Our reference librarian asked me to think about what we might want on the shelves to represent genre fiction titles.
My writing for genre fiction has been limited to a couple of RPG adventure books a long time ago and an epic SF series (The Blockade) that I hope will be published sooner rather than later. I have shared opinions on Andrew Burt’s Critters workshop. I’ve taken writing workshops in college, which, to my mind, is the only time anyone needs to take such classes, because, hey, 3 credits! I know my own writing here can be kind of rushed sometimes (like, when I’m in a rush) and I try to avoid that.
On the other hand, I know what I like to read. I can tell a good story from a bad one. I know what good writing looks like, or I think I do. And God help me, I know what bad writing looks like. That said, I do enjoy thinking about what titles I’ve read recently (or not) that remain with me.
Granted, the genre stuff I read these days is limited to sci-fi. I have read and enjoyed fantasy books in the past but it’s been years since I found anything in that space that I like enough to suggest.
At the same time, I’m slogging through titles which I think are amazing (The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson, for one) which I don’t think our students are likely to enjoy. My favorite horror write of all time is Joe R. Landsdale, but unless you really enjoy reading about the freakish things that happen in East Texas, you’re unlikely to share that opinion. We got requests for Urban fantasy, too, but in that realm, your guess is as good as mine.
Anyway, because your guess is as good as mine I’m looking for feedback on this one. I’d appreciate hearing from readers (all three of you) what you’d suggest for the genre fiction shelf.
My nowhere nearly exhaustive sci-fi list is as follows:
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
Redshirts by John Scalzi
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Long Earth by Terry Prachett and Steven Baxter
On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers
Expiration Date by Tim Powers
Good Omens by Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman
Moonfall by Jack McDevitt
And on the fantasy side:
The first two Thomas Covenant series by Stephen R. Donaldson
The River of Dancing Gods series by Jack L. Chalker
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein (obviously)
What do you think? What did I miss?