Read to Teleport: 5 Books on Space, Folklore, Dystopia and Fantasy

Posted on October 13 2017

Alternate realities have always been a point of literary fascination for many writers. The desire to inhabit different lives and ways of being has been featured in countless novels — from fictional love stories to tales of political greed and power.

If you feel like dipping your toes into these parallel universes and subverted tales, here are some recommendations from the BooksActually team:




"A waiter pours tea for us. A bottle of cognac sits in the middle of the rotating circle of the table next to the soy sauce and tooth picks. I look at it longingly, but I can’t touch it in this company. Everyone here is Vietnamese or Chinese. Oh, except for those six uncomfortable white Australians sitting on the other side. 

At least they can talk to each other. I think I might spend the evening talking to the crispy-skinned chicken and myself."

―Fox Wedding, Hoa Pham (from Eastern Heathens, edited by Amanda Lee Koe and Ng Yi-Sheng)






“I, on the other hand, am a finished product. I absorb electrical energy directly and utilize it with an almost one hundred percent efficiency. I am composed of strong metal, am continuously conscious, and can stand extremes of environment easily. These are facts which, with the self-evident proposition that no being can create another being superior to itself, smashes your silly hypothesis to nothing.”
I, Robot, Isaac Asimov






"The self is coming from a state of pure awareness from the state of being. All the rest that comes about in an outward manifestation of the physical world, including fluctuations which end up as thoughts and actions”
The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell, Aldous Huxley






"But the blessing came with its price. Being bilingual, being multicultural should have brought two worlds into one heart, and yet for Suzy, it meant a persistent hollowness. It seems that she needed to love one culture to be able to love the other. Piling up cultural references led to no further identification. What Damian had called a “blessing” pushed her out of context, always. She was stuck in a vacuum where neither culture moved nor owned her. Deep inside, she felt no connection, which Damian seemed to have understood.” 

―The Interpreter: A Novel, Suki Kim






“There is more than one kind of freedom," said Aunt Lydia. "Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it.”

The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood





BooksActually is the official Singapore Writers Festival bookstore. From 3rd – 12th November 2017, the BooksActually 'Read to Teleport' bookstore will be located at The Arts House. Find out more about the event here.


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