List One-hit Wonder

11 One-hit Wonder Science Fiction Books

“One-hit wonder” has an insult buried in the praise, however it’s arduous sufficient to put in writing a superb science fiction novel, a lot much less get it revealed and then have it grow to be well-liked and enduring. So even having a one-hit marvel is a powerful achievement, and the books on this record must be appreciated for their merits, as an alternative of their authors being flippantly mocked for not doing more.



by Ken Grimwood – 1986

Jeff Winston, forty-three, didn’t know he was a replayer till he died and awoke twenty-five years youthful in his school dorm room; he lived another life. And died once more. And lived once more and died once more—in a steady twenty-five-year cycle—each time ranging from scratch on the age of eighteen to reclaim misplaced loves, remedy past errors, or make a fortune in the inventory market. But what if he’s not the one replayer…?

Ken Grimwood has written a variety of books, however none of them got here close to the acclaim of Replay.

“Grimwood has transcended genre with this carefully observed, literate and original story.”
— Publishers Weekly


Alas, Babylon

by Pat Frank – 1959

On this class post-apocalyptic novel, a nuclear holocaust ravages america, and tens of hundreds of thousands of individuals are killed instantly. A thousand years of civilization are stripped away in a single day. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the wrestle is simply starting, as women and men of all backgrounds be a part of together to confront the darkness.

Writer Pat Frank (actual identify Harry Hart Frank) was a journalist that penned a number of other novels (Mr. Adam and Forbidden Area), however nothing as enduring as Alas, Babylon.



by David R. Palmer – 1981

Emergence is among the ignored gems of science fiction with a small but passionate following. It follows a exceptional 11-year-old orphan woman, dwelling in a post-apocalyptic United States. From the e-book:

Homo publish hominem is new species, apparently resistant to all ‘human’ illness, plus smarter, stronger, quicker, and so on., emerging to inherit Earth after H. sapiens eradicated selves briefly, efficient bio-nuclear struggle. Am myself Homo publish hominem. Rode out conflict in Daddy’s marvelous shelter, now engaged in walkabout, looking for fellow survivors.

David Palmer wrote another story, Threshold, earlier than abandoning writing and selecting a career in regulation.


The Man Who Fell to Earth

by Walter Tevis – 1963

T. J. Newton is an extraterrestrial who goes to Earth on a desperate mission of mercy. However as an alternative of help, Newton discovers loneliness and despair.

You is perhaps acquainted with the movie model starring David Bowie.

Walter Tevis’ different science fiction novel, Mockingbird, was well-regarded, but didn’t obtain the recognition of The Man Who Fell to Earth.

His novels that take place outdoors of science fiction have been profitable, though: he wrote The Hustler and The Colour of Money, which have been both become films.

“Beautiful science fiction… The story of an extraterrestrial visitor from another planet is deigned mainly to say something about life on this one.”
— The New York Occasions


The Black Cloud

by Fred Hoyle – 1957

Astronomers in England and America have made a terrifying discovery: an ominous black cloud the dimensions of Jupiter is traveling straight in the direction of our solar system. If their calculations are right, the cloud’s path will convey it between the Earth and the Sun, blocking out the Solar’s rays and threatening unimaginable consequences for our planet. With the fate of every dwelling thing on Earth in the stability, world leaders assemble a group of sensible scientists to determine a strategy to stop the cloud. However once they uncover the reality behind its origins, they are going to be pressured to reconsider every part they assume they know concerning the nature of life in the universe…

This is the first and best-known novel by astronomer Fred Hoyle. He wrote many more books, typically co-authored together with his son, Geoffrey. Apparently, Hoyle coined the time period “big bang” to describe that principle of how the universe started, principally as an insult—he died never believing it.

“[A] rattling good story… a really thrilling book. There is a largeness, generosity, and jollity about the whole spirit of the book that reminds one of the early Wells at his best.”
— New Statesman



by Gregory Benford – 1980

1998. Earth is falling aside, getting ready to ecological disaster. However in England a tachyon scientist is trying to contact the previous, to by some means warn them of the misery and dying their actions and experiments have visited upon a ravaged planet.

1962. JFK continues to be president, rock ‘n’ roll is king, and the Vietnam Conflict hardly merits front-page information. Gordon Bernstein, a young assistant researcher at a California university, notices strange patterns of interference in a lab experiment. Towards all odds, dealing with ridicule and opposition, Bernstein begins to uncover the unimaginable fact… a fact that may change his life and alter historical past. The truth behind time itself.

Timescape gained the Nebula Award in 1980 and the John W. Clark Award in 1981. Gregory Benford wrote many other science fiction books, including several with Larry Niven and even a Second Foundation ebook (based mostly on Asmiov’s Foundation collection), however none of them was anyplace near as widespread as Timescape.


The Time Traveler's Wife

by Audrey Niffenegger – 2003

The Time Traveler’s Spouse is the story of Clare, a fantastic artwork scholar, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who’ve recognized one another since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and have been married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Inconceivable however true, because Henry is likely one of the first individuals recognized with Chrono-Displacement Dysfunction: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.

The Time Traveler’s Spouse depicts the consequences of time journey on Henry and Clare’s marriage and their passionate love for one another because the story unfolds from both factors of view. Clare and Henry try and stay normal lives, pursuing acquainted objectives—regular jobs, good associates, youngsters of their very own. All of this is threatened by one thing they will neither forestall nor management.

Audrey Niffenegger has written a variety of different books, but none of them has reached the wild reputation of this one.

“It is a fair tribute to her skill and sensibility to say that the book leaves a reader with an impression of life’s riches and strangeness rather than of easy thrills.”
— Publishers Weekly


Planet of the Apes

by Pierre Boulle – 1963

You already know this one: in the not-too-distant future, three astronauts land on what seems to be a planet identical to Earth, with lush forests, a temperate local weather, and breathable air. But while it seems to be a paradise, nothing is what it appears.

They quickly uncover the terrifying fact: On this world humans are savage beasts, and apes rule as their civilized masters. One man struggles to unlock the secret of a terrifying civilization, all of the whereas questioning: Will he turn into the savior of the human race, or the final witness to its damnation?

This novel is intelligent, ironic, and literate, which is much less shocking after studying that Pierre Boulle also wrote The Bridge Over the River Kwai. Nevertheless, none of his different science fiction books came close to the popularity of Planet of the Apes.


A Canticle for Leibowitz

by Walter M. Miller, Jr. – 1959

This is Miller’s first and only novel, however he didn’t maintain back: it spans hundreds of years, chronicling the rebuilding of civilization after an apocalyptic event.

Regardless of early reviewers that referred to as Miller a “dull, ashy writer guilty of heavy-weight irony,” it’s never been out of print in over 50 years.

So there.


The Sparrow

by Mary Doria Russell – 1996

Sandoz is a Jesuit priest and linguist, part of the crew sent to explore a brand new planet. What they discover is a civilization so alien and incomprehensible that they feel compelled to marvel what it means to be human.

Sandoz is the only surviving member of the crew and upon his return he’s confronted by public inquisition and accusations of probably the most heinous crimes conceivable. His religion completely destroyed, crippled and defenseless, his only hope is to tell his tale. However the fact could also be more than Earth is prepared to simply accept.

Some readers discover this e-book provocative and compelling, whereas others have been a bit let down by the ending.

Writer Mary Doria Russell may be one-hit marvel science fiction writer, but in Western and historical past genres, she’s received multiple hits, including Doc, Epitaph, A Thread of Grace.


Flowers for Algernon

by Daniel Keyes – 1966

Flowers for Algernon is a gorgeous, human e-book, with a bit science fiction thrown in.

It examines morals and ethics without getting preachy—it’s a surprisingly straightforward read for such a thoughtful and deep e-book.

There are a number of juicy scenes in it, which is why it’s sometimes removed from faculty libraries in Texas.

Flowers for Algernon is advised by way of progress studies written by a low-IQ one that has an operation (we by no means study the small print) that shortly will increase his IQ to genius ranges. Unfortunately, his social and emotional expertise don’t improve at the similar price, and this causes harm feelings throughout.

I like to recommend buying this ebook. Seeing this on my shelf provides me a moment of pause, a two-second meditation, like briefly floating in a deep but protected ocean, earlier than getting on with my day.

Writer Daniel Keyes was a successful writer before penning this guide: he wrote and edited comedian guide scripts for Stan Lee. He additionally gained several award for a later nonfiction ebook The Minds of Billy Milligan, but nothing came close to the zenith of Flowers for Algernon.

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