Okay, so a bit of personal history to set the stage. An obstinate child, I refused to learn how to read. Why? Lord knows. It was my will against my schoolteacher’s, and I won. Then came round two when the school referred the matter to my parents. My mulishness is a family trait. (The day of my sister’s wedding, my brother-in-law, with horrid realization dawning upon him, took me aside and said, “Your sister’s very stubborn,” an understatement.) It would require and iron will to bend mine, and so, my father took it in hand to teach me to read; that is, every night I started my reading lessons under the compulsion of one or more spankings, and after starting me on a lesson, my father often found it necessary to further encourage me along at intervals to see it through to the end.
Anyway, that’s how I first learned English. Once my lessons were done, I never picked up a book of my own volition, that is, until I discovered a genre called science fiction. I “love” science fiction, but perhaps loved is a better term. As I grew older, science fiction stayed the same, which is to say, science fiction became more and more childish to my tastes. I wanted to love and enjoy science fiction, but couldn’t find material which moved and interested me as more mature writing could.
Yet despite my inability to find good science fiction, it is out there, and I have been pleased to discover one so far reliable source for science fiction endorsements, Extra Sci Fi, a YouTube show dedicated to presenting a bibliological history of science fiction. I have already talked about one of the stories on their list, Childhood’s End [Vision’s End, The Devil], and have recently begun reading a rather promising, if short, story, The House on the Borderland. I highly suggest the show, and would give Childhood’s End two thumbs up.
I wouldn’t have been able to read without my father, but I wouldn’t have learned to read without the wonderful taste of science fiction. So, today I take a moment to remember my original literary love, science fiction.