A Return to Science Fiction
1.) First, a taste for Science Fiction.
1970’s grocery store book sections dedicated a whole shelf to Science Fiction pulp. Back in these days Science Fiction at the Grocery store broke up into fan fiction, series, and some excellent stand alone epics.
Magazine stands had Science Fiction and Fantasy zines next to Marvel and DC comics.
Prior to the existence of computer games and internet entertainment a day could be a quiet day with a new Star Trek novel and an issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Local libraries stocked new Science Fiction titles every Wednesday. Therefore Wednesday’s became a day filled with hours of staring at library shelves and carrying out heavy stacks.
My tastes matured like everything else and other interests obsessed my adult life as much as Science Fiction stories from my youth. As an adult I still dream of riding on sand worms in Arakis, piloting a spaceship for the first time, or fighting an Alien army.
First came the love of reading then the numerous Science Fiction novels and collections. Second came the understanding that the genre offered more than just interesting stories. In these stories readers thought about effects of science on their everyday lives. Science Fiction also offers an effective platform to share biting satire on current affairs of state.
2.) Second, how to prepare to write Science Fiction.
Clark Ashton Smith, a well known writer for old Science Fiction and Fantasy magazines, thought of himself primarily as a poet yet wrote speculative fiction with H.P. Lovecraft. His stories combined the fantastic and the beautiful with skill only a poet could muster.
H.P. Lovecraft and Smith remained friends and shared ideas throughout their lives.
Similarly Poetry took hold of me around the time I was reading Science Fiction daily. Therefore my reading was broken up into poetry during the daylight hours and Science Fiction at night before bed. I moved from reading the new Dune novel to reading books of poems or essays on the art of writing poetry. For many years I avoided writing any type of speculative fiction (except horror) and centered my attention on the art of writing poems.
A love of poetry helped me find the time, courage, and motivation to return to speculative fiction. I hope to find new readers and to entertain faithful readers of my poetry.
3.)Last, my new Science Fiction.
The Creative Exiles is the beginning of a journey through a series of Science Fiction shorts. The story “Space Kiss” will open the series and a new story will come weekly until I can compile my first Science Fiction novel “A Galactic Chekhov.”
Joan Dideon, a well read American writer of stories and essays, began her journey by hand copying Ernest Hemingway word for word to try to solve the puzzle of storytelling.
My muse is Anton Chekhov’s short stories. Stories of Chekhov provide the framework for the stories in this collection.
What perfect stories to tell in empty alien spaces of the universe.
To sum up: I hope you enjoy.
4.) “A Galactic Chekhov”
In conclusion this next paragraph is going to be a portion of the introduction to the novel “A Galactic Chekhov.”
A hatch to a small intergalactic freighter opened with a loud whoosh. Through the open hatch a child, maybe nine years old, wearing a grey space suit fit in and closed it behind him. Oxygen and pressure returned when he pushed a button near the hatch. The room filled with what looked like fog and after a few minutes the boy removed his helmet and took a long deep breath of manufactured oxygen. He floated through the empty room over to another door, opened the next door, and found himself in a large storage facility. Gravity returned when he closed the second door behind him and he softly landed on metal floor below.
The boy stood and took a look around. A storage bay was filled with books. Not the electronic devices he had read stories on but actual paper books. A relic of the past no doubt. A portion in history when trees existed in nature and beings from any world with wood produced tomes of information.
A vast library was filled with shelves and shelves of books with various robots moving books from one area to another.
“What brings you to my Library at the End of the Universe?” A voice echoed through the storage bay. “Son of Eve from the planet Terra. How have you come so far and why are you here?”
“Who are you? Where am I? The Library at the End of the Universe? I cannot remember how I arrived. My only memory is of floating in space and finding a hatch.” The boy spoke in a loud voice.
“I am the Librarian. I was tasked by a neural AI network to collect stories of our Universe and rewrite them in this fashion. I have nothing to offer you child but a book and food and water.”
“Ok then, I will take a book and food and water.” A robot arm swung from above and placed a table with a table cloth in front of the boy with a bowl of some purple soup along with a jar of what looked like water.
“For when you eat.” A robotic arm placed a book in front of the child whose title read “A Galactic Chekhov Reader.”
“A recent addition from a twentieth century son of Adam. I was unable to put together the original manuscript so I had to indulge myself with my own robot memories. Memories that go back around a thousand years of this cosmos.”
The boy removed his gloves and sat crosslegged. He ate the soup and drank the water-like fluid and settled down to read.