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My Sci-Fi Inspirations - Best Science Fiction Books & More

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

Science fiction has always fascinated me. Born in 1975, I was of the generation that watched "Tomorrow's World" on TV that marvelled at a new gadget or possibility on TV when you only had three or four channels.

A picture of the TV show - Tomorrow's World
Tomorrow's World when the BBC was great ;-)

School brought me into the fledgling world of personal computers. I remember a friend I visited had an Atari - and I played PONG till it was dark!

A picture of an Atari games console.
Atari Console circa 1984/5 (I Think)

After that I quickly moved onto the ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro and eventually the Commodore 64. I was obsessed with video games, but one in particular had me hooked for all hours.


A picture of the BBC Micro computer game, Elite.
Elite - Docking into the Space Station - Not Easy!

Hours and hours I would play the game, trading minerals and furs to other star systems while trying to avoid the Thargoids, and getting "The Blue Danube" stuck in my head for hours as I tried to dock at Lave.

Computer games really set off my imagination, not just in science fiction but in other genres too. Lords of Midnight was a massive favourite game, a role playing game set in a mystical land faturing Morkin, and various bad guys like Doomdark who got his "Revenge" in the sequel.

A picture of the 1980's computer game, Lords of Midnight.
Lords of Midnight! A classic!

Once I got a little older, like most teenagers, music and movies started to grab my attention, but as a voracious reader (I'm known to speed read) I quickly outgrew all the books in my school and was signed up at the local library. My first sci-fi book? Why of course Arthur C Clarke, and "2001, A Space Odyssey" which rather curously WAS a movie before it was a book, the novellisations only being published after the films were a massive success.

The follow up - 2010 was another favourite of mine, also a movie, and I graduated to the sequels of 2061 and 3001. I was hooked on sci-fi. My best science fiction books? Well that has to be my namesake William Gibson, the Canadian founder of cyberpunk, and I've read everything he's ever written. I particularly enjoyed the TV series re-imagining of "The Peripheral" on Amazon Prime recently. His books are amazing though. What a mind!

Movies such as Blade, Demolition Man (criminally under-rated!), Aliens and all it's sequels and onto TV series like Battlestar Galactica - sci-fi has been such a big part of my life ever since I was a little kid. So in channeling my creative "itch" what else was I going to write?

Here is a quick Top 15 (in no order) of my favourite movies of the genre, and I am sure you can see some of the influences in "The Unravelling".

  1. Minority Report (I just love love this)

  2. District 9 (sci-fi dressed up as a tale about apartheid, of course it's South African!)

  3. Aliens

  4. Alien

  5. Prometheus

  6. Oblivion (one of the most stunningly beautiful moves EVER!)

  7. Children of Men (so clever in parts but could have done more)

  8. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

  9. Hunger Games Trilogy

  10. Star Wars x 9

  11. Ghost in the Shell (Manga & Hollywood)

  12. The Running Man (the novel and the movie are different but both great!)

  13. Vanilla Sky (in the future when we are all cats - LOVED THIS!)

  14. The Martian

  15. Passengers (the isolation and boredom is brilliantly portrayed by J-Law)

I could agnoise for days and weeks over this list, be on my 100th edit and STILL miss things out, and I'd never get them in order. I LOVE movies in particular and books second I have to say. I think "The Unravelling" is a very visual book and it would make an amazing movie, but of course I'd have to be in charge of casting hahahaha.

From here my love of sci-fi morphed into horror and dystopia, with classic Zombie movies such as "28 Days Later", "I am Legend", "World War Z" and series like "The Last of Us" are huge favourites of mine. While the danger in "The Unravelling" is a lot more real world, and I shy away from the zombie or virus genre, that aspect of dystopia seems to follow me around and I might just might attempt this for my third novel.

A picture of a scene from the zombie movie 28 Days Later.
28 Days Later - Defo in my Top 10 EVER Movies

"Third novel" you say - "but I thought you were a debut author"?

I am. But I got irons in my fire for novel #2. And no, it's not a sequel to "The Unravelling" even though I do have 2 follow ups storyboarded.

Where will this journey take me? Who knows.

I hope my back story adds a little flavour as to what you can expect from "The Unravelling".

Speak soon!

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