This week, The New Yorker published their first ever science fiction issue, filled with speculative stories from popular authors, many not necessarily known for their sci-fi writing: Junot Díaz, Jennifer Egan, Sam Lipsyte, Jonathan Lethem. In truth, we’re kind of amazed that it took The New Yorker this long to do a science fiction issue, but that doesn’t make us any less psyched to delve into it. However, we’ve heard more than one mutinous grumble from readers who don’t like — or think they don’t like — the genre, and consider this week’s issue a waste. In an attempt to convert them (though probably not before the next week’s issue comes out), we’ve put together this list of sci-fi books for people who don’t read sci-fi books. Whether you’re curious but not sure where to start or you’ve decided along the way that you just can’t stomach the stuff (read: you need to be tricked and cajoled), we have a book for you here, so click through and get to expanding your horizons. And hey, sci-fi buffs: be sure to add to our list in the comments!
Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
This captivating, complex, read-it-in-one-sitting novel is always the first one we recommend to anyone looking to dip their toe into the science fiction genre. It has action, sure, but its strength is in the psychological development of Ender, as he manipulates and is manipulated by the system. Plus, they’re finally making it into a movie starring Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Abigail Breslin and Asa Butterfield (aka Hugo) as Ender. So you should probably read it before then.