Saturday, March 01, 2008

Epiphany, Sort Of

A few evenings back I was watching a nature program on PBS--the type of thing with beautiful photography, a sad, desolate story about life and death in the wild, passion, and a smug narrator to tell the tale (the sort of documentary I love)--when I had an epiphany. I admire the passion these programs show, from the scientists to the filmmakers, and while I was watching the struggle on the screen I realized that my passion for books is no less astounding, and very bit as real as what I was watching. It wasn't brilliant, but still, I had a simple and astounding thought: I love books.

My home is filled with books--on bookshelves, in boxes, and just plain piled in corners and along walls. I can't pass a bookshop without going in and I'm hard pressed to leave without purchasing a few. Books are one of my passions. And it has always been that way. I can remember as a child--say nine or ten--begging my mom to take me to the mall so I could wander down the aisles of the tiny Walden Books that occupied the space between a geeks and game, and a cigar shop; or was it GAP and The Key Hole?

I wasn't satisfied just looking either. I had to touch them, smell them, and read them. I cut my teeth--speaking of adult fiction here--on spy thrillers and action yarns. I would stay awake into the wee hours reading guys like Alistair MacLean, Desmond Bagley, David Morrell, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, The Executioner novels, and it wasn't long before I started to dabble in the legal thrillers written by the likes of Scott Turow, and Barry Reed.

And then I discovered science fiction. It was awe-inducing, bigger than anything I could imagine, and right there in front of me. I read Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg, A.E. Van Vogt, and so many more that it would bore you to tears to list them all here. And that goes for all the genres I have read and loved, which covers just about every genre or sub-genre in the English language.

The bottom line? I love the written word and Gravetapping is the proverbial campfire where I wax, not-so-poetically, about my passion. This place is special for one simple reason: it is an eclectic fanzine. There is nothing hostile here. No anger. Its only motive is to share something wonderful. And I'm pleased it has found an audience--no matter how small--and I absolutely enjoy the contact I've had with authors and readers alike. Thanks for coming. Thanks for emailing. Thanks for reading. And thanks for coming back; there'll be more, I promise.

And thanks for not making too much fun when I make a fool of myself. Like now for instance.

A NOTE. I wrote this a week or so ago, debated whether or not to post it, and finally this afternoon put it up. But in the meantime I pushed my passion a little and discovered a couple of terrific used bookstores in the small college town of Logan, Utah; the first, and by far the best, was a dusty old shop called Books of Yesteryear. I found several old titles I've wanted for some time, but the most intriguing is an old novel written by Harrison Arnston titled The Warning. It is one of Harry's early novels published by Zebra in 1987, and one of the few I haven't read. And I can't wait to get started.

The point? Other than me being outrageously excited? I'm still looking for one of Harry's early novels published by Zebra; Death Shock. If anyone has a copy and would be willing to sell it to me please send me an email.

1 comment:

Quite Contrary said...

We appreciate you, Ben! Thanks for sharing your "passion" with us!
Mary C.