So you’ve found the Science Fiction Reader blog, and you’re wondering just what the heck it’s all about…
Well, I think the title of the blog is pretty much self-explanatory, and gives a general picture of the overriding theme. Science Fiction Reader deals only with science fiction in its written form, both novels and short fiction.
On a more specific level, the blog is a review blog of science fiction literature of all shades, both modern and classic. I’ve been reading “proper” science fiction literature since way back when I first read H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, at the tender age of eight years old, as a direct result of seeing the classic George Pal movie on television a year or two before. That was circa 1968-69, so I’ve been reading SF a long time now.
Well, since I’ve been reading SF for such a long time, why not write about what I’ve read? This is a blog about written SF, and does not cover the sci-fi that exists in other media such as film, television and computers and games consoles. You may notice that I refer to written SF as “SF” and the stuff in other media as “sci-fi” – that’s because I consider them to be completely different things, despite their superficial similarities. Unlike many SF/sci-fi fans who often use the two terms interchangeably, I use “SF” or “science fiction” to refer only to SF literature, and “sci-fi” to refer to film, television, games, comics and any other media. When my friends and acquaintances hear me use either term, they know exactly what I’m talking about, so there’s never any confusion.
Since this isn’t a generic multi-subject geek blog, posting won’t be quite as frequent as my other blogs, where I post all the general stuff. Posts will appear pretty much only when I’m reading a story or I want to make a review of one.
As I’ve already said, this blog deals only with science fiction literature, and as the “Reader” in the blog title may suggest (the “Reader” being me, of course), this is a personal trip through SF literature, with a strong emphasis on my own favourite authors and their work. Although there is a very heavy leaning towards older SF, there are also some of my more modern and current favourites in there. There is also a specific and very considerable focus on short fiction, which I consider to be the bedrock of the science fiction genre, and which also happens to be a big favourite of mine. There will be lots of reviews of short fiction.
Technically, anything goes on this site, just so long as I happen to like it. I don’t read much fantasy or horror & supernatural, and there will be correspondingly fewer reviews of this kind of work, although there will be occasional exceptions to the rule, as there are a few notable stories in both genres that I have enjoyed over the years. Science fiction is the overwhelming focus, as that’s where my tastes lie, particularly space opera and hard SF, so most of the posts will revolve around these sub-genres of SF.
Science Fiction Reader is first and foremost a personal blog, a fan’s blog, so the larger portion of postings will reflect that bias. It has been created for the sheer fun of it, not for any commercial gain or monetizing strategies, and it is one of several such blogs that I’ve set up, this one focusing solely on science fiction literature. It will therefore reflect heavily the SF that I myself like, and will have a strong bias towards my favourite authors and their work. Luckily I have pretty wide-ranging tastes in SF literature, particularly when it comes to older/classic SF.
While anyone reading this blog will see some “stuff” here that they’re familiar with, I tend not to read much current mainstream SF&F, other than some of my favourite authors, who tend to write New Space Opera, Hard SF, and classic Space Opera (think authors like Alastair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter, Peter F. Hamilton, Greg Egan, Linda Nagata, Peter Watts and a few others), and the various “Year’s Best” short SF anthologies. Aside from these exceptions, my tastes tend to veer more towards older SF, with a particular liking for more obscure stories and “forgotten” authors, many of which are not familiar to the current mainstream SF readership. Unless you’re an older, hardcore SF reader, it’s much more likely that quite a lot of the material reviewed here will be unfamiliar to you.
This is not a mainstream “Top 20 Bestselling SF&F Novels” type of blog. There won’t be any marketing hype here, as I’m not trying to sell anything to you. Amazon.com and others cover that area more than adequately. I’ll review only what I, myself, enjoy reading, not what the big sellers are at any given time, and the postings will obviously reflect that bias. My own tastes rarely stretch into the Top 20 of anything, as I tend to prefer “different” stuff from the mainstream, although the very occasional item might slip through the net.
This is also not a professional review or critic’s blog. I’m not a pro critic or reviewer, and don’t want to be. I am, and will always remain, primarily a reader, a fan. There are other excellent sites that already do the critic thing far better than I ever could, and I have no intention of trying to reinvent the wheel, although I will be doing my best to give honest opinions on whatever I’m reading.
Science Fiction Reader is actually more a hybrid recommendations and reviews blog rather than a pure review blog, and will cover not only novels, but also single author short fiction collections, multi-author anthologies and even individual novellas, novelettes and short stories. However, you will not see any negative reviews here. I don’t read stuff that I don’t like. I only read and write about stories that I enjoy. Life’s far too short to waste on stuff you don’t like.
It’s all pure personal preference and guilty pleasures here, and why the hell not, since it’s my blog? 🙂