Now that Denvention is over, I'm starting to prepare for my teaching semester in Leipzig. One of the courses I'll be teaching is science fiction. I've been told that since the students will be reading in English, and since German university students carry a heavier load of courses than American students, I should restrict their reading to about 150 pages per week. This doesn't leave too much room for very many books. The theme of the course is "constructing future societies," with a political as well as a social slant. Thus, my reading list for the course is:
RED MARS -- Kim Stanley Robinson -- in which colonists on Mars get into wars trying to construct societies
THE DISPOSSESSED -- Ursula Le Guin -- in which anarchists don't get into wars constructing a totally new society
HOLY FIRE -- Bruce Sterling -- which imagines future societies of Europe
THE BEST OF THE BEST -- ed. Gardner Dozois -- with a variety of short fiction to supplement the novels
There are any number of excellent books I could have chosen for this course, but I think these will at least start some interesting discussions on man as a social animal.