The truth is, I don’t know where to start with this genre. If you want to go back all the way to the beginning, I think you land at a giant coloring book called Alfie in Computer City. I don’t remember much of the plot–Alfie gets sucked into a computerized world, I think–but I remember the book, itself. Three feet tall, and two feet wide, and it was a coloring book. It might have been the only coloring book I ever owned. Probably was. We’re not really a color in the lines family. (And let me mention, btw, that I did not color in Alfie in Computer City, either. I was a strange child.)
A little closer to the present, we have Star Trek, X-Files, and Doctor Who. Astronauts on the playground jungle gym, and a constant parade of friends who all seemed to fall somewhere on the SF—->Fantasy spectrum.
And then… nothing. I’m not sure why, but somewhere along the way, I stopped.
Don’t get me wrong, I kept reading sci-fi, and watching the fan-boy extravaganza, and enjoying other peoples’ what-ifs, but For whatever reasons, I never made the switch from consumer to producer. I don’t remember voluntarily writing anything Sci-Fi or Fantasy past about sixth grade. I don’t remember what made the difference.
Maybe the difference was that I was growing up, and starting to realize just how far away those worlds were. That even if I really did become an astronaut when I grew up, I’d never get much further than the moon. And fantasy… well, that’s just make-believe, isn’t it?
Peer pressure brought me back. I wanted to write something new–something different–something I thought my friends would enjoy.
I had been burning out on murder and violence in the thriller genre, so I decided to try murder and violence in some other genre.
Maybe that’s a joke. I’m not really sure. I don’t really think the science fiction I write is brighter, overall, but I do think there’s more of a sense of hope and optimism. The idea that things could be really good is there in a way that it isn’t when you have a corpse, and a killer to track down. More faith–if not in humanity, itself, in humanity’s potential.
And I find myself looking at the two and realizing that the similarities are there. I have weird and interesting relationships in both. That’s where nearly all of my stories start. A unilateral marriage here, a domestic triad there… the interactions between people who know each other well, or want to. Or want to hide things from each other.
It’s been a long day, and I wouldn’t doubt it, if you said I stopped making sense a few hours ago. But that’s S. One more day down.