Tonight, for two hours, my husband will sit in silence. My dog will not be allowed to bark. My cats will keep their meows to themselves. My phone will be unplugged, my doorbell will not ring, and if a meteor crashes to earth, that will be all right as long as my cable keeps working, because tonight ends one of the darkest, the most engaging, the most terrifying, the most soul searching, gut wrenching, heartbreaking, most human Sci Fi series of all time, Battlestar Gallactica. Since the demise of the wonderfully creative series Firefly, it is the only thing I watch on television. Despite it's bleak premise - how can the remnants of the human race remain human, keep some semblence of order and retain some small drop of human kindness, when there is no future, when all hope of survival has vanished - losing my weekly session with Admiral Adama and his son Lee, Kara Thrace (Starbuck), Anders, Colonel Tigh, Ellen Tigh, the Sharons - oh how I adore the Sharons - and Carl Agathon, Hera, Caprica Six, President Lara Roslin, slimeball Gaius Baltar, the Chief, the Doc, and even Hotdog, will feel like a swift kick in the gut. For four seasons I've lived through their passions, their fears, their heartaches, their illnesses, the deaths of their true companions. I've watched the wall of memories, the wall of photos, grow until I've come to feel as if those lost were members of my own family, my own friends.
I write romance, but Science Fiction and Fantasy were my first love. I was nourished on the likes of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, Frank Herbert, Urusula le Guin, Mary Stewart, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jules Verne, Ralph Ellison, Larry Niven, Rudyard Kipling, H.P. Lovecraft, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Orson Scott Card, Robert A. Heinlein, H.G. Wells, and I moved onward and upward to Tad Williams, Anne McCaffrey, Margaret Atwood, P.D. James, George R.R. Martin (what's up with sci fi writers and initials?), Peter S. Beagle and his sweet book, The Last Unicorn, and last but not least, Walter M. Miller and perhaps my all time favorite, A Canticle for Liebowitz. Any one of these authors would turn over in their grave, or flip around in their desk chair, to hear me compare Science Fiction and Fantasy to romance...but I'm about to.
Romance and Science Fiction and Fantasy have this in common - these genres transcend time and place. A good romance novel or an engaging work of science fiction takes me out of my humdrum little life and away from my day to day worries, even if it's only for fifteen minutes. I am transported to another world and suddenly, it doesn't matter that I have a stress fracture on my right heel, or that the vet says my dog needs knee surgery, or my husband is overworked but grateful to have a job, that bills must be paid, and that my children have issues I should address. For one moment in time, I am out of time and I forget I am mortal. As Yabu, a character in James Clavell's masterpiece, Shogun, says, "The pen is a long arm from the grave."
So say we all......
I write as Julia Barrett. My first romance/suspense, Anytime Darlin', can be found at Cerridwen Press and All Romance Ebooks. My second romance/suspense, My Everything, will be released next week, March 26th, with Cerridwen Press, and my third book, Cara, a work of general fiction/romance, is scheduled for release on July 17, 2009.
Come visit anytime at my blog: http://juliabarrett.wordpress.com/