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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:07 pm 
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As a boy (10 or 11, I would guess), my early discoveries on science fiction, and authors which hooked me into the genre included:

Clifford D. Simak - WAY STATION and CITY in particular

Ray Bradbury - anything by him, probably read all his short stories and novels.

Robert Heinlein - the juvenile novels initially - FARMER IN THE SKY and PODKAYNE OF MARS

Isaac Asimov, of course - The Foundation Trilogy

Later, as a teenager I "accidentally" discovered modern fantasy when I picked up Michael Moorcock's SINGING CITADEL.

In some ways nothing has equalled those early discoveries in terms of impact on me. I wonder if anyone else feels the same? Love to know what your yoof books were.


Last edited by John Dodds on Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:40 pm 
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I was primed by reading Anne MaCafferey's Dragon books, but then someone gave me Julian May's Saga of the Exiles and my fate was sealed.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:33 pm 
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It was an odd mix...whatever I could lay my hands on.

Arthur C. Clarke's Earthlight and a couple of his short story collections.

Nebula Award Stories 3 (wow, did that blow me away!).

Nova 2 and the Harrison/Aldiss Year's Best.

Most of the Heinlein juveniles.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:04 pm 
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I suppose the first time I got hooked on SF was when I saw Quatermass and the Pit on the BBC in about 1958, it scared the holy crap out of me, but I had to keep watching it :)

Bookwise, I suppose it was in the early 60s when I read Bester's The Stars My Destination, up until then I hadn't really read anything that could have been classed as ground-breaking and thought this was an incredible piece of work, especially the ' jaunte' idea. This second quatrain in the book still sticks in my mind.

Gully Foyle is my name
And Terra is my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination


Great stuff

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:41 pm 
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Asimov. I read a couple of his robot stories and was enthralled.
Le Guin, in a tortuous roundabout way--I started with Earthsea, and then found out about "The Dispossessed" and "The Left Hand of Darkness".
Orson Scott Card, whose "Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead" left me wanting to find more books like those.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:02 pm 
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Clifford Simak's Cosmic Engineers was the first sf book I consciously remember reading, sometime in my early teens. It blew me away at the time, but as with many of the Golden Age masters, I'm hesitant to reread it now that I'm an adult. Sadly, too many times in "classic sf" I find the writing pedestrian and the characterizations nonexistent. The ideas are still cool, though, and (as long as I never read them again!) I look back on those books with great fondness.

I still enjoy short stories in the fantasy/sf field, but I read virtually no speculative fiction novels. Ben Bova's Jupiter was the last full-length sf novel I read, and George R.R. Martin's A Feast for Crows the last full-length fantasy. Martin's series intrigues me, but what was once a work in which fascinating, complex histories supported a good story now seems to have evolved into a story that exists only as a framework to explain his world's various histories. Kudoes to Martin for all the work he did in world building, but enough is enough. Just tell the story, George!


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 Post subject: Asimov, not Clarke
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:37 am 
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Thanks to Tony for pointing out my blooper. Foundation was, of course, written by Asimov and not Clarke!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:19 pm 
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I was lucky that my local library had a good SF selection. I started out with Brian Earnshaw's "Dragonfall5" books at a young age, then moved onto Clarke and Heinlein and Niven...

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:45 pm 
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Arthur C Clark's Of Time and Stars
James Blish's Cities In Flight

I also went for the end of the world as we know it type things by the likes of John Christopher and J.G Ballard. Still do in fact.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:16 am 
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As a very young child I was lucky enough to have a few teachers who did stuff like read 'The Hobbit' to the class, which was neat. Around the same time, via a friend with an older brother, I became obsessed with Games Workshop's Warhammer universes, and read all the magazines I could scrounge as I couldn't afford the miniatures. At about 10 I read 'Lord of the Rings' and was utterly hooked. But I never took it any further than these things.

It was only a year later, when I'd spent a few months playing Cryo's Dune game, that my parents bought me a copy of the book on the basis that I liked the game so much. I was almost instantly hooked, and from there read the rest of the Dune books before moving on to Asimov and thence anything I could find in the local library.

I don't think many books have blown me away the way that Dune did, but reading that and then Dune Messiah as a preteen is going to make you think in ways you couldn't have previously imagined!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:20 am 
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I've always had an interest in sci-fi, but only read a few books here and there in my teens and early twenties. One of the few that I remember is a book called Space Ark, although that's about all I remember from it. The first sci-fi book that I went out to buy was Peter F Hamilton's Pandora's Star. I saw it in a book shop and was slightly put off by the size of it, but as I kept going back over the following weeks I gave in and bought it. One of the best decisions I've ever made as it has now opened up a whole new avenue of entertainment for me!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:40 pm 
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Hmm, in my case it was two things that got me hooked on science fiction.

First, there was television. I was really fascinated with the original Battlestar Galactica and the television version of the classic movie, Logan's Run. We also had Science Fiction Theater on one of the local channels every Saturday morning after the cartoons where you'd get a steady dose of War of the Worlds, Silent Running, Logan's Run, Day of the Triffids and the Planet of the Apes fare.

On top of that, my mom was a voracious book reader and she was working her way through a stack of Star Trek novels (yes, I'm one of those evil people who cut their teeth on "media fiction.") I also picked up classic Heinlein at the school library like Have Space Suit Will Travel and Starship Troopers just to name a few. Toss in Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles and Orwell's 1984 and by time I hit middle school, the die was cast.

For a long time, it seemed to me that science fiction was the only thing that really spoke to the kind of problems I was having as a person.

Now I try to write it.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:35 pm 
John Wyndham, especially Day Of The Triffids, The Chrysalids, Chocky
HG Wells, War Of The Worlds
The Hobbit

all of these (plus a few more) got me into SF & Fantasy...


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 Post subject: Early inspirations
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:20 pm 
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Well I tried to read some Ray Bradbury stories when I was about 9 and didn't really get them. Then an English supply teacher reintroduced me to Bradbury when I was about 12 or so, and this time I loved his stories.

I read just about everything Bradbury had written. I started reading various other SF books too (Wyndham, Shaw, Aldiss etc.), but the next big discovery for me was Philip K Dick. He was just mind-blowing, and also he dealt a bit with sex - which seemed terribly grown-up to a 14-year-old. Dick is probably still my biggest SF hero. Later I'd discover JG Ballard, and then people like Gibson and KW Jeter.

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 1:55 pm 
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Gibson: read "Neuromancer" when I was 16 (though I also had a teacher who read us "The Hobbit" a few years before).

Didn't really become a proper bibliophile until a couple of years later in Uni, but I was very much into the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks in my teens. :oops:


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