Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

This catchy rap song doubles as a respectable sci-fi/fantasy reading list

(Screenshot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqbL4utjV90)

Summer is rapidly approaching, and it’s a time of year that many like to use as an opportunity to catch up on their reading. For those who are looking for something in the sci-fi or fantasy genres, Rob Boffard might have a few suggestions. More precisely, he has a few dozen suggestions. Boffard is a sci-fi author himself and, in his own words, an “occasional rapper.” He combines these two passions in a video entitled “Epic Book Rap Pt.2 - 49 Books, 3 Minutes.”

Over a catchy hip-hop backing track, an appreciative Boffard raps about some of the science fiction and fantasy novels he has enjoyed over the years, both old and new. He recommends numerous titles by Neal Stephenson, Jeff Vandermeer, Max Gladstone, and Wesley Chu. But don’t think that he’s neglecting the classics that set the precedent for modern authors, though. The back half of the video includes nods to Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse-Five), Aldous Huxley (Brave New World), and Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange). And, being a true author, Boffard doesn’t miss the chance to plug his own titles, too.

The generous inclusion of the older novels in the song seems to be Boffard’s reaction to some complaints about the first video like this that he made back in April, even though that reading list did include some classic titles by Stephen King, including The Stand, IT, and Pet Sematary. Some apparently still felt that the first installment leaned too heavily on newer novels, so the sequel attempts to provide more of a balance.


“On the last one, they said I forgot the classics,” Boffard raps. “Never that shit!” Happy now, internet? Incidentally, the first and second installments arrived on YouTube within a few months of each other, but Boffard says that a third video might take him a while. “I read fast, but I don’t read that fast,” he explains in a post-song testimonial. “So maybe give me like a year or two to read some more books.”

[Thanks to reader “Karoliina Kagovere” for the tip.]

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