34 minutes | May 31st 2016

Don't Be Afraid of Science Fiction or Why Nancy Hates Lumping Books Into Categories

Classic cover of a classic book Don’t Reject Science Fiction or Books That Take You Outside The Box or Why Nancy Hates Categorizing Books! Again we are dealing with the basic issue that rankles Nancy Pearl. When you put books into categories or label books as this but not that, too many readers skip over wonderful reading experiences.She knows some people just can’t relate to the science fiction genre.  We had a lot of folks around the table who felt sort of “meh” about sci-fi and fantasy.We were interested in what people enjoy or don’t enjoy about sci-fi and fantasy. Robert Heinlein’s book, “Space Cadet” turned Nancy on to science fiction and fantasy back when she was just a wee lass. Isaac Asimov’s books inspired many.Not sure about the genre? Maybe don’t think of it as a genre. Perhaps start with a classic Clifford Simak like “Shakespeare’s Planet.” A colorful cover that captures the joys of 1950’s science fiction and a story Nancy Pearl says everyone should read.If you are interested in Science Fiction, Nancy says you can sign up for a daily sci-fi email from Tor.comNot sure about science fiction, read Ursula Le Guin.“Stranger in a Strange Land.” That Heinlein book doesn’t sit well with many readers, but it sure fit into its era.Ray Bradbury is beloved but quite a few readers around the table were bored of the rings. Shocking! Kurt Vonnegut’s books are steeped in science fiction, yet put in the literature category. Need some broader views of science fiction than robots and space travel. How about Octavia Butler’s “Kindred” and “Earth Seed.”  Need a laugh, The Hitchikers series. And if you need a disturbing scare, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” by Margaret Atwood, or “Never Let Me Go,” by Kazuo Ishiguru.Looking for different views of the modern world. Check out William Gibson, Neal Stephenson“1Q84,” by Haruki Murakami We touched on some women in science fiction, but not enough. Check out these lists.Non-English Sci-Fi, look here.  Asian writers of science fiction, here.
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