If there is one genre of literature that has never really gotten the
respect that it deserves, it is sci fi fiction. Every few years, one of
the masterpieces of science fiction books is selective to become part of
the canon, but credit is never given to the genre as a whole. Whenever a
science fiction book is taught in school, it is almost always called
“speculative fiction” so they don't have to admit that there is such a
thing as good science fiction literature. Although most of the classics
of dystopian and utopian fiction are examples of science fiction books,
few people realize that this is what they are reading.
Picking at the right science-fiction books can be hard. It is not that
there isn't a lot of good science fiction – if anything there is too
much. Science fiction and fantasy books come in many different flavors.
One of the most popular, of course, is space opera. Although much of this
is pulp fiction, it is still quite enjoyable. Basically, it details grand
adventures of good versus evil. Star Wars was a great example of space
opera, but you can also find it in novels written by some of the best
writers out there. Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert Heinlein is an
excellent example of space opera, as is the popular Enders Trilogy
written by Orson Scott card.
When I first got involved in science fiction books, I was reading all of
the wrong stuff. Basically, I was reading science fiction magazines
targeted towards your readers. Although some of this is good fiction, the
stuff that I was reading wasn't near the top of the genre. When my dad
saw what I was reading, he got pretty excited. He recommended that I join
a science fiction book of the month club. He knew that I could find much
better literature to read in the science fiction genre if I had a group
to get me started.
Of course, one of the best ways to find science fiction books can be
simply to talk to people within the community. Science fiction fans are
usually very friendly to new readers seeking advice. If you go into a
small, independent bookstore and asked the clerk's what you should read,
you'll usually get excellent advice. Whether or not you ultimately agree
with their taste in science fiction literature, you might just discover
something new that you wouldn't have come across on your own.