My friend Dean asked me what I though about some introductory Science Fiction novels, and I was somewhat caught off-guard. I have never thought about the concept of "introductory science fiction".
I think part of that is the fact that part of my experience with Science Fiction is that most of the science in science fiction was part of my difficulty with it. When he asked the question, my thoughts immediately flew to difficulty in terms of science comprehension.
Looking back on the novels I've read and enjoyed or read and did NOT enjoy, I realized that some of the level of difficulty falls under how mature the themes are, or how complex the discourse is in relating the story. It forces me to actually revisit the stories the novels related in my mind and determine how they would measure up with that type of critical. Not an easy task given the weight of yeas and initial impressions of an untrained but exuberant reading eye.
The litcrit sessions have really helped me find words to express my views, especially when my views are at time at odds with or slightly askew from the general direction of critique.
Ha! I just realized that some trolls might mistinterpret my last statement. Don't want to give the impression that the litcritters are of a herd mentality and that I'm the maverick of the group. One of the joys of the group is that the times that everyone is in agreement over a story cements in my mind that a story is really good, or really bad, because no one - and I mean NO ONE - in the group is afraid to speak their mind, even if they disagree with the emerging consensus.
Oh, getting back to my original topic - the first novel that popped into my mind was: Dune by Frank Herbert.