My passion for sci fi and fantasy started in my earliest years of reading, with the old classics: Bradbury, Heinlein, Tolkien, CS Lewis. In my 20s, I discovered some series that sparked feelings of infinite possibility, particularly for myself as a young woman. With Jo Clayton’s Diadem series, a woman could use mind powers so potent her red hair moved as in a wind. In MZB’s Darkover series, “laran” – mind melding – could heal. Others wrote of crystals that sang and the magical properties of music and books. In McCaffrey’s Pern novels, I was entranced not only with sentient dragons but also with the renewed value of craft: musical instruments, metal work and fabric-making that all had power far beyond practical uses.

These authors had to create situations where modern technologies were not available – a ship that crashed on a planet where people had to start from scratch in building a society, for instance. This allowed adventures that today could not occur, with our instantaneous communications and fast travel. Yet magic occurs that might be entirely possible now if we were not as a culture, as a society, so caught up on what is possible technologically. I am not a luddite. I began designing interactive multimedia in the mid-1990s and found magic, delight, powers that felt beyond human. I am full-scope when it comes to contemplating possibility.

Ideas of telepathy, mind-healing and mind powers, over the years, have synergized in me, right alongside the mundane world. I believe that is not entirely escapism but might be, rather, how change comes about, for us as a collective.

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