Max Doughty (He/Him)
Sent to Earth on a recon mission to gather information about humans in 1992, I’m now a Youtube and Goodreads book reviewer who reads new stuff, old stuff, and forgotten neglected stuff that’s been sitting in a dusty shop since the 60s and few people have heard of. I’m a huge biology/ecology enthusiast with a love for the weirder more eldritch areas of physics, and an absolute dork for all things space. In my spare time I walk the canals, coasts and countrysides of North England, searching for bugs, nice trees, and secret doors into the faerie realm. Outside of sci-fi I’m a huge horror, fantasy and New Weird fan, and am always looking for the juiciest, spookiest recommendations.
I got into science fiction via the classics; Clarke, Asimov, Bear, Foster, Harrison, Banks, and whatever else I could find rooting through my dad’s mildewy cardboard boxes of old pulp novels. It was the best introduction I could have hoped for, and I’ve seen the genre evolve and change in some amazing ways so much in the last 20 years. I love where it’s been and I’m more than excited for where it’s going.
What brought you to SPSFC?
Since joining twitter and the fantastic youtube community, I’ve become more aware that my science fiction tastes are restricted to what is put out by mainstream publishers, and I can’t stop thinking about all the fantastic books that might be slipping under my radar unnoticed. I can’t think of a better way to dive into the world of self published SF, and hopefully my experience with the pulp classics is going to let me bring a retro perspective to the table!
What is your favourite sci-fi subgenre?
Without any hesitation it has to be First Contact sci-fi. Tales, often cautionary, that let us see our own species objectively through eyes different than our own. I also love the hubris rich stories of found and misused alien technology, sci-fi Cronenberg-esque eldritch horror, especially cosmic, and hopeful sci-fi that paints the future as a hard-worked-for and accepting place we should all strive to arrive at.
If you were stationed at the lighthouse from Beacon 23, what 3 books would you be sure to bring along?