Forgotten Books – Sorta
Yes, I’m a geek hence the reason I write for thisgeeksworld.com. Or at least I was before kids when I still had time for geeky endeavors. Video games have taken a back seat to Elmo and the rest of the Sesame Street gang, Epic Rap Battles of History and learning every verse gave way to the Wiggles and trying not to remember anything that they sing, and reading…. Well, I still read as long as the kids are asleep or I have one hand available while giving the baby girl a bottle in the middle of the night.
Instead of focusing on the latest book series out or waiting very patiently (Yeah right!) on the next book in a series, I have gone back to my geek roots reading old pulp and sci-fi stories from the 30’s 40’s and 50’s. Kindle allows me, often on the cheap or even better free (overdrive app is a godsend for the cheap geek), to find these old stories lost to the annals of time except to the pulp lovers of that genre.
Right now, I’m revisiting an old friend I made by accident years ago when I picked up the Complete Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper at my local comic book store on the cheap. Not sure what I was in for, but for three dollars and getting a complete trilogy it was worthy of a chance. I found a rich world with well-written characters and a thought provoking story with a lovable main charter in Little Fuzzy. No way could I have known how far down the Fuzzy hole I would go with those three dollars well spent.
With the book placed with so many others upon a shelf and awaiting such a time as when I couldn’t beat a boss level and swore off video games again, this was in my middle teenage years before the internet and walkthroughs, it was when a large storm came up that the power went down that I started my adventure into Piper’s world. Reading all three books in one sitting by oil lamp helped set the ambiance for a space adventure with morality questions that I didn’t expect and have rarely experienced outside of a physiological or religious text. But mostly I really liked the cute fuzzy friends.
After this, I had to find more books, find more out about the author but most importantly find if there were more Fuzzies. Asking at the local library led me to some other short stories but few and far between because the rights to the author’s works had lapsed and most were long out of print. Talking to the librarian I found out the only reason they still had these was that they had been checked out within a year but were to be put into the annual book sale. Of course, I asked if I could go ahead and buy them but as all good stern librarians must she said no and even those were lost to me.
Years later, after the technological revolution finally reached the South, I found Project Gutenberg had, by donated time from fans and volunteers digitized many more of his works. Not only was I able to finally restart my adventure but this led me to many other writers of the same time with thoughts and questions like Piper’s but to other authors who had been influenced by his work. Now being able to read these books I tried to get my friends to sample them and be drawn into these amazing worlds and timelines along with me but this was the time when Peter Jackson was bringing The Lord of the Rings to the big screen and even many of my geeky friends were of the opinion, “why read about it when we can just watch it.”…..I didn’t have words then and I still don’t about that kind of thinking.
So, I set forth by myself uphill…both ways….in the snow, wait that’s a different story. Continuing to read over the years and later subjecting my wife to long tirades about no one to share these great books with, they aren’t her cup of tea as sometimes they deal with time travel and as seeing he doesn’t use a police call box, she won’t allow that in her stories of choice thank you very much, but she introduced me to many other authors along the way. (What I said about not waiting for books goes out the window for Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs) My blushing bride went so far as to gift me The Complete Paratime with all the short stories of Lord Kalvan and other Paratime police stories in one volume.
So now I subject…I mean introduce to you dear reader an author that was influenced and influenced many writers and lovers of sci-fi and hope that you get lost in the Paratime space but can find your way back. Just to be on the safe know, where your towel is and don’t panic.