The childhood home of Buzz Aldrin, the second astronaut to walk on the moon, a few blocks from my apartment in Montclair, New Jersey. (Photo by me.)
With today the 53rd anniversary of Apollo 11 returning to Earth after its famous moon mission, I thought of novels that include space travel. Most of those books are of course in the science-fiction category — a genre I haven’t read that widely in even as I was a big fan of the first four Star Trek series during a former time when I watched TV. But I guess I’ve enjoyed enough novels that include space travel to write a short blog post about them. 🙂
The most recent one I’ve read is Andy Weir’s The Martian, about a human stranded on Mars who uses his ingenuity to try to survive. The novel is…ingenious, and often a page-turner.
I also liked H.G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon (yes, “in” not “on”) — which is rather underrated in the Wells sci-fi canon but quite interesting. How the novel’s characters get to the moon, and what they find there, is memorable.
Arthur C. Clarke’s iconic novel 2001: A Space Odyssey is not as mind-blowing as the movie version, but it’s still a great read. HAL the computer!
Ray Bradbury’s short-stories-as-novel The Martian Chronicles is an evocative work that launched the author into the realm of literary renown.
Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy is one of the impressive career highlights from an author who wrote, co-wrote, and edited more than 500 books.
A photo I took of Isaac Asimov in 1986, at a press event announcing he would start a syndicated newspaper column.
Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is very funny at times but overall I can take it or leave it.
Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers is gripping in spots but too militaristic for my tastes. It did inspire the title of a great song by the progressive-rock band Yes:
Space-travel novels can of course fire the imagination and take readers where they’ve never gone before. And given that few humans have traveled in space and none have visited other planets, books in this genre allow authors a certain latitude in making things up. 🙂 (Hopefully informed by some scientific knowledge and research. 🙂 )
Any space-travel novels you’d like to mention?
The plaque in front of Buzz Aldrin’s childhood home. (Photo by me.)
My literary-trivia book is described and can be purchased here: Fascinating Facts About Famous Fiction Authors and the Greatest Novels of All Time.
In addition to this weekly blog, I write the 2003-started/award-winning “Montclairvoyant” topical-humor column for Baristanet.com every Thursday. The latest piece — which includes an arts theme — is here.