Neil Gaiman’s Favourite Science Fiction Books

By June 12, 2018Authors, Literature

Neil Gaiman was speaking to the BBC’s Front Row last month about the film adaptation of his story How to Talk to Girls at Parties as it hit UK cinemas.

As many good writers know one key to great writing is a lot of reading- and Gaiman is no different. His love for writing goes hand-in-hand with reading, so the BBC asked for his favourite science fiction novels.

These are the books he decided upon…

“Case was the sharpest data-thief in the matrix—until he crossed the wrong people and they crippled his nervous system, banishing him from cyberspace. Now a mysterious new employer has recruited him for a last-chance run at an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, a mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case is ready for the adventure that upped the ante on an entire genre of fiction.”

Neuromancer by William Gibson

“It was the first great cyberpunk novel. It was the first time I actually felt like a future was being described that I understood.”

Genly Ai is an ethnologist observing the people of the planet Gethen, a world perpetually in winter. The people there are androgynous, normally neuter, but they can become male or female at the peak of their sexual cycle. Genly Ai is drawn into the complex politics of the planet and, during a long, tortuous journey across the ice with a politician who has fallen from favour, he reaches a painful understanding of the true nature of Gethenians.”

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin

“It’s a giant thought experiment that’s also a cracking good read about gender.”

“The Shadow of the Torturer is the first novel in the The Book of the New Sunseries. It is set when the earth is old and the sun is dying. The book, which was published in 1980, also counts George RR Martin and Ursula K Le Guin among its fans.” ~BBC

“In a thoroughly decadent world of the future, Severian the torturer is cast out from the torturer’s guild when he falls in love with one of his victims and allows her to die.” ~Amazon

The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe

“It’s set at the end of things – the sun is dying, everything is dying, and it’s glorious.”

Modern Day Hamlet Will Make You LOL

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Have you ever wondered what Shakespeare’s characters would be like if they had the internet? Would Ophelia be on Instagram? Would Hamlet be on Facebook or Twitter? Can you imagine the intense arguments they’d all have?

Well, you shall wait no longer, as some clever internet folk have cobbled together some clever funnies for your amusement.

Check them out…

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5 Books to Read in Preparation for the Apocalypse

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Preparation is key when it comes to the world ending. You wouldn’t want to be the only survivors without decent shelter or dry firewood, right? Your neighbour may have fashioned weapons out of old bones while you are still wondering if the water nearby is safe to drink.

This list of extremely useful books are guaranteed to keep you alive for long enough to finish your TBR pile before the sun explodes/the zombies arrive/memes take over the world and nothing makes sense anymore. Let us guide you towards some of the best survival books, foraging guides, and ultimate distraction texts while the world around you burns.

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Study Shows Growing up in a Home Full of Books Is Good for Children

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Those of you who buy more books than you can read will be pleased to learn that a recent study suggests that this is having a positive effect on you and any little ones that may be around. Evidence suggests that those who grow up in homes full of books are more likely to have higher reading comprehension and better mathematical and digital communication skills. Read More

10 exciting new books to be released in 2019

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New books is one subject guaranteed to excite a reading addict and 2019 will not disappoint.

We will be introduced to the City Above the Sky, travel the Earthly realm, and freak out on Fear Street with R.L. Stine’s latest YA horror. 2019 will be bringing us an eclectic range of thrillers, sci-fi, romance, YA, and fast paced fiction to keep us entertained through the year.

You’re guaranteed to find a book you love…

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6 Books to Help Teach Children About Consent

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Consent is important when it comes to our bodily autonomy, and our personal space. When we understand consent we have the power to say ‘no’ when we want to, we have control over what happens to us, and it is less likely people will take advantage.

It is important for our children to learn about their bodily autonomy from an early age so that they understand that, despite being the less-powerful person, they are allowed to say ‘no’ to an adult who is asking for physical contact. If we feel uncomfortable as adults with people touching and hugging us without our expressed consent, then imagine what it is like for children who don’t feel empowered enough to refuse a hug.

When children are given the tools to understand ownership of their own bodies, and their personal space, then they’re far less likely to be sexually abused in the future. This means starting with family- sure Grandma may want a kiss goodbye but what are you teaching your child when you pressure them into physical contact they don’t want, even if it is with someone they love?

Check out these amazing titles, written to empower children and give them the tools to say NO to unwanted physical contact.

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Lady Chatterley’s Lover is to go under the hammer!

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Lady Chatterley’s Lover was a controversial read for a time- and Penguin Publishing has to go to trial in the 1960s to defend it. The judge, Sir Lawrence Byrne, who resided over the obscenity trial famously said:

“Would you approve of your young sons, young daughters – because girls can read as well as boys – reading this book? Is it a book that you would… wish your wife or your servants to read?”

The sexually-charged novel was poured over by the judge’s wife, Lady Dorothy Byrne, with each explicit passage highlighted and notes of coarse language dotted throughout. Lady Byrne even stitched a cloth cover to keep the book away from the eyes of the press, or the innocent eyes of delicate ladies…

The very book used by Judge Lawrence Byrne, with his wife’s own notes within it, is now being auctioned off at Sotheby’s at the end of October.

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