How I discovered Sci-fi/Fantasy

originally posted by Kimberly Israel

My family all watched ST:TNG together as well, then Deep Space Nine after that :slight_smile: I remember as a young child only being interested in the aliens that looked very different - and being completely unaware that Data was an android. As I got older, I came to appreciate the rest of the story much more.

In elementary school, I liked books about witches and wizards and dragons and magic, but I don't remember titles. Oh, except for LeGuin's "Catwings" - such a wonderful story.

It wasn't until junior high that I started reading "grown-up" books. I think I started with Piers Anthony's "Incarnation of Immortality" series and Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" books. I also remember William Sleator had some wonderful young adult science-fiction that I got out of the junior high library.

Oddly enough, I didn't read Narnia until 9th grade, and didn't read LotR until 12th grade. I actually read "The Great Divorce" before Narnia :slight_smile:

originally posted by R’is’n

Discovered Fantasy in the Irish folktales I grew up hearing and reading.

Discovered Sci-Fi literature one afternoon, when I was 13. I was bored out of my skull and I found a tattered copy of 'Hitchhikers guide to the Universe' on my parent's bookshelf.

I spent the rest of the day laughing until my sides ached- still recall it like it was yesterday.

originally posted by christopher john bowler

started off reading the narnia cronicles then read the hobbit in school. always loved everthing to do with star trek. later i read l.o.t.r's then julian may's many coloured land etc. then everything i could get my hands on after that! i've been reading fantasy for about 20 years now.

originally posted by jane isham

In sixth grade we had to read a novel for school and I chose "Lost Horizon" over "The Hobbitt". Curiousity struck when a year or so later I found the Tolkien box set on our bookshelves. (I belong to a family of confirmed "read-a-holics"). After the boxed set I read Silmarillion, but it seemed that there wasn't much else in the Fantasy section at the local bookstore. A few years later I found my dad's paperback copy of "Sword of Shannara" and was amazed that it had both a map and a color pull out section! I've been a confirmed fantasy nut ever since. My father was a major sci-fi reader and tried to get me hooked on the "Dune" series, but I couldn't get past the body fluid recycling suits!

I am wondering if there are any demographics on who exactly reads fantasy novels. I think I still somewhat get that "look" when I tell people what I'm reading. Although, due to the success of the LOTR movies, I think the looks are a bit less quizzical.

From my observation on this website (I've been a long time lurker) I would say that at least Janny's fans are exceptionally open minded, intelligent and respectful of each other. I'm sure some can be attributed to the excellent moderation of this site, but I would hazard a guess that due to the complexity of Janny's work, she attracts a more complex audience.

Any thoughts?

originally posted by Trys

Hi jane,

Welcome to the board.


I'm sure some can be attributed to the excellent moderation of this site,

To be honest there have only been a few times that I've had to take direct action regarding the content or tone of the posts. Much of the time, the board self moderates. I think that speaks to the nature of the people who visit. :smiley:


originally posted by Hannah


You bring up an interesting point though. I do wonder what the demographics are in Janny's fan base. Male to female, age, level of education, that type of thing. I'll bet there would be some surprises in there.

originally posted by Memory

My boyfriend and I decided that we would both read a book of the other's choosing - something that they really loved. I'm now reading Catch 22, and he's on COTM :smiley: :smiley:

I got a message from him last night saying that he's just got to a certain part. I didn't know he'd started reading it as his library had 'lost' their copy, and I was expecting to lend him my copy when we got back to uni. I was so surprised that I bounced up and down and called out madly to my sister: "he's reading it! He's reading the book!"

I was so excited (and still am) because I've never met anyone else in real life that I can talk to about Janny's books, or any other fantasy for that matter. He says that it's all going quite well so far, so hopefully he'll be reeled in… :wink:

Catch 22, on the other hand, is a bit weird.


originally posted by Rurack

I have always liked to read And I have always read alot. when I was younger I always had a book from school I had to read for one reason or another. My dad would pick out a book for me to read and then I was able to have a book for myself. Those books, at the time were not scifi or fantasy. Two things came of that. I learned a whole bunch of things and I always am reading three books at a time even to this day. Just does not feel right to read one book at a time.

Anyways, one day my friend decided that he was going to introduce me to fantasy and Gave me "Lord Fouls Bane." I had not even finished the series, my friend had all but the last book. When everything went down hill. I picked up white gold weilder and Eye of the world. That was back in 92 I was in 6th grade. Dear gawd I have been folowing that series gor 13 years. That is a depressing thought.

Any ways I was introduced to Janny With Stormwarden. It is funny though I did not read LOTR till I was almost 18 and I still haven't read any Narnia. Not because I did not want to. I just had never heard of them.

originally posted by Memory

To add to my little saga - he actually bought COTM from Amazon rather than wait! :smiley:

originally posted by Soltari

Suppose my first fantasy was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in I think 4th or 5th grade. I either read or saw the movie of the whole series. Then stopped reading until 7th grade and a bunch of Goosebumps. Read most of those and stopped again until 10th grade or so and then it was Star Wars and Magic the Gathering books.

A friend had said The Hobbit was a book everyone should read but it wasn't until the LoTR previews that I read that and the trilogy. Being an online gamer myself I was talking about Wheel of Time with a guildmate and he said WoLaS was a great series and his favorite. Glad he recommended the series because I have to agree, it is my favorite as well.

Have what I'd say is a decent size library (150+) with 5 more I should get from Amazon tomorrow, last 2 Empire books and first 3 riftwars.

originally posted by Louise F

Now this is an interesting question. I actually had to think about it for a bit. I think my first introduction would be The Weirdstone of Brisingamen when I was a child. I remember loving the book but I had no idea there was a whole genre out there, coming from a family of non-readers as I do.

It wasn't until I was in my early 20's and living in Kenya that I came across fantasy again. I was desperate for something to read, and my salary didn't stretch to buying books, which were really expensive, so a friend lent me Raymond Feist's Magician and Asimov's Foundation trilogy. And that was that. I haven't stopped reading fantasy/sf ever since.

originally posted by Neil

Alan Garner's fiction was something I read at school too, Elidor, Owl service, etc. There was a stone quartet I think? And a sequel to the "the Weirdstone…" Moon of Gomrath? Wow, I'd forgotten all about those.

Magician and Foundation are definitely next steps on the slippery slope…

originally posted by Louise F

Hey Neil

For some reason Alan Garner's stories (yes Moon of Gomrath is the sequel) stuck with me through the years, though I could not remember the name of the books or who wrote them.

For years I looked for these books again, but when you don't remember anything except that there's a brother and sister, and a rock which a wizard comes out of and lots of scary things underground, it's hard to find it. For some reason bookstore clerks weren't able to figure out what I wanted! It was only last year that I finally found these books again but though I purchased them I have been to scared to read them incase they don't live up to my expectations.

My boss (a big Wilbur Smith fan) asked if she could borrow one of my fantasy books the other day because she knew I loved them and wanted to know what they were all about. She's a complete novice, so as once someone did for me, I did for her and give her Magician. She had finished it by the next day! Another convert.

Louise F

originally posted by Neil


I meant to thank you for digging these books out of my memory but I did not want to post twice :smiley:

I read the Garner Books when I was 10-13 Elidor was forced upon us at school (I was not really a fan) WB and MoG I read on my own and loved, The Owl serice, we read at school at 13? I had already read lord of the rings at 10/11. Tolkien rightly states in one of his letters that often people read LoTR the first time whilst they are too young to appreciate it. He's right…though I reread it 8 times in 10 years, I imagine. So I was quite able to see the mistakes in the films :smiley:

Magician was recommended by a friend when I was 15/16? I liked it very much. Easy to read. Elves dwarfs, dragons, etc. but with a few new (well for me anyway) twists. I was delighted when some sequels came out.

Silverthorn was a delightful (and much shorter!) sequel changing the focus on to Arutha; I prefer it because it is a litle darker, I feel. "Darkness at Sethanon" was awesome in the way the story expanded.

For me I guess that the first "fantasy" I read when I was young was some pirate books (1970s). Now I really have no idea how I would find these…I may well try on the internet just for fun.

originally posted by Memory

I read LOTR for the first time when I was about 9 or 10. It's a complex book, and there were a lot of things I missed the first time, but I also think that it was a great age to read it. I was so totally enthralled - in the way you really only can be as a child. It was all so exciting, scary and magical. Moria was completely chilling and terrifying, and I've never quite been able to get back those feelings on re-reads when I was older.

originally posted by James Horton

For me it was mostly a strange affair starting with book 2 of the Katherine Kerr Deverry series (Darkspell) on a holiday, not the most easiest read if you start at book 2 I can assure you but then I started on other fantasy books in my local library (ah the days of going back time and again to find that no new books were in)
I read Keeper of the keys as the first Janny Wurts Novel (notice I can never get book 1 of anything)
but eventually managed to borrow shadowfane and it wasn't till I could purchase my own copies through getting a job that I got stormwarden.
I must admit that I have trawled through LOTR but hated them as a novel that was full of too much flowery description that adds nothing but extra pages.

originally posted by Susan Canterbury

I am coming out of lurker mode to answer this. I also started in elementary school C.S. Lewis's Narnia series, but didn't really start reading a lot of fantasy until 1977 and that was Terry Brook's Sword of Shannara. I have been hooked on fantasy since that book.

originally posted by Sean Monahan

I was started through my father. He had a fairly good collection of Fantasy, and a decent one of SF. I was given Magician to read at maybe 10 or 11. I read all of Feist at that time, as well as David Eddings and Terry Brook's Shannara series. I read Foundation at around the same time, and besides the aforementioned authors and Janny, have stuck to more hard SF than fantasy in recent years.

Recently I've been trying to branch into some more classic literature, trying to work my way through some Joyce, and have pretty much left the fantasy genre entirely, only keeping up with Janny.

Sword of Shannara is a good novel, although it borrows overly much from Tolkien. Not that Tolkien wasn't a borrower, but he borrowed ideas, themes, archetypes. Brooks literally borrowed plot elements and characters.

originally posted by Susan Canterbury

I agree Sword of Shannara is just a reworked LOTR. But it was the book that started me heavily reading SciFi/Fantasy.