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Monday, December 14, 2020

Day One

Today, after 40 years in the computer industry and 20 years in supercomputer software R&D, I’ve begun my new life. I will confess it’s really strange to wake up on a Monday morning to the alarm not going off and to my not having an urgent need to log in and see what crisis new erupted over the weekend and what someone needs me to do about it.

This is going to take some adjustment.

While I’m making these adjustments, I’d like to direct your attention to a comment made by Ray Daley a few days ago on another post, that is much too good to leave moldering and forgotten in the comments section on a low-traffic blog. Along with this, I’d like to invite you to share your thoughts with me. How do you answer the question, “Why do you write science fiction?” (Or as a less-than-tactful co-worker once put it to me, “Why do you write this sci-fi crap when you could be writing real literature?”)

If you’d like to share your thoughts on the subject, ping me in the comments section or drop me an email.

And now, over to Ray:

Those writers we enjoy, who are our route to the world of what I lovingly call "made-up crap", those are the giants whose shoulders we stand on. They raise us to the heights our dreams drive us to aim at.

I blame Douglas Adams. I was 9, I bought Hitch Hikers, the 1st book I ever got with my own money. My life was Doctor Who (Jon Pertwee to Tom Baker), Space:1999, Star Trek, Blake's 7.

With the 1st Space Shuttle launches, the future was now.

As a young boy, I was given all the room I wanted by a teacher to write whatever the hell I wanted to. Sure, it might have been a weak rip-off of the last Doctor Who episode I'd seen, but it was me throwing every ounce of my imagination into it.

Douglas Adams was one of many who piggybacked me towards my dreams. And every time I write a new story, I honour his memory.

—Ray Daley


Mark Keigley said...

I was a kid that always was asking, "what if?" One of those episodes, of asking about cause and effect, I think I was about six at the time, I tied the little plastic Army WW 2 half-track to a string, then tied the string to the tail of the cat, then tossed the Army truck OVER THE CLOSELINE to the dog to fetch and go ripping across the yard to keep it out of our hands so he could chew it up at his leisure.

The results were gratifying to who I was at the time.

Immensely so.

I do much the same thing with writing science fiction. What if we have a generation ship headed to Proxima Centauri. (yawn... been there, bought the t-shirt) But, no....what if our passengers are genetically-modified possums?

The HELL, you say?

Anyone seen a little green Army half-track around?

ray p daley said...

Well, I'm extremely flattered to see my words used in the blog. Closest to making it into the magazine yet, I guess? ;-P
Despite what the Google ID says, I will politely ask, as always to go by my correct byline, Ray Daley. Please?

It's the only one I haven't changed, as I don't use it often enough.

I've always been passionate about writing, and reading. My mum encouraged me to read, and certainly never stopped me reading anything. While Hitch Hikers was the book which shaped young Ray, The Forever War shaped adult Ray, to the point where when I left the RAF and used the internet for the 1st time, I emailed Joe Haldeman to thank him for keeping me sane during the Gulf War.

My first "big" release is coming next year. I'll be appearing along such greats as William F. Nolan (best known for Logan's Run) and multi award winner Bruce Holland Rogers. If you'd told young Ray when he watched Logan's Run on tv that one day he'd be in the same book as its writer, he'd have told you no way.

Frankly, adult Ray is also still pinching himself.


Why do I write sci-fi, or specifically, weird horror? Because even as a toddler during very tough upbringing years, while my sports-lovin' brother and cousins were all into superhero comix, me the awkward geeky stutterin' one was reading Twilight Zone, Hitchcock Mystery Mag, Bradbury and Conan Doyle. But the real blame goes to my mother. When I was nine, she couldn't get a baby-sitter, so she took me with her boyfriend to see a revival showing of 'Psycho'. The rest, as they say, is history.

~brb said...

@Mario - For some reason this comment got stuck in the "requires moderation" queue and I didn't notice it until now. Sorry.