How could I not embrace science fiction? Literature that took me outside the here and now, to look back from somewhere else.
I’ve written science fiction for a while. Okay, since I was ten, which was the year before the first episode of Star Trek aired. I’m a child of the Cold War, of monster movies (Rhodan!), and of the seemingly limitless vistas of technology and space. My textbooks changed while I was in school, adding the discovery of DNA as well as the perils of pollution. In my university room — in everyone’s — hung the first photo of this planet taken from somewhere else.
How could I not embrace science fiction? Here was literature that spoke of what was happening in the world around me — and what I hoped might happen. (Or not!) Literature that took me outside the here and now, to look back from somewhere else. When I discovered my first volume in the school library (Andre Norton’s The Star Rangers), it began more than a love affair. As a budding scientist, science fictional thinking, replete with questions and speculations and curiosities and wonders, was like coming up for air. When I became a biologist, it became my most trusted skill set. I could frame questions. I would search out answers. Findings, the fun ones, should challenge preconception. Science fiction, to me, has been how I talk and dream science. It’s made me a better communicator. It’s given me a venue to share my passion. Read More »