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DD (15) will be 10th grade next year and wants to do Modern History. Yes, it is out of order, but she REALLY wants to do this.

 

She is a good reader, but doesn't enjoy the 'classics' as much as her older sister did.

 

I will be using Marrin books and some other non-fiction as her history texts.

 

I will probably assign about 6 'great books' (from TWTM)

 

And I would like to do about 12 science fiction books for a seperate lit class. What would your recommendations be?

 

Thanks!

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We love Sci-Fi! Some ideas...

Fahrenheit 451

The Martian Chronicles

Clockwork Orange

Brave New World

2001 Space Odyssey

The Time Machine

War of the Worlds

Andromeda Strain

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That's EXACTLY what DS and I did for his 10th grade -- 20th century history, and a "Worldviews in Sci-Fi" for literature! We both loved it! Below is what we used for the sci-fi, and we had to scramble to get through them all. So, just an FYI -- trying to do six WTM Great Books AND twelve Sci-Fi Great Books is a HUGE amount, unless you go with many easier, shorter sci-fi works just to read and not discuss/analyze -- or, some of the sci-fi books below CAN be your WTM Great Books, too, as many of these show up on traditional classic literature lists. BEST of luck -- and enjoy! We had a blast with our sci-fi literature course! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

"Worldviews in Sci-Fi and Gothic Literature"

 

1 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Stevenson)

Christian worldview (man is basically sinful and cannot on his own seperate himself from his sinful nature) -- not long, but the Victorian language/sentence structure really slowed us down (REALLY great to compare/contrast with Frankenstein)

 

2. Frankenstein (Shelley)

Romanticism (the individual and his/her emotions are the most important thing; nature (the creation) exalted over the Creator (God)) -- loonnnggg slloowww read

 

3. The Time Machine (Wells)

evolution; socialism (pretty fast read)

 

4. Animal Farm (Orwell)

communism; capitalism (fast read)

 

5. The Giver (Lowry)

utopia/dystopia (fast read)

 

6. Brave New World (Huxley)

utopia/dystopia -- longer work, but not difficult to read BUT lots to discuss -- MATURE THEMES

 

7. Farenheit 451 (Bradbury)

loss of literacy in a culture leads to loss of rationality/critical thinking skills; rise of the primacy of the image leads to emotions -- medium length, but poetic in writing style (DS loves Bradbury's style, but some students don't)

 

8. A Canticle for Leibowitz (Miller)

post apocalyptic work; destructive nature of man seen as a cycle of devastating war, slow rebuilding of political power, reaching greater pinnacles, leading to pride and even greater devastating war -- meanwhile, the Church acts as the "keeper of the flame" of books, literacy, and knowledge -- a longer work, very well-written, takes time to think about and absorb

 

9. a few short stories from Cosmicomics (Calvino)

existentialism (fast read)

 

10./11. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Adams)

absurdism -- easy to read; longer in length if you do both

 

 

Ideas for other sci-fi classics:

- 1984 (Orwell) -- totalitarian dystopian state

- War of the Worlds (Wells)

- The Invisible Man (Wells)

- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Verne)

- Journey to the Center of the Earth (Verne)

- I, Robot (Asimov)

- The Martian Chronicles (Bradbury)

- short story: There Will Come Soft Rains (Bradbury)

- short story: The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas (LeGuin)

- Out of the Silent Planet (Lewis)

- The Left Hand of Darkness (LeGuin) -- mature themes

- Children of Men (James) -- VERY mature themes

 

 

Some worthwhile sci-fi works:

- The Green Book (Walsh) -- short, easy, young adult book

- trilogy: City of Ember; People of Sparks; Diamond of Darkhold (DuPrau) -- short, easy, young adult books

- Enchantress from the Stars (Engdahl) -- young adult book

- House of Stairs (Sleator) -- short, young adult book

- Lathe of Heaven (LeGuin)

- Eye of the Heron (LeGuin)

- Ender's Game (Card) -- medium read; long

- Dune (Herbert) -- easy read; long

- Foundation (Asimov) -- easy read

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Thanks for the super list - very helpful.

 

She has already ready "hitchhiker". I would like to add William Gibson in there for cyperpunk sci-fi.

 

And I want to do some story/film comparisons

Do Androids dream of electric sheep/Bladerunner

and there is at least one star trek episode based on a short story

hopefully i will come up with more of these as i research the college syllabi I found.

 

I will probably skip Brave New World - my older dd loved it, but I don't know if A. will really 'get' it yet.

 

Would like to do some Ursula LeGuin and Sylvia Engdahl.

 

I know I will have to pare down the reading, but there is just so much GREAT stuff.

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Some others I haven't seen mentioned above (lots of good recommendations already given, too):

 

  • one or more of the Foundation "trilogy" by Isaac Asimov (another trilogy that expanded into many more books
  • Space Trilogy by CS Lewis
  • Tripod series by John Christopher

 

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Glad to see others that love science fiction! I just finished "Childhood's End" by Arthur C. Clarke and you might add that to the fantastic suggestions of others.

 

BTW, some sy-fy purists don't consider Jules Verne science fiction but fantasy. Just FYI!

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thanks Kareni for the thread links.

 

I knew it had been discussed before but i never seem to be successful when I search the board.

 

One of my colleagues at work shyly admitted that he had written an outline of the history of sci fi and would be happy to share it with us.

 

I sse that the hard part will be paring down the list, not trying to beef it up.

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Well, this ended up being more like 20 than a dozen. I went back farther than you might want to. Or you might cut things off at "classic" science fiction and not go much more recent than the 1970s. You might also want to stick to short stories, which makes up a lot of the science fiction genre, especially since much of sci fi was printed in pulp magazines like Analog in the post WWII era.

 

I also tacked on a list of questions that I think science fiction books try to explore or challenge the reader on.

 

BTW, I would pre-read any of these books past Wells and Verne to at least be aware of what is in them. Science fiction specializes in pushing the envelope on many different levels. That might not be comfortable for every reader in every family.

 

 

 

 

Something by Jules Verne (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or Journey to the Center of the Earth)

 

H. G. Wells (The Time Machine or War of the Worlds)

 

Brave New World

 

Fahrenheit 451

 

Animal Farm

 

The Martian Chronicles (And other Bradbury like A Distant Sound of Thunder)

 

Starship Troopers

 

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress or Stranger in a Strange Land (pre-read either)

 

Ender's Game

 

Caves of Steel

 

Bladerunner, or Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep or some of the shorter work of Philip K. Dick, who might have the honor of having more stories made into movies than almost any other science fiction author. (Minority Report, Total Recall - We Can Remember it for You Wholesale, and others)

 

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (possibly the first 4 books)

 

The Left Hand of Darkness

 

Dune

 

2001: A Space Odyssey (not my favorite, but significant in its impact)

 

The Forever War

 

Time and Again by Jack Finney (The movie Somewhere in Time was loosely based on this book, but the book is far better.)

 

On Basilisk Station (the first Honor Harrington novel)

 

Something that is in the alternate history genre. Guns for the South is a classic by Turtledove. 1632 by Eric Flint is very good. The Belisarius series by Eric Flint and David Drake are good.

 

Miles, Mystery & Mayhem (an collection of three shorter works by Lois Bujold)

 

Something by Michael Crichton (Sphere, Prey, Jurrassic Park)

 

 

Science fiction probes some of the following themes:

What does it mean to be human?

What is the nature of human relationships? Will the one man one woman standard still apply in situations where technology significantly alters reproduction or where environmental contraints shift the ratio of men to women. What constitutes a family?

As we move beyond Earth, what traits, habits and concepts will be most need to take with us?

What is the nature of freedom?

Technology allows us to do many things that weren't previously possible. What constraints should there be (if any) on the use of technology?

What are the limitations on warfare? Does a culture do whatever it takes to win? Or are some things too soul destroying to be utilized? Do you sacrifice some individuals in defense of the whole (either physically or psycologically).

Is there a system of government that is best suited to mankind's nature? Will this change in the future?

How did the concerns of the time the book was written feed the conflict in the story (example, totalitarianism, cold war, loss of freedom under several different systems, the horrors of modern war, women's liberation, racial tensions, oil crisis)?

 

NB: Science fiction writers play a lot with what ifs that will bump harshly against what culture has set as the norm. Sometimes that takes the form of androids or aliens who are portrayed as as good as or better than humans. Sometimes it takes the form of bending the norm for relationships or family groupings. Don't be taken by surprise by the content of a science fiction book. Frequently scenes will be written to shock the reader out of his assumptions. Pre-read to be fore-armed.

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Flowers for Algernon - when you are only selecting a few, variety ought to be important.

 

I'd forgotten about this book. Definitely fits into the theme of human consequences of technology and should we do something just because we can.

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How could I have forgotten Frankenstein? I'd drop H. G. Wells and Jules Verne to make room for that and The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde.

 

The Giver is another good story, but I have to confess that it is one of the most disturbing books I have ever read. My eldest son was about the age of the little boy when I read this. I was sobbing and shaken at the end. I think that this book needs as many warning flags as the books with all sorts of alternate relationship/family setups. It's not a book to avoid, but just one that really got under my skin in a disturbing way. (Proof of the power of the story, I suppose.)

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:lurk5:

 

What an awesome list! I've been looking for a classics Sci-Fi list for awhile. This thread is perfect!

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I know this thread's been at rest for a few months, but I just saw an ad for the Great Books Foundation Science Fiction Omnibus and thought it looked interesting.

 

The table of contents is here. It has several authors that were mentioned earlier in the thread, but also some that were new to me. I imagine that at least some of the works included are excerpts (like Ender's Game).

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I know this thread's been at rest for a few months, but I just saw an ad for the Great Books Foundation Science Fiction Omnibus and thought it looked interesting.

 

The table of contents is here. It has several authors that were mentioned earlier in the thread, but also some that were new to me. I imagine that at least some of the works included are excerpts (like Ender's Game).

 

Thank you, that does look interesting. Have you used materials from that company before?

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For Short Stories, you might try the Science Fiction Hall of Fame

 

"The definitive collection of the best in science fiction stories between 1929-1964"

 

http://www.amazon.com/Science-Fiction-Hall-Fame-Vol/dp/0765305372/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1288534251&sr=1-1

 

A list of included titles is here:

http://us.macmillan.com/thesciencefictionhalloffamevolumeone

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Those Who Can and Paragons are Science fiction short story collections, where the stories are broken up by the elements of fiction, and after each story, the author talks about that element of fiction.

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I would like to emphasize "Enchantress From the Stars" as an excellent source of discusssion. It poses questions like:

What does it mean to be human?

Can humans ever be defined as sub-human?

Do cultures have standard development patterns?

Should all that is not understood be defined as magical or supernatural?

Can love exist without real respect?

Does respect require equality?

 

It's also engaging and has a female voice--which is fairly unusual in Sci Fi.

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Assuming the OP is really located in Seattle, don't forget about the Sci Fi museum, which also has some great lists associated with the exhibits.

 

I am determined to get out there to see

this winter, and am considering doing a Sci Fi summer unit using multiple visits to the museum, but haven't figured out time to work it into our school year as yet. With summer, I'd also feel free to use lots of film as well as books, whereas full length feature film is hard to schedule for us during the school year without cutting too much into the kids free time which is their only opportunity for self-directed learning so I don't like to schedule even fun things during what are supposed to be non-school hours.

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Thank you, that does look interesting. Have you used materials from that company before?

 

I don't know more than what is on the website. I saw the ad in an education magazine and remembered the thread.

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I would like to emphasize "Enchantress From the Stars" as an excellent source of discusssion. It poses questions like:

What does it mean to be human?

Can humans ever be defined as sub-human?

Do cultures have standard development patterns?

Should all that is not understood be defined as magical or supernatural?

Can love exist without real respect?

Does respect require equality?

 

It's also engaging and has a female voice--which is fairly unusual in Sci Fi.

 

Thanks - I just ordered this for dd. It got terrific reader reviews.

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