Writers of other genres don't have this problem (they probably do, but I'm being self-aborbed a the moment, so get off my case). I know novelists who just write about their gardens or their churches, or some cause or other that informs their fiction, and it's all very sensible, and it works. But honestly, what does my garden have to do with the SF heroine who is on a quest to save her own newborn race and teach them to play nice with original humans?
When I write about my regular-person life, science-fiction readers think, “What is this about the chickens and the goat? Don’t science-fiction writers live in plastine and tensteel high-rises in floating cities with re-cyclable dishes and automatic toilet paper?" Or Fantasy and Horror…where is the gloomy, half-ruined castle overlooking a bleak moor or fanciful fairyscape? Actually, I think Anne McCaffrey (may her name live forever) did live in one such castle at least for a time. I, however, live where I live and do what I do, and it isn’t very science-fictiony.
Unless… Actually, I suppose there’s no reason you have to know that I don’t live in Murrayville on the planet Yetfurther across the lake from Cyrion city. And for all you know, I raise…um…chillocks. These are a kind of quasi-reptilian feathered egg-layer rather like a miniature dinosaur. The males are boldly colored and dramatically plumed and use a warbling, musical call to keep their females nearby. They may also repel predators with the ferocity of a velociraptor, although long domesticity has rendered them fairly tame around humans.
I am grieving today because I have lost another chillock hen to a persistent ragnoc, a female with a nestful of grubs. I have never dealt with such an intelligent and persistent ragnoc. She broke into the chillock roost by shattering a solid vitrine window, and so far, she has been too smart to enter the ragnoc trap. I am about ready to apply for a permit to use a drone track-and-seeker to follow her back to her nest and kill her and all her grubs before they metamorphose and I wind up with a swarm of the things. Unfortunately, the drones have been known to misidentify a target and kill a nest of somebody’s pet catpils, so I’m always really, really hesitant to go to that extreme.
So I’ve purchased a panel of plastine to replace the vitrine window—let’s see a ragnoc get through THAT—and I’ll go out with my sonic cutter and cut down a few fire-willows to build a new frame. Some people like to use a lightsaber for that part, but lightsabers are power hungry, and if you get just a little frisky with it, you’re off to the tanks to regrow your leg.
The point is that we science-fiction (and fantasy and horror) writers tell stories about great adventures, but our lives are pretty much just like yours. We take the public teleport to work, put our clothes in the digester to refabricate in the morning, and feed our were-tigers one leg at a time just like you do.
With that, I bid you a good flight with no time paradoxes. I’m off to poison the Brown Jenkin that’s been living in my pantry and eating all the mudrimple jerky, and don’t get all weepy and soft-hearted and beg me to trap and release. Once they chew a dimensional door into your pantry, they ALWAYS come back for your soul.
Note: for more details concerning Murrayville, Cyrion city and the planet Yetfurther, see Strangers by Melissa McCann. www.amazon.com/Strangers-ebook/dp/B004INH7ZG/ (The paperback is temporarily out of print)