Some of your favorite writers of science fiction, fantasy, and even horror have tried their hands at non-fiction. Here’s part one of our list of 20 titles. Check out part two here!
On Stories and Storytelling
Let His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman take you on a tour of literary enchantment, from his own books to the works of the authors who inspired him. Along the way explore the role of story in education, the arts, and other vital fields.
The Essential Guide to Fantasy Travel
Diana Wynne Jones
A hilarious “travel guide” skewering the hoariest tropes of the fantasy genre, Jones’s book is a work of tough love written for writers and fans alike. You’ll laugh, even if it stings a little.
SF and the Human Imagination
Margaret Atwood’s book is a personal history of her lifelong engagement with speculative fiction, from childhood memories spent building imaginary worlds to her adult appreciation for the genre’s greats.
Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination
Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin brings her sharp wit to a wide range of topics, from women’s apparel and family life, to the works of authors like J. R. R. Tolkien, and even Mark Twain.
What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human
Grant Morrison is a legend of the comic book industry. In this incisive work, he explores the concept of superheroes as archetypal figures of modern myth, and explains what they can teach us about our own lives.
This is Kurt Vonnegut’s life as only he could tell it, from his experiences in World War II to his career as one of America’s greatest writers of fiction. Funny, self-deprecating, this work of non-fiction is a pleasure to read, even for committed readers of fiction.
In Life Among the Savages, master of the macabre Shirley Jackson tackles one of life’s most terrifying experiencing: motherhood. Jackson’s surprisingly warm memories of those tender years spent in rural Vermont will be a pleasant surprise for readers used to her dark fiction.
You may know William Gibson for his visionary science fiction, but unless you have experienced his work as a non-fiction author, then you really don’t have the full picture. Here’s your chance to catch up on all you’ve missed! Distrust collects years of Gibson’s trenchant observations on technology, culture, and more.
William S. Burroughs
Junkie and literary outlaw William S. Burroughs was, like a lot of writers, a lover of cats. In this short volume, Burroughs examines his relationship with these mysterious creatures, as well as their place in the wider human world.
Isaac Asimov was well-known as a writer of science fiction, but he was also a scientist, amateur historian, and ceaselessly curious human being who wrote hundreds of books on a myriad of disparate subjects. This is Asimov’s story: one of restless curiosity, intellectualism, and an unquenchable thirst to explain the complexities of the world to his fellow human beings.