Speculative Fiction

One of the core competencies I believe is essential for effectively migrating through extraordinary change is a vibrant imagination. Imagining the future has long been one of the main preoccupations of writers and readers of fiction alike. In the middle of the last century, two imagined futures, Aldus Huxley's Brave New World, and George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four inflamed readerly imaginations with their cautionary tales. I've blogged previously on their varying predictions for our world today.

The following suggestions for those who want to "dive in" include fifteen authors whose speculative fictions address issues of gender (Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale; Gilman, Herland; Russ, The Female Man), religion (LaHaye, Left Behind), ethics (Card, Ender's Game; Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land), the environment (Callenback, Ecotopia), social commentary (Rand, The Fountainhead), as well other important works in the genre.

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

Ernest Callenback, Ecotopia

Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Charlotte Perkin's Gilman's Utopian Novels: Moving the Mountain, Herland, and With Her in Ourland

Robert Heinlein, Stanger in a Strange Land

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

P.D. James, The Children of Men

Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth's Last Days

Doris Lessing, Canopus in Argos: Archives

Cormac McCarthy, The Road

George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Joanna Russ, The Female Man

James Howard Kunstler, World Made By Hand

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One comment on “Speculative Fiction
  1. Aneudy says:

    Hmmmm, I’m guessing maybe Cat’s Eye would be a good match for you. But there is such vaietry in her work that I would go with whatever one is calling most determinedly to you, and if that’s Handmaid’s Tale, I’m sure the library will do you proud. I’m quite tempted to join in; December is already looking messy, but I will try.

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Jeff Vankooten is a speaker and author focusing on the power of resilience to effectively engage the challenges of change. He helps leaders, businesses, and organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable business environment.
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