Science Fiction Starter Set | Reader's Digest

Science Fiction Starter Set

What are the best books for readers to start enjoying science fiction?

By Jim Menick

A lot of folks do not like science fiction books. The thing is, it’s not because they’ve read science fiction books and found them wanting. Instead, they’ve imagined what science fiction books are like, and they don’t want any part of them. This is like never tasting ice cream, imagining what ice cream must be like, and dismissing it for reasons that may or may have nothing to do with what ice cream is actually all about. There is a lot of science fiction out there, good, bad and indifferent. You might want to give the genre a try. But where should you start?

Orson Scott Card, the author of Ender’s Game, a classic in the genre, is interviewed as a part of The Browser’s Five Books series. Card has what I consider a perfect starter list for anyone new to the genre. Additionally he has interesting things to say about the genre as a whole:

“Written science fiction has as much variety inside it as all of literature has outside it. If you haven’t been reading sci-fi, chances are you know of it only through science fiction movies. Unfortunately, with rare exceptions, sci-fi films resemble written science fiction of the 1920s and 30s – full of adventure, a gosh-wow attitude toward technology and characters who are paper-thin, there to have terrible things happen to them and somehow find a way to survive. Mostly they’re pretty empty… If you’re looking to try out science fiction, the best idea is to ask somebody who reads within the genre. Don’t ask them what they read, ask them what they reread.”

Good advice. Followed by some great books. Read FiveBooks Interviews > Orson Scott Card on Science Fiction.

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