Today on Twitter, (you know, the place we go when we want to feel like we’re a writer even though we’re not writing), my pal Moses Siregar III (author of epic Fantasy awesomeness The Black God’s War) posted a link to a free Fantasy and Science Fiction course he’s taking online. I checked it out, but balked when I read the list of recommended reading. Not that there is anything wrong with reading:
- Grimm — Children’s and Household Tales (Lucy Crane translation with Walter Crane illustrations)
- Carroll — Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
- Stoker — Dracula (This reading is somewhat longer than most of the others. You may want to begin it in advance.)
- Shelley — Frankenstein
- Hawthorne & Poe — Stories and Poems (Hawthorne’s Mosses from an Old Manse includes “The Birthmark,” “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” and “The Artist of the Beautiful” and his Twice-Told Tales includes “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment”; The Portable Poe includes all the suggested Poe stories and poems
- Wells — The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, “The Country of the Blind,” “The Star”
- Burroughs & Gilman — A Princess of Mars & Herland
- Bradbury — The Martian Chronicles (not available for legal, free download)
- LeGuin — The Left Hand of Darkness (not available for legal, free download)
- Doctorow — Little Brother (This reading is somewhat longer than most of the others. You may want to begin it in advance.)
And the professor, Eric S. Rabkin, has quite the list of teaching and research qualifications, so I’m sure this class will be beneficial if you’re interested.
Here’s my problem: that list reminds me too much of what I read in college, even though that could be a list of best books I read in college. As an English and Philosophy major with only a couple classes focused on Creative Writing, most of my assigned reading focused on classics from the 19th and early 20th centuries, if not way earlier than that.
Double majoring and being a slow reader meant I read little else than I was assigned. After college I stopped writing (perhaps because I hadn’t read anything I’d wanted to imitate?), and it wasn’t until my roommate in seminary introduced me to the Dune and its six prequels that my love of writing and reading fiction reignited. I’ve tried reading as much as possible across Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror since graduating seminary, but I still feel overwhelmed by how many amazing authors I haven’t read.
10 Science Fiction Authors I’ve read and would recommend:
T.C. McCarthy – GERMLINE (military SF, genetic manipulation), Justin Macumber – HAYWIRE (super soldiers, gen manip), Karina Fabian – MIND OVER MIND (telepathy), John F.X. Sundman – ACTS OF THE APOSTLES (genetic manipulation), Matthew Wayne Selznick – BRAVE MEN RUN (genetic manipulation), Orson Scott Card – ENDER’S GAME (pure awesome?), Hugh Howey – WOOL OMNIBUS (post apocalyptic survival), Nathan Lowell – QUARTER SHARE (Solar Clipper Trader Tales), and then two in non-fiction: Ben Bova‘s THE CRAFT OF WRITING SCIENCE FICTION THAT SELLS, and Michio Kaku‘s PHYSICS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE.
I’m curious what 10 or whatever authors you’d recommend if you were creating a class on Science Fiction?
If you need a more specified aspect of Science Fiction, how about including military SF, genetic manipulation, berserkers/horror mashup, telepathic characters, space opera, human machine interface, and with an adult focus (i.e. not YA or MG).