Booking Through Thursday: Fantasy and Sci-Fi

June 18, 2009 at 11:55 am | Posted in Book Blather | 2 Comments

Here is my response to this week’s Booking Through Thursday:

One of my favorite sci-fi authors (Sharon Lee) has declared June 23rd Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers Day.  As she puts it:

So! In my Official Capacity as a writer of science fiction and fantasy, I hereby proclaim June 23 Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Day! A day of celebration and wonder! A day for all of us readers of science fiction and fantasy to reach out and say thank you to our favorite writers. A day, perhaps, to blog about our favorite sf/f writers. A day to reflect upon how written science fiction and fantasy has changed your life.

So … what might you do on the 23rd to celebrate? Do you even read fantasy/sci-fi? Why? Why not?

I read my first science fiction novel at age 9.  My grandpa sent me two Robert Heinlein novels, Between Planets and Space Cadet.  I think I must have read each of them four times.  My dad commented that he’d been given the same books at the same age, and he called them “space operas.”  It was a family affair, and I read mostly sci fi and fantasy (including the copy of The Hobbit that I found under a bush) until about age 12.

At that point, I learned about genre fiction.  I took the PSAT in 6th grade, and received in the mail a list of Books That Must Be Read from Johns Hopkins University.  Suddenly the sci fi and fantasy I had been having so much fun with started to look just like the Harlequin romance novels my mom read by the sackload.  I made a conscious decision to broaden my reading, and developed a really sophomoric fixation on reading “the right books.”  Of course I continued to read the same stuff I had been reading; I just interspersed it with heavier things.

What I liked about sci fi and fantasy was that their worlds always seemed so logical.  The worlds I visited reflected my world, only as it should be, or in a darker light that revealed its little problems.  I went through a brief period of infatuation with unicorns and other fantasy creatures, but the main interest for me was always the “speculative fiction” aspect.  I enjoyed the thought experiments.

Now I might read a sci fi or fantasy novel once every few months; I get my “thought experiments” from non-fiction.  My tastes have changed and it’s rare for me to find anything that qualifies as genre fiction very satisfying.  It’s okay, though, because now I have a teenage stepdaughter who likes the same sort of stuff, and I can have fun picking things out for her to read.

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2 Comments »

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  1. Lol!! I went to Johns Hopkins. They sell Star Wars books in the campus bookstore. Here is mine

  2. If any of your readers would like to win paperback copies of Harry Potter books 5, 6, and 7, they can check out the Harry Potter giveaway at my blog:
    http://msyinglingreads.blogspot.com/2009/06/harry-potter-giveaway.html


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