Sunday Musings: Space and Beyond

Last year, I signed up for “Somewhere Out There,” a Worlds Without End reading challenge focused on works that take place in the vastness of space. I only managed to complete about half of my required reads. This year, I am trying again with the “Space Opera” challenge:

My WWE Space Opera challenge

My WWE Space Opera challenge

I’ve filled out my desired reads for all the rest of the challenges I’ve selected for 2016, but once again, I’m struggling with science fiction. It’s not like there aren’t a million plus one scifi books out there, but clearly, this isn’t my genre fiction preference. I’m okay with that. My name is Wendy and I prefer fantasy fiction. But, while I certainly don’t *hate* scifi, I am curious as to why I don’t have more of it on my book shelves. Considering my television and film viewing portfolio, you’d think that would be the case, but, I’ve realized, perhaps belatedly, that television and film tends to lean more towards science fiction than it does fantasy. Farscape, Star Trek, Lost (sort of), X-Files, Star Wars, Killjoys, Babylon 5, Firefly,  Battlestar Galactica, Pitch Black, and all the superhero movies and shows I’ve loved fall firmly into the scifi category (well, scifi in the loose sense of the word in terms of actual science. More on that later), yet what I read seems to lean more toward fantasy.

Perhaps the simple answer as to why there is more scifi on screen is because it’s easier to make a spaceship than a dragon? Or perhaps its easier to get the general public to accept the possibility of aliens or the supernatural than it is the purely fantastical. It’s much easier to present such things in books for an audience who is already eager and willing to accept the realms of magic without needing every element of imagination explained away.

Not that science fiction, as we call, is pure science. The diehards of the genre despise the inclusion of works like Star Wars where the “science” is non existent. It’s really just fantasy in space, but because it involves said space and space travel and laser beams, it gets a pass, even without George Lucas trying to inject midichlorians into everything.

Anyway, I digress. The point of this musing is that I, Wendy Browne, intend to read more scifi this year. More books involving space, that final frontier, and perhaps even some actual science (and math too — ref: Binti). There will be a few Star Wars books, because duh, and Tiara and I have decided to go through Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga. I could fill out the challenge with that alone, but variety is a good thing. I’m particularly interested in reading scifi books by fantasy authors I’ve enjoyed, including Bujold and Steven Erikson. Maybe try to continue with the Ender series.

So here we go, 2016. To the stars. To the stars.

17 Comments on “Sunday Musings: Space and Beyond”

  1. I really recommend the Star Wars books in audiobook format. The inclusion of John Williams’ music and the iconic sound effects of the movies really add to the experience.

    I particularly enjoyed Kenobi where the narrator really captured Ewan McGregor’s Obi Wan.


    • A Star Wars book was one of the first audiobooks I listened to. Marc Thompson does an excellent job. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t really Lando Calrissian! And the added bonus of sound effects and a John Williams score is just perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the Ender series and Ender’s Shadow. Such great books. Card is a magnificent writer. (I think) and another really fun series is Jon Scalzi’s The Old Mans War. Just fun. I saw Red Shirts is on ur list. ENJOY!!!


    • I loved the Ender series very much up until … Children of the Mind. That one got a bit too preachy for me and I had to set it aside for the time being. I do plan to return to it though. Ender’s Shadow was so good. I love the idea of returning to the same story from a totally different perspective.


    • Oh and yes, Old Man’s War was great! So different — which is another great thing about SF. It’s often so much more varied than fantasy and can really dig into humanity and how we view ourselves when it’s done well.

      I do plan to read the rest of the Old Man’s War series and definitely want to read more Scalzi in general.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love science fiction just as much as fantasy, but sometimes just thinking of trying to concentrate on the more techy stuff in Sci Fi makes me tired, lol. Fantasy for me is more relaxing and Sci Fi requires more of my brain. I guess it depends what kind of mood I’m in! I see you’re planning on reading The Martian which has TONS of tech information, and yet I loved every second of it.


    • You’re right! That must be it. “True” science fiction is all about the actual science and that’s not my area of intellectual strength. I do read such books though, like Michael Crichton’s work. I’ll often skim over those parts. The rest of the story is usually still good and I can understand what’s going on, even if I don’t actually get the science.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I always feel like I should make an effort to read more SF. For some reason I am never drawn to it, but have really enjoyed most of what I’ve read. Statistically, I may even have a better track record with SF than fantasy (probably because I’m more selective in what I read for SF, but still).


    • That’s a good way to put it. I am more selective with SF as well. Meanwhile, if there’s a dragon on the cover, then I’ll probably pick up that fantasy book. (Well, that used to be my criteria. I’m more mature now lol)


  5. Science Fiction was my first love, since fantasy came much later, so I’ll admit being somewhat partial to it, but it’s also true that it’s difficult to find totally satisfying SF novels that can hit the right balance between science and *story* – that’s the most important element to me. The Vorkosigan saga is a wonderful place to start, and a fun one too 🙂
    I look forward to hearing what you think about it!


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