A few years ago I wrote the following at a previous blog:
I admit it, I totally judge books by their covers.While killing time in a Borders in early March, I came across a book with an intriguing cover called Your Hate Mail will be Graded, a collection of entries from the blog “Whatever” written by John Scalzi. I’d never heard of it or him, but the blog had celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2008, making it one of the longest running blogs on the interwebs. I ended up buying the book and reading it pretty quickly.After I finished reading it, I subscribed to the blog on my Google Reader where I came to discover that Scalzi also authored sci-fi novels. This discovery led me to a new realization, while most anyone who knows me would acknowledge that I have a predilection for Sci-Fi TV and movies, it had been years since I’d read any sci-fi (excepting Michael Crichton and Jules Verne). In fact, I can’t remember having read any since I switched over from Young Adult to adult novels (you know, back before Harry Potter, when adults didn’t read kid’s books). I wondered why this was and decided that it came down to covers. The covers of most Sci-Fi novels look cheap and or cheesy to me, I simply don’t find them appealing. So, I made the decision to pick up some Sci-Fi novels and, of course, I started with Scalzi’s. So far I’ve read 1 1/2 of his 4 book Old Man’s War series, and I love them. Once I finish this series, I’ll be moving on to Ender’s Game, Dune, and Starship Troopers amongst others. I’ve learned an important lesson and made a significant step in my journey of geek-self-acceptance. So, John Scalzi, just in case you have happened to Google yourself and come upon this entry, thank you, you’ve expanded my horizons and added hundreds of books to my “To Be Read” list!
Scalzi did, in fact, have a Google alert and commented on the post almost immediately, which was awesome. Since writing that way back in April 2010, I have indeed read more sci-fi. I also went through a significant reading slump related to depression and while for two years I read almost exclusively sci-fi, I didn’t read much. I finally got things under control last Fall and have been on something of a reading binge in 2012. Mysteries, YA, Classics, I devoured anything I could get my hands on.
I also signed up as a supporting member of Chicon7, this year’s World Science-Fiction Convention. This meant that as soon as the Hugo Voter’s Packet became available I started to gorge myself on SF/F. I had so much fun reading the wide variety of novels, novellas, novelettes, and short stories nominated this year, I thought it might be a good idea to go back and read past Hugo nominees and winners. This new project serves two purposes:
1. It gives me a large amount of confirmed good material to continue to develop a knowledge base of authors and sub-genres I enjoy.2. I like having a goal to work towards.
Then I thought it might be an even better experience if I blogged my progress. I have no idea exactly what format this might take, but I’m hoping to some how provoke discussion with fellow genre fans and get recommendations from those who were smart enough to recognize their predilections earlier in life.
I’ll be starting my reading shortly. I’m working off the list of Hugo nominated novels on Wikipedia for starters. Novels available in eBook format will likely take precedence and I’ll be working my way past to present as much as possible. I hope people will join me on my quest but even if I end up just typing to the ether, I’m excited to get started!
UPDATE: I’ve decided one thing I’m going to do with this blog is to catalog how each novel does on the Bechdel Test. Each story will receive between 0 and 3 on the scale as follows:
0: Complete Fail.
1: Story has two or more (named) women.
2: Those women talk to each other.
3: About something other than a man or men.
For more information on the Bechdel Test, click on the link above.