I have two questions:
1) What authors/books can you recommend that would be good for someone just diving in to sci-fi? I like the bleaker, darker end of sci-fi (because of my love for horror), so I’m thinking H.P. Lovecraft, Neil Gaiman, and Philip K. Dick, but I really have no idea where to start as far as titles are concerned. I love books that I can dig deep for multiple themes and that provide the ability to have extensive discussions. I enjoy giving my brain a literary workout, in other words. I plan on tackling Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and the movie Blade Runner next.
2) Speaking of discussions, do you know of any good forums to talk about sci-fi storylines? Maybe here? The first book that I did manage to read was The Unteleported Man (a.k.a. Lies, Inc. - it was the extended, uncensored version) by Philip K. Dick, and although it was an intriguing read, I realized that maybe it wasn’t the best to start off with, considering how the second half was one hell of a disorienting drug trip (which didn’t surprise me, however, since I had at least seen the movie A Scanner Darkly and kind of knew what to expect from the author). But I’d like to be able to gain a better understanding of themes, etc. (in any sort of sci-fi novel) by seeing what others think and possibly participate in the discussion…any suggestions?