Science-y stuff: Science fiction

This isn’t a scientific inaccuracy post, but it’s still about science, sort of.

Science fiction. The only genre of books worth reading (only sometimes do I think that). Ever since I saw Star Wars as a kid I’ve dreamed of going into space. Imagine seeing exotic worlds and suns in different solar systems all in the same day? I fell in love with FTL (faster than light) travel from an early age. But the top scientist chaps today reckon that any travel faster than light is impossible (I disagree, but I’m not nearly smart enough to prove them wrong). This leads me to talk about just how scientific a sci-fi novel actually is. I’m sure you’ve all heard about Ian M. Banks (if you haven’t he’s a Scottish author). He’s quite a popular author, and I quit enjoy him. He writes well, his characters are entertaining, his action scenes are actually enthralling…and his science is a bit iffy. He uses FTL travel. He uses evolving true AI (artificial intelligence). And a whole other bunch of stuff that seems impossible. Yet I thoroughly enjoy his stories. I don’t care if we think FTL is impossible now, it makes the future seem so much more interesting!

On the other side of the coin you get authors like Robert L. Forward. Don’t get me wrong. This man was a very good writer. He was incredibly smart (he was a legit aerospace engineer). His books were 100% plausible (hard science fiction it’s called). But his stories just quite aren’t as entertaining as Ian M. Banks. His character development isn’t as strong, and his action scenes are over a bit too quickly.

I read both hard and soft science fiction. If it’s in space I read it. The point I’m trying to get across is that the sci-fi snobs who think science fiction must be 100% plausible need to live a little. They need to open their minds to the wondrous imaginative journeys they can take if they ignore Albert Einstein’s rules and regs for just a while (and I like to think Al would agree. He strikes me as the kind of guy to enjoy a good soft sci-fi book).

Heck, I’m trying my hand at writing a short story, and I’m not nearly entertaining enough for soft, nor smart enough for hard. But I’m trying, just to get my imagination down on paper.

I apologise Β that this post rambled a lot. It’s not my greatest, but I still hope someone will enjoy it πŸ™‚

Jeremy

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8 thoughts on “Science-y stuff: Science fiction

  1. I know you will probably gasp in horror at this, but I don’t think I have ever read a book that is classed as ‘sci-fi’ :O But now you have sparked my interest, any good reccomendations or favourites of yours I should be getting my hands on? πŸ™‚ I’m more of a fantasy gal, dragons and wizards, super humans and all that jazz πŸ˜€

    • *Gasp!* :O haha I’m also a huge fantasy fan! But I find they’re almost two sides of the same coin, because sci-fi can be quite fantastical itself. But don’t get me wrong, dragons, wizards and djinns are all amazing material for a book πŸ™‚ Hmmm, now that’s a tricky question. Science fiction is probably the hardest genre to recommend, because it’s so broad. I’ll make a follow up post with some recommendations, because I can’t use italics in comments πŸ˜›

  2. I agree with you. In the end, a novel is supposed to be entertaining and enthralling first, and an education second. As long as people recognize that not everything they read is true! I’m sure most people are bright enough to see the difference (well, I hope so). πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve never read any of these authors, but I have heard of them. Science fiction is a genre that I just wasn’t even really aware of until recently. I always wrote it off as just about aliens and space – something that honestly, has never really interested me. I didn’t really put any thought into it. Because of course it is so much more than cliche’s, just like some people’s opinions of fantasy, I wrote it off as far-fetched and uninteresting. (But for the record, I’ve always loved fantasy) So lately I’ve been feeling a lot more willing to give science fiction a try. I second Gemma, any recommendations? I’ve heard Enders Game is good, have you read it? πŸ™‚

    • I think that’s quite common actually. I started off in fantasy and Jack Higgins-esque fiction, and only later did I start to enjoy science fiction and of course, some of it is just about aliens and space Seeing as though you’re the second person to ask for recommendations I’ll actually make a longer, detailed post about where I’d recommend starting off so watch this space!

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