With the passing of Stan Lee this month at the age of 95, I got to wondering about how old the genre actually is. Talk about getting bogged down in research, you can go back as far as the Epic of Gilgamesh, which is 2000 BCE, but I wasn’t looking that far back.
Scholar Robert Scholes calls the history of science fiction “the history of humanity’s changing attitudes toward space and time … the history of our growing understanding of the universe and the position of our species in that universe.” In recent decades, the genre has diversified and become firmly established as a major influence on global culture and thought.
It was more personal for me. I learned to read by devouring Superman comics. Dick, Jane and Sally held no interest for me. Man, were those kids boring! So, on Sunday afternoons Daddy would walk to town on the train tracks with my sister and me togo to the drug store in downtown Hudson and look at the comic books. They cost 12¢ back then and I still have most of them, carefully preserved now in plastic. I know Stan Lee was Marvel and Superman is DC but I love characters in both universes.
I was always drawn to science fiction, with its endless possibilities. I admit I preferred Gene Roddenberry’s concept of a peaceful future to what I read in the pulp fiction of Daddy’s basement. Scary aliens didn’t entice me, but ET and Close Encounters were made for me and I’ve seen both countless times.
It’s what drew me to write Alien Embrace. A young woman who wakes in a hospital with no memory—where did she come from and why? Throw in a little of the ecological, and you’ve got the kind of story I go looking for.
Have you been a sci fi (never SyFy!!) fan long or do you gravitate toward fantasy or paranormal? Who are some of your favorite authors – Larry Niven, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ursula K. LeGuin, Sherri Tepper, Philip Dick, Jules Verne? Let me know, maybe there’re some out there I haven’t found yet!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and be careful out there if you go Black Friday-ing!