So, for those of you with a fairly short memory, I mentioned back on June 9th that there was a new day to celebrate. It’s Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Day, and it’s today – June 23rd. This post may be dated June 22nd, but that’s what you get when you live Down Under – thanks to the international date line we get things almost a full day sooner than the US. Trust me, it’s the 23rd here.
The idea of the day is:
A day of celebration and wonder! A day for all of us readers of science fiction and fantasy to reach out and say thank you to our favorite writers. A day, perhaps, to blog about our favorite sf/f writers. A day to reflect upon how written science fiction and fantasy has changed your life.
That comes from the dedicated Facebook group, where the debate still rages about the apostrophe in the name. It was originally written as Writer’s Day, which is very wrong. It’s now been changed to Writers Day, which is better than Writer’s Day, but still wrong. I’m lobbying for the correct spelling of Writers’ Day, but I’m not holding my breath.
Anyway, as a writer and a reader of SF/F I thought I’d get behind the day and help support it. You never know, if it really takes off I might get some presents next year. Again, not holding my breath.
I thought I’d mention three books that fundamentally affected the way I thought about reading and writing and that had a strong impact on me as I grew up. Perhaps this will push anyone that hasn’t read these books to give them a go. Then I realised that picking three books out of all the ones I love would be really hard – I certainly don’t have a top three books. I don’t have a top thirty, there’s just so many. So I decided to pick one book from each of the primary SF/F genres – Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror – and pick them purely for what they did to me at a young age. These certainly aren’t my three favourite books, but they are three books that spring to mind when I think of SF/F that’s stuck with me.
For Science Fiction I choose – Ringworld by Larry Niven.
There are fundamental problems with this book (the whole luck thing, for example) but it’s still a great read. It has entertaining characters and a really original idea. I loved the concept behind this book and the way it was explored. Still worth a read today, nearly 25 years after it was first published.
For Fantasy I choose – The Lord Of The Rings by J R R Tolkien.
This might seem like a lazy, safe choice, but I read this massive trilogy at about 12 years old and was mesmerised. It took me away to places I’d never imagined and opened my eyes to what was possible in the realms of fantasy. The pure scope of the story was something that changed my perception of stories. Of course, we all know that Gandalf should have called his eagle friends and flown Frodo directly over Moria and he could have dropped the One Ring straight into Mount Doom without having to walk through three long, drawn out books. But that’s kinda beside the point.
For Horror I choose – The Fog by James Herbert.
This is a classic old horror yarn. I loved that it was set in England and it used fog as a terrifying adversary. Really horrible things happen and really strange things happen. As a teenager reading this I was particularly amazed at the school teacher in the gym – if you’ve read it you’ll know what I’m talking about. That had quite an impact on a young mind. The whole story is engaging and scary, just as a good horror story should be.
So what are the SF/F books that have really impacted on your life? Leave a comment and share your favourite SF/F writers.