No one was going to stop me from writing and no one had to really guide me towards science fiction. It was natural, really, that I would take that interest.
Science fiction frees you to go anyplace and examine anything.
I was attracted to science fiction because it was so wide open. I was able to do anything and there were no walls to hem you in and there was no human condition that you were stopped from examining.
The thing about science fiction is that it’s totally wide open. But it’s wide open in a conditional way.
Science fiction let me do both. It let me look into science and stick my nose in everywhere.
I took classes taught by an elderly woman who wrote children’s stories. She was polite about the science fiction and fantasy that I kept handing in, but she finally asked in exasperation, ‘Can’t you write anything normal?’
So fantasy was fine early on, and when I discovered science fiction, I was very happy with it, because my first interest in science fiction came with an interest in astronomy.
And by the way, I wanted to point out that Kindred is not science fiction. You’ll note there’s no science in it. It’s a kind of grim fantasy.
Science fiction is not formulaic.
I began reading science fiction before I was 12 and started writing science fiction around the same time.