It begins with bad rhymes and sci-fi fanboydom...

Bang. Story the first, written, recited and, hey, I think I like it. That's probably because it's a love letter to science fiction and gave me the opportunity to rhyme "constant haemorrhoids" with "renegade androids" but I'll take that, thank you very much, and chalk it up as 'Day One: check'.

What have I learnt about myself on opening day having scripted up and edited through a picture book manuscript titled "You Should Read Science Fiction!"? Well, as expected, I like clunky rhyming couplets, geekish/cult/genretastic content and the hint of darkness. I seem to have a natural inclination towards couplets which is fine, just as long as every single tale I come up doesn't stick with that structure (especially if I insist on squeezing together really clumsy rhymes).

Dark, kitsch and nerdtastic also suits me but I want to try and get variety in the different stories I conjure up and straying from the subconscious standard is probably going to require a lot of conscious thought. For today though I have nice script in which a perky young man who loves reading science fiction advises despondent and depressed (possibly even suicidal) people to immerse themselves in sci-fi literature to ease their minds and find some mental stimulation and blissful happiness. In my vision, the story's unfolding adjacency pairs are accompanied by glorious drawings illustrating the concepts that populate science fiction, as outlined by our hero. You want an example of the exchanges? Alrighty...

“My life’s bereft of meaning, without reason, without rhyme!”
“You should read science fiction and go travelling through time!”

Indeed, I do urge people to engage with science fiction and this whole idea no stems from my desire to politely persuade (ruthlessly force in cases of rugged resistance) others to pick up some Philip K. Dick or watch Akira. This raises another interesting point and another challenge - not being overtly didactic in what I write or forcing a lot of message or 'morality' in the picture book manuscripts I produce. This could get a bit sticky if you're writing things that are supposedly geared towards children (a section of humanity that we figure 'should be told what to do').

But would children like - or even be allowed anywhere near - something like "You Should Read Science Fiction!" with its niche touches? Probably not and the style of the artwork would also have a lot of impact upon this issue. I'm not actually sure that anyone would want to read it but that does nae matter. What matters is that I had a blast writing something silly that was full of love for something I get a huge kick out of. It starts off the March Madness nicely and has me all psyched up to spawn some more stories and see what happens from here.

It also also has me wishing that somebody would produce an illustrated edition of Philip K. Dick's Ubik.

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