Possible Sci-Fi fiction for a US survey class?


#1

Any thoughts on what a good book would be to use in a US survey? I’m thinking of either JG Ballard’s Hello America which could be read during a section on the Cold War (it’s been years since I read it, so I was going to re-read it this week), or possibly Octavia Butler’s Kindred, on a section related to antebellum America?

Any other suggestions for good sci-fi works that would work well as a class discussion.


#2

You might want to take a look at Phillip K Dick’s Man in the High Castle. It’s a Hugo Award winner. It tells a story about an alternate history U.S. where Roosevelt was assassinated. WWII was lost and the U.S. is now occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan.

Reading either that or a series of his short stories set in post-apolcalyptic California may serve your needs. “The Days of Perky Pat” is a good place to start if you’re looking for one of his short stories. In it, first generation nuclear war survivors are holding on to their past lives by role playing with dolls and accessories (like Barbies) from before the war.

A lot of Dick’s stories written during the McCarthy Era do reflect the tension of that time, and you can read it in the story themes.


#3

Ooooo! I hadn’t even thought of PKD! I’ll think about that… Thanks!


#4

You’re welcome - best of luck!


#5

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