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Stepping into the Waters of Science Fiction

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams Ready Player One - Ernest Cline I, Robot - Isaac Asimov Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton Redshirts - John Scalzi

Every month one of the libraries in my area does something called Genre Safari.  This is a month long exploration of a specific genre as a way to introduce patrons to books and authors they may have missed.  July's theme is Science Fiction (as you may have guessed from the title of this post) and is not an area I usually read.  


Now, I do enjoy science fiction movies and television shows--Star Trek anyone?--but when it comes to books, I'm a little on the fence.  They're either too complicated for me to understand (and there's not enough romance to help me get past these difficult bits) or the premise seems too far-fetched and my ability to suspend disbelief gets shot down and blown apart. ;/   Movies offer distance so I can ignore the bits I don't get.


In an attempt to broaden my reading horizons, because I've been accused of being somewhat I've been reading some of the suggested titles.  First, I read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams... with no success.  I couldn't get past the first page.  Man that book was RANDOM.  Now, I can't say anything because I, too, tend toward the strange but this book made me seem normal.  Finally, I had to finish it in audio; it was too confusing for me to read and understand. It took me a week and it was only 5 or so hours!  I'm glad I finished it, it has been on my TBR list for years, but I think it, like Shakespeare, it was one of those stories that was better watched than read.


My second foray, and current read, is Ernest Cline's Ready Player One.  How I managed to pick titles that don't work for me I just don't know. *shakes head*  This was also a title I attempted to read first and ended up not being able to enjoy it that way.  I'm currently on disc 3 and it is moving SLOOOWW.  A friend who read it told me to stick with it, it apparently gets better, but I'm not so sure.  The premise is an interesting one: futuristic world with a poor high school kid on a quest to find an 80s loving' video game creator's special treasure that will prove him the ultimate gamer.  Wil Wheaton narrates and I do enjoy listening but I drift in the middle of scenes, which is never a good sign. 


Originally I was thinking of trying a number of science fiction titles, such as  I, Robot by Asimov, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (in part because I've seen their visual counterparts), Redshirts by John Scalzi, and The Martian by Andy Weir.  However, I'm not so sure.  I know the two titles mentioned above are not the only examples of the genre but I'm kind burned by them.  I need a really good ending for RPO or an exemplary recommendation after it to continue on.