Good morning, everybody. Welcome back to the Endless Possibilities Blog Tour. Two weeks remain, and today I’m so happy to welcome to my corner of the Interwebz Tamela J. Ritter. Tamela came to me and asked what I’d like to feature on my blog, and of course I mentioned Science Fiction and Fantasy. Turns out that Tamela is on the lookout for something new to read, and is asking you for some suggestions with an emphasis on characters and character development.
You know, Tamela—I can recommend a pair of secret agents set in a steampunk world…
I was supposed to come here and talk about writing, about creating and producing fiction. Instead, if Tee doesn’t mind, I’d like to use this space to talk about reading and consuming fiction. And also, hopefully gather some recommendations from you all.
In my writing life, the genre of fiction I write is literary fiction. For me, in both writing and reading, it is all about the character. And like the worst stereotype of my genre, I turned up my nose to sci-fi/fantasy because I didn’t think they cared as much about character as I did. I thought it was all world building, gadgets and exploration. I, erroneously, thought the few sci-fi/fantasy works I enjoyed (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Slaughterhouse Five and The Sparrow) were exceptions to the rules and not, in essence, mere examples of what sci-fi and fantasy does really well. Tell compelling stories about interesting, flawed and very real people.
So, I’ve seen the error of my ways and very humbly beg forgiveness.
That being said, I’m sad to admit that most of the sci-fi and fantasy that I have consumed and become a (rather huge) fan of, has been either children’s fiction (I first got into these genres legitimately when I started taking care of children and fantasy in children’s and Young Adult fiction is HUGE!) or on screen, in both movies and television (Han Solo was my first crush, Star Trek: The Next Generation is one of my fave go-to re-watches, Malcolm Reynolds is my spirit animal and I have, just recently, become a VERY reluctant Whovian.)
What I’d like from all of you dear readers is a recommendation or two of what to read, where to start, what is (in your opinion) the best in the genres and subgenres of science fiction and fantasy.
First, a bit about my taste–I’ve given you most of what I’m looking for. CHARACTER. Plan and simple. I like humor, angst, romance and adventure. I like people figuring things out as they sort themselves and I really love sidekicks being awesome and also not dying.
And finally a few caveats that I hope won’t offend anyone. I just know myself and know what will very likely not interest me. I also know the things I have already tried and decided (no matter how amazing they might be) were just Not For Me. While I love characters, give me too many and I’ll zone out before getting invested in any of them (I’m looking at you A Song of Fire and Ice).
Also, and this is mostly just because I’m lazy, I probably won’t read in novels based on movie or television series. I’ve been told by my geektastic niece that the Star Wars movies are NEVER going to be as good as the books, but for me, the movies are just fine, and also easy to consume.
My only other one no thanks is Orson Scott Card. Sorry, just not going to read his work. I could go into all the reasons why, but I fear that’s an entirely different blog post. (Editor’s Note: Let me take a gander…)
So, what say you? What should I be reading?
Tamela J. Ritter was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, her debut novel From These Ashes was published in March 2013 by Battered Suitcase Press. She now lives and works in Haymarket, Va. You can find her on Twitter or on Facebook.