Grav. Attraction Launch Party – The SF Child

July 21, 2014


Recently, I asked a group of friends to pose questions, anything at all they might want to know about my work and so on. There were some fabulous ones and some that surprised me. This is in response to the question asking if I was “into SF as a child” and what was it like growing up in a science fiction world of make believe.


That brought a flood of memories. I was interested in the universe at large when I was small, as most children are, but science subjects occupied a lot of shelf space in my room. My indulgent parents purchased a working microscope for me, bought books on stars and planets, on animals and weather, on anatomy and the moon landing. I was only five years old at the time of the first moon landing, but I think it sparked something in my imagination so fiercely, it never quite went away.


I wasn’t the only one, of course. A slew of movies and television shows built around speculation about space, both serious and silly, cropped up in my early childhood – Lost in Space, My Favorite Martian…

Star Trek.

It’s easy to make fun of the original ST, with its low budget sets, its primitive special effects, its tendency toward over-acting, (in certain cases) and its occasional disregard for the laws of physics, despite Mr. Scott’s protestations. But it was original, the characters interesting and accessible, and the themes important ones, explored in environments that removed them from the politics and strife of Earth.


Yes, my best friend and I played Star Trek. I admit it. She was Captain Kirk and I was Mr. Spock, because that’s how our personalities fell and because Kirk and Spock were best friends, too. Of course. The question of gender never entered our minds, nor the question or Kirk and Spock’s actual relationship. We were too young and our minds were filled with aliens, distant planets, tricorders and phasers. Sometimes we tried to have other friends join in, but they never really got it and we’d end up playing dress up or something equally distasteful to us. More often than not, it was just the two of us, transforming the landscape of shelves and boxes in our parents’ basements into alien terrain and starship corridors.

Eventually, my friend outgrew her SF phase. Me? I’m old enough to be someone’s grandmother – and I never have.

Of course I ended up writing SF. How could I not?


Gravitational Attraction

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4 Responses to “Grav. Attraction Launch Party – The SF Child”

  1. JJ says:

    There were many good universal themes in Star Trek’s episodes. It’s a shame that some people expect others to grow out of loving SF. To me, a person who likes SF just enjoys imaginative stories.
    Have you read some steampunk stories?

  2. Susan says:

    Glad to hear I’m not the only one our age who loved science and SF growing up. I too was always Mr. Spock.

  3. H.B. says:

    I liked science but I can’t really say the same for Star Trek I think I was too young to appreciate the series when the episodes were airing.

  4. JJ – I do enjoy a good steampunk now and then. I really loved Wings of Equity and Freddy MacKay’s Feel Me, though heart stomping, is really good, too.

    I still love Spock best, Susan – even after all the new ST’s over all the years.

    It’s horribly campy now ,H.B., but there was nothing else like it back then

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