Five 1970s Science Fiction Books You May Not Know

We’re addicted to old sci-fi, and thought we’d start trawling round for some lesser known reads from the golden age in this genre. Here’s five worth a look at from the 1970s:

  1. “Roadside Picnic” by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (1972) – This Soviet-era science fiction novel explores the aftermath of an alien visitation known as the Visitation Zone. It delves into themes of human nature, existentialism, and the consequences of contact with advanced civilizations.
  2. “The Stars My Destination” by Alfred Bester (1956) – Although not from the 1970s, this science fiction novel gained recognition during that era. It follows the story of Gully Foyle, a man seeking revenge in a future where individuals can teleport. The book delves into themes of transformation, identity, and human potential.
  3. “The Female Man” by Joanna Russ (1975) – Russ’s novel is a groundbreaking work of feminist science fiction. It explores parallel universes and features four women from different realities who meet and confront societal expectations, gender roles, and patriarchal structures.
  4. “Engine Summer” by John Crowley (1979) – Set in a post-apocalyptic world, “Engine Summer” tells the story of Rush That Speaks, a member of a nomadic society, as he embarks on a quest for knowledge and meaning. It explores themes of memory, storytelling, and the nature of truth.
  5. “The Iron Dream” by Norman Spinrad (1972) – In this alternative history novel, Spinrad presents a metafictional work that imagines Adolf Hitler as a science fiction author. Through Hitler’s imagined novel, “The Lord of the Swastika,” Spinrad critiques fascism, totalitarianism, and the power of propaganda.

These lesser-known science fiction books offer unique perspectives, exploring themes such as social commentary, gender, identity, post-apocalyptic settings, and alternative history. While they may not have achieved the same level of mainstream recognition as other works from the era, they are worth exploring for their distinct ideas and storytelling.

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