Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson
sbisson

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Young adult SF reading survey.

Taken from here, and emailed to Farah...

1. Name

Simon Bisson

2. Current Age

39

3. Country or Countries in which you spent your first eighteen years. (give breakdown if appropriate)

Jersey/UK

4. Mother tongue.

English

5. Sex at birth

Male

6. Sex now.

Male

7. Sexuality.

Heterosexual

8. When did you start reading science fiction?

Age of either 6 or 7

9. Did you read sf written specifically for children? (ie. age 0-16yrs)

Yes

10. Name up to five authors of sf for children you liked.

Andre Norton
James Blish
Patrick Moore
Angus McVicar
Robert Heinlein

11. Name up to five authors of sf for children you did not like.

n/a

12. Name up to five authors of sf for children with the same nationality as the country in which you experienced the bulk of your reading childhood.

Angus McVicar
Arthur C. Clarke
Patrick Moore

13. If you started reading sf meant for the adult audience before the age of 16, who were your favourite sf writers at that time? (Name up to five).

C.J. Cherryh
John Varley
Gregory Benford
George R.R. Martin
Anne McCaffrey

14. List up to five qualities that you think you looked for in science fiction when you read it as a child (under 13).

Exciting stories
Interesting backgrounds
Good characters
Resolution at the end of a book

15. List up to five qualities that you think you looked for in science fiction when you read it as a teenager (13 and over).

Interesting backgrounds
Good characters
Resolution at the end of a book
Sex

16. List up to five qualities that you look for in science fiction now.

Interesting backgrounds
Good characters
Complex situations
Moral dilemmas
Real world politics

(NB: these can be negative qualities in the sense of what sf doesn't do, that other forms of fiction do).

17. Do you define yourself as a genre reader?

Yes

18. What proportion of your reading as a teenager was outside of the genre?

10%

19. What proportion of your reading as a teenager was non-fiction? (what subjects or genres?)

20%
Science, geography, computing

20. How much of your reading outside of the genre was set by others? (and who were they?).

5%
School teachers

21. Did science fiction influence your political views? In what ways? What books were most important to you?

Yes. It made me distrustful of central authority. It also made me environmentally aware.
Robert Heinlein and specifically "Red Planet", John Brunner and his Club of Rome novels.

22. Did science fiction influence your religious views? In what ways? What books were most important to you?

Yes. It made me think deeply about theology.
Probably "A Case of Conscience" and the rest of James Blish's "After Such Knowledge" thematic trilogy.

23. Taking no more than 100 words, describe briefly how you chose books between the ages of 13 and 18, and how those books were acquired (ie libraries, friends, second hand books, new books).

My main source of books was the main library on Jersey, and I took the typical approach of starting with Gollancz yellow covers, and then graduating to a more atypical approach of finding authors from a copy of the Clute encyclopaedia they had in the library. My best friend's father had a large stock of SF which I was able to borrow...
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