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Out of this World Science Fiction and Fantasy


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Title: Out of this World Science Fiction and Fantasy

Out of this World!Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Cathy Belben, Librarian
  • Burlington-Edison High School

Why Read Science Fiction and Fantasy?
  • Offers alternative solutions to common problems
  • Offers creative way to look at common situations
  • Exercises the imagination
  • Requires a different set of thinking and reading

What is Science Fiction?
  • In science fiction, the author offers a
    scientific explanation of how the extraordinary
    events could happen.
  • Characters may be human, but arent always
  • Characters encounter problems that involve
  • The science involved in SF is often speculative,
    which means it isnt currently possible, but
    could be someday.
  • There are many categories, or genres, of science

What is fantasy literature?
  • Involves creatures or beings that are imaginary
  • Takes place in imaginary realms
  • Often involves magic
  • Events occur without scientific basis or

Genres of Science Fiction SPACE STORIES
  • Stories take place in, or involve travel to,
    outer space
  • May involve creatures or beings from other
  • May involve experimentation in space

Recommended SPACE Stories
Enders Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Ender, who is the result of genetic
    experimentation, may be the military genius Earth
    needs in its war against an alien enemy. Book 1
    in Ender Wiggin series.

Gravity by Tess Gerritson
  • Emma Watson, a research physician, has been
    training to study living beings in space on the
    International Space Station. Once onboard,
    however, the organism to be studied begins to
    mutate and infect the crew.

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
  • Linguist Emilio Sandoz, a Jesuit priest who
    leads a twenty-first century scientific mission
    to an extraterrestrial culture, is involved in a
    tragic misunderstanding with the alien
    civilization that leaves him physically and
    spiritually maimed.

Genres of Science FictionALIENS AMONG US
  • Stories take place on earth
  • Feature aliens living among humans
  • Aliens often take human form and may or may not
    be known to be aliens
  • Aliens may or not be friendly
  • Story often involves a quest to return to home

Skellig by David Almond
  • Unhappy about his baby sister's illness and the
    chaos of moving into a dilapidated old house,
    Michael retreats to the garage and finds a
    mysterious stranger who is something like a bird
    and something like an angel.

The Angel Factory by Terrence Blacker
  • Spurred on by his best friend, twelve-year-old
    Thomas uncovers two major family secrets that he
    was adopted, and that his perfect-seeming family
    is part of an other-worldly organization.

The Exchange Student by Kate Gilmore
  • When her mother arranges to host one of the young
    people coming to Earth from Chela, Daria is both
    pleased and intrigued by the keen interest shown
    by the Chelan in her work breeding endangered

The Dark Side of Nowhere by Neal Shusterman
  • Fourteen-year-old Jason faces an identity crisis
    after discovering that he is the son of aliens
    who stayed on earth following a botched invasion

I Want to Buy a Vowel by John Welter
  • Alfredo Santayana, an illegal immigrant from
    Guatemala, has no money, no job, and the only
    English he knows is "I'd like to buy a vowel,"
    which makes him an easy target for officials in
    Waxahachie, Texas, who are investigating satanic
    practices in the town.

Genres of Science FictionTIME BENDING
  • Stories involve manipulation of time outside the
    realm of what we know is possible
  • Characters may travel from the present to the
  • Characters may travel to the future
  • Story may take place in the future
  • Story may somehow involve a different
    understanding of time than we understand

Recommended Time-Bending Stories
The Watchby Dennis Danvers
  • On his deathbed, the Russian prince Peter
    Kropotkin receives an offer from a man who claims
    to come from the distant future. He will give
    Peter back his youth and health and deposit him
    in America in 1999. Peter comes to suspect that
    his mysterious benefactor is guiding events to a
    particular end, and that he is only a knowing
    pawn in a scheme.

Timeline by Michael Crichton
  • An adventure story in which characters step
    through a "wormhole" in time to enter France in
    the 1300's.

The Confessions of Max Tivoliby Andrew Sean Greer
  • Max, born with the body of a very old man, finds
    his physical body growing younger as his mind
    grows older, giving him multiple chances to win
    the heart of Alice, the neighbor girl he fell in
    love with as a child, and who fails to recognize
    him as they meet again and again throughout their

Einsteins Dreamsby Alan Lightman
  • Thirty fables conjure up many different theories
    of time, as they might have been dreamt by Albert
    Eintstein. In one world, time is circular, and
    people repeat trial and triumph endlessly. In
    another, people try to capture time, which
    appears as a nightingale, in a bell jar. In yet
    another, there is no time, only frozen moments.

Shades of Simon Grayby Joyce MacDonald
  • Seventeen-year-old Simon lies in a coma, finding
    his space and time overlapping with that of a man
    who was lynched over 200 years ago, while a
    member of the cheating ring he has been helping
    wonders if their actions have caused the plagues
    assaulting their New Jersey town.

The Time Travelers Wifeby Audrey Niggenegger
  • Clare and Henry, deeply in love, try desperately
    to maintain normal lives even though he has been
    diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder, a
    condition in which his genetic clock periodically
    resets, pulling him through time to the past or

The Sterkarm Handshakeby Susan Price
  • Having traveled to a sixteenth century border
    clan in England through a tunnel created by a
    twenty-first century company, Andrea must decide
    in which era she will live.

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
  • Time-travel researcher Ned Henry shuttles back
    and forth between the 21st century and the 1940s
    in order to correct an incongruity brought
    forward from the past.

Genres of Science FictionAFTERLIFE TRAVEL
  • Like time travel, involves characters who leave
    the here and now and encounter situations in
    another realm.
  • In afterlife travel characters are either dead
    or have traveled to visit people who are dead.
  • May or may not be religious in nature.

Recommended ReadingAFTERLIFE TRAVEL
  • Passage by Connie Willis

The Great Blue Yonderby Alex Shearer
  • Harry, a boy who has died, tries to decide what
    is is like on the "other side," a place known as
    the Other Lands.

The Lovely Bonesby Alice Sebold
  • Fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon, the victim of a
    sexual assault and murder, looks on from the
    afterlife as her family deals with their grief,
    and waits for her killer to be brought to some
    type of justice.

God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkianby Kurt Vonnegut
  • In this fictional adventure, Vonnegut poses as a
    reporter for public radio and slips back and
    forth between the living world and the Afterlife,
    interviewing various well known dead people,
    including Sir Isaac Newton, William Shakespeare,
    Clarence Darrow, James Earl Ray, Eugene Debs,
    John Brown, Adolf Hitler, Mary Shelley, Kilgore
    Trout, and numerous others.

Passage by Connie Willis
  • Dr. Joanna Lander, a psychologist specializing
    in near-death experiences, is recruited to lend
    credibility to the work of young neurologist Dr.
    Richard Wright who has come up with a way to
    manufacture the near-death experience using a
    psychoactive drug, but things go eerily wrong
    when Joanna begins to take the drug herself.

Genres of Science FictionDREAM TRAVEL
  • Characters dreams become reality
  • Characters may enter other worlds or just other
    versions of this world (similar to parallel
    reality travel)
  • Characters may become trapped in their dream and
    need to escape
  • Characters may be able to affect reality through
    their dreams and what they do there

Calypso Dreaming by Charles Butler
  • A strange child named Calypso who lives on the
    peaceful island of Sweetholm has an unsettling
    affect on the people who visit.

The Number Devil A Mathematical Adventure by
Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  • Annoyed with his math teacher who assigns word
    problems and won't let him use a calculator,
    twelve-year-old Robert finds help from the number
    devil in his dreams.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  • When Tristran Thorn travels to find the star
    that fell out of the sky to give to his beloved,
    he discovers that what he believes about the
    world is not always so.

Genres of Science Fiction APOCALYPTIC FICTION
  • Stories take place following some sort of
    apocalypse (an end of the world as we know it,
    not necessarily end of all life on planet
  • Might be religious in nature
  • Apocalypse might be a war or an illness
  • Stories involve the survival struggle of an
    individual or group

Recommended APOCALYPTIC Stories
  • How I Spent My Last Night on Earth by Todd
  • Welcome to the Ark by Stephanie Tolan

The Kindling Fire-Us Trilogy 1 by Jennifer
  • In 2007, a small band of children have joined
    together in a Florida town, trying to survive in
    a world where it seems that all the adults have
    been killed off by a catastrophic virus.

Z is for Zachariah by Robert C. OBrien
  • Seemingly the only person left alive after the
    holocaust of a war, a young girl is relieved to
    see a man arrive into her valley until she
    realizes that he is a tyrant and she must somehow

Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
  • Seven Australian teenagers return from a camping
    trip in the bush to discover that their country
    has been invaded and they must hide to stay alive.

The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman
  • After an earthquake has destroyed much of the
    planet, an epileptic teenager nicknamed Spaz
    begins the heroic fight to bring human
    intelligence back to the Earth of a distant

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
  • To get away from her pregnant stepmother in New
    York City, fifteen-year-old Daisy goes to England
    to stay with her aunt and cousins, with whom she
    instantly bonds, but soon war breaks out and rips
    apart the family while devastating the land.

Genres of Science FictionANTHROPOMORPHIC
  • Anthropomorphic refers to animals with human
    abilities (walking on hind legs, speaking,
    wearing clothes maybe)
  • Stories involve manipulation of animals so that
    they are more like humans
  • Often involves animals taking over the humans
    world or waging war

Recommended ANTHROPOMORPHIC Stories
Lives of the Monster Dogs by Kirsten Bakis
  • A group of wealthy and glamorous monster dogs are
    befriended by human Cleo Pira when they arrive in
    New York in 2008, and though the elegant canines
    appear to lead charmed lives, Cleo soon realizes
    that a strange, incurable illness threatens them
    all with extinction.

Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies
  • Young buck Rannoch was born on the night his
    father was murdered and into a herd of deer where
    hunger for power has gradually whittled away at
    all that is true and good. He knows he must
    escape to survive. Chased by stags, with their
    fearsome antlers sharpened for the kill, he
    begins a treacherous journey into the unknown,
    and ahead of him lies a shocking and formidable
    search for truth and goodwill in the shadow of
    the Great Mountain. One day he will have to
    return to his home and face his destiny among the
    deer to fulfill the prophecy that has
    persistently given them hope that one day a fawn
    will be born with the mark of an oak leaf on his
    forehead and that fawn's courage will lead all
    the deer to freedom. Filled with passion and a
    darkness that gradually, through Rannoch's
    courage in the face of adversity, lifts to reveal
    an overwhelming feeling of light.

Dr. Franklins Island by Anne Halam
  • When their plane crashes over the Pacific Ocean,
    three science students are left stranded on a
    tropical island and then imprisoned by a doctor
    who is performing horrifying experiments on
    humans involving the transfer of animal genes.

Empire of the Ants by Bernard Werber
  • The story of an ordinary family who accidentally
    threaten the security of a hidden civilization as
    intelligent as our own.

Genres of Science FictionCYBER SCI FI
  • Cyber refers to computers
  • Stories involve computers as characters or major
    elements in the characters lives
  • Often the computers end up developing an ability
    to think or act independently of their human

Recommended CYBER Stories
Feed by M.T. Anderson
  • In a future where most people have computer
    implants in their heads to control their thinking
    and guide them into making purchases, a boy meets
    an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.

Virtual Vandals by Tom Clancy (and others in the
NET Force Series)
  • The Net Force investigates gunfire at a
    holographic baseball game. Matt Hunter and
    several other Net Force explorers are thrilled
    to see Babe Ruth swing for the fences at a
    holographic baseball game, but when he does his
    famous routine of pointing to the stands, four
    people dressed in 30's style outfits stand up and
    open fire with Tommy guns. Matt and his friends
    know these "virtual vandals" must be stopped. But
    the stadium stunt is just the beginning...

Virtual War by Gloria Skurzynski
  • In a future world where global contamination has
    necessitated limited human contact, three young
    people with unique genetically engineered
    abilities are teamed up to wage a war in virtual

Genres of Science Fiction ROBOTS and CYBORGS
  • A robot is a mechanical human or other being
  • A cyborg is part human, part machine

Recommended Reading ROBOTS and CYBORGS
Robot Adept by Piers Anthony
  • Mach, a brave and sensitive robot from Proton,
    and his alternate self, magical Bane from Phaze,
    hold the power to link the two warring
    systems--or destroy them.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip
K. Dick
  • In January 2021, years after World War Terminus
    has destroyed the planet, bounty hunter Rick
    Deckard remains on the Earth pursuing his
    vocation of hunting down and killing rogue
  • (This book is the basis of the movie Blade

Genres of Science FictionUTOPIAS and DYSTOPIAS
  • A utopia is a perfect world, usually designed by
    a person or group often religious
  • A dystopia is a utopia that has strayed so far
    from its original plan that it is unpleasant or
    even dangerous for its residents

Recommended UPTOPIA/DYSTOPIA Stories
The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Set in the near future, America has become a
    puritanical theocracy and Offered tells her story
    as a Handmaid under the new social order.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • A bookburner official in a future fascist state
    finds out books are a vital part of a culture he
    never knew. He clandestinely pursues reading,
    until he is betrayed.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  • In the Slav-oriented state of the future, the
    Lower Orders are in ascendence and happy
    hooligans roam the London streets, bashing senior
    citizens in the eyes with bicycle chains.

Shades Children by Neil Gaiman
  • In a savage post-nuclear world, four young
    fugitives attempt to overthrow the bloodthirsty
    rule of the Overlords with the help of Shade,
    their mysterious mentor.

The Giverby Lois Lowry
  • Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of
    Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories
    shared by only one other in his community and
    discovers the terrible truth about the society in
    which he lives. Winner of the Newbery Award in

Genres of Science FictionPARALLEL REALITIES
  • Parallel realities are stories in which the
    events occur in the present, but the reality in
    which the characters live is very different
  • Characters may step across an invisible boundary
    into another world that exists alongside our own,
    but which is unseen to the naked eye.
  • The parallel reality may be a mirror of our own,
    in which things are backwards, or it may be
    extremely different.

Everworld (series) by K.A. Applegate
  • David and his friends are transported to a
    fantastic world where they search for their
    friend Senna.

Abarat by Clive Barker
  • Candy Quackenbush of Chickentown, Minnesota, one
    day finds herself on the edge of a foreign world
    that is populated by strange creatures, and her
    life is forever changed. As she travels from one
    amazing place to another within the world, she
    realizes a striking thing she has been here

Crusader by Edward Bloor
  • After a violent virtual-reality game arrives at
    the mall arcade where she works, fifteen-year-old
    Roberta finds the courage to search out the
    person who murdered her mother.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • Richard Mayhew, a young businessman living in
    London, helps an injured girl and finds his life
    changed when he leaves reality and enters the
    city's underground world of sewers and abandoned
    subway stations--a world in which the girl he
    helped is someone of power and nobility.

Genres of Science FictionMEDICAL MUTATIONS
  • Stories that deal with bizarre and currently
    impossible or illegal medical procedures
  • Often involve an unethical or insane doctor or
    medical professional
  • May involve cloning, organ harvesting, gene
    manipulation, or replacement of human parts with
    mechanical or animal parts

Recommended MEDICAL MUTATION Stories
Fade by Robert Cormier
  • Paul Moreaux, the thirteen-year-old son of
    French-Canadian immigrants, inherits the ability
    to become invisible, but this power soon leads to
    death and destruction.

Eva by Peter Dickinson
  • After a terrible accident, a young girl wakes up
    to discover that her brainwhich was not
    injuredhas been transplanted into another
    bodyof an animal.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Hysteria ensues when Dr. Victor Frankenstein
    creates a monster and subsequently casts it out
    into a horrified community.

Genres of Science FictionALTERNATE HISTORIES
  • Focuses on turning points in history and/or
    major historical events
  • Stories revolve around what might have happened
    if certain events in history had occurred
    differently than they actually did
  • Answers the question What if (what if Hitler
    had never been born, for example)

  • Pastwatch The Redemption of Christopher Columbus
    by Orson Scott Card
  • Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card
  • Making History by Stephen Frye
  • Black Cross by Greg Iles
  • I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn

Genres of Science FictionSUPERNATURAL POWERS
  • Supernatural refers to things that are above and
    beyond the natural or normal abilities humans
  • Characters are often normal humans in almost
    every respect
  • Characters possess at least one supernatural
  • Supernatural abilities can include being able to
    see the future, being able to read minds, being
    able to move objects with ones mind, etc.

  • Midget by Tim Bowler
  • Gallows Hill by Lois Duncan
  • A Gift of Magic by Lois Duncan
  • The Third Eye by Lois Duncan
  • Daughters of the Moon series by Lynn Ewing
  • The Fingerprints series by Melinda Metz
  • The Fearless series by Francine Pascal
  • Into the Dream by William Sleator
  • Psion by Joan D. Vinge
  • The Hero by Patricia Windsor

Looking for Science Fiction and Fantasy in the
BEHS Library?
  • We dont separate the science fiction and fantasy
    from the regular fiction, so the best way to find
    it is to use OPAC.
  • Using OPAC, type in science fiction or
    fantasy and press the SUBJECT key. OR
  • Ask the librarian for a copy of the recommended
    science fiction booklist.

Genres of Science FictionFANTASY
  • Fantasy refers to stories that revolve around the
    impossibleno explanation is given for how they
    could realistically occur.
  • Often occurs in other (often made-up) worlds
  • Often involves characters who are not human, such
    as trolls, centaurs, Hobbits, fairies, etc.

Recommended Reading Imaginary CreaturesFAIRIES,
  • Through the Ice by Piers Anthony (trolls, etc.)
  • Echo by Francesca Lia Block
  • I Was a Teenage Fairy by Francesca Lia Block
  • The Trolls Grindstone by Elizabeth Boyer
  • The Elf Queen of Shannara by Terry Brooks
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (fairies)
  • Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident by Eoin
    Colfer (fairies)
  • Jack of Kinrowan by Charles deLint
  • Spindles End by Robin McKinley (fairies)
  • Black Unicorn by Tanith Lee (fairies)

Genres of FantasyRE-TOLD FAIRY TALES
  • Core story remains the same as the original fairy
  • Time and place may be different
  • Story may be the same except for some key
    elements which have been altered

Recommended ReadingRE-TOLD FAIRY TALES
  • Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory
  • Wicked by Gregory Maguire
  • Roses Daughter by Robin McKinley
  • Spindles End by Robin McKinley
  • Beast by Donna Jo Napoli
  • Crazy Jack by Donna Jo Napoli
  • Zel by Donna Jo Napoli
  • The Rumpelstiltskin Problem by Vivian Vande Velde
  • Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

Genres of FantasyWIZARDS and WIZARDRY
  • Main characters may have to do battle with common
    fantasy creatures, such as dragons
  • Use of magic powers is a main feature
  • Often features characteristics common in fairy
    tales, Greek mythology, and Arthurian legends

Recommended ReadingWIZARDS and WIZARDRY
  • A Sudden Wild Magic by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
  • The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce
  • A Gathering of Gargoyles by Meredith Ann Pierce
  • Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
  • Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
  • Pit Dragons (series) by Jane Yolen
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