A few weeks ago J. C. Hutchins wrote a post on Tor.com about how science fiction authors can benefit from reading other genres. I couldn’t agree more and thought I’d point out a few of my favorite non sci-fi reads. Although most of my writing is in the realm of comedy or satire, not counting “Adventures of the Floating Elephant” over at Activatecomix, I actually enjoy curling up with factual books about time, space and quantum theory. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m no rocket scientist, and I certainly have no idea what all those elaborate equations on the black boards of scientists mean, but I’m fascinated by theories about how our universe works.
My love for all things science fact started back in the very early eighties with Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. I never missed an episode of that show while in junior high. Secrecy was the name of the game back then of course. I’d have to watch a few snippets of The Dukes of Hazzard so I could interact with other kids in 8th grade. It was important they never know of my secret love, Carl Sagan. After Cosmos ended I lapsed back into high school concerns and my mundane activities of planet Earth. It wasn’t until a few years later that Stephen Hawking became known to the general public due to his popular and bestselling book, A Brief History of Time. I was probably being a bit of a sheep when I bought the book, but it was so nice to do so out in the open in front of all the other normal people. That was one less category of book to hide thanks to Mr. Hawking! I still had to keep my comic books hidden in those days before graphic novels were “cool.”