Favourite Science Fiction Books | #BooktubeSFF Babbles

Favourite Science Fiction Books | #BooktubeSFF Babbles

Hi, it’s Maija here with another BooktubeSFF
Babbles video. This week’s topic is science fiction favorites and you might
have noticed that I haven’t done the Babbles videos during the past few weeks,
because they have been science-fiction themed, and I didn’t have anything to tell you
about overlooked science fiction or where to start with science fiction, sort of
beginner’s tips – even though I’m not the biggest science fiction reader myself, the
books that I really like aren’t the ones that I would suggest to other people to be
their first science fiction books, because they are a bit complicated. But
this week’s topic, my Science Fiction Favorites, is something that I felt like I could do,
so I’m doing it. And as usual, I will be leaving links to the Goodreads group for
the BooktubeSFF Awards down in the description and also the thread for
this week’s topic so you can go and watch other people’s videos. So this
week’s topic is science fiction favorites, a handful of science fiction books or authors
that I want to talk about, that are my favorites. I read a little bit of science
fiction when I was about… starting from when I was about 12 or 13, and my first
favorite is from that time and I could say that it was the first science fiction book
that I read – it most probably was. That is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
series by Douglas Adams. And these are very random, quite bizarre, comedic
science fiction, and I think most of you have at least heard the name Douglas
Adams and most probably have heard about this series. I think that I didn’t read
the books first, I think that I listened to the audio radio play. The Hitchhiker’s
Guide is of course a really well known radio play, at least in Britain, and there
was a Finnish version of the play, so that’s what I listened to when I was a
kid. I’d listen to The Hitchhikers Guide on the radio in Finnish and then I also
read the books. And I have The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and Life, the
Universe and Everything in the Finnish editions and I think these are so funny,
these are the same covers as in the early 90s Finnish editions, done in these
great, early 90s computer graphics. And I really like them. I don’t have the
first one, I just found these two for $0.50 each from a library sale, so I
of course picked them up. I’m really nostalgic about these editions, I love the covers,
they are sort of charming in these pixelated older computer graphics. Also, I
haven’t actually read any Adams in English. I should try, because I want to
know what his language sounds like, but it’s ingrained into my brain, the way that the people spoke in the
radio play, so I have tried to read Hitchhikers Guide in English before, but
especially the first book is so ingrained into my brain that I couldn’t
do it, I have to read it in Finnish. So this is one of the few books that I have
only read in Finnish. I usually read my fantasy and science fiction in English. So when I was a kid and in my early teens I also read a few other science fiction books, but
they didn’t leave that huge of a mark on me. I think I read Dune and I can’t remember
much about it, except the stuff that’s also in the film, which I know is quite
different, the film with Kyle MacLachlan and Sting.
But I think I’d really need to reread Dune right now, I don’t think I got everything
about it when I read it. I think I read a few Bill the Galactic Hero by Harry
Harrison books and I also read a lot of books by William Sleator. They were sort of
science fiction books for younger readers. And I also read a couple of quite weird
books; I read Michael Moorcock’s The Dancers at the End of Time, and Tim Powers’ The Anubis Gates. And
then when I was about 18 I also read a few cyberpunk novels: I read Neuromancer and
Count Zero by William Gibson, I read Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone by Ian McDonald,
I read When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger, and Do Androids Dream of
Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick, so I read a lot of science fiction that took
place on our planet, and I don’t know why I didn’t read stuff that takes place
in space or on other planets, since I do enjoy science fiction TV series and movies that take place in space, of
course the biggest influence to young me being the Star Wars trilogy, which I
watched when I was about seven or something. I have the DVD box set with the
un-tampered-with editions, which I’m hugely glad that I bought when it was available. I have also read the dystopian classics, I would say they are George Orwell’s 1984, Aldous
Huxley’s Brave New World, and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and that is
one of my other favorites: so I loved Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. It is a story of a fireman. A fireman in this
future being one who goes and burns books. And I don’t even know why I love
this book so much, I think I fell in love with Ray Bradbury’s writing style, it’s
really beautiful, which is strange because I have read only one other book
from Bradbury and that is Something Wicked This Way Comes, and I didn’t
really enjoy that. But I think that might be because I’m not a huge fan of that
sort of boyhood nostalgia that the book focused on. It just didn’t work for me.
But Fahrenheit 451 did, and I really enjoyed and I highly recommend it for everyone.
So this brings me to a couple of years ago when I decided that perhaps I needed
to read science fiction that took place in space, perhaps I was missing good
stuff because I didn’t pick that stuff up. When I was looking at books in
the library, when it said aliens or another planet, I most likely thought it
would be boring and put it back in. It just didn’t ever call to me. So I asked a
few people and made a list of a few science fiction set in space, with
spaceships or aliens and stuff like that. And I read seven books from that
list: I read stuff by Bester, Lem, and Banks, but nothing was really working for me until I got to The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi. And this is Rajaniemi’s hard science fiction
series about a thief called Jean Le Flambeur. It’s really complicated, and it has
a lot of mathematical terms and words that are invented by Rajaniemi, and I loved it. I liked the mix
of hard science fiction, where I didn’t quite even understand every word that I read, but
with the heist plot -style thing with good characters and this sort of gentleman thief
main character. Somehow I really, really liked that. So Quantum Thief is another one of
my favorites, I really liked the whole series. And this is one of those things
that was the reason why I didn’t do the where to start with science fiction video, because I wouldn’t
really recommend people to start with The Quantum Thief, even though I really
liked it. Also, if you want to have tips on how to say Rajaniemi, I will leave a link to
my video where I, well, give you tips to do just that and also read aloud some of
the Finnish names in the books. So if you want to see that, go watch that video. But yeah,
reading Quantum Thief really emboldened me to next pick up Ancillary Justice by
Ann Leckie, and this is another one of my favorites. This book is so well-written
with such great characters, but also with some complicated themes around it. This is also a book that some people find
to be a hard read. After Quantum Thief, it wasn’t really that hard
a read for me, but it’s great. It’s a trilogy, and I really like all of the books, even though I
think I might like the first one the best. I can’t really decide before I
reread the whole series. So this is quite a new series, so you may have heard
about it a lot already, but it’s the one with the ship’s AI that used to have many
bodies, and now she’s reduced to just one body and has to learn to live like
that among people. Last year I also read another dystopian book, The Handmaid’s
Tale by Margaret Atwood, and I really, really enjoyed it. It was a hard read at times,
because of the hard topics it tackled, but it was also so beautifully
written, I really want to read something else by Margaret Atwood. If you have
anything to suggest me, please do, I’ve only read The Handmaid’s Tale, and I- I’m not quite sure where I want to go next.
I really liked the slow, quiet atmosphere of it and the writing style, so if you know
what Atwood book would be most like that in tone, then please leave a suggestion in the
comments. So I think those were all my science fiction favorites: The Hitchhiker’s Guide series,
The Quantum Thief or Jean Le Flambeur series, the series beginning with Ancillary Justice,
and the two dystopian books: The Handmaid’s Tale and Fahrenheit 451. I
sort of rambled a bit on this video about my science fiction reading history, but I
hope you weren’t bored by it, and I will see you next week in the final BooktubeSFF
Babbles video. Bye!

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  1. I love those 90s Douglas Adams covers! ^___^ Great list of favorites! I need to read quite a few of these ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I love Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam Trilogy, which is speculative fiction and is so much fun. It's not quite as beautiful as The Handmaid's Tale, but I highly recommend it!

  3. I also read a lot fo Cyberpunk and earth-based science ficiton when I was a teenager. How funny. I guess cymberpunk makes sense growing up in the time when the web emerged and grew. Quantum Thief – you know I completely agree with you on this book. It's so damn good.

  4. Douglas Adamsโค๏ธ I haven't read so many books you mentioned but want to! The three classic dystopians I have definitely read and enjoyed even tho dystopians aren't my thing. I agree about Jean le Flambeur and Imperial Radch series. I love them but they take a lot of time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Douglas Adams was one of my first SF as well, I don't think I've ever read them in German, I have read my battered copies over and over, so don't think I did. I also really liked the old movie. Other than that I think I read most of my SF recently, just always watched it more on TV or the cinema, reading just never occured to me. Sadly.

  6. I missed out on so much sci fi as a kid, I should have had your list! ๐Ÿ™‚ If you want to try Adams in English, maybe try the Dirk Gently books. Similar style, funny, more mysteries than whackadoodle sci fi, but very, very Adams!

  7. Your video is an important one on YouTube for a couple of reasons. 1) There just aren't a lot of people discussing intellectual themes, styles and personal effects from science fiction on YouTube. It's mostly plot discussions. The classic "This book is about…" 2) YouTube is deluged by people who don't understand what science fiction is, as a genre and 3) YouTube is deluged by young readers who refuse to read the old literature and treat YA Sci Fi as if it is the only Science Fiction worth reading. People can like what they like. I just don't think it is fair for someone who hasn't read a wide variety of science fiction to claim that they know the best. Best FOR THEM. That's fine. You're clearly well read and I appreciate you sharing your insights.

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