I know many people are generally turned off by science fiction or genre fiction in general, even though they occasionally encounter, read and love books that fall into both respective categories. There is often a stigma attached to genre fiction that it is inferior literature chock full of cliched characterization, gunfire and explosions. While this may be true in some genre books, it does not represent the entire genre. So, today’s featured link is designed to ease you into genre fiction, specifically science fiction, with kirkus reviews’ guide on how to start reading science fiction.
One of the biggest problems with reading science fiction is that often readers are in denial that they are in fact reading science fiction. People who have eaten up the Hunger Games series will readily admit it’s YA, but might ignore the fantasy and science fiction elements, rather choosing to classify it as a literary YA novel like Lord of the Flies (which it really isn’t). The same goes for books like The Time Traveler’s Wife, which is often categorized as a romance novel, even though it’s technically a science fiction romance novel.
So, how do we get you into sci-fi and readily admitting that you’re reading such material? Well, kirkus reviews suggests that you start with the award winners of the genre. While this isn’t a bad strategy for conquering science fiction, I would recommend tackling more accessible books in the genre first (some of which are actually award winners themselves). Books like Michael Crichton’s Timeline, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and Robert J. Sawyer’s Flashforward are a great place to start. They won’t bombard you with new languages to learn (Crichton can get a little technical sometimes, but it’s not too bad) overtly dense prose or complicated bloodlines or backstories. They are as I said, accessible reads. After these, I feel like you will be able to transition into heavier award winning sci-fi novels like Dan Simmon’s Hyperion, Frederik Pohl’s Gateway and Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow. It’ll be a cinch. Anyways, Links!
– How To Start Reading Science Fiction (kirkus review)
– What Makes Good Sci Fi (kirkus review)
– 10 Things You Should Know About Chicago Authors (chicago tribune)
– Writers Conference: Ocean Park Writing Event In Maine (GTLA)
– HBO Greenlights 6 Seasons Of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods (io9)
– AV Club Reviews China Miéville’s Embassytown (av club)
– 9 Things I Learned From Other Writers (GTLA)
– The Emptiness Of Literary Fiction And The Stereotyping Of Genre Literature (sf signal)
– Nathan Fillion Reads 3 Chapters For P.J. Haarsma’s The Softwire Audiobook (ign)
– Profile of George Lucas (flickering myth)