Through the years I’ve found myself reading more and more science-fiction, with and without intention. When I read Margaret Atwood’s futuristic Handmaid’s Tale and the alternate history created by Steven Barnes in Lion’s Blood I wasn’t thinking of sci-fi or speculative fiction, but just recommended reading. By the way, they’re both fantastic. It seems like what turns a lot of people off from the genre is the stigma that it’s all aliens, robots, outer space, scientific terminology, and Star Trek, but it’s much much more than that. Sci-fi is a literature of ideas and infinite possibilities that may include the past or future, a completely different timeline, utopias or dystopias, science and technology like time travel, or an invasion of body snatchers. I love sci-fi because of its study, commentary, and exploration of humanity and technology. From cyberpunks to super-humans and beyond, it spans tastes and the sky’s the limit- good thing it’s a very vast sky.
I decided to start a sci-fi reading challenge for several reasons. Firstly, I acquired a few books and a lot of recommended reading at WorldCon and thought others might be interested in an open read along. Secondly, to scrape off some of the stigma mentioned above. Thirdly, people who don’t generally read sci-fi frequently ask where to start. Fourthly, although I enjoy reading fantasy I feel its growing popularity has pushed sci-fi to the sidelines. Lastly, I’ve discovered this year that challenges not only stimulate conversation among bibliophiles, but they’re fun as well. Anyway…
1. Read 3.14 or 8 books (or audio books) of the science-fiction genre. Suggestions are below.
2. The challenge runs from August 28, 2009 to August 8, 2010. You may join at any time.
3. Sign up using Mr. Linky below (please link directly to your post). If you don’t have a blog, just enter your name and leave the URL blank.
4. Each time you read a book, please link to your reviews. If you don’t do reviews, no biggie.
5. Making a list of chosen books is optional and it can change at any time. Overlaps with other challenges are fine.
Since it won’t display here, the list of participants is there.
Review page is posted here.
A few icons available for use:
A compilation of possible reads (recommended by folks from WorldCon):
- Isaac Asimov: I Robot
- Philip K. Dick
- William Gibson: Neuromancer (Sprawl trilogy)
- Ursula Le Guin: the Left Hand of Darkness
- James Gunn- anthologist
- Robert Heinlein: early works, Stranger in a Strange Land
- Judith Merril
- Theodore Sturgeon
- Jack Vance
- H.G. Wells
- Steven Boyett: Ariel
- Samuel “Chip” Delany
- Nancy Kress
- Ann McCaffrey
- JD Robb aka Nora Roberts
- Colin Robertson: Alan Steel trilogy
- Michael Swanwick: the Iron Dragon’s Daughter
Canadian/French: (Would be longer if I could hear better.)
- Sylvie Bérard
- Georges Panchard: Forteresse
- Élisabeth Vonarburg
- Tesseracts Q (Anthology)
- Canadian SF Works database
- Prix Aurora Canadian SF/F in English and French
- Prix Boréal SF/F in French
More resources and reading:
- Gaylactic Spectrum Awards
- Hugo Awards
- Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Anthology begun in 1939
- Science Fiction Hall of Fame
- SFWA’s Nebula Awards
- the Guardian‘s SF/F list
- viaLibri– consortium of booksellers, good for rare books
- X Minus One– online radio with readings and transcriptions