Saturday, May 23, 2020

Seven top post-apocalyptic sci-fi escapist titles

Paulette Jiles is a novelist, poet, and memoirist. She is the author of Cousins, a memoir, and the novels Enemy Women, Stormy Weather, The Color of Lightning, Lighthouse Island, and News of the World, which was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award.

Her new novel is Simon the Fiddler.

At Lit Hub, Jiles tagged seven titles "for respite in a time of pandemic--riveting stories of societal collapse, plagues, near-death experiences, distant futures on bald stone planets and other tales that will help you escape from this annoying and fretful news-cycle life into the worlds of pure imagination." One title on the list:
Andy Weir, The Martian

It’s a Robinson Crusoe story on Mars, bright and funny and once again, a book that can be re-read many times. this virtue in stories like this is that as you are sitting up late reading it and devouring his endless struggles with food and communications it makes you want to get up and make a sandwich. Sandwiches at midnight are good for you, along with another cup of whatever and don’t forget the agave nectar.

There is a scientifically documented human need to move into the world of the imagination, really. I forget what the study was or where published. But without re-creating the mind in journeys through these distant worlds we become uncomfortable and mentally ungainly and impatient, as is everybody at this point. I think the study may have been done by Jacob Grimm. Not sure.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Martian is among Joel Cunningham's five favorite invented locations that don’t plan to let you leave, Tim Peake's five top books to take to space, Jeffrey Kluger's five favorite books that make epic drama out of space-faring history, Elisabeth Delp's seven classic science fiction space odysseys, Alexandra Oliva's five novels that get important aspects of survival right, Jeff Somers's seven works of speculative fiction that don’t feel all that speculative and  five top sci-fi novels with plausible futuristic technology, Ernest Cline’s ten favorite SF novels, and James Mustich's five top books on visiting Mars.

--Marshal Zeringue