Q: What book or books inspired you as a child?

A: At some point in my childhood reading, I came across the science fiction of Isaac Asimov. I loved those novels about time travellers and robot detectives and far-future galactic empires. Then in the local library one day, I came across an anthology of science fiction stories, each of which had a little personal introduction by Asimov and suddenly it was as if he was not only telling me wonderful stories but speaking directly to me. I’d never met any writers at that point. There were no websites or internet. But here was Isaac Asimov reaching out to his readers and chatting with them about anything and everything as though we were firm friends. More than anything, that proximity to someone that I admired so much convinced me that one day I wanted to be a science fiction writer too.

Later I discovered Asimov’s books of science essays gathered from his monthly column in “Fantasy and Science Fiction” magazine. They, too, began with some personal note or chatty introduction. His writing style made every difficult concept seem accessible. Suddenly I was convinced I wanted to study science and be a science fiction writer,
something I still aspire to today.


David Cleden’s story “In the Beating of a Wing
in Metaphorosis Friday, 17 May 2019.
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