At What Age Did You Start Reading SF? Effects?

psikeyhackr

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I started reading SF in 4th grade. I was in a Catholic elementary school where the nuns never taught science.

My first SF book was Star Surgeon by Alan E Nourse. I was really shocked to learn that the Sun was a Star. How come nobody told me?

I also learned about atheism and agnosticism. That was weird cause I just thought there were only Catholics, Protestants and Jews. So I decided I was an agnostic in 7th grade.

I remember having an SF book open on my bed with two encyclopedia. So much of my perspective of science and reality is the result of reading science fiction. I wish I had kept a diary about the books and what I thought at the time.

I applied to MIT because it was mentioned so much. The application cost me $50. That would be equivalent to $250-$300 today.

The world has changed so much since then. I still think "selected" SF could create a meaningful world view today but there seems to be a higher percentage of superficial junk.
 

Foxbat

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I can’t quite remember but it was some time in primary school (the UK version of elementary). My parents used to buy me novels abridged for children. Amongst them were 20000 Leagues Under The Sea and Gulliver’s Travels so that’s probably how started reading SF&F. A few years later, I discovered HG Wells and that’s probably when my real love for the genre started.
 

Scott Azmus

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12 years old. My aunt gave me a couple science fiction books -- one was Heinlein's Time for the Stars -- and I was hooked. I've read several thousand science fiction or fantasy books since then, and wish I had a photographic memory of all the characters and strange new worlds. Combined with astronaut Michael Collins' (Apollo 11) "Carrying the Fire," some of these books helped steer the course of my life.
 

asp3

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I'm not sure when I started reading science fiction but I know the books were either Danny Dunn or something like that. My parents were both very pro science and very non-religious so science fiction didn't expose me to information I hadn't been exposed to before. In fact the books I loved most were non-fiction books about science or war machines, especially airplanes.

When I was a Junior ('73-'74) in high school the crowd I ran around with were trekies and science fiction enthusiasts. One of the girls in the group was a huge Harlan Ellison fan so that's the author I started to explore. I preferred short stories to novels so I read collections of them and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science fiction most of the time.
 

Astro Pen

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Aged 12 or 13 Borrowed a friends father's copies of The Silver Locusts - Bradbury and Born Leader - J.T. McIntosh.
Pow! Life changing, permanently.
Tunnel in the Sky, Pebble in the Sky and Ossian's Ride sealed the deal.
Another couple of years and I had ascended Ballard without oxygen.
 
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psikeyhackr

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12 years old. My aunt gave me a couple science fiction books -- one was Heinlein's Time for the Stars -- and I was hooked.
I think Orphans of the Sky was my first Heinlein story. I am pretty sure I read The Door into Summer and Methuselah's Children in grammar school also. Heinlein made contemplating social workings/philosophy more sensible than the nuns.
 

Robert Zwilling

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7 years old, Jules Verne, Tom Swift. At the same time, there were science fiction, fantasy and horror movies on the TV. I wasn't reading anything current for several years. Asimov was probably the first living writer I read.
 

mosaix

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Dan Dare in the Eagle comic around the age of six (1952).

Then Analog around the age of 19 (1965) when I was truly trapped by the genre. I’d always been interested in science but Analog sealed my fate and led to a career in computing.
 

Wayne Mack

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The first science fiction that I recall reading was The Big Jump by Leigh Brackett. I don't recall much about the story, but it made enough of an impression on me that I remember the title to the day.

Prior to that, I dimly remember writing a story, in the first or second grade, concerning a space flight that cut through the edge of the sun.
 

Omits

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When I was eleven in the 50's. Always at the library reading the earliest Sc-Fi novels. Can't remember them though. And 'Journey Into Space' on the radio.
 

Parson

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Elementary school certainly. Probably about 9. The book that hooked me shortly thereafter was Catseye by Andre Norton.
 

chrispenycate

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Apart from stories from the children's section of the library (like the 'Kemlo'series) the first step on the addiction fell when I was eight or nine (mother already dead, not yet secondary school) and I had one of the standardchildren's diseases (measles, mumps, chickenpox… not scarlet fever, that was later) and was put to bed, while adults sought books to immobilise me in place, and they became frustrated at trying to keep me stocked with children's literature, ad delivered me adult books, trusting these to slow me down. One of these was Arthur C. Clarke's 'Earthlight'. Though I did look back occasionally, I never regretted the path I was landed om.
 

Aknot

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I had my first English lessons in 4th grade, which opened up a while new literary world. Back then very few fantasy or SF books except LOTR Dune and the like was translated. I bought a Greyhawk book by Gary Gygax and read it totally fascinated. A few years later I read it again and realized my English had been so poor that I missed 80% of the book but that didn’t matter. I was hooked. Apart from pushing me to read even more it got me fluent enough in reading English very early on.
 

psikeyhackr

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Never heard of Gary Gygax. Guess I was too old in the 80s.
 

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