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Shared Dreams

I’ve enjoyed sci­ence fic­tion and fan­ta­sy through­out my life. I hon­est­ly think that some of the authors I read heav­i­ly at an ear­ly age (espe­cial­ly Robert Hein­lein) have had a seri­ous effect on my per­son­al phi­los­o­phy and affect­ed every­thing I’ve done. Part of what I love is the opti­mism and hope­ful­ness inher­ent in so much of the genre — I don’t need to read dark or watch things, there’s enough of that in real life! Being trans­port­ed to com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent places through a good sto­ry is won­der­ful — and being able to tru­ly iden­ti­fy with the char­ac­ters makes it far eas­i­er to sus­pend dis­be­lief. Most of the SF&F I real­ly enjoy is also pep­pered with humor, often wry or off-kil­ter.

I’ve had men­tion of var­i­ous SF&F books, movies, art, etc. strewn through­out my site in the past, but I decid­ed to pull things togeth­er a bit dif­fer­ent­ly now. So here are links to some of what I enjoy and what I’d like to share with oth­ers.

Hap­pi­ly, Katie seems to share my love of the fan­tas­tic, and we’re able to enjoy many books togeth­er. It’s a good thing she likes it, since she real­ly had no hope of avoid­ing the stuff – I read the unex­pur­gat­ed ver­sion of Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land to her while she nursed, as it had just been released in 1990 when she was born.

Some­one once told me that there isn’t any­thing wrong with SF/​F read­ers except those weirdos who go to the con­ven­tions. Well, I must con­fess – I have been to one con­ven­tion sev­er­al times. Drag­on Con is a great event that occurs every sum­mer here in Atlanta. It’s all a for­mer SO’s fault – he took me to my very first Drag­on Con around 1987 or 88.

I am guilty of spread­ing the con­ta­gion to the next gen­er­a­tion, hav­ing intro­duced Katie to her first con at the ten­der age of 5. She had just as much fun as I did. If you think the peo­ple watch­ing is fun for adults, imag­ine it as a child! We went to explore the art show and came upon a sec­tion of nude paint­ings. Katie said in a stage whis­per “Mom­my! Those girls for­got their panties!” The artist was near­by and I was afraid he would spew soda all over some­one else’s paint­ing. The first thing that popped into my mind was “well, maybe it was hot that day.” Katie replied with “Oh. Maybe so.” and went on to the next sec­tion with­out anoth­er thought. For the next few years she referred to Drag­on Con as “that place where the girls for­got their panties,” which occa­sions some very odd looks from peo­ple who don’t know the sto­ry. (The Geor­gia Renais­sance Fes­ti­val already had the label “that place where peo­ple dress real fun­ny and act sil­ly.”)

I was on a pan­el at Drag­on Con a few years ago, talk­ing about inter­net secu­ri­ty, pri­va­cy, and online harass­ment. Sam was the direc­tor for the children’s track pro­gram­ming (Kid­Con) at Drag­on Con 2000. I have a feel­ing we’re like­ly to get more involved, rather than less, as time goes on. I may write some­thing about sur­viv­ing and enjoy­ing cons with kids soon.