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Old June 18 2013, 03:58 AM   #16
Tora Ziyal
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Re: Mandatory sci-fi

Tora Ziyal wrote: View Post
I never read any sci-fi until college. Not sure I even knew it existed until then! I think teaching some in middle and/or high school literature is a good idea.
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I remember reading a few scifi books in school, including 1984, Brave New World, and my personal favorite, The Giver. I think there were a couple of others as well. More exposure to different genres can't be a bad thing, though I don't know if we necessarily need to legislate it.
Thank you for reminding me, we did read either Animal Farm or 1984 in school, and eventually I read the other.
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Old June 18 2013, 03:59 AM   #17
RoJoHen
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Re: Mandatory sci-fi

Does Animal Farm count as sci-fi?
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Old June 18 2013, 04:06 AM   #18
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Re: Mandatory sci-fi

When I was younger, I was one of those kids who would rather read a mathematics book, than anything "fiction". I was attempting to read books with titles like "Calculus Made Easy" or the "Feynman Lectures on Physics".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calculus_Made_Easy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fey...res_on_Physics

In those days, I thought "fiction" seemed very tedious and "slow" to read through. By the time I started reading science fiction type books, it seemed like a huge letdown.

I might have appreciated sci-fi books more, if I had been exposed to it at an earlier age. (Possibly through school).
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Old June 18 2013, 04:10 AM   #19
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Re: Mandatory sci-fi

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^Well, there are a lot of things that one could debate about that book, some of which come down to opinion and some not. It's pretty poorly written, though. There are aspects of it I like, and I did like it a lot the first time I read it. Reading it as an adult completely changed my view, though.
This is why I don't read books twice.

I loved it when I was 14, and that's how I want to remember it.
That actually makes absolutely perfect sense to me! But, yeah, don't read it again. It wasn't as bad as revisiting "The Brave Little Toaster," but it's a harsh reality!

If I were still teaching I'd definitely teach A Wrinkle in Time, and I'd really want to do it as part of an integrated curriculum to teach the Cold War. The Cold War psychology and anti communist propaganda are so blatant in that book, but kids don't generally pick up on it on their own.
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Old June 18 2013, 04:12 AM   #20
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Re: Mandatory sci-fi

jayceee wrote: View Post
When I was younger, I was one of those kids who would rather read a mathematics book, than anything "fiction". I was attempting to read books with titles like "Calculus Made Easy" or the "Feynman Lectures on Physics".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calculus_Made_Easy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fey...res_on_Physics

In those days, I thought "fiction" seemed very tedious and "slow" to read through. By the time I started reading science fiction type books, it seemed like a huge letdown.

I might have appreciated sci-fi books more, if I had been exposed to it at an earlier age. (Possibly through school).
This is particularly common with males, which is why the first teaching strategy for approaching a reluctant or struggling male reader is to give him nonfiction. There's hard and soft sci fi, though, have you ever tried something like Darwin's Radio?
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Old June 18 2013, 04:15 AM   #21
HaventGotALife
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Re: Mandatory sci-fi

It seems foolhardy to legislate this. There's tons of classics that never get covered in school. It's just a taste of literature. So why would they waste their class hours on books that don't live up to the standards of the classics? Consider me biased towards Sci Fi. I don't think it is all that well-written, most of it.
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Old June 18 2013, 04:16 AM   #22
Spot's Meow
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Re: Mandatory sci-fi

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Does Animal Farm count as sci-fi?
I think Animal Farm gets its own category, Talking Animal Allegories.
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Old June 18 2013, 04:18 AM   #23
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Re: Mandatory sci-fi

^I would've just gone with satire.
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Old June 18 2013, 04:21 AM   #24
Spot's Meow
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Re: Mandatory sci-fi

^Well that works too. But really, Animal Farm is unlike any other book I've read. It gave me a strange feeling.
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Old June 18 2013, 04:31 AM   #25
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Re: Mandatory sci-fi

Spot's Meow wrote: View Post
^Well that works too. But really, Animal Farm is unlike any other book I've read. It gave me a strange feeling.
I think I read it around the same year the movie Babe came out, and they've kind of morphed into one entity in my head (not actually a hard thing to do). Babe gives me an uneasy feeling too.
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Old June 18 2013, 04:33 AM   #26
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Re: Mandatory sci-fi

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
That actually makes absolutely perfect sense to me! But, yeah, don't read it again. It wasn't as bad as revisiting "The Brave Little Toaster," but it's a harsh reality!

If I were still teaching I'd definitely teach A Wrinkle in Time, and I'd really want to do it as part of an integrated curriculum to teach the Cold War. The Cold War psychology and anti communist propaganda are so blatant in that book, but kids don't generally pick up on it on their own.
Is "Speaker For the Dead" any better from an adult's perspective? I remember liking that one the best of that universe.

I'd never thought about an anti-communist bent of A Wrinkle in Time, but thinking about it I can totally see that. I adore that book; well, L'Engle in general really.
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Old June 18 2013, 04:40 AM   #27
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Re: Mandatory sci-fi

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That actually makes absolutely perfect sense to me! But, yeah, don't read it again. It wasn't as bad as revisiting "The Brave Little Toaster," but it's a harsh reality!

If I were still teaching I'd definitely teach A Wrinkle in Time, and I'd really want to do it as part of an integrated curriculum to teach the Cold War. The Cold War psychology and anti communist propaganda are so blatant in that book, but kids don't generally pick up on it on their own.
Is "Speaker For the Dead" any better from an adult's perspective? I remember liking that one the best of that universe.
I couldn't tell you. Honestly, I was so appalled by Ender's Game that I didn't reread Speaker for the Dead.

I'd never thought about an anti-communist bent of A Wrinkle in Time, but thinking about it I can totally see that. I adore that book; well, L'Engle in general really.
That is something I also did not pick up on as a kid, and only saw as an adult -- but saw blatantly. The whole thing, while wonderful, is massively soaked in Cold War psychology. There is also a weirdly intense Christian undertone that becomes more and more obvious in the later books.
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Old June 18 2013, 04:43 AM   #28
jayceee
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Re: Mandatory sci-fi

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
This is particularly common with males, which is why the first teaching strategy for approaching a reluctant or struggling male reader is to give him nonfiction. There's hard and soft sci fi, though, have you ever tried something like Darwin's Radio?
I haven't read Darwin's Radio.

The first sci-fi book I read from cover to cover on my own, was the Neuromancer. Even after reading it, I still didn't really know what the book was about.
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Old June 18 2013, 04:54 AM   #29
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Re: Mandatory sci-fi

jayceee wrote: View Post
thestrangequark wrote: View Post
This is particularly common with males, which is why the first teaching strategy for approaching a reluctant or struggling male reader is to give him nonfiction. There's hard and soft sci fi, though, have you ever tried something like Darwin's Radio?
I haven't read Darwin's Radio.

The first sci-fi book I read from cover to cover on my own, was the Neuromancer. Even after reading it, I still didn't really know what the book was about.
The reason I brought up Darwin's Radio is that it is a prime example of hard sci-fi...it's more about the science than the story. This obviously means that the story-telling suffers a bit, but the science is compelling enough that it doesn't matter and the author is competent enough to handle the material. I thought maybe it would be something someone who is more keen on nonfiction might be interested in. The sequel is pretty good too. I'd also recommend Ted Chiang's short story "Story of Your Life" for someone who is into physics and mathematics, as another good bit of hard sci-fi. Also, the Spider Robinson short story, "Melancholy Elephants", which (appropriately, given the subject matter), you can read for free online, which isn't as "hard" on the technical level as the others, but is about science, philosophy, and consequences more than characters. There is some very good sci fi out there with very solid science and compelling theories and projections.
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Old June 18 2013, 05:01 AM   #30
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Re: Mandatory sci-fi

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There is some very good sci fi out there with very solid science and compelling theories and projections.
I tried reading Asimov's Foundation titles.

At times I found it somewhat hard to suspend disbelief, when reconciling it with my partial familiarity of mathematical modeling.
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