I may have a rock 'n roll heart but I grew up on science fiction (and of course, Shakespeare). Science fiction was what I curled up with at night (or Agatha Christie or John Creasey, which counts as science fiction half the time, I think). Isaac Asimov, Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickinson*, Tom Swift (character), George Orwell,The Legion of Superheroes (comic book)...ok, maybe I have a rocket engine fueled heart. Space adventure called. Loudly. Not only from the pages of books, but from movie and TV screens: The Avengers, Dr. Who, The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy, Star Trek, Star Wars, Buck Rogers...I had a future plan that included much more than jet packs and robots, it included ROCKETS. To the moon and beyond.
At some point I switched to fantasy (Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, JRR Tolkien), then to Jane Austen, then more mysteries (Ngaio Marsh), then humorous fantasy (Terry Pratchett FTW) intermixed with teen books (yes, I have at least 7 volumes of The Princess Diaries, the books are better.)
But this year, thanks to Warehouse 13 and the excellent and emotionally shattered H.G. Wells, science fiction and adventure are back. Picked up The Invisible Man and The 39 Steps for starters...enjoyed them more than another book I revisited briefly, Lorna Doone.
Well, H.G. Wells doesn't get all the credit for bringing me back to science fiction and other adventures. There's also Charlie Jane Anders of io9. I discovered Anders and io9 while looking for Warehouse 13 episode reviews to see if anyone was watching the same show I was. And Anders was. Then io9 started hitting me with lists of must read science fiction classics, classics to start off your science fiction experience with, tropes you'll find in science fiction, lists and lists full of books I'd either read or might want to. Then came reviews of some of the current (and tempting) science fiction and fantasy out there in book, TV and movie form, random science facts, fun lists like the 20 most heroic librarians and the occasional fascination with unexploded and submerged ordnance. RSS feed and Facebook connections, check. I don't read every post as the io9 range is vast and covers multiple galaxies, but I do enjoy seeing where the io9 crew has decided to range.
Anders has once again gotten me thinking with one of her latest posts: Why doesn't more fantasy take place in the future? I've been working on something and having some difficulty with the details. So why not combine two of my favorite streams of inspiration? Part of my goal with any project is to write something that I want to read, with the characters that I've always thought were missing from the books I loved. That's one of the reasons I wrote In The Bleak December, because gay and straight characters seemed to exist in separate fictional universes. I read books and comic books, watch TV shows and get occasionally frustrated by how few characters resolve their stories in ways that reflect a scenario familiar to me. Sure Honor Harrington is great, but where's the kick ass space admiral who ends up with a girl. No, I don't want it to be Honor. Her (and author David Weber's) choices make her character. But that leaves writing a story that combines Witch World, Persuasion, and On Basilisk Station to me. Which is great but is also why I stopped going into the science fiction section of bookstores and libraries for awhile. Too many opportunities to haunt myself with panic, why nots and what ifs.
So now I'm back in a science fiction mood, thanks to Warehouse 13 and io9...and wondering where will it take me this time?
*You don't know what a Hoka is? Tsk, tsk.