Besides the family and friends that we have, all of us belong to specific interest communities. They very much vary depending on the person of course, and can range from Art, Sports, Fashion, and even go further within those categories to specific artistic styles/mediums, teams, and designers/styles.
I wanted to talk about a specific community today though, the reading community. I would like everyone to keep in mind that I have been part of this community for many years, and will continue to be apart of it. However, something has been bothering me as of late, and I actually had a conversation last night about this topic, which inadvertantly spurred me making this blog.
Why is it that within a learned and progressive community is there such distain for Science Fiction and Fantasy? I would like you all to know that in college, I carried enough English credits to minor, if not carry it as a double major. I love Shakespeare’s sonnets, my favorite short story is The Lottery, I have read The Book of the Courtier more times then I can count at this point, and have done numerous presentations and critical thinking pieces about the works of Yeats and Eliot. So when I tell you I have read numerous things it is an understatement. Despite all of the reading I have done, my favorite genres will always be Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Why? Honestly I love the creativity it involves. I have a BA in Fine Arts and I tend to always look at things with art in mind. I truly believe that all of the vivid, well thought out scenes that these authors can produce are very much underappreciated. Today, if someone spoke to me on the street and asked me what I have been reading my response would be, “I just finished up with The Golden Compass, The Ancient Alien Question, Shadow Hunter (re-read) and am now reading The Hunger Games.” and of course their response would be along the lines of asking what else, or a pause, to which I would have to add I am also reading Hard Times. Instead of the fact that I have recently read more books within the past week or so then they probably have in over a month I am still seen as an oddity.
Sci Fi and Fantasy are no longer some small nitch book type. They are able to get on the best seller list. Some of them are actually the highest sold books of all time. Why is there still such a terrible stigma with them? I hope that given a few more years people will not scoff as much at these wonderful books so that there can be more of an open discussion about them.
For all those interested here are some of my favorite reading materials:
The Medstar series by Reaves and Perry
Shadow Hunter by Reaves
Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
The Waste Land by Eliot
Oh and for any manga fans out there, Bleach, Love Hina, and Genshiken.