Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Our Fantastic Favorites: Citizen of the Galaxy

When I was younger, my parents would take turns reading novels at bedtime to my brothers and me, and each would select books from among their own favorites.  For my father, that meant (among other things) Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein.  One of the books that he read that really stuck with me was Citizen of the Galaxy.  I was fascinated with the amount of material that Thorby was able to learn, and the opening scenes with him and Baslim made a very strong visual impression on me.  While subsequent re-readings have made me realize how things get rather bogged down in the last third of so of the novel, it remains one of my favorites, particularly because I am even more aware now of how the novel functions as a social critique--a fact that, perhaps even when I was a young child, suggested the importance of science fiction's ability to be a mirror for the world we live in.