I’m proud to say that I’ve been a fanboy of Science Fiction since the early days… before fanboy was even a word!
I grew up reading stories by Arthur C. Clarke, Issac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, and many others. I watched old TV shows like Lost in Space, Land of the Giants, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, and the original Star Trek.
My first short story was “published” by Mrs. Giosi, my third grade teacher. I loved the Planet of the Apes movies and wrote an original story (yes, I was writing fan fiction before there was such a thing!) She bound the pages, and I made a cover. She placed the book on the shelf next to others in our classroom, and that made a great impression on me. I was a published author, and my work was already gracing the shelves inside the hallowed halls of academia. A fanboy was born.
When Star Wars was released in 1977, my parents took me to a standalone theatre in Nassau County, New York. When we arrived, the line was wrapped around the building. We waited in line for two hours and were finally ushered inside–only to discover that the showing was oversold. My sister and I sat on the floor in the aisle, along with dozens of other kids. We didn’t care. The movie was, in a word, amazing. I remember everyone bursting to their feet and cheering at the end! It was an event. A life-altering experience.
After that, I started buying everything Star Wars: books, posters, T-shirts, the original Kenner action figures, you name it. I built Star Wars lego before there was Star Wars lego. I had X-wings hanging from fishing line in my bedroom. I read the novelization by Alan Dean Foster (credited to George Lucas but Alan wrote the book).
When The Empire Strikes Back came out, I rode my bicycle to the local theatre every weekend for several months and saw the film 13 times. I memorized every line of dialogue. I was driving a car by the time Return of the Jedi came out, and I probably saw that film at least a dozen times. And here’s where I conveniently avoid talking about the prequels, but suffice it to say that of the three, I like Revenge of the Sith best. “From my point of view, the Jedi are evil!” “Well, then you are lost!”
Nowadays, I’m still a huge Star Trek and Star Wars fan. I’ve read dozens of tie-in novels written in both universes, and while some fans take issue with how closely The Force Awakens parallels A New Hope, I loved it. I felt like I was returning home after a long journey. There were many moments when I choked up, even when C-3PO says to Artoo, “Oh, my dear friend, how I’ve missed you.” In case you didn’t know, Threepio was actually talking to me because I’ve been a “dear friend” of Star Wars for my entire life. LOL! Of course, many other scenes had me on the edge of my seat and gasping. I can’t wait for the series to continue! And don’t get me started on Rogue One… let’s just say the force is with me and I am one with the force!
In regard to more recent TV, I’ve been watching shows like The Walking Dead since the pilot episode. I enjoyed the first season of The Expanse on the SyFy Channel (based on the terrific novel series), and honestly, I’ve been giving The 100 a lot of attention. It’s a show that really found its voice in the second and third seasons. I think too many SF snobs dismiss the series as YA junk, but it’s really very good (and brutal!) at times. I wish I had more time to watch all the new superhero shows.
Given my interests, perhaps you can see why the Doc Harrison book series excites me so much. It’s definitely a “science fantasy” series, aligning itself more closely with franchises like Star Wars, Mad Max, Narnia, and Avatar. I think it would make a fantastic television series on the CW Network or a very cool film series giving millions of people a chance to visit Flora and project their personas!
Drop me a comment and let me know what you’re reading and watching these days! It’s always fun to share notes and recommendations for new stories! And if you haven’t done so already, check out the books!