I’m working on a short story today, about a boy and his dog… and the boy’s spaceship. Then Dave Freer posted this: Zamzummims, where he laments the loss of Science Fiction Giants in the world of the young. We need writers who can give our children wonder, adventure, and a solid science in their fiction. “Unless of course you LOVE the public schooling system, adore the social and political indoctrination that has infiltrated it and are delighted to consign you kids/ grandkids, and future to it. We need new giants for small folk. And we need them REALLY big.”
I can’t argue – and don’t want to – with this. For those of you looking for recommendations, he urged the commentors to suggest new (last 20 years) authors and books that meet the needs. I put in a few titles, and it has me thinking of more. There was a recent discussion on an email group I still belong to, a relict of my time as a children’s librarian in New Hampshire, about the need for clean YA and MG (middle grade) books that parents were asking for. Links to a couple of lists were provided: Parental Book Reviews and one on Goodreads. These would be a good starting point, but I haven’t dived into them, myself, yet. I buy books for my kids in one of two ways. I ask them what they want (or take them to a used bookstore and let them pick, then see what they chose), or I follow trusted recommendations to buy and send copies to them. My kids all read, voraciously. It’s hard to fill that void, and a bit expensive. Working on ways to deal with that!
Vulcan’s Kittens is one of those good clean teen reads. When I started writing it, my eldest was only 12. Whether it’s Mama being overly naive, or not, I knew she wasn’t, much less the others, looking for sex and swears in her reading. So instead I filled it with adventure, a sense of duty and honor, and strong parental figures, who help her, but also let her stand on her own two feet. And despite the genre appearing to be fantasy/mythology at first glance, it is a science fiction book. In the later part of the book, a goblin’s explanation of Clarke’s Law to our heroine makes this very clear, although there are earlier clues as well.
Vulcan’s Kittens is available on Amazon, and many other fine booksellers, in both e-formats and print.
I am now working on the sequel, tenatively titled The God’s Wolfling, and it will have even more science in it, and a prickly young teen boy who is most definitely not a werewolf, and resents that implication. It will also not have anything as gross as kissing in it, and such a suggestion would get you dirty looks from both Linn and Merrick! I am looking forward to seeing how my young readers like it, as they seem to enjoy Vulcan’s Kittens.
I’m no giant. I stand 5’2″ in my sock feet, but when I walk I carry myself straightly, and I hope that my little stories will inspire some young folks to be a bit better in their daily lives, when asked to do something unpleasant. And because I cannot possibly write fast enough to feed my children enough stories, I will be on the lookout for those Indie giants, so I can recommend them.