Something reminded me today about my predilection due to my voracious appetite for science fiction or speculative fiction, "fiction" that in essence asks "What if…?" and then proceeds to answer it based on rational extrapolation of a fictitious set of assumptions, or design constraints if you will. Witness Ringworld, Niven’s most famous creation as an example of this form at it’s best.
So what bad habit have I developed? That of falling in love with characters who are figments of the author’s imagination. Francisco D’Anconia was one such, though my classmate Dicky preferred him best, I liked Reardon better. After all, he didn’t get the girl, but he was so much more human and fallible, poor thing than Galt could ever be. There will be no linkage or urls here, it would take too much to explain if you haven’t read the books. Pity that, but I’m going to write this the way it will be.
My first such crush was Jason DinAlt of Harry Harrison’s Deathworld trilogy. I was but 9 years old when I came across Deathworld 2 and by the time I’d finished the book I was both hooked on science fiction and more than half in love with DinAlt. He displaced James Bond quite suddenly, overnight you could almost say. While he was cute, I never quite felt the same way about the Stainless Steel Rat, I forget his given name, though I still have nothing but utter awe for Gil "the Arm" Hamilton. Lazarus Long aka Woodrow Wilson Smith, may he live forever, as should Spock.
Others include Holmes of course, and Basil Rathbone’s personification, nothing less. As I prefer Hercule Poirot the tv series to Ustinov’s Poirot in the movies. I admit to guiltily feeling that the Saint wasn’t really supposed to be viewed so nor should Lord Peter Wimsey be considered with such frivolity. Still there was also James West of Wild Wild West, McGyver, Mr Roark of Fantasy Island and Jeff Goldblum. Even worse, in The Fly. But my utter favourites were seeing Independence Day twice and the Matrix more than four times. I have dressed as Trinity one Halloween for a costume party and seen the Mask innumerable times. Writing this post has been much fun but now it must end here.