Growing up I was a huge fantasy nerd. I found The Hobbit by chance on my school’s library shelves. The Legend of Zelda was in every Nintendo game system that my family owned. Patricia C. Wrede brought me into a fantastical world where dragons talked and rabbits became blue, flying donkeys. I never got tired of fantasy. Later in life I would upgrade to Urban and Contemporary Fantasy, but one thing always remained the same.
I wasn’t really a huge fan of Science Fiction.
Sure, I liked Star Wars. I grew up on it and was most likely named after the prodigal princess (yes, they call her Leah rather than Leia in a few scenes). But, I never sought out any thing that fell under the Science Fiction umbrella. Aliens scared the crap out of me and space just didn’t do it for me. I still haven’t watched any Star Trek other than the new movies. It just didn’t have the same appeal as misty mountains and enchanted forests.
Then I was introduced to Torchwood. I know. I know. I did this way out of order. But, what can I say? I was seduced by Captain Jack and there was no looking back. He could get a nun out of her habit. And Gwen? I couldn’t tell you why, but I loved her too. I watched until everyone else I loved died because that’s what Torchwood did best. I was probably halfway through the fourth season when I stopped watching.
Character deaths hurt, man.
Years later I married a man and moved to California to be with him. Only, he’d been living in the dorms with other nerds before I scooted across the country (because my nerd had gotten himself into tone of the nerdiest jobs in the military). It was just enough time for someone to hook him on a kind of new show. We exhausted our watchlist and he suggested this wild idea, Doctor Who.
I already knew that Torchwood was a spin off of Doctor Who, but my first experience with the show was the episode where the Doctor never showed up until the end. The one where some band of outsiders gathered to speculate about the Doctor. It was off putting and confusing. But, I loved him so I said sure. I’d never considered Time Travel when I thought of Science Fiction. We started with Ten and had to backtrack to Nine when we reached the current episodes. I laughed, I cried, I fell in love with characters against my better judgment because it is a show that will hit you where it hurts.
Now, I have a crush on Eleven and honestly enjoy Twelve’s hard exterior. I might be a bigger fan than my husband and like I said, aliens usually scare the crap out of me. These aliens, with their flimsy masks and kitchen utensil weapons, didn’t scare me. Heck, my patronus should really be a Dalek (or Donna, who is nearly as frightening).
It was my close girlfriend that introduced me to Firefly. A sci-fi western set in space with no aliens? Count me in. We got drunk and devoured nearly all Firefly had to offer in one night. Who can say no to Nathan Fillion or Alan Tudyk? I followed the ex-military smuggler captain and his band of misfits through space on adventure after adventure in a beat up Firefly ship named Serenity. The show never got the time to really develop River’s story, which I believe to be the plot that tied the series together, but they developed such deep character building during these often funny yet serious debacles. The movie they produced years later to reveal River’s story, Serenity, made me cry. I won’t even begin to tell you why.
I never realized how much I could truly enjoy the Science Fiction genre. Done right, the writers have captured stories that ring with such a resonance that I’m willing to throw myself into space and time to follow along. Now, as I create the protagonist for my Nanowrimo project, Melodyy, I’m seeing myself reflected in her and she’s a huge Science Fiction fan. Doctor Who is her all time favorite and every time I imagine her she’s wearing this galaxy print skater dress I saw on Pinterest. I can’t get her out of it. I have to coax her with Star Wars tees like I’m bargaining with a child. Will she like Star Trek? I’m not sure, but I do know she has a laser gun in her pocket and she’s not afraid to shoot first.