I originally intended to do something very in-depth to explain why I chose science fiction as my main genre, but I thought it would be so boring it would put readers to sleep.
I know because I just found myself face down on my desk and my keyboard covered in drool.
So, I am opting for a shortened version.
I got my introduction to science fiction from WLVI Channel 56 in Boston, Massachusetts. As a kid in the late 70's, I was glued to the TV set on Saturday afternoons from 1-3, watching "Creature Double Feature." The Emmy-winning program showcased some of the best and many of the worst science fiction and horror films ever made -- Beast from 20,000 Fathoms; Them!; Tarantula; Giant Gila Monster; The Creature from the Black Lagoon; Kingdom of the Spiders; Legend of Hell House; Maneater of Hydra; It Conquered the World; The Blob; Plan 9 From Outer Space; Rodan; The Mysterians; Frankenstein Conquers the World; Reptilicus; Angry Red Planet; Journey to the Seventh Planet; Planet of Blood; Queen of Outer Space; Attack of the Giant Leeches; Earth Vs. The Spider; Attack of the Killer Shrews; The Thing from Another World; Attack of the Puppet People; The Abominable Dr. Phibes; Fall of the House of Usher; The Terror; Frankenstein; Frankenstein AD 1970; The X from Outer Space; Gamera; The Mummy's Hand...
The cheesefest was endless.
Of course, my personal favorite (and the one that still rankles my mother who had to endure two hours of mindless nonsense each Saturday) was just about anything with Godzilla.
Anyway, I got this idea that I could write my own stories involving monsters and so I set pen to paper. Later, as I got older and looked at CDF more to pick out lame special effects and hokey acting, I wrote to see if I could come up with better plots than what I was watching.
I am always eternally grateful to WLVI and "Creature Double Feature" because it started my love affair with writing. To make my writing even better, I progressed into journalism by writing for my high school newspapers, first with the Medford (Mass.) Mustang and then with the Euless (Texas) Trinity Palantir after moving to the Lone Star state in 1982.
Next up was college at Prairie View A&M University where I found Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. For anyone who has ever seen Cassandra Peterson in her alter ego, you know she can create a rise and an intense desire...to watch crummy grade Z sci-fi flicks on "Midnite Madness."
Anyway, to continue. I got my commission and served as an engineer officer aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19), flagship of the US 7th Fleet, in Yokosuka, Japan. I still wrote, but, oddly enough, found few Japanese willing to indulge my love of Godzilla.
When I returned home from the Navy, I rediscovered my love of science fiction with Sun Coast Video. The now-defunct retailer was a pillar of most of the malls in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. I raided their science fiction racks for more than 400 videos, all priced under $10.
I then began searching for science fiction books and got hooked on Half-Price Books where tomes were bought from customers and then sold at discount prices. I started looking for the book versions of some of my movie faves.
I can see this is getting long-winded, so I'll wrap up. The last group I'd like to thank for my love of science fiction is Writing.com. WDC gave me an active outlet to showcase my writing when traditional publishing houses were taking fewer and fewer new writers. Through WDC, I found online "e-zine" publishers like Writer's Bump, Spectacular Speculation, Far Side of Midnight, Lulu.com and Leucrota Press, among others.
As for why I write science fiction, I like to be creative. Some say I live in a dream world most of the time anyway. I can take modern society and advance it into the future to see what life might be like. I can think of new inventions and technology. I can answer questions like:
Why haven't we done this?
Why did Sci-Fi Channel change to "Sy fy"?
Who's this C.J. Ellisson? (sorry, couldn't resist)
And, finally, we can ask the biggest questions of all:
"What if...?" and "Can we?" and "Should we?"
I can speculate on things like this all day, but I think it's bedtime for me and time for the readers to go to work.
Just remember this, my friends. I don't always write fiction, but when I do, I write science fiction.
Now, if that isn't cheesy, I haven't learned anything from "Creature Double Feature."