I regarded drugs as somewhat like rattlesnakes - it's possible to pick one up without getting bit, but why bother?
So when I got out of the military, I went back to school in biology, and earned a biology degree at the University of Texas, and then did some graduate work in it.
I love biomedical science, I love astronomy, and you can't really do much with those in a fantasy setting.
In a novel, I could submerge my ego in a character's and let his perceptions take over.
Hard to be a physics major at Rice University if you have flunked calculus.
I actually feel that the different kinds of stories come out of different parts of my brain.
I've taught Sunday school, I've sung in the choir, I directed a choir.
My first degree came years before my second. I had wanted to be a physicist, but I flunked calculus.
Other people, including me, have written books with main characters who were old and rich. Or old and brilliant. Old sages, old wizards, old rich people.
You can also make explicit certain social problems which, again, would be prejudged or not encountered at all in real life, because people have set up defenses against it. Fantasy allows you to get past defenses.
My personal feeling about science fiction is that it's always in some way connected to the real world, to our everyday world.
I had, of course, no model for that sort of woman being married, but I can make that up as I go along.
When I was quite young, she was working in a hardware store, so I grew up knowing about hardware.
I like the Beatles, of course, but that's when I grew up.
I used to not back down from a challenge.
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