Space-time Industries: blogging science fiction.

So what is Space-Time Industries, and where did it come from?

The subtitle says it all. ‘How I learned to stop worrying and love the geek.’ (an abused form of Dr. Strangelove’s subtitle, of course).

How to begin…? I’m a science fiction geek, SF in its many forms: books, films, games, comics… often approaching nerd but never, I think, quite getting there. Now because my job involves more than science fiction, I recently felt I should expand my horizons by reading into different genres. A not entirely unsuccessful venture, but not a fully satisfying one either. As some consequence of the way my brain was programmed as I grew up, when I read a more contemporary story I find the book difficult to pick up each time, despite enjoying it, and I can’t help but think if it was set on a spaceship I would find it more compelling.

It’s not even the science, I’m not a big fan of ‘hard’ SF, I like my plots character-driven (I want people, not engines); I like my alien races artistically and creatively interesting, biology a secondary concern; I like gritty but not without a sense of humour. So it is purely the dressing. Take Toby Litt’s Journey Into Space for example… Toby Litt normally writes a more contemporary breed of fiction, a graduate as he is from the famous UEA creative writing course, but here he takes on the old generation ship premise. It’s a story of relationships and group dynamics, a exploration of human nature, but because it is set on a spaceship it becomes instantly more readable to me. (You should read it too, by the way.)

So this blog is an accompaniment to my resolution to return to my roots. A companion piece, if you like, as I stop trying to be anything else and just enjoy being a geek. This is where I give up on expanding my horizons and return to the grand horizons I know and love; new worlds and old tropes; new heroes and old clichés; new journeys into old space.

So having just finished my first Alexander Mccall Smith, this is where I set it down, pick a new book from the pile of SF titles I have awaiting my hungry brain, brew a cuppa, relax and settle into some science fiction, right? Well, no…

Despite resolutions to the contrary the world has other plans. You see, I work for a large high street book chain and part of what I do is vote on what we call the ‘Science Fiction and Fantasy Bookseller’s Choice’. More on this later, but in short this means that sometimes I get a pile of books to read and vote on, usually in a somewhat limited time frame. So what I actually find myself doing right now, now that my tea is brewed, is settling down with some bourbons and a fantasy novel instead…  Alexey Pehov’s Shadow Prowler. It’s actually pretty decent so far and contains a protagonist with possibly the most inspired name in fantasy… Shadow Harold.

2 Responses to “Space-time Industries: blogging science fiction.”

  1. *smiles* I look forward to reading your posts. Mostly because I’ve been having the exact opposite problem getting back into reading science fiction over general fiction. You’ll have to remind me when you’ve posted a new blog, I’m horrible at checking! :)

  2. The name “Shadow Harold” just makes me want to know where the original “good-twin” is.

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