but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”
~Vincent Van Gogh
Hear, hear. And this quote explains why I was a willing victim of TV shows like Dr. Who, Star Trek, Blake's Seven, Star Trek: TNG and Voyager. They were utterly irresistible to me, couldn't fail. I started reading science fiction at about age 14, read everything the library had and bought a few books with my meagre pocket money. Favourite authors were H.G. Wells, Clifford D. Simak, A.E. Van Vogt, Damon Knight, Edmund Cooper. In the late sixties Anne McCaffrey sprang upon the scene and I devoured Restoree, Decision at Doona, The Ship Who Sang and the first Pern novel, Dragonflight.
And then... well I just I sort of gave up on science fiction! Preoccupied with raising kids, I read historical romances instead. I almost feel embarrassed to admit it. And when I did return to speculative fiction I turned to fantasy and horror - Victorian ghost stories - not science fiction. In truth, I didn't really return until about 6 or 7 seven years ago when someone recommended Grass by Sheri Tepper. I read it, was knocked out, and wondered why on earth I'd not kept up with my sci-fi habit.
Several years ago I started to do Carl's Sci-Fi Experience and, *at long last*, properly rediscovered my taste for sci-fi and the joys of space opera, although I don't remember ever calling it that in my teens. I didn't do the challenge last year and sorely missed it, so this year I'm very definitely going to do it. Excited? Me? Oh yes.
The artwork here is by Stephan Martiniere... Carl always finds the most fantastic artists for his challenges/experiences. The sign-up post is here.
Carl is inviting readers to:
a) Continue their love affair with science fiction
b) Return to science fiction after an absence, or
c) Experience for the first time just how exhilarating science fiction can be.
The Experience begins on the 1st. December 2013 and ends on the 31st, January 2014. There are no set numbers of books to read, no pressure, you just get to read what you like, be it one book or twenty: it's up to you.
I have a few books I would like to read but am not sure yet how many I will get to. Three or four would be nice but we'll see. These are a few of them:
Helliconia Spring by Brian Aldiss
Consider Phlebus by Iain M. Banks
Sailing to Byzantium by Robert Silverberg
Doors of his Face, Lamps of his Mouth by Roger Zelazny
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
Dawn by Octavia Butler
Darkship Thieves by Sarah A. Hoyt
The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold
And of course, there are others, lots of them. So we'll see how it goes. But one thing I will say, I really do plan to read my own books!