Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
I’m a week behind, but since I don’t really pay attention to first lines in books too much (at least, not enough to quote them—I think I know exactly two: The Scorpio Races and Richard III), I’m going to do top ten reasons why I love science fiction!
Since starting this blog, which was originally supposed to be all about science fiction and fantasy and has devolved to every book review I read, my love for science fiction has been rekindled. Granted, I’ve read a lot of contemporary romance and YA, but I took a big step back from adult SFF for about ten years.
1. I love Lois McMaster Bujold
While I read a lot of other science fiction books before I met her, the Vorkosigan series will always and forever be my absolute favorite in sci-fi (sorry Murderbot, but you are a close second). It’s a crime that it seems like few people know who she is, when she has some of my favorite characters!
Her covers are always tragic, but Cordelia’s Honor, The Vor Game and A Civic Campaign are three of my most favorite books.
2. There are endless worlds, and endless discussions
I love that science fiction can be high or low, broad or specific. It can be a rollicking romp through zany-ville, or a deep dive into a parallel universe that’s a parallel to the problems we face here. Or or can be a rollicking romp through zany-ville that also has hard-hitting themes. The possibilities are endless!
3. Space, the final frontier
I just love space operas, particularly where the laws of physics and space are thrown out the window. Bring me all of the FTL warp drives, the wormhole gates, the Flow, the semi-scientific weirdness. I love it all!
4. Recent publications
One of the reasons I started slipping back into sci-fi was because of the truly amazing women who are resurging. From 2000-2010, there wasn’t a whole lot being published that I really cared to read—it was all Honor Harrington (which I read and enjoyed, but good gravy definitely a woman written by a dude and I really don’t need 5-pages per new technology, thank you) and other things that were all…kinda the same?
A gross generalization and 100% my opinion and probably false, but lemme just say that it’s a fact that we are in the middle of a Sci-Fi Renaissance, and it is being led by women and authors of color. Jemisin, Leckie, Lee, Anders, Okorafor, and so many more.
5. I love military sci-fi
Yes yes yes, I just bashed Honor Harrington literally in the last section, but I do love mil sci-fi. But finding good mil sci-fi that’s not all white dude gun-stroking (sorry, Correia) can be a challenge. I do love the old-fashioned shoot-em-ups and the classics (Starship Troopers, The Forever War), but the book that had my jaw dropping to the floor and screaming yes this is the military was The Light Brigade. It’s weird as fuck but one of the best mil sci-fi books I’ve ever read, and it’s a damn shame that it didn’t get nominated for a Hugo (edit: it was nominated for a Hugo, I just somehow missed it!). Plus, Ninefox Gambit is equally as brilliant (just push through the math-magic).
6. New Worlds
While dystopians are all well and good, I do love space exploration and new worlds. Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series was what sparked this interest. Yeah yeah dragons are cool and all, but the way that the colonists reshaped their entire way of thinking and and lives in order to combat thread and live semi-harmoniously was fascinating. I love the logistics and the infrastructure of new worlds and teasing out how everything fits together, which is why if the world-building is shoddy I probably am not going to like the book. This is probably why 95% of YA science fiction and fantasy does not work for me…
Okay, so I can only think of 6 reasons, mainly because my brain is just shouting Sci-Fi is Awesome! and not separating it into codified Reasons.
I love reading science fiction—and fantasy, which is separated from sci-fi because of the use of magic, although these lines can be heavily blurred—and I love writing science fiction and fantasy because of all these reasons. I love creating new things and new worlds, and figuring out how everything fits.
Although it can be a struggle describing things in a secondary world, because easy description cheats like Corinthian columns don’t work if there was no Corinth, and weights and measures of distance are all different because there is no metric or imperial system in a fantasy world. Same with money, clothing and everything else. Everything is built up from scratch and pulled from the imagination or inspired by…well, everything. And then making sure that everything fits and is not a stereotype or misrepresentation of something that exists in real life.