What many people don’t seem to realise with regards to science fiction is that it encompasses a whole host of literary genres. It’s not all Space ships and battles, in fact the majority of science fiction I read and enjoy isn’t the classic “Space Opera”.
I generally stick to science fiction from 1950’s to 1980’s and especially what appears to be the golden years from the late 50’s to the middle 70’s. This includes works from authors such as Alfred Bester, Arthur C Clarke, Brian W Aldiss, Ray Bradbury, Philip K Dick (to name a few).
There have been so many science fiction books written, that I am sure I won’t need to look at another genre for the rest of my life, and I still won’t get through half of the “good” books out there. Authors such as Philip K Dick had written over 50 novels in his short life, not to mention his numerous short stories and novellas. It’s quite amazing how influential this one Author is when it comes to science fiction being translated into film. Bladerunner, Total recall, Minority Report, Paycheck, A Scanner Darkely are just a few examples of films directly based on his works. I’d have to say that Philip K Dick is quite possibly one of my all time favourite authors.
There are a few novels that really stands out for me, the ones that seem to impact directly on my life. These would have to be:
- Tiger Tiger by Alfred Bester
- None Stop by Brian W Aldiss
- Flow my tears the Policeman said by Philip K Dick
- Shockwave rider by John Brunner
- Neuromancer by William Gibson
There are a whole host of other books that I could have listed, but for some reason the ones above really did something for me.
For those who have a natural aversion to science fiction I’d suggest taking the plunge and giving it a go. It’s not all about deep space and robots, a lot of it is about the human condition and are classic stories set in a future or other world place. Science Fiction as a genre give the author a freedom to do as they please, to be as creative and imaginative as they like and to explore stories, themes and ideas in a way that is limited with “straight” fiction.
Sometimes I wish the genre science fiction hadn’t been created, and that these great authors were respected for writing alone with out the bias of the preconception that some have of the genre label.
So, I urge one and all to go out and buy a science fiction book – go to a second hand book shop, or a car boot, and get a book! Even if you hate it the cover art is worth it!