Science fiction is a genre that is known for not being afraid to tackle complex subjects or shy away from convoluted plot-lines. While fans of the genre love the depth of these types of novels, it can also scare away readers in search of more casual reading material. Fortunately, not all science fiction novels are very complex, or even very serious. There are also a couple of books in the genre where the authors combined science fiction with more lighthearted elements. For a taste of some humor filled science fiction stories, take a look at the following free ebooks.
by Ellis Parker Butler
Science fiction novels often feature great inventions that either end up in the wrong hands or turn out to be more harmful than beneficial. However, An Experiment in Gyro-Hats, is an altogether more humorous look at a rather peculiar invention. It is the story of a hatter who invents a “gyro-hat” in an attempt to help his daughter’s boyfriend who always appears to be staggering about in a state of drunkenness. He inserts the device at the top of a top hat to ensure that the wearer would remain perpendicular instead of staggering and reeling when walking. Of course, to test his invention, the hatter has to become intoxicated himself and test the hat in public.
by Fritz Rueter Leiber, Jr.
It is not often that bread is the subject of a science fiction story, but Fritz Leiber pulls it off with style. It was first published in 1958, but is set in a future where robots are in charge of harvest wheat, grinding flour and baking bread. However, things go a little awry when, in an effort to create the lightest loaf of bread, one company experiments with injection all kinds of lighter than air gases in the mixture.
by Bradley Denton
Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede is an award winning science fiction novel with quite a lot of humor. It stars, Oliver Vale, who was conceived on the exact day that Buddy Holly died. However, things take a rather interesting twist when Buddy Holly appears on television thirty years later. Not only is Buddy Holly alive and well, but he claims that he is a captive on the largest moon of Jupiter. Before he begins performing, Buddy Holly also tells the world that he has no idea how he got where he is and all he knows is that he should contact Oliver Vale for assistance. The only problem is that Oliver has no idea what is going on and quickly finds himself pursued by a range of very strange people.
by Mark Twain
One of the best examples of a science fiction novel that is drenched in humor and sarcasm is “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” from Mark Twain. It is the tale of a Connecticut man named Hank who somehow ends up in the time of King Arthur after getting hit on the head. After realizing that he is in the past, Hank then uses his knowledge and engineering skills to impress the people, which eventually earns him a spot as a top minister. Unfortunately for Hank, there are those who fears his powers and seek to stop him at all cost.
by Raphael Aloysius Lafferty
Readers who are short on time will appreciate “Sodom and Gomorrah, Texas” by R.A. Lafferty. It is a short story about a very unqualified census taker who didn’t even know what a map was, let alone how to read it. Nevertheless, he is given the task of taking a census for a small Texas town. He is told to only take the names of people who are actually living in the town, but nobody could have anticipated the results. Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods, considers Lafferty to have been one of the best short story writers in the world and this tale is a good example why.