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The Joy of Science Fiction

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[amazon_link id=”006051275X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ][/amazon_link]When I was a little girl in the 1970s, I discovered science fiction through fantasy. I started with the Hobbit, and then found a few dusty paperbacks to stretch my wings on: Battle for the Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulin, Andre Norton’s Breed to Come, and then worked my way through the Heinlein juveniles and the Robot series by Asimov. I discovered Madeline L’Engle and Ursula LeGuin and discovered that women wrote science fiction too (I had no idea Andre Norton was a woman).

I watched every Star Trek rerun I could get my hands on, all of the Twilight Zones, the original Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and even Lost in Space and Land of the Lost when I needed a fix. I watched both the Star Trek animated series and the Planet of the Apes animated series, both on old black and white TVs over the air with help from a rabbit-ear antenna.

By the time I was a teen, I was a true SF geek. Science Fiction let me believe in a future

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that was both like the world I lived in and different in interesting and remarkable ways. It fed my feminism and my belief that people of all types were essentially equal and could eventually find ways to live in peace. I preferred The Hero’s Journey tales, as most kids do, and used those dreams to fuel my life through some very difficult years, while using dystopias such as 1984 and Logan’s Run as cautionary tales of worlds to avoid.

Today’s dance explores the field of science fiction. The questions are both literary criticism and personal exploration. I hope you enjoy the dance:

  • What was your first experience with science fiction?
  • Did you get push back from others about how science fiction was ‘geeky’ or ‘not serious’?
  • What three science fiction stories have most influenced you? In what ways?
  • Where do you draw the line between fantasy and science fiction? Why?
  • Is there a type of science fiction story you would like to see more of that no one seems to be writing or producing anymore?
  • What is your favorite subgenre? Space opera? Hard science fiction? Sociological Cover via Amazon

    science fiction? Allegory?

  • What famous and acclaimed author or story left you cold? What universally panned story or author gives you a warm feeling inside?
  • What do you get from exploring speculative worlds based on science?
  • What has disappointed you about the field of science fiction in general?
  • What life lessons have you learned from science fiction?
  • Who is your favorite ‘escape’ author? Why?
  • If you are in a position to pass on love of science fiction to someone younger, what books and movies do you point that person to? Why?
  • Have you ever drifted away from science fiction? What caused the drift? What brought you back?
  • One is the one most important contribution of science fiction to the world?

As always, feel free to answer below, pass this around to friends, share with the handy-dandy buttons, or simply ponder these questions for your own life without sharing.

  • Looking for new SF books hiding in the general fiction section (ask.metafilter.com)
  • Female Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Still Encouraged to Use Male Pseudonyms (io9.com)
  • A short post in defense of science fiction (halfsigma.com)
  • For the weekend: Isaac Asimov’s Visions of the Future is available free online in its entirety (io9.com)
  • Fiction Affliction: December Releases in Science Fiction (tor.com)
  • Name your own price for six science fiction and fantasy e-books (reviews.cnet.com)
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