“Entry Level” Science Fiction


There’s an article I read today on IO9.com that, after reading, kind of got me thinking about my own reading. Since I had only read or seen movies of a very few of the titles mentioned in the article, I was wondering just what KIND of reader I am. I know I’ve read very damn few of those titles and it seemed to me that they were NOT talking to me. And the point of the article was ‘Entry Level Sci-Fi’. I’ve been reading Sci-Fi for decades and it seemed to me that I was getting defensive about not being knowledgeable about most of the titles in that article.

I know I’m a Sci-Fi reader. I read damn few other genres. I read military history a bit and a rare non-fiction book every now and again, but my day-to-day reading is almost totally Sci-Fi. Saying that, what I’m wondering is do the ‘learned’ readers/authors out there consider me an UNSOPHISTICATED reader? A low-class reader, possibly. Not that I care – I don’t. But I would, just for my own edification, like to know where I stand. Good or bad not an issue.

I ask this because I read a LOT of ‘Space Opera’ Sci-Fi. It’s not what I myself consider ‘Literary Sci-Fi’. What exactly do I consider ‘Literary Sci-Fi’? MY definition of it is more toward the Sci-Fi that Ursula K. Le Guin writes. In my view, her work is very smart and political. It’s a tad dense for me. (I’m nowhere near as smart as people might hopefully imagine me to be.) I don’t read for learning or ‘expanding my horizons’ or perceptions. I read to be entertained, very simply. I’m not sophisticated nor do I want to be. I don’t WANT to have to ‘think’ my way through a book. Take me by the hand (or eye as the case may be) and lead through the story. I’ll believe damn near everything you tell me and be happy in it. Unless I’m not, in which case I won’t read your stuff again. Pretty simple.

So all the authors listed in that article for the most part are what I call ‘Literary Sci-Fi authors’. The ones I have read, such as Arthur C. Clark, Orson Scott Card, John Scalzi and Mike Resnick, write (wrote) a very approachable, very entertaining book, therefore their inclusion in the article. But, OH MY GAWD, the other authors ‘appear’ to me to be a bit too ‘fussy’, if you can grok my point here. They’re writing literature that just happens to have a Sci-Fi angle. I don’t don’t know how to articulate the point any better.

So I picture myself as ‘non-fussy’ and ‘simplistic’. I really don’t know how I am pictured by others. But I’m curious. And THAT is why I ask..

I’m going to point a few ‘Indie Authors’ and close friends whose opinions I value to this post and see what they say.. I’m VERY curious as to their point of view. I think this discussion is neither over or short-lived.. I hope it goes on for a while. I’m interested in the ‘demographics’ of this topic.

🙂

MDF

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