How/why did you start reading sci-fi?

My first post was removed by an auto mod for not having enough content so I'll try again and add my spiel here.

I started reading exciting , wondrous, interesting stories of adventure. I don’t even think I knew it was scifi! I was a young girl growing up in the 60s. Girls didn’t read that sort of book. I devoured anything I could find. Tom Swift was amazing. My uncle would bring boxes of books from his naval base he assured my parents were “safe”. Ace doubles, Tarzan, Asimov, they were all there. It was awkward for a girl to read books with some of the earlier covers! Someone mentioned “space bikinis” , it was almost impossible to convince my mom it was just the cover, not the story.The library in my small town had limited selections. The librarians tried to point me to other, more appropriate reading for girls. But I discovered the classics, Verne and Wells. My love of sci-fi has continued. I’m 66 now and women reading and enjoying sci-fi is more common. I introduced my children to the wonder as well. Sci-fi satisfies my imagination.
My mom is about your age and had a similar journey. She used to read SF books in secret. SF just wasn't something girls were supposed to be interested in.
She encouraged me (her daughter) to get into SF at a young age. Even as a girl in the 90s it was still pretty weird to be into SF. I remember I was the only girl in my scifi and comics book club in elementary school. TBH it was still like that well into the 00s.
Yesterday I went to a feminist bookstore I hadn't been to since college, and discovered a whole wall of SF books. I legit almost cried. I spent so much time as a youth trying to convince my friends that SF could be for girls, that SF could be feminist, and they mostly rolled their eyes. Times are changing and I'm so glad.
I’m a guy, 3 years older than you. We may have been together in the library, wandering the stacks, looking for the rare SF novel from Poul Anderson, Frederick Pohl, or some other now-obscure author. Since then, I found and read female authors, like LeGuin and Russ and McCaffrey. I recommend the “Eight Worlds” novels and stories by John Varley, for the best discussions about the future of human sexuality (and related politics). Some of his protagonists are female, while some may change sex in the course of the story. He also explores the future of marriage, and all subsequent sexual contracts. Yeah, the author is a male, but I feel he respects and likes women, and writes about where he feels they would like to go...
I think my first one was The Tripods-trilogy by John Christopher. I remember being very impressed by the descriptions of the sweltering, high G cities of the invading Masters.
Wow I haven’t thought of these books in years! They were some of my first as well. The post-invasion return to medieval style society built on the ruins of what had been was an endlessly fascinating idea to me as a kid.
Same here! I was 10 and found them in the school library. I was so enraptured that I moved straight on to the big girls section where I found a complete works of hg wells and some arthur c clarke... (my next stop was john wyndham and I had nightmares for weeks).
I took that book out from the library probably about 20 years ago bc of the cover and never touched it. My mom read it and fell in love with it! She still talks about it to this day.
This might not have been my first sci-fi but it was the one that got me hooked. It's been 20-30 years since I read them and the the memories are still so vivid.
The covers had women in space bikinis.
What we used to call a left handed book.
To escape from a world of poverty, divorcing parents, and abusive older siblings.
Good times.
That describes my father's relationship with science fiction. For me it was curiosity and escape from bullies at school.
It probably wasn't the first SF book I ever read, but the one that has always stuck with me was The War of The Worlds, closely followed by The Day of The Triffids. I read them both a long long time ago and they cemented my love for SF.
I love Wells but I can't believe I forgot Wyndham. I also studied The Chrysalids at school, I followed it with Triffids.
I love that global sci fi genre
I was always intrigued by space. When I saw books by Robert Heinlein and Arthur C Clarke in the library as a twelve year old, I borrowed them and remember liking them a lot. I only understood them at face value (watching Starship Troopers made me realize how much of the criticism of society I had missed in the book) but they really ignited my imagination.
The Starship Troopers film was very different from the book. For one thing, the film is making a parody of fascist propaganda. In the book, the tone is much more serious and the honor/importance accorded to military duty is kinda mocked in the film.
When I didn't have anything I had to read for school, I would read Star Wars books. I read a lot of them, well over 100. When it started getting hard to find new ones, I thought about it, and realized that I've been reading science fiction this whole time! I had never thought about what genre I was reading, I just liked Star Wars and thought the books were fun. After that I started getting more into it, focusing on reading classics like Heinlein and Herbert and ao on. Now whenever I want to read something but don't have anything particular in mind, I'll pick a random Hugo or Nebula winner.
It's been so long that I can't remember.
Same here. I can remember some of the early books I read, but I don't remember ever not reading sf.
It started with the cover artwork. Growing up my Dad had a bookshelf full of sci-fi. I loved looking at the covers, and they were there waiting, when I learned to read.
I hope to do this with my kids. I deliberately seek out the editions with the coolest covers.
I'm currently collecting the SF masterworks series, I've got 7 so far. The covers are all amazing!
Star Trek
I've been a huge Fantasy fan for years, and then a friend of mine, who also reads a lot of Fantasy lent me Children of Time and it's become one of my favorite books. I've only checked out Dune so far, and of course read Children of Ruin as well.
I'm currently reading a lot of Fantasy, still. But I plan on reading some Hamilton and Banks
Not in any way trying to discourage you; but your comment made me think that I'm glad I picked up sci-fi in the pre-internet era. Reddit is intense about it. Not that that's a bad thing--it's great to have people to talk to about it--but if I had to start with what I see on Reddit, the pressure would be too much. It would feel like a club I was trying to break into. (Don't let that discourage you though--science fiction is too awesome to give up on!)
I had just finished my undergrad which was years of incredible, dry and academic reading always juggling multiple books and usually at a fast pace.
I had been on Reddit for a while and I saw all of the discussion around science fiction books. I had never read much science fiction but I enjoyed science fiction stories and was only sad more and better quality didn’t exist in visual mediums. When I was done I wanted some enjoyable reading that had characters and plots and interesting ideas, places etc. I started at Foundation. That was 6 1/2 years ago and sf is my genre of choice.
I have always loved the breadth of the genre from space military and opera to hard science and heavy social commentary and exploration of the human condition in new and interesting conditions. I like ideas and concepts in my stories and sf usually can supply that amply.
I had a very similar experience in that after university I started my sf lit reading in earnest.
But I have always loved aliens and outer space, since I was a kid.
The Time Machine by HG Wells was the first sci-fi book I ever read, I think. I found an old copy that we had in our bookcase when I was about 10 years old. Before that, I didn't know reading could be fun. Been hooked ever since.
The first I read were German juveniles like Mark Brandis and Raumschiff Monitor, then I moved to the Heinlein juveniles, and AC Clarke and Harrison, when I was 8 or so. I was blessed with our library letting me roam wild and take out any books I wanted, without regards to age.
After I watched the movie Jurassic Park for the first time (age ~10), I learned that it was based on a book. So on the next trip to the local independent bookstore, I planned to pick that up. Unfortunately, it wasn't in stock. But! Sphere by the same author was on the shelf, so I picked that up instead, and haven't looked back since.
I was a huge fan of H.G. Wells as a kiddo. I read Invisible Man, The Time Machine and War of the Worlds. I had a huge fondness for War of the the Worlds in particular - the ending was so poetic to me. Kind of miss the days where books were written to explore ideas
My dad got me into sci fi. I remember reading some of the Heinlein juveniles like
I also vividly remember a book called
Started with fantasy 3rd-7th grade with the A Wrinkle in Time, The Hobbit, Chronicles of Prydain, LotR, Weis and Hickman, Shannara, etc. Started pulling from my parents' bookshelves around 7th grade, which were mostly sci fi. The authors that wrote both (Anne McCaffrey, Roger Zelazny, C.S. Friedman, etc.) served as conduits. Heinlein was what made me stay.
I always had my nose in a fantasy novel as a kid too. I recall giving Heinlein a go, science fiction, however, didn't really stick until those cyberpunk novels came out (Gibson & Stephenson) and Brin's Uprising books sealed the deal. Nowadays only the most compelling fantasy stories can capture my attention, and these are few and far between and I'm all about the space opera and artificial and alien intelligence.
oooh A Wrinkle in Time, I forgot about that gem
I was always into watching SciFi--primarily Star Trek. I read some Bradbury on my own--Fahrenheit 451, R is for Rocket, and the Martian Chronicles. I don't think there was a particularly strong reason for that, but my brother was reading the first Norby book, iirc. I'd read nonfiction by Asimov (all his books targeting children), but not more science fiction.
In high school, I took a correspondence lit course and the topic was SciFi. We read Foundations, Childhood's End, and Stranger in a Strange Land. This is what I really point back to. After I'd finished the first Foundations, I kept reading them to finish the trilogy and got my brother to read them. Unfortunately, in college, I basically stopped reading fiction. I read 1984 and A Brave New World one summer, but that was it.
Recently, I've decided to get back into Science Fiction. My plan was to go to used book stores and just start buying the best stuff by authors recommended to me online. I just finished the Demon Princes series and The Dragon Masters by Jack Vance. I'm about to start the Parable of the Sower by Butler. I have a huge backlog at the moment.
Bored, also I got tired of the repeating tropes in non-printed scifi, which is a consequence of the high costs of making movies/games forcing companies to simplify things a lot to appeal to the biggest amount of viewers/players so that they will recoup their investment.
That isn't the case with print so that's where the really cool stuff happens.
Talking to some friends about SF movies they didn't care to criticize led me to seek out my first SF book club. Those people got me reading for real.
"Why" is a good question . . . I was five in 1960 and my father had died. I found a Legion of Superheroes comic and that, as you say, blew my tiny developing mind. I think "escapism" is/was the best answer for me.
Went on from the DC comics (anything I could get from the second hand stalls really) to Marvel, especially anything drawn and written by Jack Kirby. I also discovered that W E Johns wrote sci fi as well as Biggles although I have a hard time telling people that.
By the time I was struggling at school I remember someone lending me a Michael Moorcock book. That opened up some great stuff. Found Asimov (for the science concepts) and Heinlein (for Stranger in a Strange Land). That led to Zelazny's Lord of Light.
By the time I had a job in the early seventies, someone told me I had to read Dune . . .
After that I wallowed in a half century of ideas and concepts. Love the genre.
Star Trek (TV) led to James Blish Star Trek novels in the library. I was maybe 10 years old.
I had a similar experience, but I had the books at home. Lost them years ago, but finally got another copy a couple years ago.
I grew up in South America, and as odd as it sounds, my school had a bunch of Tom Swift books. I must’ve been around 7 or 8 but I spent all my recesses reading those damn books.
I’ve been hooked on sci if ever since
A number of Choose Your Own Adventure books had sci-fi stories and that was all it took.
In my case it was the holy trinity of dystopias: 1984, Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451. In that order.
Two of those--1984 and Farenheit--were required reading in school. I imagine the only reason Brave New World was not is because of the discussion of sexual issues in it--schools in my area were more conservative back then. I've read it as an adult, though.
I got sick of reading about people being sad all the time. I figured I might as well read about people being sad in spaaace instead.
Catching 2010 on TV with my dad when I was young. I was so intrigued by the monolith(s). My dad told me the movie was based on a series of books. Found them shortly after and the rest is history.
One of my first book as a child was Jules Vernes' Around the World in Eighty Days. From there I made it a habit to read books by him; and made it my genre after discovering Crichton.
i loved that book as a kid
My first SF work was the wonderful book "The Three Astronauts" (I tre cosmonauti) by Umberto Eco And Eugenio Carmi, read by my parents when I was about 5 years old.
Some images from the book:
I received a cheap collection of Science a Fiction short stories for Christmas edited by Robert Silverberg. I don’t have it anymore but I loved it. I especially remember R.U.R. And Warm by Robert Shelton.
I have a copy of
Born in the 80s, started reading books quite early. My parents library was full of sci-fi that in the communist Poland was published a lot (probably served as some kind of safety valve for the society as it passed censorship). I remember Day of the Triffids among others. So, that library plus introverted only child me - love for sci-fi.
Slippery Jim diGriz
Sometime in the 80s. I do not remember what was my first title. No tv or radio thanks to a wacky religion my parents were in. Summers were stupid hot as well. Hence the library.
i always had a thing for space and astronomy, also most of the things happens somewhere out there, in another galaxy/star system/far in the future, and just feels good to read anything that's noting to do with Earth and humans. :D
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, the book that "was ripped off by Huxley in Brave New World, which was ripped off by Vonnegut in Player Piano" (according to Vonnegut). I was on a Russian lit kick in college and this definitely scratched that itch, but in new ways that opened my eyes to what SF could be. Before that it was Star Wars movies but I wouldn't have called myself a sci-fi fan.
Teachers, man. I had some good ones in the 90s and early 2000s.
Getting me into fantasy: My sixth grade science teacher saw me pull out a copy of the Guardians of the West by David Eddings, which I'd kind of randomly pulled from the school library, for D.E.A.R (Drop Everything And Read!) time. She asked me how I'd liked the Belgariad and I had no idea what she was talking about. So she let me borrow the Belgariad books over the course of the next few weeks. She also got me into the Shannara series as well as Wheel of Time. One of my favorite teachers ever.
Similarly, when I indicated that I really enjoyed Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, and The Martian Chronicles from our summer reading list, another teacher gave me a copy of Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov and I was pretty hooked. Went through all the Foundation books, picked up Hyperion, never ever looked back.
Dad brought me Jules Verne books to read, and I found the rest. Asimov caught my attention as his name was quite different.
Started out with Goosebumps, then in the same section of bookstores were things like My Teacher is an Alien, Spooksville, Animorphs, things like that.
Then, I picked up The Starlight Crystal by Christopher Pike and loved it so much, and never looked back.
When I was a kid my dad was always reading sci fi so I was interested from a pretty young age
When I was in the 2nd grade my school's library had all kinds of books for young children and we would get an hour each week to explore the library. One day I found this book that I thought looked interesting so I found a quiet corner and started "reading". (I use quotes because at that age it's 95% looking at pretty pictures and 5% reading.) And boy were the pictures in this book fascinating to my young mind! My memory is vague but I do remember these very colourful ribbon creatures that lived on the moon and the adventures they had with our intrepid explorers. I must have read this book a hundred times. Saying this book was science fiction is probably pushing it but there's no doubt it had a huge impact on me -- I have been reading science fiction ever since. I won't say how old I am but suffice it to say that it's been decades. Not only that but this little book really piqued my interest in science and it set me on a career path in STEM. The power of books!
We read Fahrenheit 451 in class and a friend recommend Hitchhiker's Guide to me... I know these aren't the typical SF but boy, gateway drug
I was 5 years old and I discovered Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus by Paul French (who was really Isaac Asimov) in the local library. It inspired me to read the rest of the series, and from there I discovered Heinlein's juveniles and other science fiction.
Shortly thereafter Lost in Space started showing on my local TV station, and a couple of years later, Star Trek. I was hooked.
But what really got me was Zelazny's Lord of Light and Creatures of Light and Darkness.
I used to read a lot of fantasy but had run out of books I’d wanted to read, and had a holiday with the family coming up which meant i was desperate for books. Money was tight, so while trawling Amazon for cheap reads I stumbled upon a self-published series called the Progenitor Trilogy by Dan Worth.
This trilogy was literally the first sci-fi I’d ever read, and was packed with so many concepts (that I might now think of as a bit cliched as a more experienced reader) that kind of blew my younger mind. I estimate I’ve probably read between 250 and 300 sci-fi books since picking up this book, but few stick in the mind as much as this story did as my first - specifically the descriptions of some of the spaceships were evocative enough that I remember them with the same sort of detail as the Rocinante or the Droplet even a decade later.
Looking back, the writing is a bit sloppy and it would massively benefit from a good editor but at the time I really couldn’t get enough and I ended up doing consecutive all-nighters to finish the series. It’s getting pretty rare to get that new discovery wonder now and for that reason it sits alongside the Three Body Problem (and sequels) in my own rankings of outlook-altering books.
Yeah.... This is what it is for me right now. I can't stop fantasizing about being in the Culture. :(
I was always into Star Wars growing up. Then I got super into history until my mid twenties when I read Hyperion and Banks' Culture series. Now I read 50-60 SF books a year and can't get enough.
I just love space
Asimov. "I, Robot." 10-ish years old maybe? I got to pick one book from the store and it was in an end display and I liked the cover. Good book.
EDIT: This cover:
Found an Alisa Selezneva book on the library shelves. The rest is history.
I used to read almost exclusively fantasy. I grew up in a religious environment, and about five years back I broke my brainwashing and developed a big interest in science. That interest led to my fiction interests changing, trying more sci-fi. And now I read mostly sci-fi with other genres in between.
First Lensman by EE Doc smith for me, I would have been 12, thought Mentor of Arisia was the most amazing thing, and Virgil Samms and Kimball Kinnison were Bond in space. then read the rest of the series, then everything by EE Doc Smith, then kept raiding the second hand book stores for sci fi - Heinlein, Asimov, Simak and more and have read ever since.
When I was a kid, I discovered a book called "Spacewrecks" in the library, and I was absolutely enthralled by the artwork. The pictures had a bit of story attached to them, but I don't really remember much about that, and based on my quick google on the book just now, it was safe to ignore the text. But the pictures of wrecked spaceships woke something in my imagination.
When I learned that there was an entire genre of stories about that sort of thing, I became hooked.
My parents were both librarians. Sometimes, book publishers would give the library system free copies of books that they’d be marketing. At one point, I got a series of sci-fi books for kids that I loved. I don’t recall the series name or anything other than they were sort of picture books with some text, all featuring kids living in space. I think that was the first sci-fi I ever read.
I too was most inspired by the Foundation series. I don't think it was the first sci-fi novel I read but it was definitely that definitely solidified me as a reader of sci-fi. Then in high-school when we had to read all those awful books, the one that stood out the most to me was Frankenstein.
Frankenstein isn't awful!
I first started reading fantasy when, in 3rd grade, the teacher would read us "The Hobbit." I was hooked and powered through all of his stuff and was told to try Narnia which was not bad and lead to his SF stuff which was strange to me and might have made me turn back to fantasy only with only lukewarm interest in SF. Then I got "trapped" in a beach cabin for a long summer in a tiny beach community which had a little closet "library" and their were stacks and stacks of old "Omni" magazines with amazing art and a wonderful variety of SF short stories. I was hooked.
Heinlein solidified the addiction.
I had to read Enders Game in high school at one point, and that was the first book assigned in high school that made me realize reading doesn’t have to be miserable!
As a kid my dad's bookshelf had a ton of Heinlein & other contemporary sci fi which I mostly ignored. At 9 or 10 I picked up a copy of Ender's Game from a used book store because it looked interesting on our weekly(ish) stop in and was hooked.
When I was around 12 I found Dragonsong by Anne McCaffery in the library and that started me off with both scifi and fantasy. I'd already watched a lot of Star Trek so I liked that kind of stuff, but hadn't read any. After reading all of the Pern books available I ended up searching the fiction section for any book that had the little atom sticker (scifi) or the dragon sticker (fantasy) and that was that - I was hooked.
It was a combination of a Star Wars obsession as a child and John Wyndham's The Chrysalids being mandatory reading in high school.
I hated sci-fi and read exclusively fantasy novels up until about age 10, when I was super-bored and someone handed me a copy of Dune, whereupon the mix went to about 90% sci-fi 10% fantasy fiction to this day…
Star Wars and Star Trek.
I started with A Wrinkle in Time, as a really young kid- maybe 4th grade. I think it was first novel I'd ever read, aside from Goosebumps and the like. I remember finding the idea of a tesseract to be absolutely fascinating. IIRC I spent the next year or so reading all the sequels.
I think after that I picked up a random "Animorphs" book at a scholastic book fair and got hooked on those. Then in the 7th grade my English teacher had a copy of Clarke's Childhood's End, which I became obsessed over. SF addiction kind of took off from there.
I'll note that all along I was being encouraged by my mother, an OG Trekkie and lover of classic SF literature. She used to tell me the plot fo SF novels as bedtime stories.
I got lucky to have a high school teacher do Enders Game as a class book. I tore through that series and beans series but then started reading fantasy for a while. I loved fantasy for a few years but then I read Dune over a vacation a couple years ago and started listening to science related podcasts so got the itch to come back to sci fi.
Everybody who loves SF has a great introduction memory. My Dad took me to Saturday Matinee with an older flick as the “A” feature: “The War of the Worlds.” I was 8 and this was 1958, so we’re talking the 1953 George Pal version. Next, I found that my cousin had the “Classics Illustrated” comic version, depicting the 1898 Victorian England original. Right after that, I got the novel and ploughed through it, not understanding a lot of the vocabulary, the social milieu, or that this was really a treatise on British Colonialism! Then I discovered “The Time Machine,” and I was hooked forever.
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated by the notion of space travel or futurism of any type. As a very young child I was drawn to anything space-related and this ultimately led me to Heinlein and the rest is history. 40 years later, I’m still reading, watching, and flowing SF, but now I live in an SF world compared to one I grew up in.
For me, it was a similar thing to you actually, Asimov. My aunt and uncle had a little library up in their attic, mostly old books of my cousins. They had some comics, a few young reader-oriented books but then a lot of the books they'd read in their teens and up. I don't know what it was that pulled me to them, I think it was the front covers. But I loved the books, I devoured them. Every year when we went back they were the first books I read. From there, my appetite for sci-fi was insatiable.
A friend of mine came from the US to Poland and gave me the book he had taken for the flight (this was around 1994) saying "I read too fast". The book was Ender's Game and once I got to the Battle School chapters, I was hooked :)
My dad read SF, and when I was about 10, he handed me a copy of Heinlein's The Star Beast and said he thought I'd like it. I did.
I might've read some before, but really devotedly reading it had to be like 3rd grade, new to a new school. Probably around the time the Scholastic flyer was being distributed, a kid I was becoming friends with poked me to pick up an Animorphs book. It was fairly early on in the original run and those things came out every month. Devoured every single one like crack as soon as the order came in. Just reading the Wikipedia page right now feels like getting punched in the face by nostalgia XD
I thought
I can still remember the book cover, if not the title. It was "Tom Swift and something about Outer Space..." The cover drawing was a rocket!
As a kid, I used to spend my weekly pocket money on a Biggles book (it was the 60's) and the local shop gave me the Tom Swift title to see what I thought. Shortly thereafter, got started on Clark, Assimov, and anything else I could get hold of.
I honestly don't know. I feel like I started because fantasy didn't scratch the itch for me anymore and I wanted to see what people thought was in space.
My dad got me into it. The first SF book I remember reading is The Star Beast by Robert Heinlein. All the Heinlein juvenile stuff after that. Read a lot of Golden Age short stories and then Hal Clement, Isaac Asimov, then all the science fiction I could get my hands on.
Grew up with it. My mom read me Dune when I was 4 or so and recorded it, so I could listen to it when I wanted to. Pretty much the first books I was reading were science fiction and some fantasy. Ursula K. leGuin, Frank Herbert, and Tolkien were the first authors I read.
Paperback Star Trek episodes, with shots from the show and comic book bubbles, when I was 5-6. On to he James Blish novelizations, then (owing to some questionable choices by my local librarian) Dragonriders of Pern and The Hobbit/LOTR when I was about 8. SOOO much of what was going on went straight over my head but the fights and the flying and the dragons... yeah. That was awesome. Somewhere in there I found Heinlein, specificaly Door Into Summer, then the juveniles, and it just never left. The worlds in the books seemed so limitless and full of life and adventure and possibiliy that a poor kid in a hick town would never have the chance to see for real, it was escapisim of the first order. The sense of wonder is still there, but I hope the taste is a little more refined at this age.
Also, some of the covers had women in space bikinis.
The Blish novelizations are great. I read them back then (the first five books, anyway--I know he went on to novelize other Trek stories), and they really shaped a lot of my view of Star Trek. A few years ago I picked up a copy to replace my long-lost set; they're still as entertaining as I remember.
Some of the first books I can remember reading that weren't "picture books" were the Magic Treehouse novels from Mary Pope Osborne which are a simple SF imo, so I guess I always have been.
I never thought I would like reading scifi because I wasn't really into scifi movies or TV as a kid. Then I watched Annihilation because I like scary stuff, loved it, decided to read the book, then the series, then Borne, and since then my reading has been almost exclusively other scifi books. I had been trying to get into reading for a while but wasn't able to because I didn't realize my favorite genre was scifi and never gave it much of a chance until then.
As a kid, I used to read the great illustrated classics, which were abridged, illustrated novels for children. Among them were Wells, Verne, Shelly and Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde. Those books introduced me to classic sci first in a way that allowed me to appreciate what I read later, like a whole lot of Asimov.
Star Wars led to Star Wars reference books which led to the Xwing novels in my early years.
My Dad gave me Dragons of Eden by Sagan. I found it fascinating. Then I was reading both science fiction and nonfiction from Clarke and Asimov. Now I'm trying to just read the award winners there's so many good books I barely stick to that.
X-Wing is one part of the post-RotJ expanded universe that I missed the first time around. I read everything surrounding it, though. Now I'm slowly working through X-Wing (two books down so far), and it's fantastic. Wish I had read it years ago.
I started with Dune because I kept seeing it everywhere. And it's been awesome ever since. Dune is still my all time favorite though.
My dad (and to a lesser degree, my mom) introduced me to it. I admit it was probably through movies and TV first; I have lots of memories from early childhood of watching things like Enemy Mine and the original Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek with my dad. The books followed soon after, but I can't point to a particular book that introduced me to it; I read so many, it's hard to recall what came first. Back when the only way to watch Doctor Who in the US was via very outdated reruns on PBS, I used to supplement my love for that show by reading the Target novelisations, which were written for a younger audience; those were really my main source of DW material back then, and I burned through dozens of them courtesy of my local library. Not long after it was Star Trek novels, and when the Star Wars expanded universe (now Legends) picked up steam in the early nineties, I devoured those. I read non-franchise-related sci-fi too; a little Brian Aldiss, a little Asimov, some Piers Anthony (okay, he's more fantasy, but it didn't feel that way), Arthur C. Clarke, stuff like that. The big mainstream names that get recommended on Reddit all the time were harder to come by in my town, for some reason, but I read all the pulpy old bizarre sci-fi stories I could lay hands on.
That’s the one! Of course, it was Sheckley not Shelton. I should have reread my post.