The Science Fiction Post (It’s About Damn Time)

First off, to all of my loyal readers (all five of you), I am so, so sorry for how long it has been since I’ve posted.  Summer is here, and me being the spry twenty something year old that I am, I have no choice but to be a twenty something year old (yeah… that makes sense).  Anyway, I’ve recently come out of a very strict summer semester of school, needed to take a week or two to recharge my batteries and now I’m back!  So, let’s not waste any more time.  My personal favorite science fiction writer happens to be Phillip K. Dick.  He is just the right amount of paranoid and insane to keep me interested.  I mean don’t get me wrong, I love deep space science fiction as much as the next guy, but when you can remain super sci-fi and not require an intergalactic battle every once in a while to keep your audience, you are on a good path. Sure, Dick went insane and wrote an incredibly long journal about God beaming a pink light of information into his head that lead him to superimpose early Christian Rome over Berkley, California; but come on, the guy’s a genius.

Man, PKD has a killer beard...

Anyway lets not start with him, he’s a little advanced.  Let’s start with the beginning.  When you think of Science fiction, I’m sure you think of Lost, or maybe if you’re a Joss Whedon head (Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity, The Dollhouse).Well, I love that your being exposed to these great pieces of work.  They can definitely act as a gateway to geekdom (geek kingdom, kind of like Valhalla).  A famous sci-fi writer named Thomas Dische would like you to believe Edgar Allen Poe was the father of modern science fiction, but I respectfully disagree.  I don’t disagree because I think he is wrong, I disagree because I am of a new generation of science fiction nerds, and when I think of science fiction, I think of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds.  I mean, come on, sure, my interest in more obscure science fiction (like Dick’s Ubik (a great read by the way)) eventually bloomed like the beautiful flower that it is, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want lasers that go pew pew! Technically, Wells wrote The Time Machine first, but I’d rather start you off with something a bit more energetic.  If you want to know where a literal version of modern science fiction comes from (and not a vague one like Poe would create) then pick up some Wells, and have a great time.

Quite the 'stache on H.G. Wells.

Is it just me, or is the key to successful science fiction writing (maybe writing in general) amazing facial hair?  Food for thought.  Ok, now that we’ve kind of gotten my favorite out of the way and a very early rendition of what modern science fiction evolved into, let’s move into the direction of some classic writers of the last one hundred or so years.  Borrowing from a list comprised by a very lovely professor who taught a science fiction and religion class (which was awesome!), I have an idea of some titles and authors people should explore if they want to start reading science fiction.  Good Omens by Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman, Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, The Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler, Pastwatch by Orson Scott Card, Air a novel by Geoff Ryman, The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell, Lord of Light by Samuel Delany, Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke, The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Leguin, and Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood just to start you off.  No, I haven’t read them all, you caught me, but if I trust anyone to give me a good list to post up on here it is this particular professor of mine.  Please post your favorite science fiction novels on comments, and yell at me for not including a shtick about them.  Time to sign off for now, all topic suggestions and comments are encouraged, and I hope to have someone to discuss this stuff with.  Until next time…

Your Humble Servant,

Tucker Paul Stempler

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    • Laura
    • August 26th, 2010

    Nice list, TP Stempler! I am delighted (and a little teary) to see such a list on your site. 🙂

    I would love to see your thoughts on Inception here sometime.

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