It’s the gift season. And the gift of a book is not just of a satisfying heft in a nice wrapping. It’s the hope and encouragement to slow down, get lost, step back and see another way. So, what to give? Or hope for? We’re looking at the best books of 2009 today, and the range is wide. From lost cities to an illustrated Old Testament. From "Love in Infant Monkeys," to "Wolf Hall" and "Little Bee." Michael Sandel makes my guests cut. So do Lorrie Moore, Jonathan Lethem, A.S. Byatt, Tania James. What about yours? This hour, On Point: for the holidays, the best books of ‘09.
Also huffduffed as…
Science fiction is the marmite of literature – people tend to love it or hate it. Yet no one could deny that it has produced many of the great myths of our age, from Frankenstein’s monster to William Gibson’s cyber-reality.
SF blogger Damien Walter joins our panellists to discuss where it is now, and why we should all tune in to a genre that can be satirical, prophetic, political and plain good fun, often all at the same time. He also outlines some of the titles to look out for in 2010.
We also look at John Wyndham’s previously unpublished novel, Plan for Chaos, and interview China Miéville, rising star of the "new weird".
Mariella Frostrup speaks to Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer about her collected short fiction; author Tom Holland discusses the legacy of I, Claudius; writers Ian McMillan, Tessa Hadley and Andrew Martin explain the enduring allure of railways in fiction.
How the amazing Ray Bradbury changed science fiction, literature, and the world.
Sam Weller, professor of fiction writing at Columbia College in Chicago. He’s the co-editor of the upcoming anthology Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury.
Gary Wolfe, award-winning science fiction editor, critic, and biographer. Professor of humanities at Roosevelt University.