Sunday, October 20, 2013

Five science fiction books that matter

Robin Sloan is author of the e-book Ajax Penumbra 1969 and the novel Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.

At The Daily Beast he shared his five favorite books from science fiction, which he calls his essential genre. One title on the list:
Dune by Frank Herbert.

OK, you don't need me to tell you to read Dune. Except maybe you do! Maybe you're like I was: you know it's a classic, and yet there your copy sits, unread, gathering dust like Arrakis itself. The book just feels so … daunting. So dense. What you don't realize yet—what I didn't realize—is that Dune is an essential document of the environmental movement, as essential as Silent Spring. The sequels stretch on and on, but Dune stands alone: deeply political, still relevant, forever supported by mythopoeic scaffolding as tall and sturdy as Tolkien’s.
Read about the other books on Sloan's list.

Dune is among Mohsin Hamid's six favorite books, io9's best and worst childbirth scenes in sci-fi & fantasy and top ten science fiction novels you pretend to have read, and on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best vendettas in literature and ten of the best deserts in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue