At the ripe of age of 11 or 12, I learned there were such things as banned books. It did not set well with me even then, and I went in search of books my teachers and librarian considered “scandalous for someone of that age”. Until now, it never occurred to me that this was my introduction to science fiction, as well as a clue to later rebellion.
I seriously doubt I ever finished Fahrenheit 451, though I vividly recall Oskar Werner in the movie. What I became lost in was Brave New World. From the first images in Huxley’s book, I was as immersed in the World State as if I had been given soma. When it was finished, I had to have more. But I followed it with 1984 and realized how angry I could be with things beyond my control. There was a sigh with relief with the reminder that my reality lay somewhere between the two. These have been two of my favorite fictional works ever since.
Then in the early days of the internet an online flame war introduced me to the person who became my favorite science fiction writer from the first book of his that I read.
We both seemed to have a preference for curt and cutting repartee, and were often at odds with each other. Just as I was developing an appreciation for this man who was as passionate about his ideals as I was, someone told he was a published author. So I went in search of one of his novels and fully expected it to be pure fluff and a waste of time. Sci-fi fantasy was not my genre, or so I thought.
As I was reading this thoroughly enchanting book appropriately called Enchanter, we found something our passions did not conflict over. One afternoon I received a small package from Kansas City. Robin Wayne Bailey had made a block to be added to a quilt I was working on for the first AIDs Quilt Exposition in Dallas.
Robin is still my favorite science fiction author because his caustic wit and personal causes gloriously lace his fiction without interfering with a well crafted story and believable characters.