Jules Verne’s birthday is on Monday. And for one of my best friends, remember, Tom Hiddleston’s birthday is on Tuesday! Two of the best events to happen in science fiction? Maybe….
Seriously, though, I’ve always been more of a fantasy buff than a science fiction one. Oh, sure, I read some abridged versions of Jules Verne’s work, but think it may be time to revisit that decision. The one scene between Hodgins and his brother on Bones where they connect over Verne was awesome and such a tearjerker. I could follow it, but was frustrated that I didn’t have the full resonance, since it had been so long.
As I get older, and hopefully wiser, it’s good to keep expanding my horizons. I have a stack of new books in my electronic reader and on my bookshelf clamoring for my attention. Yet, I also need to be rooted in the classics. What’s been done before? How to do things differently? I’ve heard there’s only about thirty plots…Hmm….
As for science fiction, I found it interesting, but sometimes it seemed too realistic. Like it could happen any day. There was always books near to hand that I could read as an inquisitive child. The Illustrated Man by Bradbury. Spock Must Die by Blish. And of course, the original Star Trek series was always on in reruns. Sometimes reality was too much for me growing up since I was originally a socially awkward nerd–big stretch, that, right? *wink*
And in some ways, communicators, tricorders and padds did appear, just a few decades later. Now if only we could get food replicators and transporters! I am so sick of sitting in traffic in the Gotham metro area.
Fantasy, on the other hand, seemed marvelous, otherworldly. I wanted to escape from reality, and books offered exciting alternatives. As a child, I was convinced magic was around the next bend. Maybe a wardrobe would hold Narnia. I’d look up in the sky to see if dragons were there—and dreamed of being in Pern, riding my own!
Not all fantasies are benign, however. Neither are all of science fiction’s advances. Fairies, true ones, are terrible and cruel, not cutesy. Frankenstein was clearly a warning against interfering with the natural order. As I grew, so did my reading list. Elric, with the cursed sword Stormbringer that ate souls and weighed down his own. The Black Company showed me the value of soldiering on despite impossible odds and powers beyond comprehension.
Then there’s the original fantasies: myths. I loved the Greek ones (my urban fantasy in progress follows a Fury!), and those of my peeps: the Norse. Thor and Loki. Loki…Hiddleston made the trickster look good…oh, wait, back to Hiddleston.
That’s where I came in. I think it’s best to exit here.