Cavendish’s utopian story follows the adventures of a kidnapped woman, who travels to another world ruled by humans and animals – fox-men, fish-men, goose-men, the list goes on. As she is a very beautiful woman, she becomes their Empress, and organizes an all-powerful invasion of her own world, with fire (stones) literally raining down from the sky.
Price: Â£ 10 | Amazon | Water stones | Lyrics | Sound trial
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (1818)
Mary Shelley started writing a classic gothic thriller Frankenstein when she was 18. Two centuries later, it’s a major ancestor of the sci-fi and horror genres, tackling huge themes like the nature of life and death, immortality, and genetic engineering. It’s a pro-science novel that shows at its heart Dr. Frankenstein as the callous demon of history, who created a being and was unwilling to accept responsibility for his actions. In an age when the space between technical life and death is narrower than ever and when scientists play with the makeup of what makes us humans, Frankenstein can still teach an important lesson: Just because as you can that you should.
Price: Â£ 6 | Amazon | Water stones | Black wells | Sound trial
Foundation, by Isaac Asimov (1951)
Asimov was a prolific writer, but many of his best works are classic short stories such as Nightfall, Where The last question, which roll out like long jokes with a punchline twist at the end. In the Foundation series, it is in a completely different mode, retracing the rise and fall of empires in large brushstrokes. Asimov’s prose may be stilted, and betrays the attitudes of his time in portraying female characters, but it has left a lasting legacy.
The Foundation The series follows Hari Seldon, who is the architect of psychohistory – a branch of mathematics that can make accurate predictions thousands of years in advance, and which Seldon believes is necessary to save the human race from l dark ages. You can see why this is one of Elon Musk’s favorite books (with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and The moon is a harsh mistress by Robert Heinlein – also recommended). A long-awaited screen adaptation is one of the flagship shows of Apple TV +.