Sea Worthy

Home may be where most hearts are
but mine is an iron anchor
travelling the world affixed to myself
providing me the luxury
to render home where I want it to be
and that even if I choose to leave
it will keep me steady while I stay.

BB

How A Classics Nerd Came to A Sci Fi World

For as long as I could remember, I was guilty of dismissing Science Fiction as frivolous, if not tacky reading. I was convinced that it would contain all characters called Beep Boop 123 or Zphldiznmike and have generic plot lines difficult to relate to. I dwelled instead between the pages of Classic Literature and Contemporary Fiction with many vacations to the shores of Crime and Mystery, and I was happy.

That was, until my brother bought me Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein for Christmas. I was less than enthused, but I really try to read recommendations. This was the gateway drug to my beloved niche of Science Fiction, which I call Early to Mid-20th Century Sci Fi. There is probably a better categorical name, but I am still a newcomer!

Robert A. Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Philip K Dick and Arthur C Clarke have become pillars that I worship at. They generally write from a period just after World War II, and a lot of the fiction extends expectations and predictions as to what life would look like in the era that we now inhabit. The writing and narrative lends itself in the same way as a lot of the classic literature I was used to, a la Hemmingway and Fitzgerald, which let me dip my toe in with comfort.

The writing is rich and beautiful, and I was fascinated and satisfied, in a way, to compare our modern time to what these writers expected from the future all those years ago. The characters are complexly drawn, and still relatable as we currently sit on the brink of new technology at all times. We are still the humanity that could reach deep into the galaxy, could go to war with robots, could be wiped out by alien forces and buy the farm. These works are philosophical, beautiful, haunting and comedic. They encourage forward thinking, demand empathy with their characters, and are no less entertaining for it. They are diverse and wonderful; some will have you yearning for the future they describe, and some will break your goddamn heart.

So now, readers, I implore you. Read Science Fiction. Just try it out, take it for a test drive. It doesn’t have to be the same sub-genre that I prefer, however I do think it a good starting point for literary enthusiasts that mainly read Classics.

If you are interested in some of the readings that drew me in, here a couple favourites:

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
The Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury
Starship Troopers – Robert A. Heinlein
Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert A Heinlein
2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clark
Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – Philip K. Dick
I, Robot – Isaac Asimov

Fluidity

You could tell that she used to be water.

It was in the way that she moved or
laughed and you knew without a doubt
that in another life not so long ago
she used to be the waves in the ocean
or at the very least the perfect orbs
of dew on blooming dahlias in the
gentle hazy glow of the rising sun.

You knew it in the way that everyone
would change and grow in her presence
that she was used to being part of a cycle-
of something bigger and grander than
anyone could give her here and it
was not hard to tell how much she
loved you but it was only a matter of time
before she was needed somewhere else more.

She was fluid and she was free.

BB

A Conversation With Death

I went to visit Death at
the dive bar where he
bartended part-time to
ask him to spare you.

He and I had travelled
in the same circles so often
we could be loosely defined
as kind of a friend-of-a-friend.

I sat and ordered two fingers
of whiskey over and ice and
offered to sell him my soul
if it would keep you safe.

He laughed and told me
that a soul like mine
would not cover even the cost
of the drink I had ordered.

But he did let it slip
that you would not meet him
until much, much later
according to the Fates.

As I left the dingy tavern with
Death’s whiskey on my lips
his voice followed me out the door
‘I’ll be seeing you…’

BB

Treachery In The Evening

We are the ones who
fall asleep with our pens
still in our hands and
papers all around us
trying to scribble
a few worthy words
(a meagre offering to
the late-night gods of prose)
before sleep consumes us
and our transcendent ideas
become lost like pennies
tossed into the well
of unfulfilled wishes.

BB

Moon Child

We fell in and out of love
while the dying sun
burned complacent in
the violet summer sky.

We held our breath
as it began to set-
elegant and tragic in
its final waning breath.

The world was dark but new
and we were not afraid
instead of mourning we
became children of the moon.

BB

I’m Sorry.

If you want to be happy
please stay away from me
at all costs.

Do not put your heart in
my hands because I have
never learned to be gentle.

Both in the way that I love
and in the way that I leave
I always end up breaking something.

BB

Have You Ever Felt Like This?

Periodically I look in the
mirror and I do not recognize
my face or my features and
I wish I could unzip my
skin and live outside the
body like Arthur C Clarke’s
star child or Vonnegut’s
happily amphibious future-
everything that I am has nothing
to do with the form I’m
currently being housed in
and sometimes it scares me.

BB