The short version is, I was accidentally exposed to several dangerous quantities of ugly and/or distressing science fiction as a child, and had nightmares for years, and remained very, very wary of the whole genre, barely able to watch Star Wars without getting uneasy. Yes, Star Wars. Like the dog of the story, scalded with hot water, I was sure I hated all that had to do with sci-fi.
Then, in recent years, the startling fact was brought to my attention that time travel is indeed science fiction – and I have a cautious liking for time travel stories, provided the destination is the past, and not some dystopian, or apocalyptic, or post-apocalyptic, or pre-apocalyptic future, thank you very much. So I ventured to read Connie Willis‘ To Say Nothing of the Dog – and loved it, but I remain a sci-fictional wimp, and will likely die so.
So, tempting as it is to pretend I did it on purpose, I may as well confess that it was not only a surprise, but also something of an irony to find out that my new blog shares a name with a collection of works by L. Sprague de Camp. And yes, I know, LSdC was not exclusively a science fiction author, but it happens that Scribblings, the book, was first published by the New England Science Fiction Association for one of its conventions* – so, honestly, how un-sciencefictional can it be?
I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll even try to procure and read Scribblings, the book. Even before I consider the chance, I’d need detailed certainty there is nothing I don’t want to read in it. For instance, where (or rather, when) does the Drinkwhiskey Institute travel to? Or do I even want to know what fate awaits the Elephant in the poem of the same name? All else apart, it wouldn’t be terribly smart to give myself nightmares for the sake of my blog’s namesake book, would it?
So far, the only part of Scribblings, the book, I clapped eyes on is the table of contents – and I must say I like it. It sounds quirky and intriguing, and that’s one (however unintended) kinship I will claim. Who knows, some day I might read past the table and face the contents – but until then, I’ll hold Scribblings, the book, as a reminder to keep Scribblings, the blog, as quirky and intriguing as I can.
* And say what you will, I cannot read or hear “science-fiction convention” without thinking of Galaxy Quest.
- “Time Traveler’s Almanac” features sci-fi heavyweights and acclaimed Colorado authors (denverpost.com)