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.