May 30, 2020, 06:54:12 PM

Author Topic: Favorite books that tackle social issues?  (Read 5218 times)

Offline RussetDivinity

Re: Favorite books that tackle social issues?
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2015, 12:08:20 AM »
If you're interested in short fiction as well as books, I recently read a short story on Lightspeed Magazine called "Red Planet", where the protagonist is blind. It was fascinating to read, and I think you can still find it for free online on their site.

Offline Elfy

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Re: Favorite books that tackle social issues?
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2015, 12:20:07 AM »
I'll second (third?) Flowers for Algernon, we read it as part of the science fiction book club some time back. Wonderful story and so well written. It was also filmed as Charly. The Plague Dogs by Richard Adams is another one, that puts animal testing under the microscope. The same author is also very well known for Watership Down which examines how the wild world interacts and is affected by our modern encroachment on their territory. The Gnole by David Aldridge is a little known, but absolutely wonderful book that looks at ecological issues and the modern media through the eyes of Fungle, a gnole, possibly the last one in the world.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Anna Smith-Spark

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Re: Favorite books that tackle social issues?
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2015, 04:23:45 PM »
Daniel Polansky's latest, Those Above, is profoundly Gramscian in its analysis of class hegemony and why people don't actually tend to resist authority, even authority hostile to them. There's social and class commentary in all his work, but Those Above really stands out for me. It's also damn good, of course, beautifully written and a good story.

Le Guin's Tehanu, the last Earthsea novel, is really profoundly good on gender politics and notions of gender identity and power. The character of Tenar and the way she is a part of, but also distanced from, the society she lives in is beautifully drawn and very moving. Again, it's also just an absolutely superb book.

And some historians have seriously argued that ASoIaF better captures the experience of the peasantry in pre-modern conflict societies than any actual social history.
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Favorite books that tackle social issues?
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2015, 11:03:23 PM »
Daniel Polansky's latest, Those Above, is profoundly Gramscian in its analysis of class hegemony and why people don't actually tend to resist authority, even authority hostile to them. There's social and class commentary in all his work, but Those Above really stands out for me. It's also damn good, of course, beautifully written and a good story.

Le Guin's Tehanu, the last Earthsea novel, is really profoundly good on gender politics and notions of gender identity and power. The character of Tenar and the way she is a part of, but also distanced from, the society she lives in is beautifully drawn and very moving. Again, it's also just an absolutely superb book.

And some historians have seriously argued that ASoIaF better captures the experience of the peasantry in pre-modern conflict societies than any actual social history.
I guess ASoIaF does do that, but George Martin himself has said that he used the historical fiction of French author Maurice Druon (The Accursed Kings) as inspiration for that side of his books. I also think historical authors like Bernard Cornwell, Sharon Penman, etc... do a really good job of this, and they work with an actual historical context, rather than a secondary world where you can have Genghis Khan style Mongol warriors (the Dothraki) sharing the pages with medieval knights from the War of the Roses.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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