Monday, February 8, 2016

Beam me out of here

Are there any genres you avoid reading? Why?

When asked about what I like to read, I usually say "everything." I read as widely as I can. Non-fiction, historic, poetry, short stories, women's fiction, literary fiction--and of course mysteries and thrillers. Good writing is good writing, no matter what the genre. And I'm really just interested in great stories and ideas--no matter what form they take.

But I have to admit, for the record, that I don't read much science fiction and fantasy. That isn't to say that I don't read any ever. As a teenager I devoured everything that Madeline L'Engle wrote starting with A Wrinkle in Time. And I've read several books that exist in some kind of dystopian future and manage to straddle science fiction and literary fiction. I'm extremely impressed when books manage to straddle two genres without breaking a sweat--like Matt Haig's brilliant The Humans (a science fiction mystery).

If there are any science fiction and fantasy fans out there, let me know what I'm missing and if there are any books I need to put on my TBR list.


TC said...

Nora Roberts wrote the In Death series under her J. D. Robb pen name. They are basically police procedurals about an NYPD detective, with their futuristic setting almost incidental.

Isaac Asimov's The Caves of Steel and its sequel The Naked Sun are also mysteries/detective stories set in a future society, although the SF is actually integral to the plot.

Robert Heinlein's Expanded Universe is a collection of his short stories and essays, and The Past Through Tomorrow is a collection of stories in his Future History series. They make a good sampler; if you don't like them, you probably won't like anything by Heinlein.

There was also an anthology edited by Terry Carr: Science Fiction For People Who Hate Science Fiction. :)

Sam said...

I was just talking to someone about this same thing. I have tremendous respect for Science Fiction, but it's rarely what I reach for. I think so much of what's on TV and at the cinema falls into that category, and so much of it feels premise-based rather than character-based, it feels easier to "keep up with the genre."