Today’s the first day and I’m talking about my first genre novel.
Okay, so even though this is part of the meme, the truth is I don’t remember the first genre novel that I ever read. I can tell you I was more enamored with mystery novels as a kid than any other genre. I was into series moreso than individual books; Encyclopedia Brown, Meg, Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, the Hardy Boys.
Although I can’t remember which came first — I remember being very enamored with the Rats of NIMH and The Hobbit — I do recall the first tie-in novel I ever read. It was a book called Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster and it took place in between Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. For me, this book was the gateway drug to other science fiction novels and series, in part because I was drawn to the mystery of Darth Vader and whether or not Luke and Leia could escape.
From this novel, I branched out into science fiction by way of Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein and Philip K. Dick and…of course…back to Star Wars and Star Trek.
Years later, after I read so many other science fiction novels, I went back and read Splinter of the Mind’s Eye again. This time around, it was interesting because the romantic tension between Luke and Leia means something different now, but then? Only Lucas knew who Leia was going to choose.
Not bad for a first novel. After all, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye opened the door to many other fantastic and otherworldly tales.