Both science and science fiction have had a significant impact on me from a young age. My very first memory at the age of three is of watching the moon landing in our tiny apartment in Brooklyn, NY. As Neil Armstrong, a white blur on the screen, stepped down on the lunar surface, I wondered why everyone was so excited. After all, hadn’t we been to planet Vulcan already?
I remember my mother handing me a tattered, dog-eared paperback copy of A Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It was one of the first books I read that didn’t have any pictures in it. I was astounded by the world that I was teleported to along with John Carter. The adventures in the book were far richer and more exciting than anything at the movies or on television. I had become a reader, and found myself every weekend in the science fiction and fantasy section of Walden Books. Soon I was reading Robert E. Howard, Ray Bradbury, H.P. Lovecraft, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Ursula K. Le Guin, Larry Niven, Harry Harrison, Ann McCaffrey, Arthur C. Clark, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien. By the time I was a teenager, these people had shown me the incredible possibilities of the universe. It was my dream to imagine fantastic worlds myself someday and put them to paper.
I didn’t think that I wouldn’t be putting them to paper, but instead would be typing them into a computer and publishing them onto a world-wide computer network. That’s pretty cool in itself.