I remember when I brought Tolkien to class. Oh, my teachers who were so proud of me reading history thought I’d lost my mind. Oh well. They didn’t get it, I read history because I enjoyed it. I thought it was fun. And so was Tolkien and at least the original Dune.
But God forbid literature be ‘fun.’ It has to be turgid, and ‘challenging.’ Sorry. But I can read non-fiction for those.
When I was eight years old, I read Heinlein’s Have Spacesuit Will Travel. At the time I had no idea it was science fiction, because as far as I was concerned, trips to the moon was just what went on in America.
Hey, America in 1970 might very well have had contests with spacesuits as prizes. And contact with aliens, for all I knew.
So it went unremarked. That was the same Summer I read Tom Sawyer and The Prince and the Pauper, so you might as well consider it my induction in the evil league of evil, since I was reading a dead white male and all.
Then when I was eleven, and my brother was studying engineering in college, he fell in with a dangerous crowd. By which I mean he made friends with a guy who had every science fiction book ever translated to Portuguese.
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