Penguin Classics Science Fiction review – a fresh look at brave new worlds

Sci-fi preconceptions are challenged by little-known marvels from James Tiptree Jr, Angélica Gorodischer and others

The border between science fiction and mainstream literature is more permeable than booksellers or publishers would have us think. Double Booker prize-winner Margaret Atwood’s recent novels are SF-themed (though she prefers “speculative fiction”), as is Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro’s best-known novel Never Let Me Go.

Penguin Classics has launched a new science fiction series to further this cross-pollination, seemingly keen for the general reader to broaden their personal canon. Some of the titles are well established – Edwin A Abbott’s mathematical fantasy Flatland, Kurt Vonnegut’s satire Cat’s Cradle – but others are newer, at least in the UK, and less likely to come loaded with preconceptions.

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