As with many love stories, my relationship with sci-fi didn’t start well. When I was seven years old, my eleven-year-old sister took me to a double feature: “Them” and “Tarantula.” One could argue those are horror movies, but they’re based on science-gone-wrong. “Them” is about nuclear testing creating huge monstrous ants, and “Tarantula” is about a chemical accident creating a ten-story poisonous spider. The poor scientist was only trying to end world hunger.
Too scary for me then, but the “what if” seed had been planted, and I’ve always had a runaway imagination.
When I was eight, I wanted an acting part in “The Blob.” We were living in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, where Irvin Yeaworth attempted to bring attention to his directing abilities. He decided on a science fiction movie. The movie starred Steve McQueen and Aneta Corseaut and became a drive-in theater favorite for decades. While the movie was being made, I met a lot of actors, took a train to New York City and spent time with Aneta Corseaut. I didn’t get the part I wanted, but it began my love of artists of all kinds. I’d found “my people.”
As a preteen, I read tons of science fiction novels. If I haven’t dated myself already, this should do it. The top sci-fi novels of the day were the Dune Chronicles by Frank Herbert, “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert A. Heinlein, “Planet of the Apes” by Pierre Boulle, and dozens more that this generation might not know started as books. I was an avid fan of Isaac Asimov and E.E. Doc Smith who rallied for the Hugo Award in 1966. Doc won with the Lensman series, but I loved Asimov’s Foundation series best. I subscribed to his magazine, eating up every short story by a myriad of authors. “Writers of the Future” is today’s version of that experience.
On September 6, 1968, Star Trek aired and a new breed of human was born–Trekkies–and Gene Rodenberry was our hero. For the first time, a TV show was as good as my imagination. I laugh at the low quality special effects now, but the stories were amazing. Then, May 25, 1977, Star Wars took everyone by surprise. Suddenly we looked to the past and a galaxy far, far away for a new science fiction horizon.
The 80’s were jam-packed with science fiction greats: “The Terminator,” “Ghostbusters,” “Bladerunner,” “ET,” “Back to the Future,” “Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome,” and, of course, “The Empire Strikes Back” to name a few.
In the 90’s, when movie technology made a huge leap forward, we got a mercury man chasing Arnold Schwarzenegger, dinosaurs running all over the place, Schwarzenegger on Mars, aliens of all types, and a whole world of machines using humans as batteries in The Matrix.
We hit a dry spell until 2009, when one of my all-time favorites, “Avatar” hit the screens and blew our minds. Then “Inception” was released in 2010 and Mad Max returned. Matt Damon took us to Mars. It was worth the wait. More Star Trek and Star Wars and a whole new breed of superhero movies and post-apocalyptic factions and games made the Trekkies happy. I’m leaving out a lot of good books and movies, including and especially Harry Potter. Feel free to mention those I’ve missed in the comments below.
Since 1987, I’ve written three novels. I was a little busy with three kids, work… y’know, the life of a woman. The first novel I wrote, “Under the Hills,” is a story about a world gone mad and the people who were smart enough to prepare for it. The second novel is “Major Mara Jensen: Betrayed”–a story about a woman who beat the odds and became one of the highest trained soldiers in the U.S. I hope to publish that one by the end of 2017. Mara gave up everything for her career; now someone wants her dead. My latest novel, “The Supernatural Prodigy,” is a sci-fi mystery and my first publication on Amazon.
“The Supernatural Prodigy” was born from a mind filled with a thousand stories. It’s a mash of science and pseudoscience, normal and paranormal and a big “what if?” So far, no one has guessed the ending. Maybe you’ll be the first.
My policy for my readers: I have read many genres, from Charles Dickens to Anne Rice. I think what makes a good book is visiting something different than the norm, where unique people get into strange situations and go on adventures we will probably never experience otherwise. Some people will say it’s not pure science fiction because there’s no spaceship. That’s okay. I never claimed it was.
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Thanks for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.