Tuesday, April 15, 2014

8-Question Science Fiction/Fantasy Survey

Stolen shamelessly from my friend Ryan over at www.ryanbanderson.com -- thanks!  Because I feel that science fiction and fantasy need and deserve a wider readership than they perhaps currently receive.  On to the questions!

1.  The first science fiction, fantasy or horror book I ever read was:

The first one I can remember is My Father's Dragon, which my mother read to me in a single day when I was in kindergarten.  It is the highly imaginative and clever tale of the narrator's father and his quest to find and free a baby dragon, and all the animals he must outwit in order to succeed.  Very adorable!

2.  The last science fiction, fantasy, or horror book I read that I'd put in my "Top 20" list is:

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson, the second in the Mistborn trilogy.  Just outstanding work, altogether.  

3.  The last science fiction, fantasy, or horror book I couldn't finish was:

I really can't remember the last book I didn't finish, let alone a science fiction/fantasy book I didn't finish.  Does the Percy Jackson series count?  I've gotten through 1-3 but can't seem to bring myself to pick up #4.  Mostly, it just takes me forever to finish a book, but I finish it eventually.

4.  A science fiction, fantasy, or horror author whose work I cannot get enough of is:

Colin Meloy.  I love the Wildwood series and I'm purposely putting off the last one to make it last a lot longer.  But I also am really into Brandon Sanderson right now and Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.  They're thriller writers, those last two, as a pair, but I feel like they secretly count.

5.  A science fiction, fantasy, or horror author I'm ashamed to admit I haven't read yet is:

Hoo boy.  Where to begin.  Let's start.

Stephen King.
Isaac Asimov.
Robert Jordan.
Frank Herbert.
Ayn Rand.

And those are just the ones off the top of my head.  When I start looking over lists, I find I am woefully underread.

6.  A science fiction, fantasy, or horror book I would recommend to someone who hasn't read sf/f/h is:

The Underland Chronicles by Susan Collins.  It's not so fantasy that people would be seriously put off (i.e. Dune or The Wheel of Time that are so huge, sprawling, and comprehensively built worlds), it's deep enough to appeal to the thinker in most, and it's actually for kids, so it's an easy read.  Plus, it's by the same author as The Hunger Games but much more hipster.

7.  A science fiction, fantasy, or horror book that's terribly underrated is:

See above answer.  And Wildwood.  And Thunderhead.  Holy moly, Thunderhead.  I've rarely read anything that literally vacuumed me up.  I actually stayed up late into the night to finish it and wished I hadn't because it got super scary and it was late into the night.  Eeeek!  Plus, H. P. Lovecraft and H. G. Wells.  I also love the Oz series -- as a kid, they were full of endless delights.

8.  A science fiction, fantasy, or horror book that's terrible overrated is:

Basically every teen fantasy novel ever.  Twilight.  Beautiful Creatures.  So far, Divergent.  Most of the second and definitely the third Hunger Games.    And I don't really care for Jules Verne.  He's always spoken of as being a huge inspiration to science fiction and fantasy writers, particularly in TV shows and movies, but I'm starting to think they just didn't have anyone else to write about.  I also don't get the hype over Percy Jackson.  Or, to be honest, The Chronicles of Narnia (puke) and more and more I don't get The Lord of the Rings.  It's unwieldy, cumbersome, and not really terribly exciting.  I think people are much more excited by the movies and then transfer that excitement onto the books.  A Wrinkle in Time.  Fahrenheit 451.  

I have plenty more that I want to look at and read, but I seem to have some strong opinions about the ones I have read, hahaha.  I love moving forward and reading more books!  Yay!  If you have suggestions for must-reads, let me know!