The launch list will include two books by giants of the science fiction world who have not often been published in English: Andreas Eschbach's "The Hair Carpet Weavers" (translated from German by Doryl Jensen) and Angélica Gorodischer's "Trafalgar" (translated from Spanish by Amelia Gladhart).

Eschbach has had only three of his more than 40 novels translated into English. "The Hair Carpet Weavers" is his 1995 space opera debut. The 91-year-old Argentine Gorodischer is arguably Latin America's best-known science fiction writer, and "Trafalgar" follows the titular roguish intergalatic trader through a series of adventures.

Other titles for the August launch are Kurt Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle", Edwin Abbott's "Flatland", and "Ten Thousand Light-years from Home" by James Tiptree Jr, the pseudonym of pioneering American feminist science fiction writer Alice Bradley Sheldon.

Jessica Harrison, Penguin Classics editorial director, said: "As real life increasingly comes to resemble a science fiction novel, these are the books we need now more than ever. Science fiction helps us make sense of the world as it is – and dream about the worlds that might lie ahead."

The series will have covers designed by Penguin art director Jim Stoddart, who said Penguin was aiming for "simple line drawings to express the warped familiarity of each book. The covers feature work from modernist masters such as Picasso, Le Corbusier, Herbert Bayer – as well as some less widely known artists – who, like the authors, have developed alternative and often visionary ways of presenting reality."

Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli public intellectual, historian and professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, comments: "Today science fiction is the most important artistic genre". He is the author of the popular science bestsellers "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind", "Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow" and "21 Lessons for the 21st Century".

Science fiction is considered as one of the most creative genres in literature. Sci-fi novels take readers on adventures from faraway galaxies to underwater worlds and everywhere in between, introducing them to otherworldly characters and technologies along the way.


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