Like many authors, I started reading at an early age. I read everything - mysteries, historical novels, biographies, classics - but I especially loved science fiction. I still remember how intensely I entered the world of the Mushroom Planet. As I got a bit older, I discovered Bradbury, Asimov and Heinlein. The intellectual challenge of the Foundation Trilogy kept me up at night. Stranger in a Strange Land deeply influenced my views about sex and spirituality.
In the early nineties, I belonged to a science fiction book club started by a friend. That introduced me to new voices: Sherri Tepper, Oliva Butler, James Tiptree, Kate Wilhelm. Unfortunately, those monthly read/eat/talk orgies stopped after only a year. Since then, I haven't had the opportunity to read much scifi. For one thing, I've been busy writing my own fiction.
In the last few months, though, I've rediscovered my old love, as an author as well as a reader. One of my friends and colleagues writes fabulous scifi with an erotic slant. He has inspired me to try my own hand at the genre.
I'm now working on a near-future M/M novel about gender and politics (and love, of course). I also just finished the first draft of a novella I plan to submit to an anthology called "Seeing Stars". That story, "Bodies of Light", takes place on a star ship engaged in a mission to colonize a distant planet. Hard core scifi indeed!
I'm having a wonderful time exploring my old flame. However, I've come to realize that scifi is a particularly difficult genre to create - perhaps not as hard as historical fiction, but close. The reason? In scifi, the details really count. You're creating an alternative world, but you don't have a free hand. If you want to write realistic scifi, as opposed to fantasy, your premises must be grounded in fact and your explanations need to be consistent. I found this particularly true in writing "Bodies of Light", which as a background in quantum mechanics. (But don't worry! It's much more sexy than it is technical!)
In celebration of my rekindled interest in science fiction, I've posted a story on my website, an edited version of one of my first attempts at the genre - before Lisabet Sarai existed. You can read "The Ambassadors to G79-3" here. Compared to my current work, it's rather tame, but even back then (about twenty years ago, near as I can tell) I had erotic notions.
I haven't submitted either of my scifi works yet. I feel a bit like an amateur tackling this genre, despite my decade-plus publishing history. I don't know if I'll be successful. But I'm certainly having fun!