I was asked by an international reader: “Why do American female marine scientists become authors of SciFi and love Dr. Who?” Great question! Why do scientists love science fiction? Science is filled with the unimaginable. Birds may actually see the magnetic lines they follow. Some octopuses can out-think scientists and change their shape, color, and texture to match almost anything. We explore math beyond the norm, in a realm that feels alien; plotting parallel lines through twisted space does wonderful things to the mind. Non-Euclidean geometry can be used to define mathematical hyper-planes for dimensions beyond ours, like the inside of the TARDIS.
The more I’ve learned of science, the more I see the infinite possibilities of the universe. This is the realm of Science Fiction, which definitely includes Dr. Who. Why do we write? Because we imagine a new world, it becomes real, and the characters speak to us. The Dragon Dreamer grew from my years at sea as a marine biologist, a fascination with the alien, intelligent octopuses, a love of dragons, and a lifelong love of science fiction. It’s a young-at-heart book that travels beyond real.
Philosophy flows easily through a book that’s set in another time or on another world. When Dr. Who #10 confronts people who plan to destroy another group he says, “That’s genocide. Look that up in the dictionary and it states, ‘Over my dead body.’” He finds a way to appreciate all forms of life, much like Spock in the original Star Trek. Arak, a young dragon in The Dragon Dreamer, is ridiculed as a worthless dreamer. Determined to prove himself, he leaves on a dangerous quest and his wing is torn in a fierce hail-storm. “Air whistled through the gaping hole. Arak struggled to fly; it was like trying to breathe without lungs.”
Scree, a shape-shifter octopus, sees what appears to be a falling star. When Arak crashes onto the ice near her she’s terrified but still compelled to help. Thus begins an unexpected friendship between two very different beings that changes their world. Later, Scree risks her life again to save a non-octopus friend and is chastised by her very traditional leader. She fumes quietly and muses, “But there had to be more to life than avoiding danger. Helping a friend was certainly more important.” Dr. Who would agree.