Science Fiction Books – Not Just for Nerds

27 Nov

In the November 2009 issue of Details Magazine, with a fab-tastic Glambert on the cover, the “Words” section caught my eye.  The spotlight is on Brandon Sanderson, an up-and-coming author specializing in science-fiction.  Here is the excerpt:

“If the epic-fantasy genre seems suited only to people who play Magic: The Gathering and own Star Wars bedding, consider this: Robert Jordan’s unfinished Wheel of Time series has sold more than 44 million copies. That’s a lot of readers who were left on the edge of their seats when the author died in 2007—including Brandon Sanderson, the 33-year-old writer who was chosen by Jordan’s widow to complete the series using the notes her husband left behind. Today, Sanderson is releasing the first of the three concluding volumes, A Memory of Light: The Gathering Storm (Tor, $30), and is facing expectations from fans who make a tween girl’s passion for the Jonas brothers look like what it is: child’s play.”

Below are 4 additional sci-fi selections that are worth reading.  Choose to do so…if you dare.

1. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer [Little, Brown, $26] – “The literary wonderkind you love to hate puts a pomo finish on Michael Pollan in this polemic about carnivorism and food production.  Foer’s usual stylistic trickery (e.g. a Swiftian endorsement of eating dogs) doesn’t make reading about castrated piglets much more enjoyable, but maybe a subject like this shouldn’t be fun.”

2. Evening’s Empire by Zachary Lazar [Little, Brown, $25] – “In 1975, when the author was 6, the father he barely knew was shot in the head in a parking garage.  More than 30 years later, Lazar tells the haunting story of this outwardly conventional accountant’s secret life – while painting an indelible portrait of the Space-Age suburbs and an American dream built on fraud.”

3. Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith [Penguin Press, $26] – “Analyzing her father’s comedy obsession, 50 Cent’s film Get Rich or Die Tryin’, and E.M. Forster in her first collection of essays, the novelist effortlessly shifts her tone from academically stiff to whimsical.  Bits like the piece about having multiple linguistic personalities offer insight into the author and will appeal to super-fans hoping to better understand Archie Jones of White Teeth.

4. Invisible by Paul Auster [Henry Holt, $25] – “In this novel with multiple (possibly unreliable) narrators, a young poet is sucked into the orbit of an older French couple in 1967 New York, until a shocking violent act derails their association. As usual with Auster, things are more complicated than they appear, and a Russian doll-like series of tales within tales unfolds – all in the author’s crystal clear prose.”

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