|Great Discworld art by nicolsche|
Science Fiction and Fantasy are two fairly distinct genres that often end up lumped together for the very reason that I love them. To overly simplify the issue, these genres are filled with imaginative factors (from worlds to characters to premises) that do not exist in reality. Whether it's a modern day setting with vampires, werewolves and ghosts traipsing about or a spaceship shaped like tennis shoe soaring to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe these are the books that will truly grab you and take you out of the everyday and transport you beyond the known.
So why do they make me feel so self-conscious about my love? The genres are typically associated with speckly gits* or spotty mouth-breathers with limited social skills whose Saturday nights are spent in someone's basement playing D&D**. You don't typically see a lot of erudite scholars and Times reviewers going on and on about the newest Patricia Briggs novel. I think it's an unfair stereotype. I have read fluffy, fun, not-too-deep sci-fi and fantasy books and I have read ground-shaking novels in these categories; the same can be said for all fiction categories. I feel like sci-fi/fantasy is the country music of the book world. A lot of people actually really like to indulge but few like to openly admit it.
Well this is me changing that. I love sci-fi books. I have read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy more times than I can remember. I'm currently enjoying a wonderful book called Jam by Yahtzee Croshaw. I also love fantasy. I've read Tolkien's works so many times the books are starting to fall apart; same for my Potter series. I've also really enjoyed several young adult novels about the fairies and ghosts and the whole slew of otherworldly characters over the years. A good book for me is a book I enjoy reading; likewise for you. Read what you want and never feel like you have to justify your books taste, especially not to yourself.
Long live imagination!
*Please someone get this reference.
**Some of my best friends are these people, I have nothing against this particular "type" of individual.