Friday, June 29, 2012

Spotlight: Science Fiction

Several months ago a patron posed a difficult question to the staff of the Recommendations Desk: What are the best books in the Science Fiction section by contemporary authors? (I paraphrase)

There's two elements that make this a tricky question:
1) Best is a very subjective quality
2) The Science Fiction collection at Carnegie-Stout includes all types of speculative fiction (from space ships to witches), save for those books and authors that are shelved in Fiction

So where do you start when trying to answer a very large question? When speaking with a patron we try to narrow your interests down to what you do and don't like to read. Maybe you prefer a series, or can't stomach books with graphic violence. Maybe you'd like a little romance with your ray guns, or a wizard who solves mysteries.

These are the sorts of questions that we had in mind when we launched our Personal Recommendations program. It's a way to help pinpoint what you like and don't like about books (of any genre).

Of course, if you're simply wondering what contemporary books and authors are highly regarded by fans, critics, or the staff of Carnegie-Stout, we can make some suggestions there too!

One place to look are posts tagged as Science Fiction, right here on our blog. This will call up staff reviews, read alike lists, and other posts on books shelved in the Science Fiction section at Carnegie-Stout.

Another good place to look are lists of award winners and nominees. Notable awards include the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award.

And finally, below you'll find cover images for books and authors you might want to check out if you're curious about speculative fiction. All images link directly to our catalog.

Please stop by the Recommendations Desk on the first floor, check out NoveList Plus on the library's website, or visit W. 11th & Bluff next week for more reading suggestions. Or submit a Personal Recommendations request, and we'll create a reading list just for you!

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