SteamPunk/CyberPunk/Dystopian/Hard-SF Recommendations for a Precocious 6th Grader

Discussion in 'Movies, Books, TV & Media' started by ElRay, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. kindsage

    kindsage SS.org Regular

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    I was in 7th grade (I'm 21 now) when I read the Gamadin series and I liked It a lot back then. Its about these kids that find an alien space ship which leads them to full on gunfights with the NSA and the military using alien technology. They learn that the ship belonged race of aliens "The Gamadin" that guarded the galaxy from total destruction. Since the Gamadin are now extinct (you find out why later) the kids that found the ship must become the new Gamadin. You watch these kids turn into bad-asses by the end of the second book. Never read the third book.

    I also really liked the Artemis Fowl series around that age. A genius prodigy named Artemis (He's such an evil little sh!t, but it makes the book great) stumbles across "fairy" technology and basically wants to extort it for money and power. He has a badass butler, Hands, that's basically a Hitman. Tons of really cool characters
     
  2. Skyblue

    Skyblue SS.org Regular

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    Wait- What about Ender's Game? All 3 main characters are kids, and I can't really think of anything too hardcore for children there...
    Maybe that one time he kills the spanish guy? It was in self defense though, and he does feel ....ty about it
    .
    Some awesome Sci-Fi stuff there- the whole Military academy and the battle room, pure badassery.

    Also since I got reminded of the Golden Compass I started reading the trilogy again- I really think it could work for her (judging by what you described). How I wished as a kid I could have a Daemon myself!
     
  3. TechDeathWannabe

    TechDeathWannabe SS.org Regular

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    Forgot about Artemis Fowl, but that's a good one. :agreed:

    It's a long shot, but is she into horror? More importantly, are you okay with her reading somewhat dark material? The Monstrumologist series is really good, IMO. (I believe the author is Rick Yancey..)

    Silly question, since you said 6th grade, and obviously we don't need'a suggest anything really explicit or controversial, but could you give some guidelines of what you're okay with, and what you'd rather avoid, etc?
     
  4. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    She did pick-out: The Eye of Minds by James Dasher :agreed:
     
  5. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    That's been on our bookshelf for about two years. It's never grabbed her.
    Not her cup of tea. Dr. Who is about as scary as she'll go. Action-suspense is OK
    Controversial is OK. Divergent/Insurgent/Luna Chronicles is about as Romancey as she'll go. Sex as a obligation/tool/weapon, even if not explicit is not on the radar. Disappointingly, "Clockwork Angels" crossed over the line with a couple of "She took him to her trailer and made a man out of him" references. The glacier crossing bit in Le Guin's "Left Hand of Darkness" is also a bit too much right now.
     
  6. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    This one is tough on a number of levels, and none of them regarding the tactical use of violence. The big issue is that OSC is a ignorant, intolerant, lying, hypocritical, seditionist, homophobic, bigot who puts his money and writing position into denying people their civil rights. We have seen the movie at no profit to OSC, and they liked it, but there's been no desire to re-watch it. I was a bit surprised. I have the anniversary edition of the book, we might try it after the current queue is exhausted.
    We may have to re-visit this one.

    Ray
     
  7. Dcm81

    Dcm81 SS.org Regular

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    I might be totally off here as I was never a big reader and it might not be the right genre/topic. The one book for young adults that has stuck with me after roughly 20 years (not much of the content, just that I loved it) was "The Season of Passage" by Christopher Pike. I don't know if it will be fitting for her age and, as was usual for Pike, it's also horror, but it's main setting is a mission to Mars.
     
  8. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    Up there with R.L. Stein and V.C. Andrews. She hasn't been much for the genre. Never wanted to read Goosebumps, Lemony Snicket, etc. The fact that it's a space trip might be good. On the other other hand, the wife & I might not be ready for nightmares, etc. We'll have to see.
     
  9. Skyblue

    Skyblue SS.org Regular

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    I completely understand that. I was lucky enough to read it before knowing anything about OSC so my enjoyment of the books was unspoiled by the author. Considering your daughter most likely doesn't know anything about him as well, it might be better for her to try him now rather than later on in life after she finds out what a sh*tty person he really is.
     
  10. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG SS.org Regular

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    IMHO teaching a child to judge the merits of a piece of "art" by the merits of the artist is a mistake. It is bad enough that this is the prevailing attitude in what passes for intelligencia these days. OSC holds some pretty backward ideas in his noggin but I enjoyed several of his books and his work as an editor is second to few.
     
  11. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Just to note that Snow Crash has sex, rape prevention devices and so on. I do highly recommend The Diamond Age, or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, but it might be a bit down the line.

    Young adult fiction is a place where such young adults can be exposed to certain concepts in a safe manner so they can think about them. Many library systems have reading lists with recommendations for young adult literature, and just doing a search on things like "steampunk young adult" should yield quite the reading list, which can then be winnowed down through research.

    One of the young adult steampunk series I quite enjoyed is known by various names, including the Mortal Engines Quartet, the Predator Cities Quartet, and the Hungry Cities Quartet, by Philip Reeve.

    I have also read and enjoyed the Jackelian series by Stephen Hunt, starting with The Court of the Air.

    I heartily concur with recommendations of His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman starting with The Golden Compass.

    I've limited my recommendations purely to steampunk.

    Incidentally, on either Amazon Prime or on Netflix Streaming, there might still be a film entitled The Asphyx, an older horror film which is steampunk before it had a name. You should watch it first to see if it is appropriate.

    Also filmwise, I highly recommend Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. An understandable villain, complex moral issues, and a thoroughly steampunk aesthetic make this a great family viewing choice.

    The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Seltzer, made into the film Hugo by Martin Scorcese, is a wonderful work both in book and film form. I think I'd recommend seeing the film first, and then reading the book, and then doing some research of the real world characters introduced.

    The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec is steampunk and Egyptology, written and directed by Luc Besson (of The Fifth Element, and numerous other films). I *think* it's available in an English dub.

    Oh! And one of the great steampunk films of all time... George Pal's The Time Machine.

    (And, as a related recommendation to you adults, I also highly recommend Safety Not Guaranteed, even though it's not steampunk.)

    Going slightly older, there's the anime series The Last Exile, rated TV14, but the Miyazaki films Castle in the Sky and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind are both rated PG. (I also would put Kiki's Delivery Service in a possible steampunk world.)

    If any of these recommendations wind up pleasing someone, I'll be glad.
     
  12. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk SS.org Regular

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    I don't think Ender's Game is even remotely child-friendly -- it talks about genocide, and the perpetrator is traumatized for life, as well he should be. I actually think that's the point -- in this particular story, children are exploited for their children-ness to perpetrate violence just because high school is so hard.

    I mean, it's a great book, but just because there are children in it, doesn't mean it's a children's book.

    In rethinking Snowcrash -- there is one sex scene, sort of, but ... you'd be surprised what kids know at that age, and I think it's handled maturely and well -- I think -- so it's not a detriment at all. I'd have to reaffirm any recommendation I may have made towards this book. Definitely second the recommendation.
     

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