Do you do hardcore sci-fi?
I’ve been a sci-fi fan since way back. And being a big tech-head, I’ve always been into hardcore sci-fi. For the uninitiated, hardcore sci-fi are stories rooted in the real world (as in the currently understood physical laws of the known universe). They could possibly happen. For example, Aliens, Predator, and Star Trek (most episodes anyway) are hard-core. Most comics, Star Wars (gasp, the Force!), and anything to do with “portals” are another flavor. But as a kid, I would read and watch anything.
As I age into mid-adulthood, I’m finding myself becoming more antagonistic towards the semi-fantasy-sci-fi genre. There have been books that I just refuse to finish reading. I think part of the reason is that with our technology being so close to “making things happen”, I can envision a day when what I read becomes true in my lifetime. I WANT to see it happen dagnabit! I just don’t have the patience for anything less.
For example, I classify the techno-military genre as sci-fi. One of the leading, techno-military kings is Dale Brown (dude, get a web designer, no offense). The other day I picked up one of his latest, Shadow Command. I’d read Dale before (Flight of The Old Dog, Battleborn) and was pleasantly entertained. But this latest?! Oh sweet baby Jesus!
The novel was chock full of super-high-tech-ultra gadgets, planes, and military equipment. Most of it was plausible, but it was like genies came down to Area 51 and granted three wishes to Dreamland. Now, I could be way off base. Hell, who knows what the US has in its arsenal. But just the sheer pace of stuff Dale rolled out in this book, had my eyes glazing over and forgetting what the book was supposed to be about. I couldn’t even finish the book.
Now for some good hardcore sci-fi, here are some of my recommendations:
- our solar system – anything by Ben Bova
- this area of the galactic arm – Alex Benedict series from Jack McDevitt
- near future – Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (good for older kids and teens too)
- apocalyptic future – Dies the Fire series by S.M. Stirling (Sunrise Lands gets a little fantasyish)
- techno military – the early Tom Clancy (especially Red Storm Rising)
- honorable mention – okay, chances are zombies are not real, but you have to include World War Z by by Max Brooks (check out the kick ass video for the upcoming graphic novel sequel)