Friday, March 18, 2011

Feeling the Experience: Wrap-up of Sci-Fi Experience

The Sci-Fi experience officially ended on February 28th, but since I was behind on my reviews I waited until most of my reactions appeared.  I didn't really change my reading habits at all, but I did pay a bit more attention to what genre I was reading.  Usually I lump fantasy and science fiction together (speculative fiction, if you insist on an acronym), but for those two months I enjoyed noting which of my books were properly science fiction, especially contrasting them with fantasy.

Sometimes the differences aren't fuzzy.  Urban fantasy is rooted in reality, happening within this world.  The Call is magic, so fantasy, although they use credit cards to book air travel.  Alien Tango is science fiction, because the aliens come from space.  Magic users teleport, science types use portals, but the result is the same.  The science is often just magical hand-waving.

Is the difference philosophical? A matter of tone? If so, is it something the author puts in or that I inject because I know what I'm reading...  It's not hard at all for me to put most SF books in one camp or the other (science fiction or fantasy), but a lot of times the best books are the ones that keep a foot in both camps.  My favorite book of the experience was a fantasy book that was partly about the love of science fiction, Jo Walton's Among Others.

In other challenge news, I've got 18/52 books for the A-Z challenge, 22/76 Cybils books, half of the Michigan books (well, one), I've started a book for Take a Chance, have 3/6 for What's in a Name,  and 9/50 states.  I keep repeating states, or reading books where the silly characters trek about without settling anywhere. (I'm looking at you, High King of Montival!)

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