Monday, January 16, 2012

Science Fiction

I have a confession to make: I've never read a traditional Science Fiction novel.  Once, I listened to the audio book of a Star Wars novel, but I don't remember the story at all.  I think it was a Rogue Squadron novel, but that's the most I can remember.  THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy really is the only futuristic Sci-Fi series I've ever delved into, and the PARASOL PROTECTORATE is the only Steampunk series I've read (and yes, steampunk is Sci-Fi... it just focuses on steam technology that doesn't exist instead of electronic tech).

That changed when I started listening to A Hymn Before Battle by John Ringo.  I don't have much of an opinion so far except that I like it.  I'm enjoying the story, and while a few of the sentences here and there bother me from a technical standpoint, I'm pretty convinced that I want to listen to more of his books (or read them if it's easier to find them in print than on CD).

The reason I bring this up is because I've always loved Sci-Fi as a genre, and I've toyed around with the idea of writing a few Sci-Fi books.  I tried my hand at the genre with Flatiron City, and I'll jump into that again in the future.  But I think I want to write some space-flight and/or first-contact Sci-Fi.  I believe it's important to read the genre I plan to write.  In fact, I heard of an author who wrote an entire book, but he (and this is a quote from his best friend) "never really reads anything."

Reading is important for writers.  I read YA because I write YA.  I read urban fantasy because I write it, and I'm going to read Sci-Fi because I like the genre, I've never gotten into a good series before, and eventually I may enjoy writing it.

So aside from John Ringo, any recommendations?  But not Ender's Game.  That's not quite the style of narrative I'm looking for.


  1. They're not YA, but In Conquest Born and The Madness Season by CS Friedman are both good sci-fi novels (her earlier work).

    Ender's Game may not be the style you're looking for, but it is a good book. Especially the audio version. Enjoyed it a lot but have no desire to continue the series.

  2. Leah Rohwer11:16 AM

    Oh, Giles! I could give you SO many books to read! I'll start with my favorite:

    Stephen Lawhead - Dream Thief and the Empyrion series.

    These are some of my favorite science fiction novels EVER! For me, I find that Lawhead's books take a teeny bit of commitment, because it usually takes me about 50 pages to get truly hooked. However, after that, the plot is so intricate and surprising that I often can't put it down!

    Thomas Locke - The Spectrum Chronicles

    For a YA series that I liked when I was that age, the Spectrum Chronicles are a quick read, but highly engaging. The first book is more fantasy/allegory, but is sort of exposition for the rest of the books - even though the rest of them are definitely science fiction. (I believe they are hard to find - if you'd like to borrow my copies, you can!)

    C.S. Lewis - Space Trilogy

    I started reading adult SciFi pretty early on (by the end of 7th grade I think I'd read all the Star Wars novels written at the time and I was starting on Star Trek...), but surprisingly I actually didn't read these until I was an adult. I've found myself thinking of those stories many times, even after I'd only read them once.

    Can you tell this is my favorite genre? :D

  3. Leah Rohwer11:23 AM

    Oh, and Ray Gun Revival is an online magazine run by some friends of mine, published weekly (I think). It would provide you hundreds of space opera and pulp fiction stories to read/review, and if you write a story under 4k words and submit it to them and it's selected, they do pay semi-pro rates, IIRC!

  4. Leah, I forgot that I read both of those Lawhead recommendations. I enjoyed them, but they weren't as sci-fi as I'm talking about. I haven't read C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy, but I own the first book (thought I owned the second, too, but I might have lost it). I'll have to check those out, though.

    Ben, I DO want to read some PKD. Asimov, too.

    Todd, Your recommendations are generally books I enjoy, so I'll add those to my list.

  5. Anne McCaffrey wrote many books which made her famous. Her lesser known "Rowan" series however, is one of the best sci-fi/fantasy series I've ever read. It's a good crossover series for a fantasty fan into the sci-fi world.

  6. I listen to audiobooks during my commute. I started Boneshaker last week (YA steampunk) and I love it. You should look into it.