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My Science Fiction and Fantasy loves - by Dave Bradley

* Surface-Detail.jpgI spent 10 years editing the sci-fi media mag SFX. I'll be eternally grateful for all the books that landed on my desk, and all the authors I got to meet, during that time. But my love of genre fiction goes back much further, all the way to my youth.

Hungry for robots and rocket ships after being exposed to Star Wars on the big screen, I found my father's copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy... and immediately realised there's so much more to science fiction. It's the perfect genre for exploring the human condition. In asking "what if...?", it pushes us to our extremes. What better way of contemplating loneliness than to narrate the experience of the last human alive? In aliens, can we see the perfect outsiders, or refugees, or colonists?

The boundaries of science fiction are wide and encompass many works that you might not immediately think of us belonging to the genre. My list (which represents personal passions and recommendations, not a definitive reading list) could have included Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale - it won the first ever Arthur C. Clarke Award - or Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or Philip K. Dick's The Man In The High Castle. But for the sake of this piece, I've stuck mostly to robots and rocket ships, those books which grabbed the Star Wars part of my brain and pushed it further...

12th July 2017

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