Andrei Tarkovsky: Stalker (1979)
I guess it would be unforgivable if I wouldn’t mention ‘Stalker’ by Tarkovsky on this occasion. It’s the film I might have seen the most times. It is the perfect example of science fiction that is not really about science, but more about the condition of art and the artist.
Alfred Döblin: Berge Meere und Giganten (Mountains Seas and Giants) (1924)
Written in the early 20s, it enrolls seven centuries of future development of human society and technology. But unlike any other science fiction novel I know, it stays intriguingly close to the materiality in imaginative prose. Besides the very interesting perspective of early modern technology phantasmagorias from the Berlin 20′s, which differs a lot from typical American science fiction, it has this closeness to a stream of consciousness I love about a novel. It gives you the feeling that someone somewhat just couldn’t stop but be pulled into his imagination. Everything is seen as already dormant in a string of grass or to be seen from post-everything: the 588 page book pays off even if you read only the first 10 pages. This is the book that for me best describes the tensions of Berlin (without being about it at all).
If you ever happen to find yourself in Bielefeld (which would be by accident), drive out to the university, enter the reception hall and take a lift two levels down. Open two fireproof steel doors and find yourself on a street inside the building where all the supplies for the faculties are stored. It’s one of the most peaceful places in the world. Only the sounds of buzzing neons and rumbling heat tubes… I think this compliments very well the two other recommendations as a different sort of not futuristic but somewhat nostalgic science fiction.