This year, for the first time in, say fifteen years, I read a science fiction novel: Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke. I got it for 50 cents at a church book sale. I liked it very much. I decided I want to read more science fiction.
But since I hadn’t really read anything of the sort* since I was 14, I decided to go slow. I read a bunch of Star Wars novels. So far, so good. Granted, they don’t get much respect, but they’re fun.
For my next choice, I picked up another book I got for 50 cents, Manifold: Time, by Stephen Baxter. Yikes! I’m only about halfway through, but man, talk about jumping into the deep end! Every other page is a mini-science lecture on quantum physics, jet propulsion, chemistry, astrophysics, etc. Don’t get me wrong – I’m thoroughly enjoying it and am glad I’m reading it (so please don’t spoil it for me!) but this is a little too much for me this early in the game.
So help me out with my reading list, guys. I’m looking for canon, for classics, for bestsellers, for obscure cult anomalies, for just general good science fiction that does not make a head warped by liberal arts and humanities classes explode. Is there anything you think a sci-fi newbie without a science background would enjoy? Anything I simply must read?
*For the record, I have read a lot of alternative history. Does that count?