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Science Fiction

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It's no surprise that science fiction didn't surface till the end of the 19th century....and the beginning of the Technological Age. Modern man is preoccupied with technology, both as villain and hero, and though most people probably associate sci-fi with Star Wars and Doctor Who, originally it was a literary genre devoted to serious (and often terrifying themes).

That's not to say it hasn't always been plain fun. H.G. Wells was making weighty social commentary when he wrote The War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man, but both of those are also rousing adventure stories with themes that remain stock elements of the genre. Dune is Frank Herbert's political and ecological manifesto, as well as a desert saga filled with knife fights and mysterious Fremen wanderers.

At first glance a lot of science fiction looks pretty much like tech-savvy fantasy. In some cases it is—the aforementioned Star Wars has swords and knights and an evil emperor, just like The Prydain Chronicles or John White's Archives of Anthropos. But this kind of swashbuckling galactic adventure is typically called "space opera" and not taken very seriously except as great entertainment.

The more contemplative (but no less exciting) work of Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Orson Scott Card is what comprises the canon of Science Fiction proper. Subjects range from psychological investigations to the ethics of human-robot relations, but all of them are concerned primarily with human society and the moral obligations of those within its bounds.

In 1896, H.G. Wells published a novel called The Island of Dr. Moreau. It follows a captive of the crazed Dr. Moreau, whose experiments uniting animal and human organisms reach a gruesome level. While the implications would seem distant from any realm of possibility, Wells' fable touches on many contemporary themes, from stem cell research to the Creation/Evolution debate. It is in this tradition that the greatest science fiction authors write, making some small sense of the growing senseless complexity of modern life.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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121 Items found Print
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Illustrated Junior Library
by Jules Verne
from Grosset & Dunlap
Science Fiction for 5th-10th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Sterling Classics
by Jules Verne
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 5th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: A04-04A)
2001: A Space Odyssey
by Arthur C. Clarke
from ROC Science Fiction
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
2010: Odyssey Two
by Arthur C. Clarke
from Del Rey
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Among the Barons
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
from Simon and Schuster
for 5th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Among the Betrayed
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
from Simon and Schuster
for 5th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Among the Brave
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
from Simon and Schuster
for 5th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Among the Enemy
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 5th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Among the Free
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 5th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Among the Hidden
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
from Simon and Schuster
for 5th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Among the Impostors
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 5th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Around the World in Eighty Days
Puffin Classics
by Jules Verne
from Puffin Books
Adventure for 6th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Asimov's Foundation Trilogy
by Isaac Asimov
from Bantam Books
Science Fiction for 9th grade-adult
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Book of Ember Collection
by Jeanne DuPrau
from Yearling
for 4th-6th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Canticle for Leibowitz
by Walter M. Miller
from HarperCollins
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Canticle for Leibowitz
by Walter M. Miller
from Bantam Books
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Case of the Gasping Garbage
by Michele Torrey
2nd edition from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 3rd-6th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Catching Fire
by Suzanne Collins
Reprint from Scholastic Press
for 7th-9th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Caught
Missing #05
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
from Simon and Schuster
for 4th-7th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Children of Dune
Dune Chronicles Book 3
by Frank Herbert
from ACE Publishing
Science Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
City of Ember
Book of Ember #1
by Jeanne DuPrau
1st edition from Random House Books for Young Readers
for 4th-7th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Dark Tower
by C. S. Lewis
Reissue from HarperOne
for 11th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Diamond of Darkhold
Book of Ember #4
by Jeanne DuPrau
from Yearling
for 4th-7th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Divergent Collection
by Veronica Roth
for 9th-12th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Dune
Dune Chronicles Book 1
by Frank Herbert
from ACE Publishing
Science Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Dune Messiah
Dune Chronicles Book 2
by Frank Herbert
from ACE Publishing
Science Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Dune Trilogy
by Frank Herbert
from ACE Publishing
Science Fiction for 10th-Adult
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Earth Abides
by George R. Stewart
from Del Rey
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Enchantress from the Stars
by Sylvia Engdahl
from Firebird Press
for 7th-9th grade
1971 Newbery Honor Book
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card
from Tor Classic
Science Fiction for 7th-Adult
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Eyre Affair
Thursday Next Book 1
by Jasper Fforde
from Penguin Putnam
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Found
Missing #01
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Reprint from Simon and Schuster
for 4th-7th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Foundation
Foundation Trilogy #1
by Isaac Asimov
Revised from Bantam Books
Science Fiction for 9th-Adult
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Foundation and Empire
Foundation Trilogy #2
by Isaac Asimov
from Bantam Books
Science Fiction for 9th-Adult
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Frankenstein
Puffin Classics
by Mary Shelley
from Puffin Books
Horror for 7th-10th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Frankenstein
Sterling Classics
by Mary Shelley & Scott McKowen
from Sterling Publishing Co.
Horror for 7th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: A04-04A)
Gathering Blue
The Giver Trilogy #2
by Lois Lowry
Reprint from Graphia
for 7th-10th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Giver
by Lois Lowry
from HMH Books for Young Readers
for 7th-10th grade
1994 Newbery Medal winner
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Green Book
by Jill Paton Walsh
from Sunburst Book
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Hitchhiker's "Trilogy" set
by Douglas Adams
from Ballantine Books
Humorous Science Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Hitchhiker's Trilogy #1
by Douglas Adams
from Ballantine Books
Humorous Science Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
Reprint from Scholastic Press
Historical Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Hunger Games Trilogy
by Suzanne Collins
from Scholastic Press
for 7th-9th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
I, Robot
by Isaac Asimov
from Bantam Books
Science Fiction for 7th-Adult
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
Illustrated Man
by Ray Bradbury
from Simon and Schuster
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Invisible Man
by H. G. Wells
from Signet Classics
Science Fiction for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Invisible Man
by H. G. Wells
from Dover Publications
Science Fiction for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Island of Dr. Moreau
Signet Classics
by H. G. Wells
from Signet Classics
Speculative Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Island of Dr. Moreau
Signet Classics
by H. G. Wells
from Dover Publications
Speculative Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Puffin Classics
by Jules Verne
Reprint from Puffin Books
Science Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
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