Or did you watch Star Trek, Star Wars, Battle Star Galactica, Space: 1999? What introduced you to the wonders of science, and fiction?
My first exposure was Robert Heinlein’s novel “Orphans of the Sky”. By high school the SBS stories had become to easy, and although I liked them, I needed more meat in a story if I was going to spend my time with it.
Investigating the stuff from my parents’ bookshelves, I decided murder mysteries were too macabre and science fiction was hopeful, or at least futuristic. And I took to it. Mutants, secret and restricted zones, a generation ship on its way to Alpha Centauri, a discovery worth risking your life for. It’s currently a 75 year old story and hasn’t lost any appeal over the years.
A best friend also introduced me to her passion – Star Trek, which took a little longer to warm up to, but not long. And then Star Wars came along with a gaggle of other television shows and movies in the science fiction genre.
I remember where I was when the first space shuttle landed, STS-01. I, and many other readers, were in the public library, watching the event on a large television – probably a 32″ CRT mounted in the wall above the check out desk, where, we signed a small card, had the book rubber stamped with a date, and were expected to return it on time without an email reminder. Yeah, I’ve been around a while.
I even worked in a library, and frankly, I enjoyed it. The quiet, the books at your fingertips, pushing the cart and refiling by the Dewey Decimal, which I think has followed the CRT into oblivion. But I digress., waxing nostalgic over the “way it was” when now I use a computer on my coffee table that has as much power as all the computers of the space shuttle and mission control combined. I have a global library at my fingertips, in seconds, and my writing is part of that colossal container of information and entertainment.
So remember what sparked your curiosity, what did it for you? It’s a rhetorical question, for your mind only. The Mercury 7? Apollo 11? The Enterprise? Mir? Images from Hubble? Skylab? Beating the USSR to our moon? Kennedy’s declaration for the 1960s? Darth Vader? So many of these cultural icons in our civilization must have a meaning, a statement about humans, that curiosity will drive us where humans have never gone, and we will never stop reaching for the stars.