Mandatory sci-fi

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Miss Chicken, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

    Dec 15, 2012
    Another early "cliche ridden" title is "A Princess of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

    When I first read it, initially I thought it was a ripoff of generic sci-fi, fantasy, superhero, etc ... in an easy to read book. But when I noticed the original book publication date was 1917, I came to the realization "Princess of Mars" may very well have been one of the early original sources of sci-fi/fantasy/superhero tropes.
  2. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 28, 2011
    That can happen in reverse. When I first read Vonnegut's "Sirens of Titan"I was young and thought it a straight SF novel rather than, as intended, a send-up of the genre.
  3. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

    Aug 8, 2006
    Brooklyn thestrangequark
    Those are not my criticisms of Foundation, personally, and while I cannot presume to know others' criticisms of the series, no one has yet faulted it for being cliched, and I think we are all well aware of when it was written and its (and Asimov's) subsequent influence on the genre.

    I am critical of it because it sucks.
  4. Pondwater

    Pondwater Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 27, 2011
    The Backwoods
    I remember having to read Brave New World, which remains as a favorite of mine. Way better than having to read Wuthering Heights.
  5. Zulu Romeo

    Zulu Romeo World Famous Starship Captain Admiral

    Oct 31, 2004
    The same English teacher who gave us sci-fi short stories to read also recommended "Brave New World" to us, going as far as to explain the ideas behind the first part of the book to us - he seemed genuinely interested in science fiction works. I didn't get around to reading it until a short time later, and I remember my gut reaction upon first reading it was that I liked it more than "Nineteen Eighty Four" (which I also liked).
  6. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 9, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    I also read for school The Giver, Fahrenheit 451, 1984 and Animal Farm; all, especially the latter, bending genres but that can generate some of the best literature.
    With classic sci-fi I was disappointed with Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and most of H. G. Wells (but loved The Time Machine).

    Without trying to make the selections boring, I do think required books should be geared towards those students are not likely to read on their own anyway (i.e., exclude The Hobbit, The Hunger Games or Ender's Game given that their big-budget film adaptations are so recent). OTOH the curriculum should include, as well as particular books, some choices from within a genre.
  7. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Walrus Premium Member

    Nov 4, 2001
    Sitting on a cornflake.
    I read it when I was about 13. Enjoyed it. When I read it again in my twenties is was a bit dry, boring and the lack of characterization made it a bit flat.
  8. desertstarlover

    desertstarlover Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Nov 23, 2006
    Phoenix, Arizona - East Valley
    I don't believe in making school compulsory, for most American elementary and middle school aged children, but that is another topic. Let this suffice: I unschooled my son and when he finally decided to attend school, he was very successful. It worked for him.

    That being said, I would hope that literature teachers would include some science fiction titles in the reading lists that they hand out to their students.

    Here are a few that come to mind:

    "A Wrinkle in Time" - for younger ones
    Short Stores from the Golden Age of Science Fiction
    contemporary science fiction short stories
    "The Lord of the Rings" series - fantasy, I know
    Comics books depicting action figures with superpowers

    Let the young reader choose ANY title within the genre.

    I would also hope that the teacher would read those books and be able to have an intelligent classroom discussion about them!