Saturday, September 04, 2010

A Syllabus and Book List for Novice Students of Science Fiction Literature

A syllabus and book list for novice students of science fiction literature: "Want to start reading some science fiction, but aren't sure where to begin? We've put together an introductory scifi lit syllabus just for you."


George said...

There are some strange choices here. ORLANDO? Really? No Jack Vance, Van Vogt, Simak, or Poul Anderson.

Unknown said...

Yeah, I agree. And the Delany choice? For novices? Sure.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, ORLANDO was really off the wall. I'm no expert but even I could see some of the choices (and the omissions) were odd.


Stephen B. said...

Okay, V FOR VENDETTA (by Moore - illustrated format, an un-desired future)

MARTIAN CHRONICLES (Bradbury on human interest stories/fantasy)

NEUROMANCER (Gibson, not for all tastes and is the cyberpunk genre)

DEATHBIRD STORIES (Ellison - very emotional writing, human interest stories)

There are so very many books out there and so very few I read over again. DANSE MACABRE was one that pointed out to me a lot of interesting themes.

Todd Mason said...

The least she could do is spell Carol Emshwiller's name correctly, something the skiffy whizzes at i09 might've noted and saw to, given their posing of one of her covers. I love the guy in comments who kvetches about Joanna Russ being on the list (and that "nonentity," Charlotte Perkins Gilman, when he has no problem with people basically no one is reading if that is a reasonable measure), with "how many of her books are on shelves"...when he pushes Alice Sheldon w/o bothering to name her, even more out of print.

I would much (much) rather read the fine time-travel fantasy ORLANDO than TRIPLANETARY, and that would go double for the typical intelligent reader who wants to get a sense of the field...Jack Vance or Leigh Brackett, or John W. Campbell to go back to Smith's contemporary and superior in that racket, were not the firstest, but this is a bit like insisting the reader new to crime fiction read Carroll John Daly before being allowed Hammett.

DANSE MACACBRE did so for a number of people, though it's hardly a flwaless volume...Lse Daniels performed a similar service for me with LIVING IN FEAR.

Todd Mason said...

IIRC, "Who Goes There?" was the last "Don A. Stuart" story...Campbell used his own name on super-science adventure of the Arcot, Wade and Morey sort.

It's a list to be quibbled with, but not the worst I've seen. (Hell, I was reading Gilman before she was Kool Again.)

Todd Mason said...

And that's the (not flawless) Les Daniels, above.