I was nominated for this lovely book tag by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek, who writes wonderful, passionate reviews about his favourite genre, fantasy. Thank you, Drew! Do drop by and check out his site – it’s worth it.
1. What’s your favourite genre?
Science fiction, particularly at the more character-led end of the genre. Though it is a very broad church and that is part of the glory of it.
2. Who’s your favourite author?
Erg! Oh nooo… I hate having to choose ONLY one. Hm. I think it’s… Nope. Can’t do it, sorry. There cannot be only one! C.J. Cherryh – because she wrote the defining space opera adventure that blew me away. Kage Baker for her amazing Company novels and Lois McMaster Bujold for the Miles Vorkosigan series. There’s more… there’s so MANY more!
3. What is it about the genre that keeps pulling you back?
To be honest, I’m not really sure. I mostly read and enjoy fantasy, but when I do settle down with a thumping good science fiction read, it just has me buzzing with excitement in a way that nothing else does. There is the sense of adventure and excitement as I open the cover – it’s a genre that pushes ideas and concepts right to the limits with the likes of cyberpunk, so I never quite know where I’ll end up.
However, I also think it is the prospect of us leaving the planet and exploring space that really ticks all my boxes. As a young child, I grew up taking it for granted that by the time I was adult, we would already have a presence on the Moon and be working towards getting to Mars. So reading about a future where we have achieved these goals helps alleviate my sense of betrayal that humanity’s continuing nomadic quest was stifled thanks to politicians with the mental horizon of an ant.
4. What’s the book that started your love for your genre?
C.J. Cherryh’s Heavy Time. It is an amazing read – about a couple of asteroid miners who discover a ship tumbling through space and secure it for salvage, when they find a half-mad crew member, Paul Dekker, tumbling about inside it. The only survivor… Her writing is years ahead of its time, with an immersive first person viewpoint that has the tension pinging off the page. I dreamt about that book and went looking for other reads like it. I don’t often find them, but when I do, I’m caught between wanting the book to last and last as it’s just SO MUCH FUN reading it. And needing to get to the end TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS. And when I do finish such a book, I ache at having to leave the world… While this occasionally occurs with enjoyable fantasy reads, it happens far more frequently with science fiction books.
5. If you had to recommend at least one book from your favourite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?
There’s four books I’d like to recommend – all very different. The first would be Adrian Tchaikovsky’s award-winning Children of Time, which I loved. It takes the basic tropes around space opera and turns them on their head, while producing a page-turning story full of incident and unintended consequences.
Another is far more a straightforward adventure tale – the excellent Earth Girl by Janet Edwards, which has Earth as a relative backwater where due to a genetic condition, a small number of people cannot emigrate off the planet and are stranded here.
The Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Geen takes the idea of shape-shifting and turns it into a scientific breakthrough and this riveting, beautifully written book explores the consequences of what might happen to those who invade the consciousness of other animals.
The final book would be The Martian by Andy Weir which is a near future adventure – think of Robinson Crusoe set in space and stranded on Mars and you have an idea of the book, which charts Mark’s constant struggle for survival as he battles against the odds to survive until help arrives.
6. Why do you read?
I can’t recall a time when I couldn’t read. I read hungrily all through my childhood which was at times very difficult and books provided my consolation and escape. Fortunately my grandparents were very encouraging and provided me with plenty of reading matter.
The only time I didn’t read was when my children were young – I didn’t dare pick up a book because I knew only too well that they could be screaming in the cot, or drowning in the bath and I simply wouldn’t hear them. So I didn’t read a single book for seven years, other than children’s books. It was the biggest sacrifice I made as a mother. Now, I live with another avid reader and we often have days when we turn off the TV, curl up in the lounge together and read, while our favourite music is playing… bliss!
My nominations for the This is My Genre Tell Me Yours Book Tag
Sara Letourneau – Sara Letourneau’s Official Website and Blog
Wendy – Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Kristen Twardowski – A Writer’s Workshop
You may or may not choose to take part in this one. I’ve selected all three of you because you are interesting passionate bloggers with a keen interest in all things bookish and I’d love to hear your answers:). Anyone else out there who’d love to have a go – please join in!
I had a group of kids recently ask me what my favorite books were growing up. I TOTALLY blanked. Later, I was all “JUDY BLUME!!!” but in the moment, I couldn’t remember a single thing I’d read. It is hard to pick one favorite author or book, though. SO many to read.
Yes… and that’s my problem. There are so many WONDERFUL books that over the years have given such pleasure. But Cherryh’s HEAVY TIME was an epiphany moment.
Thanks for the shout out at the start of the tag and for doing it to. 🙂
Great answers. 🙂
Sorry it took me a while to get around to this. But I loved the whole idea of this tag – I think it’s a fabulous one and I’m glad you approve of my answers.
No worries about it taking a while, it’s cool to see people actually doing something I created – does that me sad, oh well.😂
OK, I haven’t been doing tags lately, but I’m DEFINITELY doing this one. 😀 😀 Thanks for nominating me, Sarah!
I know the feeling about being forced to pick your favorite authors from a favorite genre. It’s so tough to pick just a few, because you want to mention all of them! I also liked your answer to #3, and your comment about “politicians with the mental horizon of an ant” made me chuckle. (Because it’s true in some cases.)
I second your recommendation of The Martian, since I loved it, too. Earth Girl has been on my radar for a while, so I’d like to read that at some point.
I’m delighted that you’ve agreed to do this one:). I know you’ll do a cracking job and I’m also VERY interested (just plain nosey to be honest…) to read your answers to some of these very good questions. And as for the ‘mental horizon of an ant’ – I’m thinking of the sorry specimens who wound up the Space Program, throwing away all that hard-won expertise. History will doubtless damn them as limp-wristed idiots.
Thank you for the tag! I don’t know if I could pick just one genre. Haha.
I loved reading your answers, Sarah. My attempt to read more science fiction this year failed miserably, but I am determined to not let it die here. I have some great science fiction books ahead of me and I am looking forward to reading them. I haven’t read any of your recommendations (although I did see The Martian movie). I am making note of them and will definitely give them a try.
Well, THAT’S interesting:)… A reader who hasn’t got a favourite genre! Now I’m agog to hear your answers, Wendy:)).
I always say I don’t read sci-fi or fantasy but I read The Martian and the book I remember most from childhood was set in another world and written by the man who created (or maybe just wrote episodes of?) Doctor Who so maybe I should give some of these books a go. The Emma Geen did peak my interest.
Yes… a lot of folks reckon they don’t read science fiction – and then they find they do. I think there is a sense it covers some of the more far-out pulp novels of the 60s and Dr Who and Star Wars spin-off reads. And I think you’d find the Emma Geen an absorbing, extraordinary book:).
Most enjoyable interview.
Thank you, Rae:).
This is a fun tag! I don’t read a ton of science fiction, but, like you, I’m always excited when I pick up a good one. 🙂
Why don’t you join in? It’s great fun to answer the questions about your FAVOURITE genre:).
Interesting insights, thank you for sharing, Sarah! 🙂
When I got to the “favorite author” question I thought “Lois McMaster Bujold has to at least be mentioned!” and there she was! 🙂
As for your recommendations, I’ve read one (The Martian) and I do agree it’s a pleasant read for someone who have never read sci-fi and might feel overwhelmed by the genre. I also remember the reviews of your other three recommendations. 🙂
I’ve tried to find books that I think would be enjoyable for readers who haven’t yet read any science fiction. And of course there are LOADS of wonderful writers I haven’t even mentioned.
Wise choice. When I try to get people hooked on sci-fi and fantasy, I always try to figure out what _they_ might like versus my own preferences. Usually it works. I even got my mom to read a lot of fantasy even though she claimed this genre is not for her. 😀
lol… You’re ahead of me there:). My mother won’t touch ANY spec fic – so hasn’t read any of my work, either. Not even the short stories.
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