Wednesday, June 10, 2009
For years, literally since I was 15, I've been knocking around ideas for a sci-fi novel. But I wear myself down trying to nail the science before I can even get to the story. It's not a "work in progress" so much as a "premise in progress". My "you're not smart enough" demon and my "easy way out" demon keep telling me to stick to YA fantasy and paranormal.
The scientific details, details like those I meticulously research in my real-world fantasies, are outside my comfort zone. Yet I read and re-read Heinlen as a teen, Arthur C. Clarke, Anne McCaffrey's Pegasus in Flight, and of course, Madeleine L'Engle's very meta sci-fi.
Today's science fiction seems to be less interested in the limits of the human intellect, and more in the depths of the depravity humanity can sink to. Of course, there is the indomitable nature of the human spirit side to these stories, but what happened to the science? What happened to the techno-centric societies authors of the 50s through the 80s used to write about? Did we wake up and discover we're in one? Where the hell is my hover-car, dammit?!
That little diatribe aside, I'll definitely read The Hunger Games, but it feels like the latest in a string of dystopian novels (and the occasional "zombie" book, fantasy-horror disguised as sci-fi) that are keeping the genre clinging to the cliff's edge. Hell, heist movies seem to have more hard science elements than some sci-fi does these days. The last time I asked someone online to recommend a good sci-fi, they simply said, Heinlen. Perhaps I should have specified something written in the last five decades. ;)
Sci-fi I'm curious about:
Spacer and Rat
Uglies series and any other Scott Westerfeld
Anyone just dying to share a good sci-fi they've read? I prefer YA because I like to read widely in the genre I write, but I'll eagerly devour a good adult sci-fi.