Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Me -- The History

I've referred to my love for science fiction and fantasy several times on this blog. Some people love that kind of stuff; other people hate it. Well, I wouldn't say that I have always been a fan of fantasy and sci-fi. In fact, there were some sci-fi/fantasy things that I really like now but was hesitant about getting into. I will explain all that and more in this post.
From as far back as I can remember until I was in middle school, I didn't have much exposure to fantasy and sci-fi. I did have at least one Star Wars and one Star Trek themed game on my Commodore 64, but I didn't really understand them, because I'd never seen any of the movies. Although I read a lot, most of what I read was technical manuals and realistic juvenile fiction. I do remember a family member turning on Star Wars back in 1996-97, but I was too involved in a Garfield book to pay any attention to the movie.
In sixth grade, I made two big steps into the sci-fi/fantasy realm. One was enjoying the book A Wrinkle in Time. We were assigned to read it, and I didn't think I'd like it, because I had tried reading it in second grade and just couldn't get into it. (Part of that was because my jerk second grade teacher called it "one of [her] favorite books when [she] was younger," which made me dislike it right away.) After reading it, though, I ended up enjoying it so much, I read the sequel A Wind in the Door, even though it wasn't required. The other big step was watching (and paying attention to) a Star Wars film for the first time. The same family member I referred to earlier turned on The Phantom Menace for him and I to watch, and I loved it!
Over the next few years, I read and watched even more sci-fi/fantasy. In seventh grade, I read A Swiftly Tilting Planet, which is the sequel to A Wind in the Door and wasn't required either. We were assigned to read Anne McCaffrey's short story "The Smallest Dragonboy" that year, and I enjoyed it. I still remember that laser disc (or was it DVD?) clip our teacher showed us, where McCaffrey insisted that she wrote science fiction, and proceeded to name the chemical elements the dragons in her stories breathed in and out, and said, "I don't have any Cinderella characters in my story because Cinderella was a wimp!" (For those who don't know, I have read quite a few of McCaffrey's works over the past year or so.) I eventually saw the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as Attack of the Clones. Spider-Man got me into comic-book movies, and I absolutely hated The Fellowship of the Ring because of how long, drawn-out and boring it was.
Now, you may be wondering where the Star Wars books came into the picture, as well as when I got into Star Trek. Well, I'll start with the SW books: Back in 2005, around the time of the theatrical release of Revenge of the Sith, a guy at a yard sale in my neighborhood was selling some SW novels. I bought a couple, because I wasn't sure if I'd like them. Well, when I read the first one, I was blown away! It was amazing! I went on to read dozens of other SW books and enjoyed (most of) them! Now, for Star Trek: I was even slower getting into ST than SW. The first Trek movie I attempted to watch was The Final Frontier, and it bored me so much, I gave up on it well before it was over. About three years later, though, I watched Nemesis, and thought it was superb. I went on to at least attempt to watch all the films, and while most of them were at least somewhat good, I couldn't get through Wrath of Khan nor The Motion Picture. The first Trek book I read was Federation by the incredibly talented Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, and it was quite good, too.
In closing, let me say this: I love all kinds of sci-fi and fantasy, including series not even previously mentioned, like X-Men, Batman, Narnia, and Harry Potter. However, there might come a day when I am no longer a fan of any of that stuff. I'm still in my twenties, and people say that your tastes change a lot when you're that age. So, who knows? I might find some other genre(s) to latch onto. In fact, I have read some historical fiction and mysteries lately, as well as watched a romantic comedy, and really enjoyed all of them. Maybe one of those will be my new favorite genre. We will see.
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