Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ten super-weird science fiction books that are required reading

At io9, MaryKate Jasper and Charlie Jane Anders came up with a list of ten super-weird books that are considered part of the science fiction canon.

One item on the list:
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

Why It's Weird: The novel follows Valentine Michael Smith, son of the first astronauts to explore Mars, as he is reintegrated into human society after being raised as a Martian. Valentine believes a bunch of strange things, Valentine believes in a bunch of strange things, including the rightness and sacredness of consuming your friend's flesh after he/she dies, the superfluity of clothing, and the obvious self-evidence of an afterlife, based on his experiences on Mars. He founds the Church of All Worlds, in which sexual liberation blends with psychokinesis.

Why It's Required: In addition to winning the 1962 Hugo Award for Best Novel, Stranger in a Strange Land is considered a bona fide classic, frequently mentioned on the lists of the best science fiction books of all time. One of its invented Martian words, "grok" has even entered the Oxford English Dictionary. You can also see it on Pearson's Recommended High School Reading List.
Read about another novel on the list.

Stranger in a Strange Land is one of Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore's favorite sci-fi novels.

--Marshal Zeringue