Monday, June 26, 2006

Childhood's End

Childhood's End
Originally uploaded by barbfecteau.
Childhood’s End is yet another book determined to change my mind about science fiction. Ender’s Game was a surprise in that I really liked the plot and didn’t slip into a coma of boredom, even once, while reading it. And Childhood’s End continues the fine tradition of making me actually like a book set in space, the future or another world.

There is a danger in talking about Childhood’s End that surprises will be wrecked. There were a couple of throw-the-book-across-the-room moments - and I don’t want to take away any of the excitement of those revelations. So I will just list some random words or phrases to prove that I read the book. Peace, horns, tsunami, eye, alone. Sounds mysterious doesn’t it? Bet you want to read it now, don’t you?

Along with the list of books, they also list the essay prompt and I found it interesting that they mention the main character. I wonder who is the main character in this book? There are a few that you could argue for. I put my money on Karellen.

I don’t read a tremendous amount of science fiction. I also don’t fly a tremendous amount of airplanes or climb a tremendous amount of mountains. But I have read some. It usually ends up being a book by an author who writes more conventional fiction who is just trying their hand at sci-fi. And it almost never involves space. The one exception is Feed by M.T. Anderson. I don’t suppose you could count The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood as science fiction, but it is futuristic and one of the best books I have ever read – so I will list it here. Marge Piercy wrote an interesting books called He, She and It that would definitely be classified as sci-fi. One of the difficult things about recommending science fiction is that the plots always sound kind of stupid when you try to explain them in simple terms because they require you to completely leave the world you know behind to accept whatever premise is being developed. But that is also one of the charms of it.

If you are a hard-core science fiction person, you should (and probably do) read the following writers: Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card, Robert Heinlein, William Gibson, Ursula Le Guin, Phillip K. Dick, and these are just the ones that I know from putting books away. Imagine how much more there is out there! Keep reading.

Here is a completely awesome list of books that maybe, someday, if I am incredibly brave, I might try to go through.

Up next I read about discrimination, wolves or – oh happy day – book burning!

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