Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Alien Weirdness of Kniters (Yay!)

Almost from the very beginning of reading knitblogs I have been amazed at the number of knitters fascinated with science fiction and fantasy. During my childhood, adolescence and rather loooooong maturation, I found it almost impossible to find fellow SFF fans and readers.

I was indoctrinated by my mother into SF at a very early age – in fact, I spent 3 years absolutely terrified of the dark after reading Andre Norton’s Starman’s Son (also published as ‘Daybreak-2250AD) when I was 7. (Don’t judge me until you have read it yourself – the scene where the man is tortured with a rat – and then.. – Brrrr!)

Throughout my teenage years there were no real sci-fi people about. I was considered deeply weird at the rural schools I attended – not only did I read (strange!) but I READ SCIENCE FICTION (geek city!)

Mum and I watched ‘The Champions’, ‘Star Trek’ (the original series), ‘The Guardians (about a dystopian Britain with an exiled royal family, run by its security forces), ‘Out of the Unknown (a very scary British answer to the Twilight Zone – which we also watched), and any other sci fi, alternative history, slightly off beat television series we could find.

We went to any Sci Fi movies which came (briefly) to our local cinema. I still remember going to see ‘Star Wars’ with her when it first came out (not long before her death).

I have never given up my addiction to SFF. I was a regular mail order customer for Galaxy Books for many years, spending chunks of my salary (well, the bits not earmarked for wine and cigarettes) on feeding my vice. But rarely did I meet another person who revelled in my personal favourite genres. I had to make a massive effort to force my husband into reading my library – which he now happily does.

Fast forward to 2 years ago, when I discovered knitblogs. The weird paradox of people engaged in an ancient craft revelling in alternate futures, fantasy worlds, paranormal adventures and weird aliens confronted me. It also made me very, very happy.

Not only did you knit, but you knitted and read and watched the same things I did! (Many of you are also Jane Austen Fans – and that makes me even happier!! In fact, someone mentioned Georgette Heyer recently in their blog – and that REALLY made my day.)

I still primarily read SF – though more slowly now my reading time is curtailed by mothering and domestic duties. I love to watch SF – though I am disappointed the Sci-Fi channels seems to only screen Star Trek and Stargate and their spinoffs.

So as my first Blogiversary approaches, leave a comment to tell me your favourite science fiction or fanatasy (all paranormal subjects included) book, film, and/or TV series (now or in the past). Please, Lurkers, come forward and drop me a line. All commenters between now and midnight on 3 July –Australian Eastern Standard Time (the day after my blogiversary) will get an entry into a random draw. There will be prizes. And I will finally get to meet yet more people who share my addictions!


m1k1 said...

Blakes 7
Need I say more?
Only to bemoan the passing of the galactic queen of haute couture that was Servalan.

Rose Red said...

I'm afraid I'm not a true SF fan - but I do (of course) LOVE Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is also shown on the Sci-Fi channel on Foxtel, so I guess that counts!! (although it's more supernatural than SF I think). I also like the book called The Midwych Cuckoos (might have spelled that incorrectly) and of course the Hitchikers Guide books!!

(PS - we almost share a blogiversary - mine is 4 July!)

Donni said...

I really wanted to Sting to look a lot more strapping and manly than he did in Dune.....

TinkingBell said...

Oh Donni - I so agree - the Dune miniseries shown a while ago was much better - although Sian made a wonderful Bene Gesserit (not my Sian - the Welsh actress - Sian Phillips?)

And How could I forget the joy of Blake's Seven - and I should include the Addams family TV series - just 'cos it was so weird and I love it!

Crochet.LouT said...

My SF addiction was started as a youngster by 'Close Encounters of a Third Kind' (read the book first) and '2001: Space Odyssey'. I almost cried when Firefly was cancelled, now Dr Who keeps me cheerful.

Tigers said...

My absolute favourite is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, all vampiry and werewolfy!

Taphophile said...

Really - a whole year? Congrats. :)

I'm a SF/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction naysayer. Never really enjoyed it. It is a constant source of irritation to the SF lovers around me.

That being said, I really loved Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and her Oryx and Crake. Also, Peter Carey's The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith. Read the John Wyndham classics years ago and still call the people who cluster around the library door up to an hour before opening the triffids.

Bells said...

I'm with RoseRed (there's a surprise). Buffy for me too!

But my other secret love is time travel. Give me a story of time travel into the past (although sometimes the future) and I'm happy. My library has a shelf devoted to time travel books I loved as a child and teenager!

MadMad said...

OMG! It's like the one topic in the world I know absolutely nothing about. Wow. What's even more fascinating is that I'm not letting it stop me from yammering on anyway. Hm. Oh well. Congrats on the almost anniversary! Oh! And my book about Tasmania? She moved to NYC after the first chapter. How annoying is that?!

crafty things said...

Oh boy where do you start. Have read and re-read Dune and treated myself to the DVD of the film just recently. Have you read the Thomas Covenant chronicles by Stephen Donaldson? Other authors that come to mind are David Eddings and Raymond E Feist and Robin Hobb.

All the Star Wars movies have also recently arrived in the house -courtesy of a son who has been introduced to them and Dr Who, Star Wars and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Fantasywise The Lord of The Rings has been read so many times I have lost count.

Catherine said...

I'm currently totally obsessed with Battlestar Galactica (the new series) but since we have to wait until early '09 for the series finale, I'll reminisce about some favorite books: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (and Inkspell too), Narnia and the Lord of the Rings (never read the books but adored the movies and have watched them all - plus their many "making of" documentaries - a million times). Happy blogiversary!! :)

Geek Knitter said...

I can quote long segments of William Gibson's Neuromancer from memory. It just reached in and grabbed hold of my imagination.

gemma said...

Not so much sci fi, but dragons, so fantasy. Ann McCaffrey to be precise. Tracey harding, not too bad aussie author, but a bit waffley, and Ian Irving (another aussie). Stephen Donaldson sometimes creeps me out, and sometimes just brilliant. And of course Dr Who (bring back Christopher Eccleston - he was hot!!)

Donna Lee said...

I am a huge Isaac Asimov fan. I wore a black arm band when he died. His Foundation series is one of my favorites. But then there is Heinlein with Stranger in a Strange Land and Ben Bova..... I have been reading sf since I was a youngster. I never get tired of it.

Jejune said...

While I am a murder mystery girl first and foremost, I do love many Sci Fi and fantasy novels and TV series.

Anything by Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett (of course), classic Dr Who, Babylon 5 (we now own all 5 series on DVD!), Red Dwarf, Firefly, and so on! I also love Anne McCaffrey, Madeline L'Engle, Joan Aiken, Arthur C Clark, Isaac Asimov, and many others!

And Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer :)

2paw said...

Noooooooooo, there's not enough room!! Doctor Who, McCaffrey, Red Dwarf, Pratchett, Feist, Lian Hearn, Robin Hobb, K J Parker, Jennifer Fallon, Trudi Canavan, Katherine Kurtz, Fiona McIntosh, Tamora Pierce, Kate Forsyth, B5, Blake's 7 and the're apparently bringing it back too, H2G2, Land of the Giants, Star Trek TOS TNG DS9 and V (Maybe not Enterprise!!) Star Wars, Oh all the Stargates and Firefly and SerenityPl;aet of the Apes- the book, film and TV series, Space 1999, Lost in Space, The Survivors, Time Tunnel, UFO, V, The X-Files, Buffy, Angel, John Wyndham (The Chrysalids is my favourite) Timeslip, Andra.... I am now to awake to be able to go to sleep because I am going to keep remembering things I've forgotten!!! Thanks for making me think of all these wonderful things!! And my dad, who managed to sign me up for an adult card at the Library when I was 10 so I could borrow 10 books at a time!!

Michelle said...

I'm not a huge SF fane. Like Rose Red, I loved Buffy and Angel. Was always a bit of a battlestar galactica fan and Logan's run fan as a kid. And I had a Princess Leia figure (my brother had all the others, including Chewbacca who was my favourite). And yes, I adored hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. I suppose I'm a relapsed SF fan!

And thank you for the heads up on the wollmeise last night. George and I had much fun selecting yarns (and watching them disappear from our basket as people stole them) in between non-contractions.

amanda j said...

While I wouldn't have categorised myself as a sff fan, when I read others' comments I realised I share some interests! Red Dwarf books and tv, Star Wars (I saw Return of the Jedi before release in Oz because Mum worked for Peter's Icecream and they made an icypole!), Buffy and Angel, Twilight Zone, Hitchikers Guide, Dr Who, and my latest book is Ender's Game, which is very cool.

Kate_knits_a_bit said...

Let's start with The Moment My Addiction Began: the picture book of the movie of The Dark Crystal. There have been many notable names in the years since then, most of them already mentioned by 2paw(!!), but how about Andre Norton, Charles De Lint, Neil Gaiman, Mary Gentle, Glenda Larke, Diana Wynne Jones?And Doctor Who is back tonight!!! WOOT!!
Geek Knitters Unite :>

Ginger_nut said...

Buffy, Discworld, Doctor Who, Firefly, Serenity... Truth be known, I am really a fantasy fan who finds it frustrating that the SF and Fantasy so often get grouped together in bookshops ;) To me there is a vast different between the two. (happy blogiversary)

Amy Lane said...

Farscape (from down-under!)
Supernatural (uhm...YEAHS!!!!)
Star Wars
Okay--let's just say I'm one of those bloggers who shares your addiction?

But I was so glad to read your post...I felt soooo bad about foisting my work on you...I'm glad you were already a dark side convert before we met!!!

Amy Lane said...

Oh wait... books...


and that's just the beginning... (we SO need to warp the space time continuum and meet!!!

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

I started with Buck Rogers and I remember a series called V (I think) where aliens claimed they needed earth's water but came here to collect humans for food.

There has been many more SF series/movies since the days of my youth.

Is it a bad thing that I've influenced my kids with my love of SF and Anime with getting them hooked on StarBlazers?

Alwen said...

Well, I know the blog comments section has room, because I've seen blogs where the comments have a "Click for more comments" button. So let's see what I can remember.

The City of Gold and Lead, by John Christopher. Eventually I discovered that my library would let me order books and got to read the others in the series.

(This was so long ago that the catalog was a giant thick bound computer print out. I ordered by filling out a paper slip and turning it in.)

One day when I had read backwards and forwards through the children's section, the librarian took pity on me and told me it was okay to browse in the adult section.

Robert Heinlein. Arthur C. Clarke. James Tiptree Jr. Vonda MacIntyre. Isaac Asimov (eventually I had a subscription to IASF). Gordon Dickinson (I still love Dragon and the George.) Marion Zimmer Bradley. Andre Norton. A.E Van Vogt. Randall Garrett. Patricia McKillip's Forgotten Beasts of Eld. Sylvia Louise Engdahl's Enchantress from the Stars. Manley Wade Wellman and Clifford D. Simak. Anne McCaffrey. Does Tolkien count? Ursula Le Guin and Tanith Lee. Jane Gaskell.

There were a lot of great stories in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, but unfortunately I don't remember all the authors. Hmmmm, Greg Bear. David Brin. Orson Scott Card. John Varley. Connie Willis, back in the days before I started to find her work too depressing.

Of course, Terry Pratchett, who I discovered on a summer vacation with Guards, Guards, and had to buy all the rest of.

Mary Gentle. Sheri Tepper. Robin McKinley. Barbara Hambly.

Um. Shelves-full more, that I will remember and think "X! How could I have left out X!" as soon as I click the Publish button.