It’s the possibilities…

Bridge by Amber Burke

"Bridge" by Amber Burke

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. “ – Carl Sagan

Books are my drug of choice. If I go days without reading, I get jittery and weird…er than normal. My sense of well-being gets slurry. So it’s lucky that I have my own library of about 1000 books, where I can go to in order to get my fix – of mysteries, random fiction, random non-fiction, fantasy, and, of course, science fiction.

When I started reading science fiction around age 10, I’d been going through all the usual reading phases: books about horses, books about dogs, fairy tales, ‘tweeny’ mysteries, starter fantasies, etc. But when I hit upon sci-fi, it felt like I’d found my own personal secret cave of delights – my place to go to escape to worlds which did not remotely resemble my world, which at that time, had turned tumultuous with my parents’ divorce. The only thing I wanted to do was run away and have grand adventures.

And after discovering space operas, those grand adventures were preferably set in outer space, on a space ship, hob-nobbing with every species of alien imaginable. The best part was, by putting in very little book-finding effort, I unearthed all sort of otherworldly adventures in which girls, young women and grown women were the main protagonists. Characters who got to do everything the boys and men did in the usual books, who were fully flushed out emotionally, and were absolutely capable of anything and everything. I love science fiction and it is my top genre of choice to this day.

Another gift I received from my love of science fiction was an enthusiasm of all things space related. Growing up, I devoured books about astronomy. I listened raptly in science class when, for instance, the teacher would show the inevitable documentary by Carl Sagan – who is one of my heroes. I blue-tacked glow-in-the-dark plastic stars on every bedroom ceiling and wall I had, and in the night, I would lie there for hours imagining flying around the galaxy at faster-than-light speed. My rational brain always knew I would never live to see life as described in my books, or even if life existed at all remotely like any of my books. But, I always thought it important to imagine and keep imagining. It kept me dreaming. It kept me hoping. It kept me surviving.

Today, I am neither scientist, nor astronaut. I am a writer, and therefore, the ultimate dreamer. I continue to explore such things within the recesses of my mind, and perhaps endeavor to light a fuse of possibilities in another’s mind. While I write and dream of space exploration, other people have done it. But, as I keep reading, there are those who believe that humans should not be out there, getting entangled in space – that funding scientific research to this end is a waste of time and money. I disagree. The human race is not made to sit still. It is in our history. It is in our literature. We are wonderers. We are wanderers. We are innovators. We are explorers.

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” — Carl Sagan

But we have to be there in order to discover it.

It’s the possibilities…


Last 5 posts by Natasha J. Stillman

Last 5 posts by Natasha J. Stillman