Unlike when I was a kid, and Star Wars was my only passion, I read pretty widely. Over the course of a year I’ll alternate between science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, thriller, drama, and general literature, with a smattering of poetry and non-fiction thrown in for good measure. I enjoy Michael Crichton, James Patterson, Jonathan Maberry, Diane Setterfield, Jason Pargin, Steven Erikson, and others. As a writer, I think it’s important to enjoy a variety of genres and authors to help inspire our craft and expose yourself to new ideas and styles.
I realized as I was organizing my novels a few months ago that, surprisingly, I don’t own a lot of science fiction. Surprising, because I characterize myself partly as a science fiction writer. I know I’ve read a bit more than I own, but at the moment the only science fiction writers on my bookshelf are Asimov, Wells, Crichton, and McDevitt – and the percentage they take up in my overall collection is a little sparse. Often when people ask me about certain science fiction novels, either classics or more recent publications, I can’t comment because I haven’t read them. And I’ve realized that if I want to become a more successful science fiction writer and improve my craft, I need to read more science fiction.
2013 has now become “My Year of Science Fiction.”
Below is a preliminary list of the novels that I know I want to read over the next twelve months. If anyone reading this can suggest other novels that I should add to my list, please let me know; I plan on building on this list considerably over the coming months.
- 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds
- Micro by Michael Crichton & Richard Preston
- Redshirts by John Scalzi
- Riverworld by Philip Jose Farmer
- The Snow by Adam Roberts
- Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance
- Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds
- The Twelve by Justin Cronin
- The Year’s Best Science Fiction #16
- Zones of Thought: A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
I’ll be tracking my progress on this pseudo-New Year’s resolution via the page above, crossing off titles and adding new ones as I go.