Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Return to Summer Childhood

This summer I've made a promise to myself to return to my childhood off and on, and share it with my 14 year old.  We're both out of school for the summer and both of us have need of serious input and experiences.  School/work has been too confining.  So we're busting loose a bit.

I'm keeping him stocked in video games, and in return he's going to read every day for 30 minutes.  During school, he usually reads a book every day or two between classes, so I may be challenged.  The kid may read faster than I do.  We'll see.

So I'm going to keep a shared book list going.  He's always wondering what my life was like when I was his age.

We didn't have video games, we had sticks.  On wet days we had mud.  On sunny days, we had shadow.  He thinks that was pretty dull, but he's never went crawdad fishing with string and a piece of bologna, never broke a horse to ride, never collected a jar of scorpions, and never rode a pig.  Personally, I think his upbringing lacks.

I'm going to share with him some of the books I read way back when, talk to him about where I was in my life while I was reading them, and re-read them myself.

We're going to read some new stuff, too.  I've already put those aside.

Here's the first one.  Andre Norton was one of the two writers that shaped my early adolescence with stories of outer space, rayguns, and aliens.  Dread Companion, interestingly enough, was kind of a blend of SF and fantasy.  Norton wrote in both fields, and her Witch World novels started out as SF and ended up more fantasy at the end.

Dread Companion doesn't have a green girl in it that I recall, but I recall this Kelly Freas cover just fine.  Freas also indelibly marked my childhood with SF covers that I remember effortlessly.  The whole Laser Books run was his, I think.  The book came out in 1970.  Maybe the green girl on Star Trek influenced the art.  That was Yvonne Craig, who was also Batgirl.

The new Star Trek has kept the Orion slave girl.

And there was a new Batgirl.

But I prefer the originals.  Yvonne Craig was really great in those roles.

Maybe you read Dread Companion too, in one of its various incarnations.  There have been several covers.


Bill Crider said...

I never read that one, but I read a good many Norton books. Loved 'em in the old Ace Doubles when I was a kid.

Mel Odom said...

I enjoyed it back when. Gonna be interesting to see if it holds up.