Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guest Post: Dean C. Rich on Why He Writes Speculative Fiction

Dean's been a guest blogger before, last autumn when he shared some wonderful words of wisdom about friendship with all of us. He's volunteered to visit us again (happy dance!) Be sure to check out his blog: The Write Time where he doles out helpful weekly advice on using time well. And here we go:

First off, thanks Joyce for the opportunity to be a guest on your blog once again.  I've enjoyed reading your posts and I've commented a time or two.  Joyce has become a great friend in the cyber world.  I'm glad the technology has made it easy to connect and develop relationships and enable us all to share.  So to answer Joyce's question here is my post on Why I like to write Speculative Fiction.

When I was in elementary school I loved to read.  My favorite section was the biography section.  I read about George Washington, Ben Franklin, then I found the mystery books during the summer.  The City Librarian introduced me to a set of books that I loved:  Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators.  Those were great mysteries, about green ghosts, coughing dragons, fiery footsteps, etc.

Then in middle school the librarian handed me a book, A Wrinkle in Time.  Loved it.  Author C. Clark, Isaac Asimov came next.  Then I wanted something different, and the librarian handed me The Hobbit.  Then I read The Lord of The Rings.  I was hooked.  In high School I found the Pern series and read all of those. It was great when a new Pern book came out.  Dune was a lot of fun too.  Paul Maud Dib, and spice and worms... 

Well I still like action adventure stories, I love Science Fiction, but Fantasy has captured my imagination.  I wanted to read more about Wizards and Magic.  I couldn't find an action adventure magical book.  So I set out to write one.  Collage came and I'd write when I could.  Then I got married and had children.  I write when I get a chance, but providing for the family and economic downturn has me in places I never dreamed I'd be.  So I write when I can, but I no longer have a lunch break where I can tune out the world and write.  So it has slowed down, but the passion and desire has not.

I like the worlds the above mentioned authors created.  Great places to be.  Great stories.  I wanted to be able to do the same.  So history, action, all come together and the story has to come out.  They fueled my imagination.  So I am a student of writing.  I'm learning what works and what doesn't.  What I like about Speculative Fiction is that it is so wide open.  So many stories can be told and retold in so many different combinations.  What if....  Two words that open whole new ideas and worlds. 

Reality is so gritty and life can be so difficult.  A good read is a great escape, a way to recharge your batteries and help you face reality when you return, but with a different perspective, one that might give you the key to overcoming some current challenge.  Or just the mental break from things is enough to tackle things again.  In any event there are worlds out there in Spec Fic, ways to challenge you that other fiction just doesn't quite work.  Nothing wrong with other genres, I love Sir Author Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, Jack Ryan is a fantastic character with Tom Clancy.  Dirk Pitt has exciting adventures.  But to deal with time travel, parallel universes, and well you see, there is just another element that stretches the imagination. That is why I like to read and write Speculative Fiction.


  1. I'd have to agree, there's nothing like a world where every possibility is open, and anything truly ANYTHING can happen. I love to read almost anything, but my heart belongs to Speculative Fiction. :D

  2. So true! I think that is one reason I enjoy the Speculative Fiction, it is so wide open and so much can happen because of it.