Return of the Sci-Fi

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Drakonslair, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Drakonslair

    Drakonslair Rambler

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    I've been more or less away from the sci-fi genre now for quite a while apart from reading Alaistair Reynolds, Iain M. Banks and Gibson when they come out. I have been focusing on Fantasy for the past couple of years but recently I read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card and it re-awakened my love of sci-fi. I had actually forgotten how good it could be. Im reading Snow Crash at the moment and I feel that warm glowing feeling inside that I got when I was younger and first read Gibson's Neuromancer.

    Im in the pocess of collecting all the SF Masterworks books to broaden my sci-fi education and I have to say Im loving it.

    I wonder does this happen to many people where they start reading another genre , get immersed in it and forget how much they loved the previous one? I think that from now on Im going to have the mix the two together and read one of each genre after each other. Dont want to have that happening again
     
  2. scooter13

    scooter13 Woof, woof!

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    I try to mix as well because in the past I did the same thing you did. Right now I purposely started a fantasy novel because I had read four sci-fi novels in a row. And I do experience the same thing you did. I get caught up in reading fantasy and wonder what I ever saw in sci-fi, then read a sci-fi book and wonder how or why I ever thought that! :D
     
  3. Archren

    Archren BookWyrm

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    I've had the same experience but in the opposite direction: I'll read nothing but SF for quite a while, then pick up a fantasy book and remember, hey! this stuff isn't half bad.

    I don't intentionally balance my reading, though. I tend to just read whatever fits with the mood I'm in. So I go through phases from time to time, but in any given year I always read some fantasy. I don't think I've ever gone for more than several months without reading any.
     
  4. Mugwump

    Mugwump New Member

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    My approach is simple: Two SF books (Space Opera never repeated unless I'm planning on reading a series from start to finish) usually followed by a non-SF literary “Name” such as Ellroy, Conrad, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Fitzgerald, Chandler, Le Carre, Dickens etc. Occasionally I’ll throw in the odd Fantasy classic.

    In my opinion there aren’t enough “good” SF novels out there to read in a continuous stream for any lengthy period. Eventually one ends up reading contiguous blocks of trash that ultimately drive one bug-eyed insane. And at my age, insanity is a distinct life impediment. <grin>
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2005
  5. emohawk

    emohawk Hip, cool, jiggy wit' it

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    You should pay more attention to my suggested reading list, plenty there to keep most fans happy for a lifetime :)

    But you're right, one should broaden their reading experience rather than just sticking to one genre or <gasp> sub-genre. That's one of the things I love about SF, for the discerning reader there's such a broad and diverse spectrum of selections.
     
  6. intensityxx

    intensityxx Prefers to be anomalous

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    I think I'm back to scifi for awhile. I haven't been this excited about my reading in a very long time. But fantasy will be there too, just not in quantity until this reading-jag runs its course.
     
  7. Rocket Sheep

    Rocket Sheep I AM too a mod! Staff Member

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    Hunt out some of the old Polish and Russian science fiction writers if you're bored with the modern stuff. They were doing some fantastic things behind that iron curtain all those years ago. It's like letting a bit of history out of the closet.
     
  8. intensityxx

    intensityxx Prefers to be anomalous

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    Now that sounds interesting! Any authors that come to mind? Published in English please. ;)
     
  9. Rocket Sheep

    Rocket Sheep I AM too a mod! Staff Member

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    You know Stanislaw Lem, of course, I've also read these and loved every one passionately:


    Mihail Bulgakov - Master & Margarita
    Arkadij & Boris Strugackie - Roadside Picnic
    Sergej Luk'yanenko - Labyrinth of Reflections

    (substitute the j for y's and try spelling Stragatski to find them in an english list)

    Other writers I've heard are hot are:

    Antuan de Sent
    Sergej Kozlov
    Leonid Filatov
    Richard Bah
    Viktor Pelevin
    and Vyacheslav Mironov - Assault on Grozny Downtown - I've read and is great, but I think there were no sf elements...

    A couple of years ago, their english translations were on the net at lib.ru but now, there are hardly any. Roadside Picnic and Labyrinth are now english books.

    There's another I've read and forgotten the title and writer... about friends sharing an apartment in moscow and spending their small earnings on hooking up cyberly instead of on basic comforts... if anyone knows it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2005
  10. Monty Mike

    Monty Mike Journalist

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    I only read sci-fi and fantasy. I've never found the same enjoyment in other genres. At the moment, my 'to read' pile is fairly even, but as I tend to buy quite a few books at once, this could easily change either way. So far I've not had the problem forgetting about one genre, but what I have done, is put a book down when half way through it with the intention of taking a break and then get side-tracked in another one. A few weeks or months may pass before I decide to continue the book and then I'll think "why on earth did I stop reading it?"
     
  11. FicusFan

    FicusFan Anitaverse Refugee

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    In terms of Russian SF there is also We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. It was published here in the last couple of years though it was written in the 1920's or 1930's I think. He pissed off Stalin and was exiled, but somehow managed to survive.

    I read across a lot of categories. I think of it like eating, if you eat the same thing all the time, you get bored. So I find it helps if you change your category, it keeps your mind fresh. :D
     
  12. Rocket Sheep

    Rocket Sheep I AM too a mod! Staff Member

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    Pelevin's are about the same era.

    I think Antuan de Sent also writes in french and Richard Bah is Richard Bach who also writes in english?

    Anyway... using the cyrillic key... and my limited knowledge of Russian, gleaned from weeks of deciphering underground maps in Moscow, I managed to negotiate a few dark recesses of lib.ru and find some more translated Pelevin and Bulgakov to read. Please bear in mind they are copyrighted.
     
  13. ArthurFrayn

    ArthurFrayn the puppet master

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    I float from one obsession or train of thought to another

    It's not that I forget about another genre, it's that I binge on one until I've had enough and then ( I don't really have to make a concious decision concerning this), I find myself reading something else.
    It does seem though, that for the past 2 or 3 years I've been heavily reading SF. The other reading is various nonfiction and bonfide literature.

    I will be reading Phantastes by George MacDonald this year, (it's a slated read anyway), and that will probably be my fantasy read of the year.
    As a rule, I'm not big on elfs, fairies and wizards with pointy hats, but this book is said to have made a big impression on CSLewis, so I'm going to check it out.
     
  14. intensityxx

    intensityxx Prefers to be anomalous

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    Wow, Sheep and Plant really get around!

    *bows to your breadth of reading*
     
  15. Pennarin

    Pennarin Registered User

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    Or do as I do, buy a boat-load of books a year after researching if people thought they were good (and the subject matter pleases you) and start reading. Around 10% of my reads I abandon. That's a tremendously higher success rate than the old method: buying at your fancy ;)
     
  16. DDCOrange

    DDCOrange Registered User

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    Generally I usually find an author I like and read as many of their books as possible before moving on. However I never considered that their could be such a global wealth of stories to be found. I'm genuinely interested; if there is more out there off the well-trampled path let's hear it. I'm always up for some variety and unique stories. :)
     
  17. Marigwen

    Marigwen Registered User

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    I read SF and Fantasy, but I also like History and Social Science (Guns, Germs and Steel, Outliers, that sort of thing). Plus occasionally an old classic (I'm reading Kipling right now). I usually go in clumps too, reading one sort of thing for a while and then switching.

    I also like Pennarin's approach of reading by recommendation, or recognized good books. Plus I occasionally re-read books I really enjoyed the first time around. There really doesn't seem to be time to read everything I'd like to read, so it's nice to have some way of identifying what's likely to be good.