Monday, May 16, 2011

Science fiction writers choose their favorites

The British Library is going to host a science fiction exhibition. To celebrate, the Guardian has asked some leading SF writers to pick their favorites. It's a great list, with comments from the authors. For example, there's Ursula K. LeGuin on a surprising choice, Virginia Woolf:

"You can't write science fiction well if you haven't read it, though not all who try to write it know this. But nor can you write it well if you haven't read anything else. Genre is a rich dialect, in which you can say certain things in a particularly satisfying way, but if it gives up connection with the general literary language it becomes a jargon, meaningful only to an ingroup. Useful models may be found quite outside the genre. I learned a lot from reading the ever-subversive Virginia Woolf. I was 17 when I read Orlando. It was half-revelation, half-confusion to me at that age, but one thing was clear: that she imagined a society vastly different from our own, an exotic world, and brought it dramatically alive. I'm thinking of the Elizabethan scenes, the winter when the Thames froze over. Reading, I was there, saw the bonfires blazing in the ice, felt the marvellous strangeness of that moment 500 years ago – the authentic thrill of being taken absolutely elsewhere."

Check out the others in The stars of modern SF pick the best science fiction.

No comments: