History and Fiction represent the two pillars upon which my roof of literary taste stands. A good historical account, memoir, or map hold a value to me rivaled only by the complementary perspective gained from a novel of the same time period. Regarding novels: whatever has been left to simmer for a few decades in the pool of scholarly criticism--and manages to emerge tasty--usually proves a good dish of fiction. There are, however, exceptions to this rule, and especially to the critics. Science Fiction holds its own against any classic and satisfies the thirst for exploration in a world with very few blank spaces left on the globe. And I'm convinced that its cousin Speculative Fiction will grow and lead the way into the twenty-first century!