Why sci-fi?

I saw this in a post somewhere online today, and it made me blink.

It was quite literally a question I’d never asked myself – and as I’ve been writing at this point for about twenty years, you may well be asking yourself if I’m quite right in the head. (Good question, but let’s not go into that one here.)

I’m kind of feeling that it’s a positive thing that I never even stopped to ask why sci-fi, or even if sci-fi, given that I’ve got four sci-fi novels published and several more struggling through the drafting and editing process. That, or possibly evidence of a blind spot the size of the Bermuda Triangle. …Actually, I’m sticking with positive.

So, really, why sci-fi? Honestly, it never occurred to me not to.

The stories I started out telling myself, aged about five or so, weren’t recognisably sci-fi, although several of the characters in the Cortii Universe figured in them. However, sometime around age nine or ten, I ran into Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series (like all the good books, my parents had inconsiderately stored them right at the top of the bookshelf, so when I say ‘ran into’ I mean I climbed a shelf and saw something new and interesting…). After that, my daydreams took a definite left into space and never came back.

If I really had to pin down a ‘why’, I suspect it has something to do with the chance to write a civilisation where there’s still space to explore, and where the people, the places, and the cultures are all for me to fill in on the map. Sci-fi is one of the best genres, in my completely biased opinion, to sit down and write ‘what if’.

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