Here are my top five superversive SF stories, in order of quality. I will limit myself to Lamplighter superversive, just because I can; otherwise “The Once and Future King” would be on this list, and possibly Lawhead’s “Arthur”. I would also, horrifyingly, find myself not including a “Chronicles of Narnia” book, which is unthinkable.
1) “The Lord of the Rings” – a real no-brainer. Do I even need to explain?
2) “Awake in the Night Land” – The last line of the last story is one of the best I’ve ever read. “Awake in the Night Land” is a great example of “Subverting subversion”. A particularly good example of this is the second tale, “The Cry of the Night Hound”, which is a pretty straightforward Night Land update of the tragedy of Antigone…but with a happy ending.
3) “A Wrinkle in Time” – Another superversive no-brainer, this is one of the most wildly creative books I’ve ever had the good fortune of reading. The ingenuity needed to come up with this thing is extraordinary. It’s also incredibly uncynical, which is a real breath of fresh air.
4) “Watership Down” – Yes, this jumped up much higher than I thought. The story has too many wonderful moments to count, but my personal favorite is when Bigwig, when tempted by General Woundwort with membership in his Owsla, responds that he has been tasked by his Chief Rabbit to defend the run, and that is what he will do. This is the culmination of my favorite character arc in the book, as well as being a very moving moment. Were I not a paragon of masculinity and strength, I might have been tempted to tear up. The ending is also very moving, and very uncynical. <i>Hazel did it</i>, and now he gets his reward. Awesome.
5) “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” – Come on, a book from the Chronicles of Narnia HAS to make this list. There are, in my opinion, better books in the series, but when people think of the series this is the book they think of. A truly wonderful story of hope when all hope is lost, and a celebration of love, courage and, perhaps most strikingly, redemption. This is mandatory superversive reading.
I think this is a fair, representative list that pretty clearly illustrates the sort of stuff Superversive SF tries to stand for; if anybody wants to dispute anything, please don’t hesitate.