Fun for Monday: The Get to Know the Sci-Fi Reader Tag

Maryam the Curious SFF Reader found this tag over on the booktube channel BooksWithEmilyFox and answered the questions for SciFi Month back in November last year. I wasn’t able to squeeze it in back then, so the All Systems Read mini-event is the perfect excuse to do this now. Because Yay for tags!


All Systems Read - A SciFi Month mini event - 2 to 5 Apirl 2021


What is the first science fiction you read?

I read both The Iron Man by Ted Hughes and Eva by Peter Dickinson when I was about eight years old, and then Moonwind by Louise Lawrence when I was about ten. I’m pretty sure they were the first, discounting any picture books that may have had scifi-ish leanings that I don’t remember.

When I was fifteen, I read Dune for the first time and that kind of blew my tiny mind. I want that on record because that’s when I started actively searching/asking for more books like this one and shaking Dune at my loved ones.

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If you could be the hero/heroine in a sci-fi novel, who would be the author and what’s one trope you’d insist be in the story?

I don’t want to be the heroine, (I have no illusions about my non-speaking bit-part nature), but I do want to live inside a Becky Chambers novel. And if there’s not a library to tend, then I’d quite like to do Eyas’ job (Record of a Spaceborn Few), as I think I’d make a pretty good caretaker for the dead.

As for my trope, it would have to be found family. I’ve been lucky enough to experience it in real life and I’d not give it up for anything. Also, in a Chambers novel that family will include aliens and oh-my-stars I want that!

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What is a sci-fi you’ve read this year, that you want more people to read?

*ahem* Did I mention that I read Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley recently? And frigging loved it? I’m waving my sparkly Weird flag over here because this book was awesome. (And, yes, weird).

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And while I haven’t read anything by him this year, yet, I’d also like to see more bloggy love for Simon Stålenhag because his books are just stunning.

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What is your favourite sci-fi subgenre? What subgenre have you not read much from?

I do love a MacGuffin, (Alastair Reynold’s Pushing Ice anyone?), but are Big Dumb Objects a subgenre?


And I really really love sci-fi that deals with language in some way. I bet that’s not a subgenre either, is it?  Well, it’s my favourite thing regardless.

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What I haven’t read much of is Cyberpunk. And JonBob’s awesome post on this subgenre, along with his reviews for Neuromancer by William Gibson  and Busted Synapses by Erica L Satifka have definitely grabbed my attention, so I want to rectify this soon.


Who is one of your auto-buy sci-fi authors?

Sorry, but like Maryam, I can’t stop at just one! Some of mine are Jo Walton (whether she’s doing scifi or fantasy), Alastair Reynolds and Connie Willis; and Samuel R Delany became number four in January last year when I read Driftglass. When I say auto-buy, however, I mean as and when I see their books, not as soon as they publish something new. I’m still very behind on reading everything by Reynolds and Willis. And I’ve yet to even make a list of what Delany’s written (I like to make prioritized lists based on reviews and articles, and that takes a while).

Jo Walton, on the other hand, I’m bang up to date with. So that’s something. *grins smugly*

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How do you typically find sci-fi recommendations?

Before I started this bloggy game I used to just pick up whatever looked interesting. Now I rely on all you good people to tell me what you loved way back when, what you’re loving now and what you think you’ll love just as soon as it gets published. And that feels pretty darn sweet. Thanks everyone!


What is an upcoming sci-fi release you’re excited for? ​​

*sighs happily*

Look at all the pretties (and yeah, I’m aware some of these are already out – I’m slow, OK?) …

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What is one misconception about sci-fi you would like to lay to rest?

That it’s for boys not girls. I was on the receiving end of this attitude a lot when I was growing up, but I genuinely didn’t think it was a thing anymore. Frustratingly, during my recent redeployment I’ve been working with a large group of younger people (when did I get old enough to have mothered twenty-year-olds?) who’ve all been lovely, but have revealed that the consensus is still that girls aren’t normally into scifi. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I mean, really? It seems so completely obvious to me that scifi is for everyone. As I think we prove daily.


If someone had never read a sci-fi before and asked you to recommend the first 3 books that come to mind as places to start, what would those recommendations be?

I’m going to throw out three recommendations that I offered my husband, Thumbs (traditionally a horror reader), during a recent(ish) conversation: The Wondla trilogy by Tony DiTerlizzi, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. I chose Wondla for the art, Player One for all the gaming references (Thumbs is the Prince of the Playstation) and Becky Chambers as a reward for reading the other two.

He finished A Closed and Common Orbit a few weeks ago. I feel like I imagine a proud mom would feel when their baby takes her/his first steps.

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Who is the most recent sci-fi reading content creator you came across that you’d like to shoutout?

Most recently I started following AquaVenatus and Andreas, both of whom are interesting and insightful bloggers with excellent taste in books. Naturally! If you’ve not already met them you should definitely check out their sites.


So, what about you? What was your first sci-fi read? What would you recommend to someone who’d never read sci-fi before? Do this tag! Do it! Do it! Dooo iiiiiittttttt!



  1. Omg The Iron Man! That book never even came to mind when I did this tag (I talked about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a lot haha) but this has got to be one of the first sci-fi books I read as a kid! I remember picking it up in our tiny little primary school library and I think we watched the film in school too. Aw such fond memories 🙂

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  2. I remember reading The Iron Man at school, and The Iron Woman at home (which I think I found a bit creepier). Amazing books, they really stay with you.

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  3. SF about language? Hmm, on the analogy of cli-fi maybe a combination of philology and fiction could be phi-fi?! And philosophy + SF could be why-fi?!?!

    I second you on SF being for girls as well as boys (and of course every other gender on the spectrum). Even some of the misogynistic hard SF of the mid 20th century can be an apt starting point for discussion on assumptions about audience.

    Can’t say that I’ll ever get round to a small proportion of the titles and authors you cite, but I really want to get back to Jo Walton — I think I’ll research titles and order something of hers when bookshops open again.

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    • Good choice! I change my mind about which one is my favourite constantly. But I think To Say Nothing… is the most light-hearted and so easier to reread more often, for me. 😃

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  4. This was an amazing post! I am not much of a scifi reader yet, but I really want to get into the genre more, so thank you for all the recommendations, I will try them soon!

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