This is an ongoing series looking at books that have influenced one fantasy author.
by Doris Piserchia
Doris Piserchia is one of those author’s who is still living but hasn’t published anything in nearly 30 years. Of course she is is her seventies now, so has probably mostly retired from writing. Back in the 1970s and early 1980s she was known as a feminist science fiction writer and had more than a dozen books to her name.
But none of that was important to the 12-year-old me who discovered her novel Spaceling at my school library in seventh grade junior high.
I was still young and feeling out my interests in speculative fiction. I was going through a phase of reading science fiction and the cover for this book caught my eye. There was a background of molten lava and black rocks. In the foreground was a great big fuzzy monster-like beast. And the title alone, Spaceling, screamed science fiction.
I thought I’d give it a try. So I suppose that is one of the few times in my life I picked up a book because of the cover.
This story blew my mind. It was one of the most original science fiction stories I had read, and still is to this day nearly 30 years later.
This story is about a girl who can travel to other dimensions through the use of colored rings floating in the air. Only she and a few other people can see the rings. And not only can she travel to these other dimensions, but once she enters the other dimensions she is no longer human but turns into a creature that can survive in the particular dimension where she finds herself. There are also lots of twists to the plot, and it comes with an unexpected, but mostly happy ending.
One of the things that made me love this book is it is one of the earliest novels I remember reading that had a young person as the protagonists, and it worked very well.
There. That says a fair amount without giving anything away. I liked this book a lot, and it’s one of the few in my life I’ve read more than once.
Perhaps it’s time I got out my old copy again.
Up next: Elric of Melnibone