|Not pictured: Me. Her hair is far too straight and shiny.|
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This summer, I have a plan for my free time: I'm going to sci fi/fantasy boot camp. You see, I'm a relative newcomer to the genre, and I'm severely lacking in the fundamentals of the SF/F oeuvre. Sure, I've dabbled in Tolkien and Bradbury and Banks. I'm fluent in George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss. I'm well versed in Harry Dresden-ology, and I'm a big fan of Mercy Thompson. Nevertheless, my cultural gaps are vast, particularly when it comes to the staples of the genre.
Hence, I'm creating a summer sci fi/fantasy boot camp reading list, and I need your help with what classic genre novels to put on it. Here's what I have so far:
The Handmaid's Tale
Fahrenheit 451 (Yeah, I don't understand how I didn't read it in school either.)
Robin Hobb's assassin series
Some David Eddings and Raymond E. Feist
In addition, I'd like to pick up some newer books, including Joe Abercrombie's works, and I'll definitely devour the sequels I'm dying for (hello, Mira Grant and Jim Butcher!). And I'm sure I'll get distracted by other shiny new books in a variety of genres as the summer rolls along. But I'd like to stick to my SF/F personal edification plan as much as possible.
So help me, S4 readers. What classic novels belong on my summer sci fi/fantasy boot camp reading list? What do you consider to be the "must reads" for a person who wants to be well-versed in the genre? And hey, if enough of you are as lacking as I am in the classics of the genre, I'd love to put together a summer book club!