Well … if I could get on a rocket and go to the moon today, I’d be sorely tempted. I’ll qualify that: a nicely settled, well-established moon base would be preferable. Hey! I’m 67. I like some comfort in my life these days.
It’s movies like “Andromeda Strain” and “Contagion” that I don’t really want in my real life.
I started reading science fiction when I was about 11 years old. I’d grown tired of the limits of my super hero comic books and wanted more. The Librarian at our local library was most helpful. She got me started on the sci-fi for kids.
I read every book in that section and moved on into the adult section, again with help from that Librarian. She introduced me to some of the simpler reads in the adult area. I read books by Andre Norton to begin with and slowly worked my way into the likes of Vonnegut, McCaffrey, Delaney and Heinlein.
Before I knew it I was reading Silverberg, Asimov, Clarke and all those authors people these days think of as classics. Eventually Crichton made the list as did Sagan, Dick, Niven and Le Guin. I’ve probably read them all. Just sitting here and thinking about it, names keep popping into my head. I might be able to list them all, but it would be really long. I mean LONG.
There were a few that might qualify as “pulpy.” There was E. E. Doc Smith, the father of space opera. I loved his “Lensman” and “Skylark” series. “Doc Savage” started out as actual pulp fiction and morphed into paperback books. For one summer vacation, my mom bought me the whole series for my birthday. She thought it would last me all summer. Hah!
It hasn’t been lost on me that what we are going through right now with Covid-19 is a lot like a science fiction movie or novel. And I don’t much like it. It doesn’t help that those movies and novels have always shown how easily things can get out of hand. Spiral out of control. Create apocalypse kind of trouble.
It seems like a lot of the people where we live are relaxing their vigilance lately. It worries me. It saddens me too. It’s my belief that this could still all go south in a heartbeat. I’d rather it didn’t. We all would. But the only way it will not is if we batten down the hatches, dig in for the long haul, and think proactively about what is needed to keep people alive and the world running along at the same time.
I don’t have the answers. I’m willing to bet that no one actually does. Every day I read something new about the novel corona virus that makes me wonder if we will ever get to the end of the things it messes up; of the havoc it can wreak on the human body, young, old, and in between.
I just hope that the measures that are already in place are sufficient and that people stick with them long enough to make a real difference. Consistency and perseverance are absolutely essential to the realization of any goal.
I’ll continue to read science fiction. I’ll continue to write it too. I just don’t want to live it.