I’ve been a science fiction fan for as long as I can remember. It started when I was in grade school and discovered H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and Robert A. Heinlein. I couldn’t even begin to name my favorite sci-fi books. The list would be far too long, though I did attempt to include a few on Amazon’s Listmania which you can find here: http:/www.amazon.com/Favorite-Science-Fiction-Stories/lm/R2ZY3ZD3AXZJXG/.
My love of the genre was further fueled by the original Star Trek TV series (yes, I’m that old), then years later by movies such as Star Wars and its sequel, The Empire Strikes Back. I absolutely loved Back to the Future I and III as well as ET: The Extraterrestrial, Close Encounters of the Third Kind,and Alien which all maintain a solid grip on my list of favorites. Needless to say, these movies were popular upon release and continue to live on via cable and satellite TV, Net Flix and, of course, DVDs. Obviously, lots of people at least like sci-fi enough to be considered a fan. After all, the nerd population alone cannot explain the success these flicks enjoyed at the box office.
But there are fans and there are Fans. To be a Fan takes your dedication to the next level. I remember someone cozying up to me one time in church, no less, so she could whisper in my ear. I expected her to tell me my slip was showing or I had a massive run in my pantyhose but instead she asked somewhat conspiratorially, “Are you a trekkie?” I’m not sure how she could tell, but clearly it showed, if not my slip, and this otherwise rather spiritual woman recognized me as one of her own.
That alone probably doesn’t necessarily qualify me as a Fan, only weird. But I’m sufficiently obsessed with sci-fi that I’ve actually been to a few Sci-Fi Conferences, or Cons as they’re affectionately called. No, I wasn’t tromping around in chainmail (much less ONLY chainmail) or dressed like Princess Leia, but I definitely understand the humor behind Bimbos of the Death Sun. Surely you’ve heard of it–no? Okay, nevermind. Let’s just say it’s a cult classic in the Con crowd. And actually, quite a few people go to Cons, but would the truth be known, there are two different categories of attendees: After all, there wouldn’t be sci-fi fans (or Fans) without sci-fi authors.
I’m not saying this to brag, but I’ve been writing science fiction since 6th grade when I penned (or rather penciled) stories on lined, yellow paper explaining our teachers’ origins (at least the ones we didn’t like). This has continued, though it’s no longer teachers who populate my tales, placing me in the “author” category. This, in turn, takes me slightly beyond Fan and qualifies me as a FAN. Unless you’re a total masochist you’re not going to turn out over a thousand pages of science fiction, some of which was done on a manual typewriter, unless you’re also a huge FAN.
But beyond that there are FANS. These people (mostly) are the ones so totally obsessed with science fiction that they live it. I, my friend, am here to confess that I am one of those. Initiation into this category is not for everyone. At the least, it involves numerous long nights exerting mental effort sufficient to spawn a brain hemorrhage. It’s multivariable calculus applied to electro-magnetic theory. Orbital dynamics and reference frame transformations. Deriving Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity as well as General Relativity plus knowing the difference between the two.
These are not problems that the average Star Wars fan or Fan would recognize if they hit them upside the head, especially if it were presented in mathematical notation. These are typical problems that physics majors confront as they attempt to discover exactly what the science comprises behind science fiction. Which is exactly what a person totally obsessed with science fiction is likely to subject themselves to.
Yes, I am that weird. I got a bachelor’s degree in physics as part of my obsession for science fiction. Then I was lucky enough to work at NASA for over twenty years. And now I’m retired and finally get to fully return to my first love, science fiction.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “You don’t have to be crazy to work here but it helps.” To paraphrase, “You don’t have to be a physicist to write science fiction, but it helps.” Not only does it help but it provides you with a plethora of great ideas because the more you know about this stuff the weirder it gets. It’s a total blast. Writer’s block? Nah! Just read the latest research and you’ve got more ideas than you could develop in fifty lifetimes.
Surely not all science fiction fans are physicists but I would dare say that the converse is true and the vast majority of physicists are sci-fi fans, Fans, FANS or perhaps even FANS in that sci-fi’s effect on them was similar to mine. And I truly hope that my attempt at this genre brings my readers (and hopefully fans) even a nano-bit of enjoyment. Whether I could possibly inspire any of them to become FANS like those early sci-fi genre pioneers did for me I’ll probably never know, but I can always hope I run into one at a Con someday or maybe in a galaxy, far, far away. Until then, may you Live Long and Prosper (RIP, Mr. Spock), May the Force be with You, and may you feel inclined to find me at the links below.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Marcha-Fox/e/B0074RV16O/
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marchafoxauthor
Author Website: http://www.StarTrailsSaga.com
Bublish Author Page & Book Excerpts: https://www.bublish.com/author/view/3111
Blog Page: https://marcha2014.wordpress.com/ (Be sure to check out my Physics Explained Blog)
YOU CAN FIND MY BOOKS ON:
BARNES & NOBLE:
AND FROM MOST ONLINE RETAILERS.