Sunday, October 20, 2013

Five top science fiction books

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:
The Player of Games by Iain Banks.

When we talk about novels, we don't often talk about imagination. Why not? Does it seem too first grade? In reviews you read about limpid prose, about the faithful reproduction of consciousness, about moral heft, but rarely about the power of pure, unadulterated imagination. Well, Iain Banks, who died recently and far too young, possessed one of the all-time great imaginations. Reading his series of Culture novels, you realize: imagination is a muscle. The Player of Games is widely regarded as the best introduction to the series, which is set in a far-future civilization that's weird, anarchic, and hopeful. All together, it constitutes the imaginative equivalent of lifting a semi truck over your head and twirling it around with one hand.
Read about another book on Sloan's list.

Banks's Culture novels are among Charlie Jane Anders's ten book series so addictive, you never want them to end.

--Marshal Zeringue