Here we all in fall. A gorgeous fall.
I have three unfinished posts saved as drafts on my blogger account, but keep getting derailed. By life. By responsibilities. By the new job, you know. But nothing has been so diverting and consuming of my free time lately than scifi.
For some reason, it became imperative for me to read the books on NPR's top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy (circa 2011). Perhaps you've seen this?
I have been reading science fiction and fantasy since my girlhood. Loved the stuff. My enjoyment tapered. Got burned. Burned by my love for scifi. The quality of books I picked up seem to wane, and sometimes to plummet. This or that book had been well -reviewed but turned out to be crashingly awful. For example, a friend of mine swore to me that the Host was good science fiction (blergh).
For awhile I would chose authors based on their track record with me. If they had written good books in the past I'd gleefully pick up their newest book and think "Yay! It's like being reunited with [trusted and interesting friend] or [musician cousin with anecdotes far more awesome than my own]." Sometimes it paid off. Sometimes: wham. Poorly-written novel after poorly-plotted linear fantasy. Cringe-worthy dialogue and recycled characters. Now that I think about it, it didn't occur to me that maybe my selection criteria was flawed. How did my choices turn out so poorly? Did I take home books based on pretty cover art? Or intriguing title font? Not that I judge books by their covers. (sometimes I do.)
Fail to pick a winner a few times, and it's just no fun to gamble anymore. So I stopped picking up scifi and fantasy. Little did I know, I just needed to be pointed in the right direction.
There were books on NPR's list that I had read, of course. Like I said, I've covered lots of literary ground in those scifi/fantasy stacks. But there were so many more on the list that I hadn't. I was surprised by how many I'd never even known about. There are some real gems out there! I've been so pleased. Not with Asimov's Foundation, mind you. Not pleasing, that one. Nor the plodding and yet smug Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell. By and large though, I have this list to thank for reacquainting me with Heinlein, and introducing me to some great classics that I'd never heard of (!).
36 down. 64 to go.
Don't think that all this reading means I haven't been enjoying the beautiful autumn colors outside. I have gotten out. I multitask.