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  1. #1
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    How did you get started?

    I was cleaning out my office, last night, and i came across the first book that I ever bought for myself, with my own money. I paid, I think, about $3.00, and I was in the fourth grade. It is called The Hero From Otherwhere, and was written by Jay Williams, also the author of the Danny Dunn series of youth novels. This was not my gateway book to science fiction and fantasy. That was I, Robot, and Other Stories, by Doctor Asimov. My father left it sitting on the coffee table for about a week before I noticed it and began to read. I started kindergarten that year, and the following summer, I read, The Hobbit. I thought it was real, because of the way it was written---I was only five, so don't laugh too hard at me---and my mother warned me against believing everything I read. I would be interested in reading what anyone has to say in this vein.
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    I'm the youngest of four children, and my father had always been in the habit of reading to us before bedtime, and for whatever reason the books he chose (and that we always wanted) leaned toward fantasy: The Dark Is Rising, A Wizard of Earthsea, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Chronicles of Prydain, The Hobbit, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath and, when I was about 3, The Lord of the Rings. I never stood a chance, really.

    On a related note, there was a tremendous wealth of children's fantasy around in the 1970s: our attic was full of piles and piles of books, by Rosemary Sutcliff, Susan Cooper, Rosemary Manning, Lloyd Alexander, CS Lewis, Tolkien, Carol Kendall, Diana Wynn Jones and others. A large part of my childhood was spent with my nose in a tatty, dog-eared book that was misssing its cover.
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    As far as reading and the first books I bought for myself it was probably the Hardy Boys - not really a stepping stone to SciFi/Fantasy -- that came later. I suppose the first SciFi I really read was Star Trek (the James Blish stories based on the original series episodes).

    As far as the first SciFi that I remember buying --- it was probably either an anthology of Arthur C. Clarke stories or something by Gordon R. Dickson -- probably Dorsai.
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    My Dad is a huge Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan, and he passed that love along to me. And if that were not enough, some of my earliest readers at schools included chapter excerpts from The Hobbit ("Riddles in the Dark") and from one of Anne McCaffery's Pern books.
    Last edited by Dannyalcatraz; Friday, 4th November, 2011 at 07:29 PM.
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    I've always been a big reader, even if the stuff I was reading was rather ... fluffy. I can't remember when I switched from Little Golden Books and Dr. Seuss to The Hardy Boys and WWII Historical books but it was some time in kindergarten along with picking up Sgt. Rock, Weird War Tales and The Unknown Soldier comic books. I don't even remember the first Medieval/Fantasy book I read was but I think it was the Tales of Robin Hood, (Reader's Digest youth abridged version).

    The first Fantasy book I remember buying was The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks. I think it was during the summer between my 5th and 6th grade years.
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    My dad was a D&D/Fantasy fan when he was younger. Not much of one, but enough so that my grandparents' house was stocked with The Hobbit and some 1e books and a few other things. They figured it was kid's stuff, so they left it on the lower shelves where I could reach it by the time I was walking. The Hobbit and the AD&D 1e MM and PHB were cornerstones in my young reading. I kind of understood the 1e books weren't normal story books, but I kinda treated them like manuals on what fantasy should/could be. Those 1e books are actually some of the few things I still have around from when I was that age. A few years later, I played Chrono Trigger for the SNES, and there was no going back.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz View Post
    My Dad is a huge Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan, and he passed that love along to me. And if that were not enough, some of my earliest readers at schools included chapter excerpts from The Hobbit ("Riddles in the Dark") and from one of Anne McCaffery's Pern books.
    You were very lucky in the school's choice of readers. I had good stuff, but it was all mostly mainstream fiction, rather than good old S&S or Science Fiction. Catholic School, and all.
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    IIRC, I read The Hobbit as the first book I ever chose for myself but the first I think I bought would have been the ACE Conan by R. E. Howard with the Frazetta cover.
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    Quote Originally Posted by papastebu View Post
    You were very lucky in the school's choice of readers. I had good stuff, but it was all mostly mainstream fiction, rather than good old S&S or Science Fiction. Catholic School, and all.
    When I finally landed in a Catholic HS, I had already missed their lower school curriculum that included C.S. Lewis' Perelandra novels, and had discussions with teachers about some of the great works of distopian sci-fi: 1984, Brave New World, Farrenheit 451 and so forth. Not all Catholics are anti-F/SF!
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  • #10
    The Hobbit got me started, too. It was this strangely titled book that I kept seeing on my mom's bookshelf every time I visited, and I finally picked it up to see what it was and read it. I was about 7. I was already a SciFi fan due to Star Wars and BSG. From there it was Lord of the Rings, then Chronicles of Prydain, Ray Bradbury, and then I got introduced to the Basic D&D Rules ...
    "The Soul of D&D? It's rolling a natural 20 when you're down to 3 hit points and the cleric's on the floor and you're staring that sunnavabitch bugbear right in his bloodshot eye and holding the line just long enough to let the wizard unleash a fireball at the guards who are on their way, because they're all that stands between you, the Foozle and Glory." - WizarDru

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