Monday, April 26, 2010
Ode to Sci-Fi
Reading has always been a very important part of my life, even when I think back as long as I can. Mom always used to say that all she had to do was hand me a book and I would be entertained for hours together. I read my first adult fiction in eighth grade and by the end of that year had devoured most of the usual fiction - Sidney Sheldon, Robin Cook and the like and since then have tried out pretty much all kinds of authors. But it was not until the last 5-6 years that I had the pleasure of reading Science fiction. Now I know that I usually put sci-fi and fantasy in the same category when I talk to people (read: non-believers) but to me they are completely different. Ever since I discovered the world of Sci-fi every other genre has pretty much paled in comparison (not fantasy of course - which is my second best and another topic close to my heart). It may seem weird, having read more mature book when I was younger, that I refuse to pick up any thing else now. Maybe it is because I came across sci-fi's so late in life that I have to go through an entire room - and mind you there are that many - before I can switch to something else. I do feel every now and then, when my friends advocate non-fiction and biographies that may be it is time to 'grow up' and read 'real stuff'. But, to me, Sci-fi books have offered every kind of life experience, politics, history that I ever need. Can anyone ever contradict me when I say that 'Dune' is one of the best learning grounds of politics? Is there any better philosopher than Orson Scott Card or even Asimov? But the problem with Sci-fi is that it is very hard to pass on the excitement to a non-initiate. How do you convince a 'realist' to accept for a minute that you can travel at light speed, just so you can explain to him the theories behind the 'eighth color' (Zimmermann - colors of space) or make someone understand that kelp can be sentient too (Herbert - Lazarus effect)? So, why am I rambling today, because I finally found another Orson Scott Card that I had not read. Ever since 'S' introduced me to Enders game (thank you for that!), I have loved Card's books. A lot of his fans are not very fond of the later sequels because they seem to ramble on and border the realm of fantasy, but I was fascinated - the fact that a gene sequence could remember and reproduce was amazing to me and it seemed so possible - can the flu virus not do exactly that? And now while reading Wyrms, I realize that he is really gifted. Card had dealt with the subject of sentience in so many different ways and so many times that I feel I am never going to be surprised if I ever come across a sentient species. Oh, I love Science fiction!