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Falling in Love with Sci-Fi

From “Trash” to “Sci-Fi”

Dr. Timothy Miller

Where does such a strong fascination for science fiction begin? For English professor Dr. Tim Miller, it began as a child when his mother taught him to read by using science fiction books. She would have him read one sentence, close his eyes and imagine what was happening in that sentence. From that moment on Miller’s fascination with reading, especially science fiction began to soar.

Miller has collected hundreds of signed science fiction magazines that fill his basement today. Included in these collections are “Amazing Stories,” “Imagination,” “Science Fiction Quarterly” and “Wonder Stories.” To this day, he still tries to keep up on what is happening in the science fiction world by subscribing to the science fiction magazine “Analog.”

Science fiction was not always considered literature. It has been given many different terms over the years as it has claimed a spot in the world of literature over time. It has held the terms “trash,” “scientific romance,” “scientifiction,” “science fiction” and most commonly today, “Sci-Fi.”

“Many people considered it newsstand pulp style magazines that were trash,” said Miller, “In the 1970s the term scientifiction was coined and it became more of a serious literature.” Hugo Gernsbacher had created the classification of scientific fiction with his first magazine, “Amazing Stories” in 1926.

“Sci-Fi takes specific niches and registers or expresses them through emotional, intellectual and exceptional lives of characteristics,” said Miller.  Science fiction is a literature that has changed overtime since it began and is still changing today. What makes this type of literature so exciting is that it is “always dealing with forms of newness of which there is no name and goes beyond the beyond with realities unthought-of,” said Miller.

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