Today is the day my fellow bloggers kick me off this blog. Today is the day I indelibly prove I’m a fluffy bunny sci-fi aficionado. I’m taking inspiration from Robert’s post about four classic sci-fi books to talk about my four favourite sci-fi books (and as usual, I‘m cheating because two of them are series).
Let’s start with the first sci-fi book I recall reading. Now, I was a Star Wars kid, and was fed a steady diet of Star Trek (re-runs) and Doctor Who (the Tom Baker years) while growing up, so there was no shortage of sci-fi influences. But in novel format, not so much. Not until I read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle — kids my age, saving the planet — so much fun. Strangely though, despite how much I loved that book, and the sequel (A Swiftly Tilting Planet), it didn’t lead me into more sci-fi. Not right away, anyway.
Several years later, I picked up another sci-fi book… but I’m leaving that one until last, because in my opinion, it’s the best. EVER. But, reading it led me to Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers by Grant Naylor. Essentially, Lister, a blue collar worker joins the Space Corps to get back to Earth and ends up in stasis for 3 million years, after which his only companions are a sentient descendent of his cat and a hologram of his nemesis. OMG. Lister made me laugh with his dry humour and sarcasm, but my hands-down favourite was his nemesis, Rimmer. A more classic description of a self-loathing, stuck-up prick I’ve never read, but he becomes a sympathetic character nonetheless. Apparently, the book was based on a TV series, which I later saw and enjoyed.
In a completely different vein are Simon R. Green’s Deathstalker books. This is a series that combines the appeal of a sweeping fantasy epic with a sci-fi setting. Owen Deathstalker is a historian who ends up leading a rebellion against the galactic empire. The story is quite violent, but fun and fast-paced, combining cyborgs, vicious gladiator games and psionic warriors all in one. Very space opera and I love it.
Finally, the Hitch Hikers Guide to The Galaxy. I’m a total geeky fan girl of this series. Well, the first five books in the “increasingly inaccurately named Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy.” There’s a sixth (I have it) but it’s written by someone else, and I’m afraid to read it. Several parts of those books made me laugh out loud by myself on a public bus, and I still remember those bits quite clearly (e.g. “Beware of the Leopard”, “one day there will be lemon-soaked paper napkins”). And if someone mentions the meaning of life, it’s 42, right?
I own the original BBC televised version on VHS and DVD, as well as having the books and a sparkly special edition hardcover. I saw the recent remake and although the actors did a great job, the script missed all the best lines! I haven’t been able to bring myself to purchase it. I’ve also been to a bar that served a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster shot, and although it was not “like having your brain smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick,” I was still amused.
So, this is evidence of my guilty secret — I am not a hard-core sci-fi fan, just a fluffy bunny. Let the lynching begin!