Friday, January 02, 2009

Memory 2

When I was young, I taught myself to read from my father's science fiction magazines. I cannot remember not being able to read and I even remember my first day at school, when I could read but not understand numbers. The teachers showed us the numerals 1 2 and 3, but I saw the 3 as an E, and couldn't understand how it was different.

It wasn't dyslexia but a simpler problem I share with my mother, namely I have difficulty understanding the concepts "left" and "right". I even thought my name was Ebwards because I had seen it written like that (or thought I had).

Anyway, back to the memories. We lived in a council house behind the Secondary Modern School. There were some lovely French Doors, leading out to a back yard (which would these days, no doubt, be called a patio). Beside these doors, there was a bookcase that seemed to be made of bamboo and it contained many editions of Astounding Science Fiction, which later became Analog, as well as the Rosicrucian digest (since my father was a member of AMORC ) I didn't read the Rosicrucian Digests though (even though my own name originated from the fact that Alcuin of York was mentioned in the February 1960 edition.

I did read the SF magazines. I read not only the stories, but also the editorials. I remember John W Campbell's opinions on society, on science, and on writing and for a long time in my writing, I have been trying to write a story that Campbell would buy. Except that Campbell would not have bought a story that was 50 years out of date so I was barkign up the wrong tree.

The love of SF though, and not just fifties SF, but both older and more recent material, has stayed with me ever since.


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