If My Brain is Warped, So Shall Yours Be

My son’s 12. Yikes! I realized that I’m slacking off on my duty as a parent to mess with his brain and warp his sense of reality before anyone else does. I also need to enforce an hour a day reading requirement in order for them both to earn weekend Wii and TV time. I’ve deemed him old enough for Terminator, so what can I introduce him to?

I realized I haven’t read any Sci-Fi since grade school. This is very sad. I dug through my head and remembered Piers Anthony.

My best friend’s dad was a Sci-Fi man, and had her reading Piers, Isaac, and the Far Side. Whatever he gave her, she gave me. He died very young, her first year of college. Word didn’t get to me (in my second year of school, on the other side of the country from her) until very late. We’d lost contact with each other sometime around high school, but I wish I’d been there.

Remembering Piers Anthony, I realized that her father shaped me in a much more long-reaching, positive way than mine ever did. Sci-Fi gave way to fantasy and my young writing brain exploded. She, too, influenced me more heavily than I think she’s aware. She introduced me to dinosaurs when we were maybe seven-ish?? I dumped my My Little Ponies and latched on to extinct cold-blooded monsters quite fanatically (to my mother’s horror). Dinosaurs expanded into dragons and all things cold-blooded. My sons are named after mythological beasts. Who would I be without these small things they gave me?

The boys love all things monster and robot and alien and science. So, what can I introduce my son to? I wasn’t there when her father died, but I can pass on what he unknowingly gave to me: Piers Anthony.

I dug around on Amazon to find what I’d once read. And holy crap, he released a fourth Mode book back in 2001! (the year my son was born, in fact). I scoured ebay for some Xanth books (I remember all those covers) and decided I needed to re-read the Mode books myself cause now I have to read the fourth.

I went shopping. In my mother’s basement. I could not find my Piers Anthony books, but I found Tolkien for my youngest, who’s something of a Sci-Fi classics kind of guy (loves H.G. Wells). As I was super-mission-focused, I ran out to Half-Priced books. This is important stuff that cannot wait till Saturday.

Did you know that Piers Anthony wrote Total Recall?

Or that Isaac Asimov wrote I, Robot?

I am so ashamed.

They had the first Mode book, but not the first Xanth book. Very sad. However, as he idolizes Will Smith and they talk about the movie frequently, I went with I, Robot.

What books did everyone else read before the dawn of YA?

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