On Existential Angst

Bear with me. I’m suffering some existential angst.

A friend e-mailed me on Friday afternoon. I’d written her about some recent doings in my life, and in her reply she asked a basic question.

“Why are you writing science-fiction?”

She didn’t put it quite like that. But that was the point she danced around.

The reason for the question was obvious. I’d written about myself, and I’d written it like a story. I’d painted a picture, and somehow that picture, for her, became evocative and genuine and moving and, above all, real.

So why was I describing myself as a science-fiction writer?

Why didn’t I go mainstream?

I’ve been asked this before. “Make-Believe” prompted the question two years ago, and I’d always brushed it off — “I don’t think I’d have any faculty there.”

Yet, this was a friend, someone who has known me for the better part of a decade, asking the question.

And, for the first time, I find I’m really considering the implications.

I’ve always thought of myself as “genre.” But truthfully, I sometimes feel I have nothing to say in the genre.

It’s curious.

Hence, the existential angst.

Thinking aloud. Just thinking aloud.

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