In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! It is hosted by Crazy-for-Books.com. Each week there is a question for us to answer. This week, it is:
“Why do you read the genre that you do? What draws you to it?”
Speculative fiction, for me, has… something. I’m not sure I can articulate what it is that draws me to it as a genre. I read and love literary and mainstream fiction as well–you just happen to not see it here on the blog. The bulk of my reading over the years, though, as been spec fic, and mostly fantasy of some variety or another.
What I like about spec fic is what I like about fiction in general: the best of any fiction makes me think and gives me the chance to look at life from a different perspective. These are the stories that stick with me over the years, the ones I come back to for re-reads. Usually the thinky bits pertain to social customs and societal commentary, but it’s just as likely that the thinky bits will be about individual responsibility and growth. As with any fiction writing, that depends on the author and their goals and skill sets.
Of course, there is also the entertainment and escapism factor. I can’t deny that it’s fun to explore the galaxy with LeGuin, Herbert, Heinlein, and Clarke, romp through medieval/magical lands with Tolkein, Jordan, and Brooks, or explore contemporary life with a special twist in urban fantasy. Whole new possibilities are opening up to me as I start Octavia E. Butler’s Patternist series (which, by the way… awesome. I’m a 100 pages into Wild Seed and I love it).
In sum, what draws me to speculative fiction is a combination of smart writing (though, of course, like anything else, there are works that are “meh” at best), thoughtfulness, social commentary, entertainment, and escapism.