First Exposure to Speculative Fiction

I’ve been reading speculative fiction, or science fiction and fantasy, since junior high school.  In fact, it was English class in grade 8 that introduced me to The Hobbit. I absolutely loved it.  But that isn’t really when my love of speculative fiction began.

In the beginning, I was more of a science fiction TV fan.  I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation, and very quickly started watching the original series back in the 1980s.  I loved the movies The Last Starfighter and Black Hole. I watched Tron many times, and I was a huge fan of the Superman movies with Christopher Reeve.  And of course, I devoured The Transformers every week when it was on TV.  But my move into sci-fi and fantasy literature didn’t really happen until later.

I read The Hobbit, Jurassic Park, and John Wyndham’s classic The Crysalids, and while I really enjoyed them, they didn’t suck me into my hobby of reading speculative fiction.  That didn’t happen until I picked up a copy of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonsdawn in university.  It was like a merging of science fiction and fantasy, and it had me hooked.  I read the Pern series in chronological order, rather than publishing order.  Technically, it’s a science fiction series, but the dragons seem to have people also classify it as fantasy.  I still think of it as sci-fi, though.  What really made me fall in love with epic fantasy was Terry Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara. While it’s often criticised for being too similar to The Lord of the Rings, it is different.  The feeling is totally different, and an expansive world was created that I had to explore.

I have since gone on to read most of the Pern and Shannara books, except for the newest (they’re on my to-read list!).  I’ve branched out into other series, of course, and I haven’t looked back.  I’m even writing in those two genres.

My question for you is what got you into reading science fiction and/or fantasy? Leave a comment with your answer.  I’d love to see what you have to say, and maybe I’ll discover a new book.