This is the kind of thinking that really dissapoints me. This just reinforces my feelings that women aren’t welcome in the critics perview of speculative fiction. After attending my first and only “con” or convention Wiscon in Madison, Wisconsin which focused on everything female in science fiction. There is so much–amazing work out there from women. Groundbreaking, imaginative, political, polemical. I am suprised that an obvious one such as Octavia Butler or Margaret Atwood didn’t make it on this list.
Science Fiction for the Ages
By DAVE ITZKOFF
Following is a list of favorites, with commentary, by the writer of the Book Review’s new science fiction column. Titles are listed in alphbetical order:
A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959)
By WALTER M. MILLER JR.
All you need to know about my youth is that I was taught this subversive exegesis of man’s religious impulse, wrapped within a story about a post-nuclear future, in the 7th grade, the same year I was studying for my bar mitzvah.
Cat’s Cradle (1963)
By KURT VONNEGUT
The perfect, Platonic balance of science and fiction, one that still finds room for merciless satire and a moral that resonates to the present day: that self-destruction is mankind’s one true calling.
A Clockwork Orange (1962)
By ANTHONY BURGESS
A lovely little tale of behavioral modification therapy and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, so punk-rock that Burgess spent the rest of his life denying that the book had inspired the punk-rock movment.
The Crying of Lot 49 (1965)
By THOMAS PYNCHON
Due to space limitations, I can’t offer my complete explanation of why this is a science-fiction book, so for the sake of efficiency let me simply say to anyone who disagrees with my classification of it as such: You’re wrong.
Gun, With Occasional Music: A Novel (1994)
By JONATHAN LETHEM
I think this Lethem kid could be a big deal if he’d just give up his highfalutin literary ambitions and embrace his inner sci-fi geek. Hope it all works out for him.
Looking for Jake (2005)
By CHINA MIÉVILLE
I don’t pretend to be completely versed in Miéville’s work, but what I’ve read of it so far I find utterly fascinating. At age 33, he is already a master of gothic storytelling.
The Man in the High Castle (1962)
By PHILIP K. DICK
My personal favorite from Dick’s paranoid catalog, an unnerving alternate history of victorious Nazis and the I Ching that seems to be reading you at the same time you’re reading it.
R is for Rocket (1962)
By RAY BRADBURY
Most readers’ introduction to Bradbury usually comes via “The Illustrated Man,” but this was the book that taught me all I needed to know about sci-fi. Such as: don’t go back in time and step on a butterfly.
The Twilight Zone Companion (1982)
By MARC SCOTT ZICREE
The book that showed me it’s possible to take a critical stance on a work of science fiction and love it at the same time. Also, I memorized all of its plot synopses so I could pretend that I’ve seen every episode of the show.
By ALAN MOORE and DAVE GIBBONS
Want to start a fistfight in a hurry? Walk up to any salesperson at Forbidden Planet and tell them this extraordinary graphic novel about psychologically wounded superheroes in a hopelessly modern world was just another comic book.