I saw Maryam @ The Curious SFF Reader do this tag, and couldn’t resist doing it myself! I did the fantasy equivalent earlier this year so, as it’s SciFiMonth, now is the perfect time to have a go at its sci-fi sister.
What is your sci-fi origin story? (What was the first sci-fi novel you read?)
I tried to think of the books from my childhood to see if any of them fit into the sci-fi genre, but I think the earliest sci-fi novel I read, and one of the most formative for me, was Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman. I believe I was around 14/15 when I first read this novel, which is a dystopian/alternate present novel in which Black people are at the top of society and white people are treated as second class citizens. This is the book that made me aware of racism, and the first book to make me cry.
If you could be the hero/heroine in a sci-fi novel, who would be the author and what’s one trope you’d insist be in the story?
Becky Chambers, please! Chambers writes quiet, hopeful sci-fi and I’d like to live in a hopeful sci-fi novel. If I could be written into a solarpunk novel, that’d suit me just fine. As for a trope, I’d love to be part of a first contact story focused on humans and the new species trying to understand one another rather than trying to kill each other.
What is a sci-fi you’ve read this year that you want more people to read?
Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland. This alternate history duology about fighting zombies in 19th century North America is so good and I don’t think I see enough people around the blogosphere talking about it.
What is your favourite sci-fi subgenre? What subgenre have you not read much from?
To be honest I’m still learning what my favourite genre is, but I have to say the more I read zombie novels, the more I enjoy them. There are so many subgenres I haven’t read from, but I’m definitely a stranger to military sci-fi!
Who is one of your auto-buy sci-fi authors?
Becky Chambers. I adore her work.
How do you typically find sci-fi recommendations? (Goodreads, Youtube, Podcasts, Instagram..)
Either around the blogosphere or in the realms of booktube!
What is an upcoming sci-fi release you’re excited for?
Not to sound like a broken record, but I’m so excited for The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers.
What is one misconception about sci-fi you would like to lay to rest?
That it’s all spaceships and aliens. There’s nothing wrong with spaceships and aliens, but I think a lot of readers can be put off the genre because sci-fi films lead them to think that’s all there is in sci-fi books–I know because I used to be one of those readers. If you’d asked me when I first read Noughts & Crosses what I was reading I never would have described it as a sci-fi novel, and there are so many different subgenres to choose from within the sci-fi umbrella.
If someone had never read a sci-fi before and asked you to recommend the first 3 books that come to mind as places to start, what would those recommendations be?
Blood Red Road by Moira Young because it’s fast-paced, unputdownable and has such a unique narrative voice.
Feed by Mira Grant because it’s a zombie novel for people who think they don’t like zombie novels, and it’s such a brilliant examination of politics, journalism and truth.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers because it’s hopeful, quiet, and essentially a slice of life novel in space.
Who is the most recent sci-fi reading content creator you came across that you’d like to shoutout?
I’m going to give a shout out to JonBob for all the brilliant cyberpunk content he’s been putting out into the blogosphere this SciFiMonth. It’s a subgenre I never thought I’d be interested in, but the more he talks about it the more I want to try it, and he’s giving great recommendations this month!