With only a few titles remaining in my iO9 challenge it seemed like a good time to pick back up where I left off. Unfortunately their third entry on the top ten sci-fi books you should actually read is another one that I haven’t heard of before. Set at the end of the Second World War chronicling the efforts of the Allies to secure the German V2 rocket program in a race against the encroaching Russians, Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon was a contender for the Pulitzer and often described as an immensely enriching experience. While this means my ranking becomes an abysmal 2/8 books from their list, it does give me another title to look forward to reading. Thankfully the next book on their top ten is one I was acquainted with early on in my readings and a series that I went on to read – even in spite of each installment becoming increasingly incredulous in its narrative.
Frank Herbert’s classic Dune deals with the intergalactic trade that “Spice Melange” allows the merchant guild to engage in traversing distances that would otherwise take years if not decades to otherwise cross. Found on the desert world of Arrakis the story is a blend between the sci-fi of the setting and the mysticism of the indigenous people who use “spice” in sacred rites allowing them to perceive future events or traverse space mentally. All of which is set against the backdrop of a coup that sees the governing family eradicated by a rival seeking to seize control of the “spice” supply. So while I wouldn’t necessarily advocate going on to read the rest of the series, you can certainly pick up Dune and get a very enjoyable story that stands alone. Definitely worth the read, and another author I’ve got to thank my dad for introducing me to.