Inspired by television science fiction – and mortified by political futurism passed off as sci-fi and thrust upon me to read by my elders – I determined to create a brand new world of space adventures.
Why was everyone so dour in the books I read? I rarely could get near enough to any character to care, and the whole political thing left me cold anyway, although admittedly, I was very young (around ten years-old).
While those old ideas of future oppression are now crowding close around us, with advocates enthusiastically pushing to make it a global reality, I still look for adventure over doom-and-gloom any day.
Of course there’s adventurous science fiction out there now. It’s been a few decades since those sad days when I couldn’t find what I wanted in sci-fi and so determined to write it for myself. I’m pleased to see full human characterization now, not two dimensional anymore. There are adventures and real excitement, individuals coping with whatever they need to on a personal basis with realistic settings and proper human reactions. It’s wonderful!
I think you weren’t read the right SF — there are TONS of positive visions of the future out there….
Hi Joachim! 😀 You bet there are! I acknowledged that in the article. We’re talking when I was a kid, way back in the 1970s when the doom-and-gloom merchants of today were still getting a foothold and concentrating their message through art and creativity. I like to think there was a massive silent uprising of young people, so that while I was determined to write SF adventure, so were a million other kids. 😀
Undoubtedly there were positive SF out at that time, too, but when you’re 10 and it’s before the time of the Internet, finding them can be considered a challenge. I did find a gem or two, and I loved them. It didn’t help that the adults around me pushed anything that said “future” so I was stuck with the likes of George Orwell’s “1984” which is heavy going when you’re 10, and to me wasn’t a sci-fi at all. We got more of that in school, of course, which didn’t help either.
I’m really pleased to see good SF, particularly with positive human outlooks, and yes, there were always good ones. My experiences and the hassle finding the good stuff, however, had a positive outcome because it made me the writer I am today.