I fell in it as a kid ! Some may argue that I still am a kid ;-)... Well, it might well be possible, but heed this warning : I am not planning to change this anytime soon ! Furthermore, SF is more to me than just a hobby. Not only do I read, but I also write in the field : articles, short-stories and novels...
When I said that I fell in it as a kid, I wasn't joking ! The very first book I ever read (if my memory serves me right) was a French novel, titled "The flying house" by Claude Roy. The only thing I remember from this read is in its title (which probably was the reason why it attracted me in the first place) : a house which flies into the air during a storm. An element of fantasy which marked me for life. The following books which I recall reading (though I'm pretty sure there were others before) are the Foundation series and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. I'm not sure which one I read first, but both shook me deeply and remain untouchable masterpieces in my mind, that I frequently reread. They have probably influenced my own writing to some point. But the writer I feel has touched me the most is the wonderful and dearly missed Roger Zelazny, whose works remain as a living testimony of his genius.
To me, SF is more than just entertainment. It is a passion, but also a means of expression, to expose touchy subjects and lead the reader to think things over. And please let me point out that whenever I use this abbreviation - SF - in my eyes it contains the whole of fantasy literature, including science-fiction, fantasy, heroic fantasy, horror, faery tales, etc... I am undeniably against all kind of division and labelling.
This being said, I would like to share with you some of my thoughts about SF. First off, I have always had this theory that science fiction is nothing but History. Let me explain. Take robots for instance. Their real life creator one day admitted that he had been inspired by Asimov's books. Same thing goes for the Internet - the Net or Network - which had been thought of by genre writers before it even was invented. Not to mention stellar travel, which was seriously laughed at until man first walked on the Moon. All this to say, simply, that in a century, perhaps, men will discover old crumbling SF books and think of them as scientific works or History school books. Interesting, isn't it ?
Other thought : the future of SF lies in the mixing of genres. The more time goes, the more I am convinced about this. If we go on dividing SF into different subgenres, it will only do it more harm. We must instead find a middle ground, attain equilibrium, and mix all these elements to finally obtain new and original material of a higher quality. All you need to do is take a look behind and give me a list of the last real big masterpieces published. The only one I can safely submit for the 90s is Dan Simmons' Hyperion. Some would call this hard science. Right, but this magnificent novel also contains elements of fantasy and mythology and, by some regards, could also be considered a modern faery tale. No secret there...
Here is a very brief and unfinished list of some of my favorite writers and books. These are not ordered according to my tastes, but rather in alphabetical order (I am a very methodical man ;-) :
|ASIMOV Isaac||Foundation (6 novels)|
|BRUST Steven||Vlad Taltos (an ongoing fantasy series)|
|HERBERT Frank||Dune (the first book only)|
|McCAFFREY Anne||Dragonriders of Pern (a dozen books)|
|POWERS Tim||The Anubis Gates|
|SIMMONS Dan||Hyperion (3 novels)|
|TOLKIEN J. R. R.||Lord of the Rings (3 novels)|
|WILLIAMS Tad||Sorrow, Memory & Thorn (4 novels)|
|WOLFE Gene||New Sun of Urth (6 novels)|
|WUL Stefan||all his books !!! (this is a French writer)|
|ZELAZNY Roger||The Princes of Amber (10 novels)|
|ZELAZNY Roger||Creatures of light and darkness|
Other favorites :
Piers ANTHONY, Fredric BROWN, Pierre PELOT (a French writer), Clifford D. SIMAK, A. E. VAN VOGT and many more...