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My Introduction to Piers Anthony

Why You Should Try New Genres

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Let me start by saying that I’m not a huge science fiction fan. Okay, put down the bricks and stop hunting for my address. I have enjoyed many books in the SciFy world, but I don’t jump on them as too many are too alien for me. That was not a pun. I meant it totally. Okay, it was sort of a pun. I cannot lie. But the more alien the story, the more I struggle to comprehend it. So that section of the book store doesn’t get visited by me much. At one time in my life, I rarely knew the section existed.

What did I read? I began with Nancy Drew mysteries. Then I progressed to romance novels. Then I moved to spy novels. That’s where I typically stayed. To really experience the wide world of books, we need to step out of comfort zone. Well, I was duped into stepping out.

Since my father-in-law knew I was a bookaholic, he handed me one and said to give it a try. I’m willing to give any book a try. I never imagined how that one book would change my view on science fiction nor remove all innocence.

The title was Firefly. For those familiar with this work, you are nodding and smiling at me. It was a mystery, Pop said. You’ll enjoy it, he said.

I started reading it. I continued throughout the day with difficulty in putting it down to eat. Pop asked how I was liking it. My answer was a glare at the interruption. My imagination was in overdrive and my skin was crawling. This story was good.

Horror was not a genre I liked at all. This story was more like a horror story though once I’d finished I could see the science fiction elements. It was giving me the hibbie-jibbies. The worst part was that the story wouldn’t let me go hide under my blankets. I had to keep reading. I had to know the truth behind the mystery. Dang, Pop!

When I finished the book, I practically threw into Pop’s lap. “Thanks a lot!” The glare had returned.

His response? He laughed. Typical. Then we sat down and discussed the book. It was a great night. It was a great discussion.

Today I cannot remember too many details of the book or the conversation I had had with my FIL. But I do remember that the book still gives me shivers and opened my mind to try other genres. It also drew Pop and me closer.

I have to admit that I haven’t read any of Piers Anthony’s books since, but they are on my to read list. I owe a lot to Mr. Anthony. He took me from spy novels, romances, and historical fiction into trying science fiction, fantasy, and more.

Lesson for others? Don’t refuse to experience new authors and new genres. Even if you don’t like it, you took a chance and learned more of your own likes and dislikes.