Mark J. Rose

Writing Matt Miller in the Colonies – Blog Entry 7

Adventure of spaceman. Mixed media

JUNE 28, 2022 – BLOG ENTRY 7

I owe my father a great deal when I talk about literary influences. He was dropping science fiction on my nightstand from the time I learned to read. My father was only nineteen years old when I was born, so he was just a kid. Maybe we were learning about science fiction simultaneously, or perhaps he was already a fan. I regret not asking him more about his favorite authors. I regret not asking him about many things, which seems to be a common theme among fathers and sons. I do know that he was intelligent and well-read. While going through his stuff after he died, I learned that he did way better than me on the SAT.

My father would read a book and then leave it in my room. Eventually, I would pick the book up and start reading it myself. He got his hands on many anthologies and compilations, and so much of my early reading was short stories. It was a different world back then. You were forced to read what people put in front of you, good or bad. And when you ran out of things to read, you reread the good ones until you could go back to the library or bookstore. I remember the feeling of “wow” after reading some of those short stories. They were by Isaac Asimov, Arther C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, and Ray Bradbury. I gravitated especially to Ray Bradbury and “The Illustrated Man.” It made it obvious to me that science fiction had more to do with humanity than it had to do with science.

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