Several people who know me well were rather astonished that I had, in fact, never read 1984 by George Orwell. Considering both its status among the pantheons of literature as an important piece of art, and my penchant for smart science fiction that strives to have some social commentary or cultural relevance, it seemed obvious that I would’ve devoured it a couple decades ago. And now I wish I had read it long ago because it’s a shame that it wasn’t in my life until now. Just about every future-set totalitarian type regime ever conceived in any movie, TV show, or novel has Orwell’s 1984 to thank. This is a beautifully tragic novel that, over half a century after it was published, is still full of concepts and ideas that feel uniquely fresh.