Welcome to my “Author’s Blog” of sorts. I’m told all the up-and-coming authors have these things, as well as a few quite successful ones. Come on in and poke around. I figure the first thing I should tackle with this would be “Why writing, and why primarily Science Fiction?”
The answers actually link to the title of the blog itself. As early as I can remember I was writing, and as early as five minutes after that I was certain none of it was ever any good. As a boy I was always a science fiction and “sword and sorcery” fan, something I pin squarely on my father for being an original Trekkie. I grew up watching Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, and watching cheaply constructed classic scifi movies, the kind Ed Wood could shoot in a weekend. While I was certainly interested in the genre, it always felt somewhat hollow. The films and television shows were always either just people doing normal things but with fancy named gadgets, or else the characters were simply backdrop for the setting and fairly unimportant.
It wasn’t until I was eleven years old that I stumbled into solid science fiction literature. I remember the book that changed it for me…John Steakley’s Armor. The book had a profound impact on me, so much so that I remember captions of it still, and haven’t reread it in thirty years. The characters weren’t just “regular people doing things,” they were immersed in their own world, with problems designed to be unique to that universe- including warning that wearing a religious emblem or personal effect n a powered stealth suit could kill you, since the suit would form fit to the person, and would literally push the medallion into your chest. If you’ve never read it, please pick it up.
John Steakley opened a new universe for me, one filled with aliens who had purposes not just makeup, characters with hopes and dreams instead of archetypal scripts, and thought provoking images of war and the power of the human spirit. One where the characters carried the psychological effects of their actions, instead of just moving on to next week’s episode. What followed was a pulp-filled teenage years, where the masters like Asimov and Bradbury and Heinlein showed me the reaches of the genre. Similarly, up and coming writers would monthly try to outdo their own tutors and inspirations in digest sized monthly offerings such as Asimov’s Science Fiction, Omni, Amazing, and Space and Time. Throughout my teenage years, I truly was a Space Marine. I wore the black clad Scout Armor, enlisted in the Mobile Infantry next to Rico (in powered armor, not black street hockey pads like the film!), and commiserated with R. Daneel Olivaw as the Fire Department burned shelf after shelf of books. The world then for me was a place where Fantasy and Science Fiction offered to show us about ourselves by showing us the lives of other people. All too soon, however, that universe departed. It left me on a barren, lifeless rock called “Get a Job” where the color and wonder of the world slowly faded over twenty five years. I stopped reading. I stopped writing for writing’s sake. I kept the pilot light of my creativity alive as luck would have it, and through a lifetime or three of real world adventures, I collected incredible tales of my own. Though I met many strange and wonderful people (some who it would not be a stretch to believe they were in fact aliens), my power armor remained locked in a trunk in a back corner of my mind, dusty and forgotten.
In 2013 I began writing again. A silly thing, a wargaming blog. It gave me the opportunity to meet some incredibly creative people, and they offered to let me write for them. Once I agreed, that door to imagination flew open again. Over the two years that followed, I made more contacts, spoke to authors, and have tried to develop my craft- something which I believe is a life long pursuit.
The past month, I have made the move to full-time writer. No longer working in the fields I’ve actually been trained for, I’ve rebooted the fission drives on my power armor, and set forth for galaxies yet unknown.
I hope you will join me in experiencing them.
3 thoughts on “So, what’s all this then?”
Good to meet you! I’ve started a blog as well, and I’m into science fiction. I have less experience with the hard scifi like Asimov and company, but what I’ve read by them was excellent. Looking forward to seeing more!
Cool, I think I’ll try some more Asimov and Bradbury to start. One short story I really loved was “Mars is Heaven!” by Bradbury. Ever read that one? Such a creepy idea.
My site is shanehallauthor.com, and I’ve only got one post right now, but I’ll have some more quite soon. Thank you very much!
By the way, I’m pretty sure I found this blog on Twitter, but now I can’t find it there. Are you on Twitter, or did somebody share this? Just in case, I’m @Shane1Hall so hit me up there if you have an account too.
Hi there! I’ve been into science fiction for a while, so I look forward to seeing more posts. I haven’t read a lot of the hard stuff, so I’m curious what some of your recommendations would be.