Friday, October 21, 2016

Eleven science fiction books that are often taught in college

At io9 Abhimanyu Das and Gordon Jackson tagged eleven science fiction books regularly taught in college classes, including:

The quintessential “cyberpunk” novel, Gibson’s Neuromancer has been taught in classes on gender studies at Dartmouth and media at Duke, as well as every liberal arts college in the continental United States and most of Canada.

Speaking to the inevitability of post-humanity, Gibson’s novel unfolds very closely to a heist novel, except the heist is actually a hack. Washed-up Henry Case is hired to pull off a complicated hack, aided by “razorgirl” Molly Millions (named so for the retractable blades beneath her fingernails), a mercenary-cyborg-bodyguard with vision-enhanced mirrored lenses grafted to her eyes, giving the impression she’s wearing sunglasses.

Neuromancer suggests the line between AI and humanity has become nearly impossible to distinguish—a concept now so ubiquitous to popular culture that “meat thing” is the go-to slur from robots against humans. (Some—few?—may recall Tim Curry’s Kilokhan in Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad providing the first instance of the phrase in a children’s show.)

Neuromancer is the one book you can reliably count on finding in the scifi section of every library, bookstore or cybercafé in the country, and I’ll bet it’s on your bookshelf too.
Read about another entry on the list.

Neuromancer made Steve Toutonghi's list of six top books that expand our mental horizons, Ann Leckie's top ten list of science fiction books, Madeleine Monson-Rosen's list of 15 books that take place in science fiction and fantasy versions of the most fascinating places on Earth, Becky Ferreira's list of the six most memorable robots in literature, Joel Cunningham's top five list of books that predicted the internet, Sean Beaudoin's list of ten books that changed his life before he could drive, Chris Kluwe's list of six favorite books, Inglis-Arkell's list of ten of the best bars in science fiction, PopCrunch's list of the sixteen best dystopian books of all time and Annalee Newitz's lists of ten great American dystopias and thirteen books that will change the way you look at robots.

--Marshal Zeringue