AKA, Lessons I learned the hard way
I’ve been pushed recently to try some science fiction. Now, I’m not entirely a speculative fiction virgin — I’ve read:
- Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, and The Hobbit
- C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength) [science fiction]
- some magical realism (2 or 3 titles)
- Ted Dekker’s Circle Series [fantasy]
- Some classic dystopias, notably 1984 and Animal Farm, which I think are probably classified as speculative fiction.
As a child, I read:
- C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia [young adult/children's fantasy] and
- Madeleine L’Engle’s The Wrinkle in Time Quintet [fantasy, I think]
OK! So, that feels like a bit of a list. But when you consider it’s quite possibly all of the speculative fiction I’ve ever read, it’s not much at all. Certainly, it’s not much science fiction.
Now, the list above is complete up until a few days ago, when I picked a work of true science fiction.
Based on my experience, 6 tips:
- The first few pages, take your time. There’s often lots of unfamiliar terminology thrown around in just that bit of text. It’s part of setting the stage, see, but it set me back a bit until I’d gotten my sea legs (or whatever the appropriate terminology would be).
- Don’t be frightened.
- Take a deep breath and go for it.
- It would probably help to get a recommendation from someone who knows you and your reading taste. (If you like classics, perhaps try a classic work, etc.) It’s really a very large category of books; there’s much variety.
- Even if you don’t like the first one, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will hate every single speculative book ever written and therefore should never read another one.
- Go for it!
Do you have anything to add? What’s your biggest hurdle when it comes to trying a new genre?
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