My favorite of all time:
Jules Verne - Journey to the Center of the Earth (free online and a classic)
Jules Verne - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (free online, classic scifi, plus could be used as a movie tie-in. The Disney version was pretty close to the book - the only significant difference I remember is Disney gave the Nautilus atomic power.)
Isaac Asimov - I, Robot (considered a classic now - which shows my age - but the standard for nearly all robot scifi since. Not really like the movie at all, so you shouldn't use this as your movie tie-in)
George Lucas - Star Wars (a good movie tie-in. Any of the original 3 Star Wars novels are very good. 2001: Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke is also a good book, but there are important differences between it and the movie. An excellent book that ties in with an excellent movie is Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, but it, too, has significant differences.)
Isaac Asimov - The Caves of Steel (excellent scifi/mystery, where the story is just as much a mystery novel as a scifi novel. Plus, it's excellent. Would definitely be worth your while to read I, Robot before this because of the Asimovian robot in the story. Of course, it would be worth reading I, Robot before almost *any* story involving robots (such as Star Wars))
Cheesy - any scifi story based on a comic book character. Actually, I remember the first Superman book (that went with the movie, I think) to be quite good. Even better might be the original Buck Rodgers book http://www.bestwebbuys.com/Armageddon_2419_A_D-ISBN_9780441029419.html?isrc=b-search I remember it being excellent, but I was young and I barely remember it. Nevertheless, it is likely at least very good. You could tie that in with the original TV series, which is available now for very cheap (no longer copyrighted - you can get the whole series for a song http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FBuck-Rogers-Buster-Crabbe%2Fdp%2F6305989397%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Ddvd%26qid%3D1190410593%26sr%3D1-2&tag=wwwjimpettico-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325 or 4 episodes for about $1 on DVD). The TV series is actually pretty good - and pretty "camp" at the same time. The more recent series - BR in the 25th Century - was pretty lousy (even when I was young, despite the bodacious babes that frequently appeared). If you want *really* (awfully) cheesy, you can take a look at that, too.
The cheesiest scifi books that are still readily available are probably Edgar Rice Burrough's "John Carter of Mars" series. Many free online. Just like in all his other books (e.g. Tarzan), the men are very forceful with the women, and the women love (need) it. Despite that, there is nothing sexually explicit in his books (written in the early 1900s).
Another that might qualify as "cheesy" (because of the misinformation) is H G Wells "The First Men in the Moon". Should be free online. They use helium-impregnated metal (helium being recently discovered and supposed to have anti-gravitic properties) to block the earth's gravity and travel toward the moon. Quite reasonable, if helium did have anti-gravitic properties. They then land on the moon (which has an atmosphere) and have a run-in with the bee-hive-like society of intelligent humanoids living there. The more I think about it, the cheesier this seems. This should definitely be your "cheesy" book. Also makes a statement about technological and society advancement (the whole bee-people thing).
Probably you should get a scifi horror as well. I haven't read any good ones, though. Alien comes to mind, but I never read it.
Unfortunately, I'm not "up to date" on scifi. Although I could recommend new ones, I cannot vouch for their adult content. Here http://www.awardannals.com/wiki/Honor_roll:Genres you can find the ones with the most awards (which are mostly the newer ones, since there are more rewards now), but you will have to discover the adult content for yourself. At any rate, this should definitely help you pick out a very good new scifi.
Another good category might be kiddy scifi. Again, I am fairly ignorant of such things, but maybe "The Little Prince" would qualify. There are likely also Star Wars picture books - something to fill out your "survey" of scifi.
I considered another viepoint that you might explore - women in scifi. Andre Norton, for example, is a classic woman scifi author (actually, probably *the* classic woman scifi author) who began in the 30's (full time in the late 50s). Of course, she *had* to use a male pseudonym (since scifi was definitely a boys thing, back then), and nearly all of her early stories (prior to the 80s) have male main characters. She became quite adept at the boy-becomes-a-man scifi adventure books, and I enjoyed almost all of them when younger. Definitely worth a read, my favorite: Star Man's Son (also titled 2250 A.D.) It has an outcast/mutant main character, American post-nuclear holocaust setting, giant intelligent mutant rat people, exploration, war, etc.etc. In fact, it's nearly as good as Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth. You could then compare this to another female author, or perhaps even better her book "Moon Called", very similar in topic (post-nuclear holocaust coming-of-age adventure), but here the main character is a woman. Only very good, but still worth the read.
This is a great topic. Anything more (running on at the keyboard) advice I can give, let me know.
· 1 decade ago