Before that look of horror freezes on your face, I should stress that, yes, of course, my parents were married. To each other, even. No problem there.
The title of this particular blog actually refers to the fact that after twenty-two years as a published author, having written hundreds of stories, I finally, at long last, have made it into the Science Fiction Book Club! My new Superman book, The Stolen Super-Powers, is one of this month's featured selections. Very cool. I guess that means I can actually consider myself, perhaps even refer to myself, as a "science fiction writer", and that means more to me that you might think.
My whole early motivation for reading, and love of books, was sparked by science fiction and other imaginative literature. Through ragged, often coverless copies of my older brothers' Classics Illustrated comic books I was introduced to H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson, and others. I anxiously waited every week for new episodes of Lost in Space, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and The Adventures of Superman. Thanks to Forrest J Ackerman's magnificent Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine I knew which movies to look for, scouring the TV listings in the newspaper for iconic broadcasts of King Kong, Bride of Frankenstein, and The Wizard of Oz.
By the time I was in junior high school I was venturing into the wee hours to catch reruns of Star Trek, and reading the nights through with the newest Doc Savage paperbacks. Science Fiction had already long been in my blood, but by then it was really rolling to a boil. Around that same period I fatefully read a Richard Matheson short story called "Born of Man and Woman". It was a brief little thing, not more than five or six pages, but it profoundly affected me. In fact, that disturbingly emotional and terrifying tale changed me forever. Somehow I felt different after reading it. Suddenly, I'd realized exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I would someday grow up to be a science fiction writer, too!
It's been a long road. There have been sacrifices, to be sure, in following my vocation. And I don't think I've ever really grown up. Still, even as a naive little kid in Kentucky, I knew that a writer's life wasn't going to be easy. It hasn't been. I've lost cherished relationships, worked many vacuously abysmal part-time jobs, and undoubtedly forfeited a traditional family of my own in my pursuit of my Muse. It's not like I ever had any real choice, though. I don't pursue and, thankfully, maintain this career because I merely necessarily want to. Like most of my friends, whether they be writers, artists, musicians or actors, I do this because I must.
It's kind of crazy.
After all these years I'm still bewildered by my love of outer space, time machines, and dinosaurs. I don't understand it. I don't try. I only know that they are a part of me and I believe they have done me good.
I'll close with the immortal philosophy of Forry Ackerman:
"Remember kids, don't Drink, Smoke, or Dope. Get High on Sci-Fi!"
Works for me.