Sci-Fi Month

Today marks the beginning of Sci-Fi Month, a month-long celebration of all things science fiction organized by Rinn of Rinn Reads. She’s put together quite an event: 50 bloggers and 25 authors are participating in Sci-Fi Month festivities! With so many different contributors, there will be quite a variety of posts on books, TV shows, films, and games throughout the month. To see what’s happening, check out the schedule of blogs and topics.

For those who are visiting for the first time because of Sci-Fi Month, welcome! I’m Kristen, a website developer/programmer from Maine and an avid fan of speculative fiction. I have my husband, who occasionally blogs here, to blame for making me into a fan of speculative fiction about ten years ago. Before I met him, I don’t think I’d read anything that was science fiction or fantasy since reading A Wrinkle in Time and The Chronicles of Narnia in elementary school, even though I’ve always liked reading and loved those particular books as a child. Then he got me to read books like Beggars In Spain by Nancy Kress, a fascinating book about society and politics focused on the creation of people who don’t need to sleep, and I ended up hooked on speculative fiction. I went on to read more of his recommendations for SFF (like Taliesin by Stephen Lawhead and Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones) and went on to discover a couple of authors I got him to read in turn (like Robin Hobb and George R. R. Martin, and more recently, Iain M. Banks and Lois McMaster Bujold).

I like reading good books, and a lot of the things that make a book special to me—great characters, writing, and storytelling—are not limited to speculative fiction. However, I do find myself coming back to both fantasy and science fiction books again and again because there is no limit to the imagination. There’s no boundary to where the story can take place or the ways the world(s) can operate. I can’t really think of a specific reason I like my favorite science fiction books that can’t be applied to my favorite fantasy books—I like interesting worlds, and I like well-written books that make me connect with and empathize with the characters. There is something about being able explore the future and visit different planets that’s very appealing, though, and I am partial to space opera for that ability to travel to different parts of the galaxy. Some of my favorites are The Last Hawk and Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro, The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks, and Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold.

As for more favorite science fiction books, I’ll be talking about those later this month (and I’m going to try to pull my husband away from grad school, work, and NaNoWriMo long enough to contribute his own list!). Speaking of which, here’s what I have planned for Sci-Fi Month:

Tankborn by Karen Sandler The Merro Tree by Katie Waitman Warchild by Karin Lowachee

November 2    Guest Post by Max Gladstone: The Best Science Fiction Reading Advice I’ve Ever Received
November 6    Book Review: Tankborn by Karen Sandler
November 13  Book Review: The Merro Tree by Katie Waitman
November 20 Book Review: Warchild by Karin Lowachee
November 29 Science Fiction Book Recommendations

I’ve been having a great time picking up some science fiction books from my to-read pile so I may try to fit in some book reviews, but it will depend on spare time available, especially since I have some fantasy reviews I still need to catch up on this month! But there are a bunch of books on my “if I have time” pile that sound really good that I’d love to read this month. Any advice on where to start if I have time? I’m considering Up Against It by M. J. Locke, A Confederation of Valor by Tanya Huff, City of Pearl by Karen Traviss, and Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee.