Alan Boyle over at MSNBC’s CosmicLog offers his recommendations for summer science fiction escapist reading. Given the dust-up over falling readership numbers, I thought this might be an interesting article to look at.
First up, Alan recommends The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks (SF Signal review). Now, I haven’t read it yet, but I’m not sure that the term ‘escapist’ fits here. But then again, maybe I’m thinking of book two on the list.
Which is The Dark River, sequel to The Traveler. Boyle manages to use this book to plug the new Douglas Hofstadter book, I Am A Strange Loop and a book on biblical mysteries. Both sound interesting, but I had no idea Hofstadter had a new book. He has a way of making even difficult idea readable. See his awesome Goedel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.
Third on his list are two books by Heinlein: The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress and The Man Who Sold The Moon. Both are strong stories and show the power of early Heinlein.
Lastly, Boyle mentions the upcoming summer series, Masters Of Science Fiction, on ABC. Singled out is the episode, Jerry Was A Man, based on the Heinlein story of the same name.
So there you have, one columnists idea for escapist SF. Looking at the list, I think all of the items may actually be a bit deeper than just ‘escapist’, but that’s a good thing.
The comments are a different story. Dan Simmons as escapist SF? Yikes.