I review most genres on http://cookinwithmisshavana.blogspot.com/, but my personal favorite is and always has been Sci-Fi. People are often surprised by that, so I thought I’d share the reasons.
First is imagination. I am not personally into fairies, vampires, dragons and monsters, but I do enjoy looking through a novel’s pages at other worlds, other cultures that should/could/might exist, and being exposed to new morphology that is decidedly not human. When these elements are brought together skillfully, the creative imagination of the author is the only limit to what can happen. When I wrote the Sci-Fi trilogy consisting of The Judge, Infinity Quest and The Empress of Tridon, I tried to deliver many new concepts of civilizations that had unique social structures and societal goals. Some societies were grown for the sole purpose of war, others for the development of technology, some for the preservation of history and the like. All were critical elements making up the larger plot—the relationship of man to God over the vastness of time.
Second is technology. Good Sci-Fi almost always puts forth new concepts of how to get from place to place over incredible distance. The most well-known are the “warp” drives used in the Star Trek, and the warping of space by the “Guild” in the Dune series. I enjoy new concepts of weaponry and communications as well. When I wrote my own trilogy, I presented a unique view of space and new ways to get around within the vastness of it. In my case, known space was 5.4 trillion light-years across, much bigger than currently defined. There was a reason for the sheer size, and I enjoyed developing it. The most powerful weapon in the series was also the most difficult to control—the mind itself.
Fourth is a link to some fundamental understanding of life itself, like Frank Herbert did in his novel Ship. I like books that address the “why” part of living, even though “why” questions are generally relegated to the realm of philosophy. A really good Sci-Fi novel, in my opinion, can even serve to help understand the reasons for our own existence. Many authors link Sci-Fi to an omnipotent and omnipresent being. Those stories are especially fun to read if they bring a new view of God as seen through the eyes of the author. A revealing view of God was vital to my trilogy as well, a view larger, and yet more human, than any I have seen in the past. The conflict between the desires of God and the desires of his subjects is a compelling component of the story line.
Thanks for reading,
James L. Hatch