I’m a big fan of the Classics. I’m even in a book club dedicated just to reading those types of titles. While Science Fiction is not my usual go-to genre, I love reading old science fiction titles, because it’s fun to see how our ideas of what the future or technology will be like has changed.

Since we’re all still sheltering in place and trying to social distance, I thought it would be fun to talk about various old science fiction titles that show a very different future than the one we have right now. Titles suggested here can all be obtained through Hoopla. Links will be included.

R.U.R. (Karel Capek)

R.U.R. by Karel Chapek

R.U.R. has a special distinction in the annuls of science fiction writing. This dystopian tale is the first instance of the word “robot”. This incredibly short play tells the story of what happens when humans create artificial people to act as slaves. Things are just fine…until the robots decide to revolt.

The Time Machine (H.G. Wells)

The Time Machine by H.G.Wells

H.G. Wells’ story of time travel will both fascinate and horrify you. When the unnamed Time Traveler goes to the future, he discovers a beautifully idyllic future, with no war and no suffering–populated by a sweet, but simple people. But, something sinister lurks just underneath the surface. As the Time Traveler searches for his missing time machine, he’ll soon come face to face with the darker side of paradise.

A Princess of Mars (Edgar Rice Burroughs)

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

John Carter, a Civil War veteran, finds himself transported to Mars. There, his strength and resourcefulness makes him an ally of the strange green inhabitants of the planet. But, when his new friends capture the beautiful princess Dejah Thoris, Carter must do everything in his power to save her from a life of slavery. This book is the first in the John Carter series. If you liked it, consider checking out this book next!

Odd John and Sirius (Olaf Stapledon)

Odd John and Sirius by Olaf Stapledon

This collection is two stories in one, both dealing with the concept of what happens when a being of superior intelligence is released into our world. The first story, Odd John, tells the tale of a man whose intelligence so far exceeds the rest of the world that he has no need for the rest of humanity, except to use them as experiments and playthings. Sirius is the story of a dog with superhuman mentality.

Journey to the Center of the Earth (Jules Verne)

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

Professor Liedenbrock, his nephew Axel and assistant Hans embark on a journey into an extinct volcano to study the Earth’s core. But, on their journey, the team discovers more than they could have ever imagined, including a prehistoric world!


I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.