Science Fiction



As a lover of literature and science fiction, I find it frustrating when helping a library customer who wants something literary and thought-provoking to read, but who turns their nose up at science fiction.

I am lucky to have a mother who shared all kinds of reading options with her daughters, but who has always especially loved science fiction. This meant that as children we read novels about life in space (like Enders Game, Calling B for Butterfly, Growing Up Weightless, and Orbital Resonance), and some wonderful young adult dystopias (like The Giver, Rocco, and Winter of Fire).  I remember dipping into adult science fiction in my teens when I started to raid my mother’s bookshelf, and my observant mother payed attention to my growing list of favourite books and started to supplement with gifts of books she thought I would enjoy (the summer I was fifteen and received Always Coming Home by Ursula Le Guin as a present will always remain a watershed moment).

The ability to imagine the world differently (or to see the world through new eyes) is something I cherish.  I think science fiction does nothing if it doesn’t offer us a lens through which we can examine ourselves, and so I continue to try to reduce the stigma science fiction carries for some readers by sneaking in a speculative read that I know will still have general (or niche) appeal.  Here are some of my favourites:

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffinegger
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
Under the Skin by Michel Faber
The Chimes by Anna Smaill
The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
The Martian by Andy Weir
Bellwether by Connie Willis

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