Secret Agent Man on why he can recommend books such as The Handmaid's Tale:
Dystopian literature is more accessible this way than utopian fantasies. To sign on to a utopian vision, you have to share the author's particular worldview in most of its signal aspects. (If I lived in Roddenberry's 24th Century, I'd be a secessionist urging my countrymen to kick those Godless Yankee Starships out of our solar system). To appreciate dystopian literature, however, one only requires some familiarity with the general run of human depravity. Knowing the good is sometimes more difficult than recognizing the bad, and so satisfying dystopian visions can come from all quarters.
Meanwhile Edward at In principio erat Verbum lists some of the works that will need revision should the improvements to the Iliad made in the movie Troy become canonical. These works include The Odyssey, The Aeneid, The Inferno and Troilus and Cressida.
Finally, the current "classic" short story at SciFi.com (I hate that name. It's "SF," not "sci-fi," please) is Gene Wolfe's Paul's Treehouse. Frankly, it's not one of my favorites and I'm surprised that the webmasters chose it. I can easily think of a dozen short stories that would be better introductions to Wolfe's storytelling, e.g., "Westwind," "When I Was Ming the Merciless," "Melting," "It's Very Clean," "Kevin Malone," "Procreation," "Feather Tigers," "How the Whip Came Back," "All the Hues of Hell," "Car Sinister, "Straw" or even "Suzanne Delage" -- twelve utterly different stories, some funny, some grim, some thoughtful, all very enjoyable. Wolfe is best known for his multi-volume novels, but he is just as good, or better, at shorter lengths.