BTT: Fantasy and Sci-Fi


I originally wasn’t going to answer this week’s Booking Through Thursday question, but Marie at The Burton Review stopped in and said she was looking specifically for it.

Like Trevor, I take requests.

Here’s the question.

One of my favorite sci-fi authors (Sharon Lee) has declared June 23rd Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers Day.

As she puts it:

So! In my Official Capacity as a writer of science fiction and fantasy, I hereby proclaim June 23 Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Day! A day of celebration and wonder! A day for all of us readers of science fiction and fantasy to reach out and say thank you to our favorite writers. A day, perhaps, to blog about our favorite sf/f writers. A day to reflect upon how written science fiction and fantasy has changed your life.

So … what might you do on the 23rd to celebrate? Do you even read fantasy/sci-fi? Why? Why not?

Well, the 23rd is next Tuesday. I’m not big on Tuesday celebrations; I don’t even mark Fat Tuesday. But … there’s a first time for everything.

HOW I’ll celebrate needs the second half of the question answered. Do I read Fantasy and Science fiction?


In fact, I was at a book sale last week with my best friend Bridget, she who is my right hand at Win a Book, and I handed her a copy of the classic William Gibson novel, Neuromancer. Her son may or may not be ready for it; he’s pretty advanced for his age and frankly, it’s been so many years since I read it, I can’t remember much more than how mind-blowing it is. I ought to read it again, just to see how it’s held up.

The best science fiction, we were taught in that class in graduate school (the class in SciFi/Fantasy, of course!), was prophetic. Certainly, most days, I feel like we’ve moved firmly into an Aldous Huxley world. Brave New World, meet the present. Shit, I even get spam trying to sell me soma.

For me, it’s more than the prophecy. It’s the world-building. Be it space ships or a truly new race of being, think about it. We writers talk often about world-building. But in Science Fiction and Fantasy, world-building is taken to new levels. Everything from the ground the characters (do or don’t) walk on to the air they breathe. From how they dress (why don’t the skimpily-clad women ever fall out of those obnoxious tops they’re always given?) to what they eat. From their government structure to society’s structure…

Okay, this brings us back to how I’ll celebrate SciFi/Fantasy day. During that class I mentioned taking in graduate school, the one that exposed me to A Scanner Darkly, to Vonda McIntyre, to Kate Wilhelm’s brilliant Where Last the Sweet Birds Sang. Sheesh. It’s been fifteen years and these books, bought used and well-worn, still hold an honored place on my shelves, even as books that have been autographed to me by friends come down. (No offense to the friends; in fact, it’s a good thing, as my book spines have faded over the years from the natural light in here)

Wow. That was quite the run-on. Sorry. I got carried away with the great books I read that semester. (and that was only the tip of the iceberg!)

It seems to me that the best way to celebrate is to pull out the world I began building. It was the option offered to the creative writer in the class: write your own science fiction.

You never really appreciate how hard it is until you try to do it yourself.

In the meantime, while you’re checking out those great books I mentioned, check out these authors, too:

Roger Zelazny’s Amber series
Robin Hobb’s entire body of work

All this and I didn’t even tell you about how I got started reading SciFi/Fantasy.

Ah, well. That’ll keep for another day.

Go read.

Ugh. My brain is whirling, and I’ve been thinking about this all day.

The worlds of Science Fiction and Fantasy are rich. They’re lush. They ARE for everyone; it’s a matter of sampling bunches of it and finding what you like.

Go for it. I promise. You’ll love what you find.



  1. Marie Burton

    June 18, 2009 3:30 pm

    SEE!! I knew you would enjoy the post 🙂
    And now that I think about it, in 4th grade I DID write my own science fiction. Strangely similar to ET except I was there. It was all bound up like a book.. wait for it.. with wall paper & some other weird ‘crafty’ things the teacher made us use. That was fun 🙂
    I have a feeling it is a bit harder as you get older.

    Marie Burton’s last blog post..Booking Through Thursday – Fantasy

  2. Bluestocking

    June 18, 2009 3:40 pm

    I love these two genres. Here’s what I’m doing on Tuesday. Here is mine

    Bluestocking’s last blog post..Fantasy and Sci-Fi

  3. Julie@Momspective

    June 19, 2009 2:45 pm

    I read whatever someone hands me but don’t stick to a genre. I enjoy Anthony and Pratchett a lot though!

    Julie@Momspective’s last blog post..Fitness Friday – Take Care Of Yourself

  4. Alice Audrey

    June 19, 2009 3:51 pm

    So many of the writers that first come to mind when I think of SF/F are dead or otherwise retired now; Heinlein, Asimov, LeGuin (who once gave me a hug), Tolkien. The market is so much wider now than when I cut my reading teeth. It leaves me in wonder all right.

  5. texasblu

    June 19, 2009 9:31 pm

    I’ll have to mark this on my calandar and share what Scifi Terry Hickman had to say at our banquet last week! It’s perfect! Thanks for letting me know – I would have had no idea.

    texasblu’s last blog post..Joey, welcome to the stage. I have your voice.

  6. texasblu

    June 19, 2009 9:32 pm

    Crap! Proofread! That would be CALENDAR!

    texasblu’s last blog post..Joey, welcome to the stage. I have your voice.

  7. Not John Chow

    June 19, 2009 11:51 pm

    I plan to read “Harvest the Fire” by Poul Anderson. If time permits perhaps I will start working on the plot of my own story!

  8. Thomma Lyn

    June 20, 2009 1:15 am

    Oh yes, sci fi and fantasy are filled with wonderful reads. One of my all-time favorite books is The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

    Thomma Lyn’s last blog post..Twilight Sky

  9. Bobkat

    June 22, 2009 2:38 pm

    Cool. I discovered Sci-fi and fantasy in my teens and they literally changed my life. They took me places I could never otherwise go and advanced my philosophical thinking like no other genre could. It’s still my favourite genre : )

    Bobkat’s last blog post..Soooo tired

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