Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Classic Sci-Fi Books Loved By Billionaire Business Professionals
Author: Frank Herbert
Summary: A young nobleman stranded on a desert world inspires fanatic hordes in order to bring down and transform a decadent empire.
Why Billionaires Love It: They like to think that they are bettering the world. This means that billionaires are naturally drawn towards a hero who seems to be doing the same for the entire known universe.
Fun Fact: The sequel to this book is Dune Messiah, which is known for one of the world's most disappointing sequels.
Opening Line: "In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul."
2. The Foundation Trilogy
Author: Isaac Asimov
Summary: A brilliant mathematician predicts the eventual fall of a galactic empire and founds a new empire that will replace it.
Why Billionaires Love It: The book leans towards the assumption that human progress and the growth of civilization and technological innovation are the same processes. Therefore, technology is a necessity in changing the world for the better.
Fun Fact: Asimov's Laws of Robotics" (e.g. "A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.") are still cited as providing ethical guidelines for the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Opening Line: "His name was Gaal Dornick and he was just a country boy who had never seen Trantor before."
3. Atlas Shrugged
Author: Ayn Rand
Summary: In an alternate reality similar to our own, a group of industrialist individuals withdraw from the world and bring it crashing down.
Why Billionaires Love It: Like in most science fiction books, corporations tend to play the role as villains who are trying to destroy the world. Rand does a great job at reversing that by setting up corporate CEOs as the heroes that a villainous world is trying to destroy.
Fun Fact: The last film that Steve Jobs viewed before his untimely death was the critically-panned Atlas Shrugged, Part I.
Opening Line: "Who is John Galt?"
4. A Wrinkle in Time
Author: Madeleine L'Engle
Summary: A young, nerdy girl travels to another dimension to try and save her father and brother from a mind-controlling entity who rules a world without individuality.
Why Billionaires Love It: The story centers on individuality as a defense against group thinking in a collectivist society.
Fun Fact: A Wrinkle in Time is one of the few science fiction books that have inspired an opera.
Opening Line: "It was a dark and stormy night."
Author: Douglas Adams
Summary: A hapless Englishman has a series of surreal yet comic adventures through space.
Why Billionaires Love It: Who doesn't enjoy a good laugh every now and again?
Fun Fact: The book was originally a BBC radio broadcast.
Opening Line: "The house stood on a slight rise just on the edge of the village."
6. Ender's Game
Author: Orson Scott Card
Summary: A computer simulations player with outstanding talent, saves the world from bug-like alien invaders.
Why Billionaires Love It: Many billionaires built their fortunes on high tech, so naturally, a hero that uses high tech to save the world is going to be appealing.
Fun Fact: The author has frequently been vilified for his conservative political beliefs, even though science fiction authors, in general, tend to be right wingers.
Opening Line: "I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and I tell you he's the one. Or at least as close as we're going to get."
7. Stranger in a Strange Land
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Summary: A man born on Mars returns to Earth and becomes the founder of a hippie-like, corpse-eating sex cult. (what else could be more intriguing than that?)
Why Billionaires Love It: It's a Baby Boomer thing.
Fun Fact: This also being heavy metal band Iron Maiden's favorite book.
Opening Line: "Once upon a time there was a Martian named Valentine Michael Smith."
Content originally published here
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