Recently, for the first time in a very long while, I had the urge to do some dead-tree reading. I wanted quality writing, space sci-fi, strong female lead character. I haven’t really read any sci-fi for years, apart from some Babylon 5 and Voyager novels, based around the TV series. Some of them have been fairly good and some very trashy, but it was time for something a bit different.
Knowing there was no point, I first visited Whitcoulls. My initial instincts were quite correct and it was a waste of time. Dymocks and Unity books were further away than I had time for, but as I headed along Courtenay Place I realised that Arty Bees was nearby and stopped in there.
I scanned the endless shelves of sci-fi books, noticing that huge numbers of them were in the fantasy or vampire genres: not for me. I was also trying to keep my distance from an iPod fool nearby — I was deafened by his music; it won’t be too long before he’ll be deafened for real.
Feeling somewhat defeated by far too many books, and not being current with the genre I asked the incredibly knowledgeable assistant for help. I was eventually pointed to a series by David Weber about a character called Honor Harrington. Volume 1 was only $12, new, for 458 pages so I took that and the next two in the series too, though they were more expensive.
I’m more than half way through that first volume and am thoroughly enjoying it. The writing isn’t perhaps quite as innovative and inspiring as I would have desired, but it’s perfectly good. The bookseller had warned me about the high technobabble quotient, to which I had replied that I wanted that. I’m disappointed though and still waiting for the technobabble to start.
It looks like this phase of reading fiction on paper might be setting in. If you can recommend any good fiction for me, I’d be happy to see your comments. What I want: futuristic sci-fi, set in space, one or more strong female characters in lead roles. I’m not into fantasy, vampires, horror, alternate universes (eg, what say Germany had won the war), historical. Technobabble is good. Science is good. Quality is good. Old-fashioned bug-eyed monster space aliens is bad.