Booking Through Thursday – Sci-Fi/Fantasy

18Jun09

btt2This week, on 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?

Considering 23rd is a Tuesday, I’ll probably be working, and the day will pass me by. I am reading a fantasy book at the moment (Terry Pratchett – A Hat Full Of Sky), but I reckon I’ll be done with it by tomorrow. I do have a couple of books of Garth Nix’s The Abhorsen Chronicles lined up (only read Sabriel), so I might end up reading that. I also intend to read Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, as part of the Take A Chance challenge.

I don’t read as much sci-fi/fantasy as I’d like to, to be honest. It’s a genre I enjoy, and it’s incredible to lose myself in a fantastic world, of endless possibilities and infinite magic. Of course, at the same time, you have a full range of dystopian/post-apocalyptic books, which is something I’m quite fascinated by. From Orwell’s 1984 to Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, from Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale to McCarthy’s The Road.

My dabble with fantasy has not been extensive; focusing mostly on the usual suspects, like Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, and Harry Potter. As a teenager, I loved RL Stine, Enid Blyton and the like; and like any child, adored fairy tales, which are essentially fantasy, no?

Sci-fi, again, there’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, which I absolutely adored, from the first page. I quite like the Star Wars series, and there was a time I used to read Michael Crichton religiously. Of course, you’ve got Arthur C. Clarke and Carl Sagan as well. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve done much experimental reading here, so…. it’s a shame. Maybe something I should do?

How about you? Do you have any favorite sci-fi/fantasy book? Do you enjoy the genre? And, are you planning on doing something special to celebrate the Science Fiction and Fantasy Day?

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10 Responses to “Booking Through Thursday – Sci-Fi/Fantasy”

  1. 1 uncertainprinciples

    As I was scanning some other blogs, I realized I’ve missed things like Huxley’s Brave New World, and Zamyatin’s We. Argh!

  2. hmm, i wonder why sci-fi books are so rarely long series but fantasy ones are? not that i don’t LOVE the ones you mentioned!

  3. 3 certainprinciples

    I *think* sci-fi/fantasy might be my favorite genre of book….
    Went to the library and got a ‘normal book’ (150-200p) and a fantasy one(500p+), and while the ‘normal book took me about a week to finish I ate up the fantasy one (The way of the shadows, by brent weeks) in a day…. Don’t think I am planning to do anything for sci-fi day apart from find the rest of that serie (it’s about Assasins).
    oh yea and you should definitely read: The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie.

  4. 4 Mish

    I loved Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead. A few of my other favourites are Steven Barnes’s Lion’s Blood, Ursula Le Guin’s the Left Hand of Darkness, and Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

  5. 5 uncertainprinciples

    @Melanie : Not something I’ve thought about much, to be honest. I guess it’s because sci-fi needs to be more ‘real’ and subsequently, you can’t let your imagination run away with you too much?

    @Mish : Am really looking forward to Ender’s Game now. Everyone who’s read it has good things to say about it! Thanks for the other recommendations. Will definitely check them out.

  6. 6 Mish

    After a few years of people simply saying, “read it!” I figured it high time I got around to Ender. I’d like to hear your thoughts when you’re done.

  7. We seem to have read very similar Science Fiction books. I’m planning to read Enders Game soon as well, although the cover is putting me off a little bit at the moment. I’m not a fan of Star Trek and that space ship is bringing back bad memories!

  8. 8 Mish

    Ignore the cover, the ship is more like a background setting. However, if it’s too much of a turn off, read Speaker for the Dead instead. It’s the sequel, but written first. After Speaker, Card decided to write a background story, thus Ender’s Game. They’re both fantastic in different ways. I’m not into Trekkie-like sci-fi, preferring those which use space and technology as a venue for exploring thoughts and themes.

  9. 9 uncertainprinciples

    @Jackie : it’s a matter of good taste ;) Star Trek always seemed so fantastic and surreal. I don’t know if you’ve watched any of Futurama. It is kind of like that.

    @Mish : which do you recommend reading first? Or, can they stand as completely independent novels?

  10. 10 Mish

    Chronologically, I’d start with Ender’s Game, but they’re fine independently. Card’s a good writer that way. If you’re interested, here are my two cents (without spoilers) for Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead.


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