Father’s Day

Jack Webb, age 20, US Army Air Corp

This post was first published on the author’s blog in 2011. It’s appears here in slightly modified form.

There’s been an ongoing, widespread discussion on the web about women writing science fiction. Today is Father’s Day here in the USA, so I’d just like to say the person most responsible for getting me interested in science fiction was this man right here, my dad, Jack Webb.

These days I think most dads know they need to encourage sons and daughters both to believe in themselves, to try new stuff, to be smart, self-reliant, and to develop an adventurous spirit. Back in the sixties and seventies, when I was a kid, that was still fairly rare if you were a girl.

1950s: the cowboy hat disappeared in later years

Fishing off Honolulu

Still fascinated by the world

My dad though, was ahead of his time. Because he was always looking for the next adventure, I grew up variously on the back of a motorcycle, riding horses, getting ill on fishing boats, hiking, camping, and flying between the Hawaiian Islands in little two and four-seater airplanes. My dad was also always sharing his interest in science and gadgets, and would never bat an eye when I would proclaim that I was going to grow up to be a primatologist, or an aeronautical engineer, or go to the Air Force Academy. Never once do I remember hearing, “Girls don’t do that sort of thing.”

He was also always reading, fiction and non-fiction both, but always lots of science fiction, and naturally I followed along.

So for better or worse I blame my dad for setting me on the path to writing science fiction. It starts at home, guys, as most of you young dads already know.

My dad read all my books. He was my biggest fan and quite convinced I was the best writer out there, as a loyal dad should be.

He passed away seven years ago at the age of 82. He lived a very full life.

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Father’s Day — 2 Comments

  1. It’s so great to read about fathers who encouraged their daughters to do things. My father was like that, too. Coincidentally, he was also in the Army Air Corps (predecessor to the Air Force). He didn’t read science fiction, but he got me reading Shakespeare at an early age, which protected me from a couple of bad English teachers. He also taught me to ride horses — I had a horse long before I reached the age when most girls want them — and took me along with him to work back when he covered the courthouse. That was part of his plan to get me to law school, which worked.