I have never been afraid to admit that science fiction has never been my ‘thing’. I never really understood the appeal of predicting a future of gadgets and gizmos or space travel to other planets populated by furry tribbles and The War of The Worlds courtesy of Jeff Wayne (and Justin Hayward) and 1960 film version of H.G Wells The Time Machine - complete with Eloi and Morlocks – was, I thought , the extent of my knowledge of the genre.
How wrong I turned out to be. Even before last Friday’s edition of my Talking Books show on 10Radio I been put right by friends on Facebook and twitter. What about The Day of the Triffids? Surely you have read John Wyndham? Indeed I have (albeit many years ago). What about Douglas Adams? I had always assumed that was humour. And then there is the blurring of the lines with fantasy – how about Neil Gaiman?
Instead of being a genre purely devoted to scientific imaginings it turns out to be far more mysterious and varied than I imagine. Yes there is Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke and perhaps I find too much gadgetry a turn off, but after Friday’s show I can no longer assume that there is nothing in the genre to interest me.
I am certainly going to read some of Martine Lillycrop‘s work – starting with her latest book High Tide in the City, which one reader describes as ‘Butt-kicking noir science fiction. This is Raymond Chandler and Bladerunner rolled into one. Superb cyberpunk detective thriller’.
Martine was my studio guest last week, and if you listen on the link above you will hear her bravely working with a host who had professed total ignorance of the book shelves upon which her works sit. We had a really interesting chat about what inspires her, how she works and who she found inspiring as a writer and she read from the very beginning of High Tide. But we also talked of why most of the famous names in the genre are male (with me getting on to a bit of a sticky stereotyping wicket) and how much work has to go into science fiction as the our real world leaps forward, technologically speaking, ahead of even the sparkiest imagination. We may not be driving hover cars, but with Google developing strange contact lenses that can read the health of your eyes, it is surely only a matter of time before we are all born with a bar code on our bottoms.
Do listen to the show; I really enjoyed it and have to thank Martine for providing the very first competition prize for the show. I have three of her books - High Tide in the City, Blightspawn and Under Verdant Skies - to give away if you can answer what is, I am promised, a question that science fiction buffs will be able to answer (I hadn’t a clue).
Name the author who created the character Richard Deckard and the book and film in which he appears…
OK? Now I have never run a competition on my blog before and as this is not a ruse to get more people to flock to my blog to flog stuff given away by PR firms I am not requiring you to ‘like’ things or tweet stuff (although it would be great if you did.) To enter just comment on this blog and just to make sure you don’t take the easy option and just copy the entry above yours I would like you to tell me what gadget you would like a science fiction to write into your life story. I will pull entries out of the hat anyway but will be sure that whoever wins the books gets their gadget at least mentioned on this site.
So get those entries in! Martine has had some really good reviews and I think we need a few more female writers on the list for Talking Books talks Sci Fi in 3014…..
Find out more about Martine and her work on her website - www.martinelillycrop.wordpress.com