Literary Sci Fi Roundup

Article by keaton

This summer, we’re taking a closer look at a variety of literary fiction that draws inspiration from genre. A lot of our favorite recent reads have been highbrow hybrids, which have gained in popularity in recent years due to the energy and excitement that genre tropes can add to even the most challenging literature. Here’s a selection of literary science fiction that will have you considering the limits of science and imagining new worlds! -Keaton

Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick Cover Image
By Philip K. Dick, Jonathan Lethem (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780544040540
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 7-10 Days due to Covid-19 shipping delays.
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - April 16th, 2013

This superb collection of short stories from one of the most vivid and insightful minds in American letters, is the perfect introduction to Philip K. Dick for the uninitiated. Of course, most people know Dick’s work even if they haven’t read him before. Eleven of his novels and short stories, including several found in this book, have been adapted into major motion pictures. Dealing with issues of paranoia, the nature of reality and what it means to be human, Dick’s stories are always thought-provoking as well as entertaining.

Never Let Me Go (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400078776
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 7-10 Days due to Covid-19 shipping delays.
Published: Vintage - March 14th, 2006

Many literature lovers are familiar with Kazuo Ishiguro’s classic THE REMAINS OF THE DAY. But have you read this amazing, atmospheric piece of dystopian science fiction he wrote in 2005? Set in an alternate past where scientific advances have extended the human lifespan well beyond the century mark, NEVER LET ME GO is a story of love, loss and the price of humanity. It’s the story of a group of students who live at a strange school in the English countryside where the dark secret of their destinies will slowly be revealed to them. Poignant and heartbreaking, this is truly literary sci-fi.

Man in the Empty Suit Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616951252
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Soho Press - February 5th, 2013

The newest release on this list is an incredibly imaginative take on a staple of the sci-fi genre---time travel. Ferrell spins it in a whole new direction that will leave your mind reeling. Every year on his birthday, a jaded time-traveler meets up with every other version of himself that has ever or will ever exist for a few drinks and conversation. However, on his 39th birthday he stumbles upon the murdered body of his 40-year old self! Now a man with seemingly endless time at his disposal has one year to solve his own murder before every one of his selves disappear from existence forever. THE MAN IN THE EMPTY SUIT is one of the most inventive, thrilling and humorous works of science fiction to come out in some time.

The Left Hand of Darkness: 50th Anniversary Edition Cover Image
By Ursula K. Le Guin, David Mitchell (Foreword by), Charlie Jane Anders (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9780441007318
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 7-10 Days due to Covid-19 shipping delays.
Published: Ace - July 1st, 2000

This Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning novel by the incomparable Ursula K. Le Guin is a powerful meditation on the nature of humanity set against the backdrop of an alien world. Le Guin’s science fiction is always philosophical, but THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS---in which a human emissary to an unknown planet tries to incorporate its hermaphroditic inhabitants into an intergalactic federation---is the perfect blend of imaginative entertainment and sociopolitical commentary. A watershed work of the sci-fi genre that has become a modern classic, THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS could be one of the most profound books you ever read.

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