Hello. My name is Lauren Holmes, and I’ve decided to start a blog. Why? Well I have an interest in science fiction and dreams of being a writer. I thought this would be a great way to connect with other fans of the genre.
Now why should you read my blog? That I am still trying to figure out. I will be talking mostly about books and short stories, though sometimes I’ll mention TV shows and movies. This year I’m aiming to read a mixture of classics that I haven’t gotten around to yet, as well as a number of new releases, so expect this page to contain the occasional review.
I suppose the best way to start off this blog is by telling you a bit about myself. I am Lauren, and I write under the name L. Jayde Holmes. Why L. Jayde Holmes? Well, to be honest I think it sounds cooler than Lauren Holmes. Sounds like a byline from the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Like L. Sprague de Camp or L. Ron Hubbard. Hopefully more L. Sprague de Camp than L. Ron Hubbard.
Of course, such a distinction is pretty meaningless at the moment, as I have yet to publish anything. I am working on a novel, but most of my efforts are with short stories aimed at magazines such as Analog and Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Lately I have been getting some promising feedback, so maybe this year things will change.
My first taste of anything with science fiction themes was probably the Commander Keen games. A series of dos shareware platform games about an eight-year-old super genius who explored Mars, and then other planets with a pogo stick. Commander Keen was pretty much my whole childhood until Pokémon came around.
Then as I got into books, I got into the Animorphs. Remember that series? With the kids who turned into animals to fight an alien invasion? I loved that series; secret alien war, fun characters, and some very interesting aliens. No rubber foreheads there. Later I would begin looking for more adult science fiction. With the help of a second-hand book seller who was a massive Asimov fan, I begun discovering the classics.
2016 is going to be a big year for me. For the first time, I have become a supporting member of World Con (http://midamericon2.org/). What interests me about Worldcon is the Hugo Awards. The Hugo Awards are amongst the most prestigious awards for science fiction and fantasy writers, and have been awarded every year since 1955. Membership at Worldcon allows me to nominate and vote for works that I think deserve to be awarded. Which is why I’m so interested in reading new stories this year; I want to nominate for next year’s Hugos.
I’m also interested in finding more self-published novels. I read the Silo Trilogy by Hugh Howey last year, and that was amazing. And don’t forget The Martian by Andy Weir. If you know of any good self-published SF that isn’t getting much love, please feel free to point me to it.
Whilst I’ll probably talk mostly about novels, I also love shorter fiction. Here are some of my favourite SF magazines.
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
Analog begun life in 1930, under the name Astounding Stories. It is perhaps the most influential magazine in the genre, and has seen the start of many a great author’s careers, including Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Orson Scott Card, Joe Haldeman and Harry Turtledove.
I began reading Analog in October of 2009, and the combination of sub-terrain monsters, a strange alien culture and a robot POTUS in that month’s issue got me hooked. I’ve bought a physical copy of Analog almost every month since then, and have a collection of back issues going back to 1962.
Daily Science Fiction
DSF is a free online magazine that publishes short science fiction every weekday. By short I mean 1,500 words or less, and by science fiction, I mean science fiction, fantasy, horror… there are a broad range of genres represented here. It’s nice getting home from work at night, and having a quick story waiting for me in my inbox. You don’t even have to subscribe to read stories there; go over there now and browse their fiction for free.
Those are the only two I am currently subscribed to, due to a lack of time. If anyone out there has a method to stop time so that more reading can be done, please contact me. Other monthly and bi-monthly publications I love are:
Asimov’s Science Fiction
started getting Asimov’s in September 2009. Unfortunately, time and money restraints in 2012 led to me having to choose between Asimov’s and Analog. I chose Analog, but that’s not to say there is anything wrong with Asimov’s.
Whilst Analog focuses more on ‘hard’ SF, with the focus very much on the science. Some critics say the science comes at the expense of characters, but I disagree. Asimov’s however has a softer approach, with stories more focused on characters. The science isn’t as rigorous, and sometimes you’ll even find some fantasy in there. Now that money isn’t so tight, I’m hoping to find the time for more Asimov’s this year.
The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy
Whilst I love my Science Fiction, I also enjoy Fantasy. Though the I was never able to become a regular customer due to the above mentioned time and money restraints.
I do buy issues digitally from time to time, and it’s great for the fantasy and ghost stories that I’d never find in Analog. And of course, there is more science fiction to enjoy.
And with that, I think this introduction post is getting a bit long. I’ll be back later with more content.