Great sci-fi for people who think they don’t like sci-fi

Washington post – Christian Pelusi from Washington Post made a list of sci-fi books that are classic of the genre but are sometimes not considered to be sci-fi:

Funny, how I used to love science fiction as a kid. But something happened at about age 15 — maybe it was the demands of school, or maybe it was the fact that I came of age in the late ’60s, when every day was so “out there” that life became stranger than fiction. In any case, from one week to the next I stopped reading sci fi. I began to think about my defection recently, when I noticed long, long lines of passionate sf fans at book festivals. What happened to that early love of mine? And what did I love exactly? Here are my five favorites. Sci fi classics for sure. But people don’t always count them as part of the genre. What are your top 5? What have I been missing? Come on, give me the lashing I deserve.

Labyrinths, by Jorge Luis Borges.
This is a collection of stories, among them the unforgettable “The Garden of Forking Paths” and “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius.” They’re short, extraordinarily hard and you may have to read them more than once before the light dawns, but they’re the most brilliant stars in the sf constellation. Why didn’t they give this man a Nobel Prize?


Fiasco, by Stanislaw Lem.
Okay, okay. So it was published when I was already in my thirties. I read it because I had to; I worked for the publisher. But how can you beat a story that begins, “Nice landing” . . . and ends, “as the towering spiderweb and the antennas, breaking, fell upon him in flames, he realized he had seen the Quintans.” Priceless.

The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells.
It sat on shelves for 40 years before Orson Welles read it aloud on the radio and sent his listeners into a very real panic. Man, I wish someone would try it again. Hello, Garrison Keillor?

1984, by George Orwell.
Don’t yawn. I know you were forced to read it in school. But take it out, dust it off, read it again, without Miss Boyle towering over you. It will make your skin crawl. Especially now, in 2007.

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley.
Unlike Orwell, Huxley set his book in a year none of his contemporaries would ever see: 2540. But what foresight! Everything he described has come to pass: the reproductive technology, the biological fiddling, the sleep experiments! And all of it is here, 500 years before he imagined it possible. For this alone, it’s worth revisiting.

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One Response to “Great sci-fi for people who think they don’t like sci-fi”

  1. besides intellectual books there are many television series that possess quality sci fi features, such as, Star Trek.

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