The Best of Classic Science Fiction Dystopian Novels

 

Dystopian novels have been popular lately in bookstores and in film adaptations. The genre however has existed for more than a century. The word dystopia is associated with frightening possibilities of the future brought about either by advancements in technology or the dehumanization by governments.

Here are ten of the genre’s pioneers.

 

The Lord of the World (1907) by Robert Hugh Benson

The world was divided into three political sections and three religions until one party annexed another and is on the verge of war with the third.

 

The Iron Heel (1908) by Jack London

Oligarchy rose in the United States and other parts of the world. When the revolution succeeded in North America, the Brotherhood of Man replaced the old.

 

We by (1924) Yevgeny Zamyatin

The One State is a united totalitarian nation. Its citizens live in glass apartments under constant surveillance. Behavior is governed by formula created by the state.

 

Brave New World (1932) by Aldous Huxley

The World State controls everything from reproduction of humans to their death. Feelings of discontent are controlled by drugs and hypnotism.

 

Kallocain (1941) by Karin Boye

Leo Kall has developed a drug called Kallocain that forces the user to reveal information. People are tested for ideas of rebellion.

Fahrenheit 451 (1953) by Ray Bradbury

The state censors the information received by the people beginning with the ban and burning of books. People rely on the television instead.

 

One or Escape to Nowhere (1953) by David Karp

The benevolent state is reaching a level of perfection by polishing its techniques of surveillance, re-education and brainwashing.

 

The Chrysalids (1955) by John Wyndham

The Old People were destroyed by God because of advancements in technology. In order to avoid another destruction, the society follows the concept of genetic invariance where minor mutations are considered evil.

 

A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959) by Walter M. Miller Jr.

The world changed after a nuclear war. Knowledge in any form was treated with hostility and destroyed, but an order of monks keeps the scientific knowledge until humanity is ready for it again.

 

1984 (1984) by George Orwell

Oceania, one of the three superstates, is dominated by The Party led by Big Brother. People are divided into three classes and are monitored by four ministries for independent thoughts and individualism.

 

Need More Books?

 

The following haven’t made it to the list above, but they are just as good as the others.

 

Caesar’s Column (1890) by Ignatius L. Donnelly

Facial Justice (1960) by L.P. Hartley

A Clockwork Orange (1962) by Anthony Burgess

The Drowned World (1962) by J.G. Ballard

Cat’s Cradle (1963) by Kurt Vonnegut

Make Room! Make Room! (1966) by Harry Harrison

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) by Philip K. Dick

Stand on Zanzibar (1968) by John Brunner

The Dispossessed (1974) by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Female Man (1975) by Joanna Russ

The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood

15 Mar 2017

10 Utopian Novels You Should Read

 

If dystopian novels and films make you feel depressed with visions of an advanced but doomed humanity, perhaps you should try reading utopia novels for a change.

Here are ten of the most recommended books to get you started.

 

Ecotopia (1975) by Ernest Callenbach

Ecotopia was a small nation that separated from the USA. William Weston’s diary is the primary source of its tales.

 

Erewhon or Over the Range (1872) by Samuel Butler

The novel describes a fictional country called Erewhon. It mirrors the British Empire at the time it was written. When read backwards, Erewhon spells nowhere.

 

Herland (1915) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Vandyck Jennings and friends travel to a society composed of women. They learned that the women reproduce by parthenogenesis, meaning they don’t need men for fertilization.

 

Looking Backward (1888) by Edward Bellamy

Julian West wakes up 113 years later to find that the world has changed. The country has become a socialist utopia in the year 2000.

 

Men Like Gods (1923) by H.G. Wells

Barnstaple was about to take a holiday from work when he found himself in another world. The residents called it Utopia. It turns out that Utopia was an advanced parallel world.

 

New Atlantis (1624) by Sir Francis Bacon

The island of Bensalem is an ideal society where good values are upheld. One of its most fascinating features is the Salomon’s House.

News from Nowhere (1890) by William Morris

William Guest woke up one day in a socialist society that practices democratic control on the means of production and that upholds common ownership.

 

On Such a Full Sea (2014) by Chang-Rae Lee

In a nation where the social class is stratified, Fan leaves the settlement to find answers after her lover disappeared. Her journey unmasked the utopian society she thought she knew.

 

The City of the Sun (1602) by Tommaso Campanella

Considered a philosophical work, the novel features a dialogue between a Genoese ship captain and a grandmaster of the Knights Hospitalier. The City of the Sun is described in detail.

 

Walden Two (1948) by B.F. Skinner

Two war veterans ask Professor Burris to contact T.E. Frazier to inform him of their interest in an international community called Walden Two. They learned that the community follows a structure that would avoid collapse from within.

 

Other Utopia Books

Here are other titles that you should check out.

 

Utopia (1516) by Thomas More

2894 (1894) by Walter Browne

A Crystal Age (1887) by William Henry Hudson

A Traveler from Altruria (1894) by William Dean Howells

Islandia (1942) by Austin Tappan Wright

Lost Horizon (1933) by James Hilton

Mizora (1890) by Mary E. Bradley Lane

The Blazing World (1666) by Margaret Cavendish

The Commonwealth of Oceania (1656) by James Harrington

The Lathe of Heaven (1971) by Ursula K. Le Guin

Vril (1871) by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

10 Mar 2017

A Guide for Science Fiction Beginners

 

The definition of science fiction as a genre has been an ongoing debate. Loosely defined, science fiction is set in a world that may differ or mirror our society in its use of science and technology. It talks about changes and encountering the unknown. It questions our ideas of society, morality and the use of knowledge. It also mirrors our society so we can reflect on our mistakes and avoid making the same decisions in the future.

The Pioneers in Science Fiction

Considered as one of the three sub-genres of speculative fiction, science fiction as a literature has evolved over the years since Jonathan Swift wrote Gulliver’s Travels. Although some would argue that it’s not science fiction, it has elements found in most science fiction novels today, like Gulliver’s encounters with dystopian and utopian societies. It inspired a sub-genre of adventure stories. It was followed by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein which examined the dangers of taking science to another level without considering moral responsibility. Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea started a trend in stories about exploration and travel to unknown places. H.G. Wells was the first writer to introduce the idea of time travel with The Time Machine.

 

Science Fiction Essentials

Today there are dozens of science fiction subgenres like alien invasion, cyberpunk, hard SF, military SF, space opera and steampunk.

If you’re new to the genre, here are some of the books to help get you started. Outstanding books from the different subgenres were selected for the list.

 

Space Odyssey Series by Arthur C. Clarke is composed of four novels. It’s the blueprint for all the other space opera novel about the human race trying to extend its reach to its neighboring planets.

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman is the best example of military science fiction and the exploration of the concept of time dilation in interstellar voyages. It is told from the point of view of a soldier who spent his life fighting for a war that lasted for centuries.

 

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson is the ultimate zombie and post-apocalyptic novel. Told from the point of view of the only human survivor in a plague, it deals with the loneliness and frustration of being the last of his kind.

 

Try Dune Series by Frank Herbert and Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov for interstellar civilizations. Dune is set thousands of years in the future and explores a technologically advanced society which ironically has banned the development of artificial intelligence. Foundation is about the preservation of galactic civilizations with the waning of the Galactic Empire. It will seem familiar to readers who have read about the rise and fall of ancient human civilizations.

 

1984 by George Orwell, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury are three of the best dystopian books ever written. Everything else that came after them are like recreations. They explore the psychological and emotional chaos that happens when the protagonist realizes that the totalitarian society he lives in does not bring him happiness.

13 Feb 2017

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up on a Long Distance Relationship

 

If people were given a choice, no one would like to sign up for a long distance relationship.  To be apart from someone you love is hard and so does the responsibility of making it work. It entails huge investment to keep a functional, healthy and exciting relationship. There is always this void that you need to fill in but can never be satisfied unless both parties made a firm commitment to make it happen. But, millions of couples dare to love from a distance and brave themselves against long and cold nights.

Truth be told, there is something special about the psychological drama people feel when someone is leaving. Its idea can likely be contextualized to that of wanting something you cannot have or the anticipation of almost having it. In turn, it creates a sense of excitement and stronger passion towards the person who lives across the globe. If you were in romantic relationship with someone who lives just at the next door, would you still feel the same crazy, burning and powerful passion? Would you go out of your way to physically express what you feel? No. And that is one key element which makes LDR so special, it is that progression of strong emotions and suppressed physical contact that ignites intense attraction.

Moreover, there is more to LDR than what critics usually think, it allows two people to grow, together and separately, in ways that normal relationships (geographically speaking) sometimes, do not teach us:

You appreciate the value of your partner

When you are literally far from your loved one, you appreciate not only their presence when they are around but also the meaning and value they add to your life. You get to clearly picture out what life would be like when they are not around. From there, you get a whole idea whether or not you can afford to live without them.

You have more time to reflect where you want to take things

Unlike in typical relationships, people who are in a long distance commitment often have the time to evaluate and figure out where they would like things to go. There is something unique about being apart because each individual gets a “me” time to think and ask, “why am I holding on in spite of the difficulties?,” “what am I fighting for?,” “where do I want this relationship to go?” In short, the purpose and end goal behind all the investment is laid out. On the other hand, living close with your partner usually make people live in the moment and not so much of what’s ahead because of the comfort of having each other all the time.

It teaches you to become self-sufficient

At the end of the day, couples are still individuals who need to grow their emotional and intellectual muscle. When you are in an LDR, you learn to live every aspect of your life without having to depend on someone all the time. You become that person who enjoys life in spite of being away from your partner, goes after what makes you happy and better being whose life do not solely revolve around your partner’s. For that reason, nothing can be more attractive than having someone like that who can complement your already-wonderful life.

Forever is possible

If both people made a choice to be together one sweet day and want it enough, nothing is impossible. All the struggles, pain and anxieties will surely pay off. When you will finally be together, you will realize that all the wait and tears will lead you to the most blissful time where you walk down the aisle and say I do to forever.

08 Feb 2017

Easy Ways to Get Over a Healthy Lifestyle Plateau

 

You’ve been eating healthier, exercising well, and getting more sleep. Everything was going great and your jeans are finally fitting better. However, it seems like you haven’t observed much change in the past months and have reached a lifestyle plateau. Well, we’ve all been there before – losing the first few pounds was easy, but constantly changing your routines is what’s harder to sustain. To help you with that, we asked some fitness trainers in Singapore to give tips on how you can overcome a healthy lifestyle plateau and move forward.

  1. Set a Daily Goal

One of the best ways to overcome a healthy lifestyle plateau is to prove to yourself that you’re actually moving forward. An effective way to do it is to track every rep and set that you perform on your daily workout. If you jogged for 20 minutes yesterday, try jogging for 30 minutes today; if you performed 2 sets of six repetitions today, consider doing two sets of eight repetitions tomorrow. Sure, these changes may be baby steps, but these steps is what will get you out of your comfort zone and jumpstart the change you’ve always wanted.

  1. Increase Your Daily Calorie Intake

Most women think that less is more, which is why they try to eat as few calories as possible. While it’s possible to achieve short-term results from this, increasing your calorie intake actually aids in making your metabolism function better. As you work out, your body will crave for protein and healthy fats, which is why it’s crucial for you to ensure that you’re eating enough to build some muscle and see the result of your efforts.

  1. Ditch the Weighing Scale

If you lost a bit of your initial weight and are now focusing on your fitness, then you’ll likely notice that the increase of numbers in the weighing scale. Worry not though, since the numbers on the scale only signify that you managed to build some muscle. But instead of constantly checking your weight on the weighing scale, consider purchasing a tape measure to use around your waist and arms. Also, make sure that you keep a journal of your lifestyle changes and energy level to truly monitor your progress.

  1. Get Rid of Cheat Days

Incorporating a cheat day into your daily routine is another thing that could contribute to a lifestyle plateau. So instead of sneaking in a cheat day into your schedule, create a consistent and sustainable pattern that will help you enjoy a slice of chocolate cake from time to time – and still be right back on track with eating healthy meals afterward.

There really comes a time where you’ll experience a healthy lifestyle plateau, and you shouldn’t get too stressed out about it. Instead of forcing yourself to immediately get out of this rut, make some necessary changes in your lifestyle so you’ll be able to get back on track and move forward.

13 Dec 2016

Boost Your Creative Juice!

5 Ways to Get Over a Creative Slump

 

Experiencing a creative block happens even to the best of us. A creative slump, also known as the blank page syndrome, is often caused by criticism, lack of inspiration or mental burnout. While going through a creative slump might feel like the end of the world to you, there are some things that you can do to overcome this problem. Here, we’ve listed down some tips that will surely help in getting your creative juices pumping again.

  1. Change Up Your Daily Routine

One factor that puts most people into a creative slump is doing the same thing every day. Being stuck in a routine for a long time keeps you from feeling inspired, thus stunting your creativity. So instead of sticking with your routine, change things up and challenge your thought process. Instead of using your laptop, write down your thoughts with a pen and paper; or work outdoors instead of staying in your office. Remember that even the smallest change is already enough to trigger your senses and get your creative juices to flow.

  1. Be Positive

Being creative can be difficult when you surround yourself with negativity – but you can easily get away from this by simply thinking of happy thoughts. Start by complaining less and hanging around optimistic people. This should be enough to save you from a creative slump, since being in a positive environment will surely make you feel inspired.

  1. Exercise

Incorporating exercise in your daily routine can impact the way your mind works. Not only will working out keep you physically healthy, it’ll also help in improving your mood by releasing a hormone known as endorphins. People often experience creative slumps because they forget to care for themselves. So make sure that you make your well-being your top priority.

  1. Daydream

Although your teacher may have scolded you for doing it in class, daydreaming can actually be a great way to get over your creative slump. Doing so allows your brain to relax while imagining different solutions to the issue that you’re trying to solve. This permits you to see the big picture and be an open-minded person.

  1. Accept It

Beating yourself up because you’re experiencing a creative slump won’t get you anywhere. So instead of criticising the faults you made, learn to accept and embrace them. Failing to produce creative thoughts won’t weigh on your skill to produce good work. So embrace the moment that you’re going through a creative slump and challenge yourself to get over it by being true to your emotions.

Going through a creative slump might not be the best thing that could happen to you, but experiencing one may actually help in boosting your creativity. So avoid excessively beating yourself up whenever you experience this issue. Instead, ensure that you follow these simple tips to help you overcome your creative block once and for all.

09 Dec 2016

Conveyancing and the Advantages of Seeking Professional Help

By law, conveyancing is the act of transferring the contract deeds of one property, such as a house or office space, from one owner to another. Certainly, each person has once in their life experienced selling or buying a property that is why ample knowledge in this field is highly advised. Although the mere act of conveyancing can be done by anybody, more and more people are hiring the services of professionals.

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In this article, we will discuss the advantages of seeking the help of a professional conveyancer on this legal matter.

  1. They are knowledgeable

How extensive is your knowledge in assets law, bidding, contract exchange, and real estate matters? If your answer is not much, it is really a good idea to get help for your conveyancing needs from more knowledgeable people. Conveyancers hold a license issued by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers and have spent a lot of time studying all there is in the industry. They can answer your questions better than any research you will get from the Internet. Besides, their knowledge is what you have paid their conveyancing fees for.

  1. They hold a great amount of practical experience

They will know exactly how to manage your case as they have already dealt with similar situations before. They know the right people to talk to. They know which official to speak with at the Local Authority to find out if there are factors that may affect the value of the property, for example. Your conveyancer will guide you in every step of the way and will give valuable advice on the process. Because of their substantial experience, no problem is too big for them as they can find a way out of that difficulty.

lawyer

  1. They are your legal representatives

This is one of the great things about hiring a conveyancer. They will be the ones to process the transaction on your behalf so all you have to focus on is moving to your new house if you are the buyer, or receiving the money from the purchase as the seller. You will not have to carry the burden of sitting in seemingly endless meetings, bidding, or dealing with paper works. Because of these professionals, clients find conveyancing not as stressful and time-consuming.

These are just some of the benefits you can take advantage of when you employ the services of a conveyancer. However, it is very important to do a background check on the conveyancer you are eyeing to know if he is suitable for the job. There are a lot of conveyancer solicitors around, they come in varying credentials, conveyancing fees, and areas of experience. Never entrust your property and your money without doing the mandatory research.

Conveyancing is a crucial part in any property transaction. Finding the right professional is essential for a smooth property deed transfer. Good luck on your search!

16 Nov 2016

Benefits of Renting a Car

 

If you reside in the city, then you probably are aware of the complications and challenges that public transportation gives people. From subways to taxis, it’s really hard to go to your travel destination punctually, particularly during the rush hour. For this reason, many companies currently are offering cheap car rental deals.

renting-a-car

Considering that commuting can be too much trouble and buying a new vehicle is not always a great choice, car hire is the most beneficial way to resolve the issue. In case you still believe that leasing a car is not really a good idea, this post is going to change your perception regarding that.

  1. You have a wide variety of cars to select from. Whenever leasing a car, you are given complete opportunity to select any style or model you prefer, provided they meet your spending budget. You can rent cars in line with your interests or needs. As one example, hiring a Jeep for a camping travel or a minivan for the entire family is very ideal. You have the privilege to choose which car meets both you and your needs.

 

  1. You don’t have to be bothered concerning your car having a mechanical failure during long travels. With cheap car rentals Tampa airport, you could go on very long trips without worrying about your car overheating, getting a flat wheel, or having engine issues while in the middle of your trip as the automobiles for rental are in mint condition. If in case several problems come up, automobile leasing companies can provide you another automobile within the span of your rental period.

holiday-car-rental

  1. You don’t have to take public transport any longer. As stated earlier, commuting can really be a distress, specifically if you are living in big cities. You can take the train, shuttle, or wait for a taxi, but it’ll surely take too much time because the number of commuters are increasing each day. But with a cheap rental car San Francisco that you can utilize, you can save quite a lot of time and energy.

 

  1. It will help you save money. If you’re making use of an old car model, chances are it consumes a lot more fuel than a new one. Car rental businesses have more recent models of automobiles that are sure to provide a better gas efficiency. It is possible for you to cut costs on fuel consumption and utilize that savings for other needs.

Although a lot of companies are now offering car leasing services, several number of individuals remain to be financially incapable to pay for their services. You should keep in mind that you don’t need to use all of your savings merely to hire a vehicle that’s way out of your budget. You always got options concerning this matter. After all, renting a car should cost you a lot less, not greater. So select the right cheap car rental deals to meet not just your needs or tastes, but also your finances.

car keys

11 Nov 2016

Where to Find the Best Truffles in Town

 

If you are fond of confections, for sure truffles never missed your attention. When you hear confections, it refers to candies or sweets. In general, it refers to all sweet food. Truffles belong to the chocolate confectionery. Its main ingredients include cocoa powder or chocolate ganache drizzled with diced toasted nuts.

photo12chocolatetruffles

Truffles are easily recognized because of their conical or spherical shape – resembles the tuber fungus. You should know that there are three types of chocolate truffles. Three types of truffles include European, Swiss and American. Here are the specific kinds of truffles that you should know:

  • French truffle – French truffle is actually famous even here in Singapore. It is composed of chocolate and cream rolled into nut or cocoa powder.

 

  • Belgian truffle – Belgian truffles are also called praline. It is created with milk or dark chocolate sealed with nut pastes, ganache or buttercream.

 

  • California truffle – The California truffle is the bigger and cumbersome version of French truffle. It was actually brought by Alice Medrich to California from visiting France. It kind of looks a half-egg shape coated with chocolate.

 

  • Swiss truffle – Swiss truffle is a delight because it combines melted chocolate into scorching mixture of butter and cream then poured into the set before dashing it with cocoa powder.

 

  • Vegan truffle – For vegans, this truffle is best. Dairy is replaced with butters and nut.

vegan-truffles-square

Now that you know the specific kinds of truffles, it is time that you know where to get the best truffles in the city. There are numerous stores offering truffles but there are only a few who made a mark. You can go to these places and taste it for yourself:

  • Café – Many people recommend this because of their truffle shoestring fries not to mention their mojitos. If you want to try, head to #02-09A Palais Renaissance.

 

  • Stranger’s Reunion – Also known for their truffle fries, Stranger’s Reunion is a good place to hand out with friends while enjoying good foods. Their iced coffee is also a must try not to mention their granola and Greek yogurt. Head to 33/35/37 Kampong Bahru Road for a taste.

 

  • Symmetry – Truffle fries are a winner here but Symmetry is also offering brunch which is also good. Address is 9 Jalan Kubor #01-01.

 

  • Casa Tartuf – This is an Italian restaurant but is famous for their wide selections of truffles. As if it is not enough, you can also indulge in T-bone steaks and pasta. Address is at 33 Erskine Road.

 

  • Little Diner – Aside from truffle fries, the diner also offers burgers and according to many, the best and tastiest burger in the city. The address is at 789 Bukit Timah Road.

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07 Oct 2016

Will Money Make You Happy?

 

Here in Singapore, you work hard because you need money to live. Actually, the higher the pay, the happier you will be however, many people beg to disagree. Money will make you happy until a certain point in time. Once you attained everything that you ever wished for, money will no longer give the same effect.

Hand drawing unhappy and happy smileys on blackboard

Of course you think this is odd since money can buy all things even happiness. How good it feels not to worry about money and the future but you have to know that there are some studies that prove money is not everything. You will not understand it unless you experienced it.

Take Evan Spiegel’s example. He is a twenty three year old CEO of a startup company called Snapchat. In the past months, Wall Street Journal reported that he turned down an acquisition offer of $3 billion from Facebook. In the minds of ordinary people, he is crazy for turning down such offer. But on his end, additional money will not make him happy since he is twice rich already without the acquisition offer.

Those who are bewildered about his decision said he made a great mistake but tech guys understood his decision. The topic of wealth and happiness is complicated and topics about it are coated with judgement. So will money make you happy? Here are some interesting thoughts:

very-happy-young-man-in-a-rain-of-money

Relationship will make you happier than money

There is an argument that the more money you have, the happier your life would be. The truth is, you do not need money to maintain the level of happiness. Happiness reflects on the relationships that you make and the quality thereof.

Money will only make you want more

If you think about your money and everyone else’s, you will always feel poor. You have $10 million dollars but when you learned that your neighbour has 11, you will feel poor hence you strive to make more money – which is not that fun.

You end up working all the time

You work hard to be rich unless you are an heiress. You see some rich people on television enjoying and living the life. If you got rich through hard work, you will spend most of your time cultivating your money and you end up hustling work and family.

The lesson here is whether you have an extravagant living or a simple one, money will certainly not make you happy. Money is just superficial. Look for deeper things like knowledge and inner peace. Your days will be happier that way.

Boy with Cash

03 Oct 2016