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Science Fiction Books

I have invariably enjoyed science fiction books, from the time I was an extremely little child on. When I was 8 years old, I joined a science fiction book club, where we would read a number of the science fiction classics.

I remember books like "The Time Machine" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth," like they were yesterday. My favorite science fiction books, however, were a little bit more modern classics. I really liked space opera, like Robert A. Heinlein's "Citizen of the Galaxy", or later, Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game."

Now, if you have just come to science fiction books, the best way to start is with collections. I do not believe there is any other genre of fiction which is anthologized quite as frequently as science fiction books. Every year, it seems, there are dozens of the latest collections, each with names that incorporate "years best" and "science fiction" in various combinations.

When picking from among these science fiction books, the best thing to do is to skim. Look for a pretty short story, or excerpt, and begin to read. If you have time, read the whole thing. At any rate, it probably won't take you too long to determine whether it is your sort of science fiction book or not. If it reads well, then it is. If not, make another choice.

I guess what I really enjoyed about these science fiction books was their epic scope. There are books of what is termed speculative fiction, a kind of science fiction that attempts to look into the future of society. Even though I like a lot, I like the space opera much better. Great wars involving whole galaxies fighting for supremacy, fantastic alien races, strange distortions in time and space, prophecy, honor, love - these are themes that never get old for me. They keep me reading my favorite science fiction books for years at a time.

If you find yourself really liking science fiction books, you might consider picking up a few fantasy books as well. Even though fantasy and science fiction are generally not the same thing (even though they do occasionally mix) nonetheless, if one appeals to you, the other will probably appeal to you as well.

Fantasy books tend to have a more medieval setting, and focus more on magic and sorcery, whereas science fiction books tend to have a stronger focus on technology and aliens, but really there are no hard and fast distinctions in the two.

© 2007

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