This month’s theme for our virtual writing group involves discussing books and stories that we remember reading long, long ago that we want other readers to (re-)discover. Classic and award-winning stories will likely be easily discovered by new readers, so we wanted to focus on ones that might not fall into those categories.
Of course, as you might imagine, limiting it to only a few is an enormous challenge, here are some that I read many years ago that I have stuck with me, for various reasons, ever since I first read them:
- “Child’s Play” by Alice Mary Schnirring: This short story has been collected in many anthologies, but I discovered it first in Children of Wonder at our local library. (Being a young reader at the time, I almost certainly believed that “Children” in the title meant it was meant for younger readers.) I won’t spoil the story for you here, but I think its ending is what has made it remain in my memory ever since. This story (and the entire collection) are well worth your time for discovering the work of some classic science fiction authors as well.
- A Mask for the General by Lisa Goldstein: I first heard about Lisa Goldstein when this book was being promoted on the Hour 25 radio program, and then when she was interviewed (at least twice when I listened regularly, as I recall) to discuss it upon its release. The themes behind her book are, alas, still too relevant today.
- Moonstar Odyssey by David Gerrold: Now David Gerrold is far from a barely-known name in science fiction circles, but this novel of his has, as far as I know, never been reprinted since it’s original release. (I’d love to know the reason, as it deserves an audience.) I think this one stuck with me because it was the first obvious exploration of gender identity aimed at somewhat younger readers that I can remember reading. (He executes a neat narrative device throughout the story that I won’t reveal here, as to not spoil it for you.)
As you might imagine, I could could go on and on (and on and on …) here, but I’ll stop with these for now.