So, let's get into it, shall we?
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. It's quirky and creative and witty.
It follows Arthur Dent, a human who escapes from Earth just as it's about to be destroyed. Saved by his friend, Ford, an alien-journalist, he travels the universe, having ridiculous adventures.
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
I've already talked about this book a lot on my blog. It's one of my favorite science fiction works. I love the battle school sequences, the politics, and Ender. I've read this several times, and I will most likely read it again.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
This classic tells the story of Offred, a woman who lives in a society where women have no rights and "handmaids" are forced to act as concubines in order to bear children.
It's an excellent piece of speculative fiction, and it's somewhat terrifying because it's technically a possibility.
Anthem by Ayn Rand
I am not a huge fan of Ayn Rand, but the first time I read Anthem, when I was a teenager, I connected with it on a very deep level. It spoke to my desire to be different and to realize who I am as a person.
It tells the story of Equality 7-2521, a young man growing up in a socialist, collectivist society. Though he lives in the future, society has regressed, doing away with technology (such as electricity). He, however, is cursed with curiosity and intelligence and finds that he's unsatisfied by the world he lives in.
This is a classic dystopian, but it speaks to individuality, will, and intelligence, themes which are found throughout her works.
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
This book blew me completely away when I read it. I had never experienced anything quite like it, and I still haven't. I am not well-versed in my science fiction, though.
The Left Hand of Darkness is about a man, Genly, who is sent to the planet Gethen as an envoy from the intergalactic coalition of humanoid worlds. There he finds a people who are almost always asexual, only adopting sexual qualities once a month and switching between male and female attributes depending on context. It's about more than that, but it's difficult to explain the plot.
Needless to say, it's excellent. At first, I was off-put by the highly sterile style of writing, but I pushed through and found that it fit the tone perfectly.
Those are my top five futuristic reads. If you want to participate in Top 5 Wednesday, just check out the Goodreads group. Share your favorites down below!