban adventurer and an incarnation of the author's Eternal Champion concept. Cornelius is a hipster of ambiguous and occasionally polymorphous gender.

The Coming of the Terraphiles (2010) – is a Doctor Who novel featuring the Eleventh Doctor (as played on television by Matt Smith) and Amy Pond.

Erin Morgenstern - The Night Circus (2011) – debut novel. It is a fairy tale of magic and romance set in late 19th century London.

William Morris is best known as a textile designer. He wrote the fantasy novels News from Nowhere (1890) and The Well at World’s End (1896).

Larry Niven - Ringworld (1970) tells the story of Louis Wu and his companions on a mission to the Ringworld, a rotating wheel artificial world, an alien construct in space 186 million miles in diameter.

Mervyn Peake was an English author born in China.

Gormenghast is a fantasy series about the inhabitants of Castle Gormenghast, and consists of three novels, Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950) and Titus Alone (1959). Titus Groan is the main character of the series.

Boy in Darkness – is a novella that is considered an episode in the Gormenghast series.

Titus Awakes – was to have been the fourth novel in the Gormenghast series but was unfinished when Peake died of dementia in 1968.

Terry Pratchett is best known for his Discworld series of 41 novels. He was the UK's best-selling author of the 1990s.

Discworld novels are largely set in the city of Ankh-Morpork. The Discworld itself is described as a large disc resting on the backs of four giant elephants, all supported by the giant turtle Great A'Tuin as it swims its way through space. Unseen University (UU) is a school of wizardry in Ankh-Morpork. Hogswatch is the festival celebrating the winter solstice and the New Year across much of the Main continent and some other areas of Discworld. Sub-series within Discworld novels revolve around Rincewind, the Witches, the City Watch, Tiffany Aching and Moist von Lipwig.

The Colour of Magic (1983) – first Discworld novel. The main character is Rincewind, a failed student at the Unseen University for wizards.

The Light Fantastic (1986) – sequel to The Colour of Magic. It introduces the Unseen University’s librarian – an orang-utan.

Equal Rites (1987) – the third novel in the Discworld series and the first to feature the Witches, including Granny Weatherwax.

Guards! Guards! (1989) - first Discworld novel to feature Sam Vines and the City Watch.

The Wee Free Men (2003) – introduces the nine-year-old Tiffany Aching.

Going Postal (2004) – the 33rd book in the Discworld series in which Moist von Lipwig first makes an appearance.

The Shepherd’s Crown (2015) – final novel in the Discworld series.

The Carpet People (1971) – debut novel. Comic fantasy novel.

Good Omens (1990) – is a novel written in collaboration between Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. An angel and a demon try to thwart the End of Days.

For other works by this author see: Literature - Childrens / Literature - Non-Fiction

Alistair Reynolds specialises in hard science fiction and space opera, and has a PhD in astrophysics.

The Revelation Space (2000- ) universe is set in a future version of our world, with the addition of several extra-terrestrial species and advanced technologies.

Doctor Who: Harvest of Time (2013) – features the Third Doctor (as portrayed by Jon Pertwee) and his assistant Jo Grant.

Keith RobertsPavane (1968) is set in a 20th century Britain where events such as the industrial revolution have not taken place because Queen Elizabeth I was assassinated in 1588 and the Spanish Armada triumphed. Protestantism was suppressed throughout the Western World and the Pope is now de facto ruler of a Europe which retains the feudal system and eschews technological advances.

Kim Stanley Robinson is best known for his Mars trilogy. The three novels are Red Mars (1992), Green Mars (1993), and Blue Mars (1996).

Philip Roth - The Plot Against America (2004) is an alternative history in which Franklin Roosevelt loses the 1940 Presidential election to Charles Lindbergh.

For other works by this author see: Novels - USA

Andrzej Sapkowski is a Polish author best known for his book series The Witcher.

The Witcher – is a series of six fantasy novels and 15 short stories. The saga revolves around the eponymous ‘witcher’, Geralt of Rivia. Witchers are beast hunters who develop supernatural abilities at a young age to battle wild beasts and monsters. The books have been adapted into a film, two television series, a trilogy of video games, and a graphic novel series.

Blood of Elves (1994) – is the first novel in The Witcher saga.

John Scalzi - Redshirts (2012) is a space adventure that capitalises on tropes from Star Trek. Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456.

Mary Shelley, best known for the Gothic novel Frankenstein, also wrote The Last Man (1826), an apocalyptic science fiction novel in which Europe is ravaged by a mysterious pandemic.

For other works by this author see: Horror Fiction

William Shatner has written a series of science fiction novels called TekWar that were adapted for television. The novels were ghost-written by science-fiction author Ron Goulart.

Robert Silverberg is the author of many science fiction novels including a series set on the planet Majipoor.

Revolt on Alpha C (1955) – debut novel.

Lord Valentine's Castle (1980) – first novel set on Majipoor.

Roma Eterna (2003) – an alternative history in which the Roman Empire survives to the present day.

Dan Simmons - Hyperion (1989) is a Hugo Award-winning science fiction novel that follows a similar structure to The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.

E(dward) E(lmer) Smith was known as E.E. “Doc” Smith. He is sometimes called the “father of space opera”.

Lensman series (1948-1954) – is set two billion years before the present time. Except for the elder race of our galaxy, the Arisians, the universe has few life-forms and few planets besides their native world. The Eddorians, a dictatorial, power-hungry race, arrive into this universe from an alien space-time continuum. The Lens is a form of ‘pseudo-life’ created by the Arisians.

Triplanetary (1948) – first book in the Lensman series.

Skylark series – In the first book, The Skylark of Space (novel 1946) a scientist discovers a space-drive, builds a starship, and flies off with three companions to encounter alien civilizations and fight a larger-than-life villain.

Olaf Stapledon

Last and First Men (1930) – debut novel. Describes the history of humanity from the present onwards across two billion years and eighteen distinct human species, of which our own is the first.

Star Maker (1937) – describes a history of life in the universe. It is about an unnamed Englishman who is looking at the stars but suddenly finds himself travelling amongst them.

Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash (1992) is a cyberpunk novel. It covers history, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, religion, computer science, politics, cryptography, memetics and philosophy. The use of avatar to mean online virtual bodies was popularised in the novel. The term metaverse was coined, where humans, as avatars, interact with each other and software agents, in a three-dimensional virtual space that uses the metaphor of the real world.

George R(ippey) Stewart - Earth Abides (1949) tells the story of the fall of civilization from deadly disease and the emergence of a new culture with simpler tools.

G(raham) P(eter) Taylor - Shadowmancer (2002) is a fantasy novel. Like C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia it is a Christian allegory in the form of a fantasy adventure. Wormwood (2004) and Tersias (2005) are sequels to Shadowmancer.

Walter Tevis - The Man Who Fell to Earth (1963) Thomas Jerome Newton is a humanoid alien who comes to Earth seeking to construct a spaceship to ferry others from his home planet, Anthea, to Earth. Anthea is experiencing a terrible drought after many nuclear wars. Adapted into a 1976 Nicolas Roeg film starring David Bowie as Newton.

For other works by this author see: Novels - USA

J(ohn) R(onald) R(euel) Tolkein was born in South Africa. He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, Oxford from 1945 to 1959.

The Hobbit – was first published in 1937. Full title – The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. Follows the quest of Bilbo Baggins to win a share of the treasure guarded by a dragon named Smaug.

Lord of the Rings – began as a sequel to The Hobbit. The story ranges across Middle-earth, following the quest to destroy the One Ring. Published in three volumes in 1954 and 1955: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King.

The Silmarillion – is a collection of stories in five parts. It tells of Eä, a fictional universe that includes the continent of Middle-earth. Published posthumously in 1977.

Harry Turtledove

The Southern Victory series (aka Timeline-191) is a series of 11 alternate history novels beginning with How Few Remain (1997) in which the Confederacy defeats the Union in the American Civil War and secedes to become an independent nation. The subsequent novels take the alternate version of history consequent on this course of events through to 1945.

The War that Came Early – a series of six books about an alternative Second World War which began in 1938 with the collapse of Czechoslovakia. Books in the series - Hitler's War (2009), West and East (2010), The Big Switch (2011), Coup d'Etat (2012), Two Fronts (2013) and Last Orders (2014).

The Hot War – an alternative history series where the Korean War escalates into World War III - Bombs Away (2015), Fallout (2016) and Armistice (2017).

Mark Twain

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889) – tells the tale of Hank Morgan, a 19th century citizen of Hartford, Connecticut who awakens to find himself transported back in time to early medieval England at the time of the legendary King Arthur in AD 528. Bing Crosby played Hank in a 1949 comedy musical film version.

For other works by this author see: Novels - USA / Literature - Childrens / Literature - Non-Fiction

John Updike

The Witches of Eastwick – tells the story of three witches in a New England town who fall under the spell of new arrival Darryl Van Horne. Adapted into a 1987 film.

The Widows of Eastwick – final novel. Sequel to The Witches of Eastwick.

For other works by this author see: Novels - USA

Jack Vance was the author of many stand-alone science-fiction novels and several science fiction and fantasy series including:

The Dying Earth series – set in a distant future where the Sun is dying and magic has taken over. Novels and story collections - The Dying Earth (1950), The Eyes of the Overworld (1966), Cugel's Saga (1983) and Rhialto the Marvellous (1984).

Lyonesse – is set in the European Dark Ages on the mythical Elder Isles between France and England. Trilogy of novels - Suldrun's Garden (1983), The Green Pearl (1985) and Madouc (1989).

The Dragon Masters – won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1963.

The Last Castle – stand-alone novella which won the 1966 Nebula Award for Best Novella and the 1967 Hugo Award for Best Novelette.

Jeff VanderMeer - Southern Reach Trilogy is a series of novels first published in 2014: Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance. The trilogy takes its name from the secret agency that is central to the plot.

Jules Verne

Voyages extraordinaires is a collection of 54 novels. According to Verne's editor Pierre-Jules Hetzel, the goal of the Voyages was "to outline all the geographical, geological, physical, historical and astronomical knowledge amassed by modern science and to recount, in an entertaining and picturesque format ... the history of the universe."

Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864) – Professor Otto Lidenbrock and his nephew Axel set off across Iceland in the company of Hans Bjelke, a native guide. The expedition descends into tubes in an extinct volcano that may lead to the centre of the Earth.

From the Earth to the Moon (1865) – tells the story of the Baltimore Gun Club, and their attempts to build an enormous Columbiad space gun and launch three people in a projectile with the goal of a Moon landing.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) – when a sea monster threatens international shipping, French oceanographer Pierre Aronnax and his assistant Conseil join an expedition organized by the US Navy to hunt down and destroy the menace. The Nautilus is a submarine, commanded by Captain Nemo.

The Mysterious Island (1875) – is a sequel to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Captain Nemo identifies himself as Prince Dakkar, son of the Hindu raja of Bundelkhand.

For other works by this author see: Novels - World

Vernor Vinge - A Fire Upon the Deep (1992) is a tale of galactic war told on a cosmic scale. First novel in the Zones of Thought series.

Kurt Vonnegut was an American writer who fought in Europe in World War II

Player Piano (1952) – debut novel.

Cat's Cradle (1963) – is a satirical novel, told retrospectively by its narrator, John, who also calls himself Jonah. John explains that he had once set out to write a book about the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Specifically, he wanted to write an account of what important Americans were doing on the day. Bokononism is a fictional religion invented by Kurt Vonnegut and practiced by many of the characters in the novel. Many of the sacred texts of Bokononism were written in the form of calypsos.

Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) – is an anti-war novel that recounts the adventures of Billy Pilgrim, his capture by the German Army and his survival of the Allied firebombing of Dresden as a prisoner of war, an experience which Vonnegut himself lived through as an American serviceman. First line: "All this happened, more or less”.

Breakfast of Champions (1973) – tells the story of the events that lead up to the meeting of Dwayne Hoover, a car dealer from Ohio, and Kilgore Trout, a widely published but mostly unknown science fiction author. Kilgore Trout appears in several of Vonnegut’s books.

Andy Weir - The Martian (2011) is a debut novel. Follows an American astronaut, Mark Watney, as he becomes stranded alone on Mars in 2035 and must improvise in order to survive. Adapted into a Ridley Scott film starring Matt Damon.

H. G. Wells is often called the “father of science fiction”.

The Time Machine (1895) – debut novel. Narrated by the Time Traveller, who stops in AD 802,701, where he meets the Eloi, a society of small, elegant, childlike adults, and the Morlocks, an ape-like people who live underground.

The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896) – is narrated by Edward Prendick, a shipwrecked man who is left on the island home of Doctor Moreau, a mad scientist who creates human-like hybrid beings from animals via vivisection.

The Invisible Man (1897) – follows a scientist named Griffin, who invents a way to render himself invisible but fails in his attempt to reverse it.

The War of the Worlds (1898) – is a story of southern England being invaded by Martians. It is set in Horsell Common, near Woking. Among the most famous adaptations is the 1938 radio broadcast that was narrated and directed by Orson Welles. The first two-thirds of the 60-minute broadcast were presented as a news bulletin and led to outrage and panic by some listeners who had believed the events described in the program were real.

The First Men in the Moon (1901) – tells the story of a journey to the Moon undertaken by Mr. Bedford and Mr. Cavor who has developed a new material, cavorite, which can negate the force of gravity. They discover that the Moon is inhabited by a sophisticated extraterrestrial civilisation of insect-like creatures they call "Selenites".

The World Set Free (1914) – predicts nuclear warfare years before research began and describes the chain reactions involved and the resulting radiation.

For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles

Connie Willis has won eleven Hugo Awards and seven Nebula Awards for particular works—more major science fiction awards than any other writer.

The Last of the Winnebagos (1998) – is a short story that takes place in a dystopian future where a pandemic has killed all the dogs.

Doomsday Book (1992) – won both the Hugo and Nebula awards. It is the first in a series about Oxford time-traveling historians, which includes To Say Nothing of the Dog (1998) and Blackout/All Clear (2010).

Gene Wolfe

The Book of the New Sun – a ‘Dying Earth’ tetralogy (The Shadow of the Torturer (1980), The Claw of the Conciliator (1981), The Sword of the Lictor (1982) and The Citadel of the Autarch (1983)) which follows Severian, a disgraced journeyman torturer.

John Wyndham was the pen name of John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris.

The Day of the Triffids (1951) – debut novel. Sees an aggressive species of plant begin to kill people once most individuals in the planet are blinded by a meteor shower. The protagonist is Bill Masen, a biologist and an expert on triffids.

The Kraken Wakes (1953) – is a tale of monsters from the deep, alien invasion and ecological disaster. Mike Watson, who works for the English Broadcasting Company (EBC) with his wife and co-reporter Phyllis are witness to several major events of the invasion. The eponymous kraken is a sea monster from Scandinavian folklore.

The Chrysalids (1955) – takes place in a dystopian society set in the future after a nuclear holocaust. The inhabitants of the society subscribe to a fundamentalist religion focused on keeping all living things in their ’pure’ form, denouncing genetic mutations. David Strorm is the narrator of the story.

The Midwich Cuckoos (1957) – tells the tale of an English village in which the women become pregnant by brood parasitic aliens. Filmed twice as Village of the Damned.

Chocky (1968) – is about a 12-year-old boy, Matthew Gore, who is in telepathic communication with an alien entity (the eponymous Chocky).

Roger Zelazny

Lord of Light (1967) – takes place on a planet that has been inhabited by people from Earth for many generations. The first settlers of the planet have developed technology that allows them to magnify their mental powers and transfer souls into new bodies. They have used this technology to create a mythology based on the Hindu religion.

The Chronicles of Amber is a series of fantasy novels published between 1970 and 1991. The Amber stories take place in two contrasting "true" worlds, Amber and Chaos, and in shadow worlds (Shadows) that lie between the two.

Nine Princes in Amber (1970) – is the first novel in The Chronicles of Amber series.