Bewildering Stories

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by Jerry Wright

Or, I guess I could call it "ellipsis". Don used the three dots as a placeholder while I wrote my illegible, ineluctible screed. So I left it at that. Hey, Whatever works. And darn little of that.

And now, on to our regularly scheduled editorial...

What drew you to Science Fiction?

I know, it has been said that the golden age of science fiction is 12. Or 14, or whatever preadolescent or adolescent age you choose. As for me, I discovered Science Fiction at the tender age of nine with a library book by Robert Heinlein (Rocketship Galileo for those who care) and my life was changed. I've read a ton of stuff. Much of it is appropriately catalogued as stuff, too. I haven't read nearly as much bad science fiction as have Stan Schmidt or Gardner Dozois, but some of what has actually been published out there qualifies as really bad SF. Still, I read vociferously and voluminously and my tastes are catholic, though not Catholic. I love Sue Grafton, John Grisham, Rex Stout, J.A. Jance, and many others in the Mystery field. I read computer books by the score. I just read a novel recommended by the Good Morning Armenia Book Group.

But I keep coming back to Science Fiction, and of course its sister, Fantasy. There is something about SF (and my personal favorite, SF with rivets) that I find riveting. (Sorry...) We live in a Science Fiction world. Not the SF world I would have wished for, personally, (no Moon colony, no asteroid mining, no Mars settlements) but certainly a better SF world than the WW3 holocausts "beloved" of writers in the 50s and 60s.

SF keeps me fresh, keeps my mind flexible, keeps my intellect working. And it helps me understand and relate to people. Ah well, I could go on, but it is late, and I have to put this magazine to bed. So... I turn the editorial page over to my cohort in crime...

Jerry. The Bottle Washer

Hey, that’s an idea, Jerry: use punctuation for titles. A lot of writers use three dots for suspension points (and sometimes for any punctuation at all). Maybe we could invent “suspense” points, like: “!,?,!” would mean “You’re supposed to feel suspense at this point.”

Your trip into science fiction at an early age exactly matches my own, right down to the year and to Robert A. Heinlein. I even remember the book: Rocket Ship Galileo. I bought my first issue of Astounding in January 1951 and have been a fan ever since.

I remember one other book from those early years that made a big impression on me. I forget the name of the author, but the title is The Sword and the Scythe. It’s a historical novel for what we’d call nowadays “young adults.” Very lifelike, fascinating characters from the early 16th century. I don’t know if it “changed” me; probably confirmed interests I already had but didn’t know it. Do you think it’s possible to repeat an experience like that later in life? What do our readers think? Letters are welcome, as always.

a.k.a. Igor the Bottle Shaker