Novel about autism next ORI selection

image“The Speed of Dark” by Elizabeth Moon sped to the top of the list to become the 2005 Oswego Reading Initiative book selection to be read next summer by the SUNY Oswego campus community. The book is the first novel in the ORI series.

Moon’s book beat out four other finalists this fall in voting by the campus community and deliberations by the ORI steering committee.

Set in the near future, when most diseases are history, the book tells the story of a well-adjusted autistic man who is offered an experimental cure for his condition. “If I had not been what I am, what would I have been?” he wonders.

“A lot of novels promise to change the way a reader sees the world; ‘The Speed of Dark’ actually does,” the Washington Post Book World wrote. The Seattle Times called it “an engaging journey into the dark edges that define the self.”

The book won the 2003 Nebula Award for best novel and was a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, both science fiction prizes. Moon is a well-known science fiction writer, but “The Speed of Dark” is generally categorized as literary fiction.

Previous ORI selections at SUNY Oswego have been “Haven” by Ruth Gruber, “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser and “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” by Sherman Alexie.

As with those selections, a number of presentations, special events and course activities will be planned to tie in thematically with “The Speed of Dark” next fall semester.

For more information on the annual reading project, visit the ORI Web site at

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(Posted: Dec 01, 2004)