November might be the month of grey, dreary weather and the first fogs, the transition month that brings us into winter, and as such it’s never been my favorite month of the year – that is, until book blogging made me aware of this month-long event celebrating science fiction in all its forms. And that made November a lot prettier, indeed…
It’s not always been possible for me to be very active in this SF festival, but even when I could not be a part of it, I’ve always enjoyed reading other bloggers’ contribution. Since I have not prepared for the event, I doubt I will be able to post much, but this year the Photo Challenge comes to my aid, allowing me to share some of my love of science fiction through images.
PHOTO CHALLENGE #2: First SF read – What got you into SF?
That’s a difficult question for me, because I don’t remember the title of my first SF novel: I have been reading science fiction since I was a teenager (and trust me, that was a LONG time ago…) so it’s impossible for me to pinpoint the exact book that made me decide this was my kind of genre.
What I know is that I’ve always loved to read about “strange, new worlds” and to let my mind wander along the corridors of infinite possibilities, and I know that I started with those authors that are now considered The Classics, such as Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein and so forth.
One detail I can share, though, is where I read those novels: you see, back when I started becoming the geek that I proudly admit to be, in the early-to-mid ’70s, and before I learned English and was therefore able to get directly to the… source material, there were not many publications dedicated to SF here in Italy, and the publishing industry looked down on the genre, so there were not many possibilities for reading the stories I enjoyed – that is, except for Urania.
This series, aptly named after the Muse for astronomy, was published by one of the major Italian publishing houses, Mondadori, in what I now imagine was a bold statement for the times (the first issue came out in 1952), and proceeded to let the Italian public know the works of authors that are now household names for any SF fan.
The novels Urania published – alternating them with short stories collections – opened my eyes on many amazing stories, and for quite some time their weekly or by-weekly issue was the way I could enjoy my favorite genre. So, to celebrate those early years of SF reading, here are some of the covers from the Urania issues: the first one is for Isaac Asimov’s The Gods Themselves, the second one is for Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy, and the third one for William Gibson’s The Night We Burned Chrome.
If you’re curious about these covers and their evolution over the years, you can take a look HERE. I don’t read Urania issues anymore but still, seeing that trademark white cover with the image in the red circle peeking from a bookstore shelf or a newsstand, brings back many fond memories…