hop_goblin wrote:I just can't get into fantasy or fiction.
I'm with Omegapd and you on this.
I'm a relative latecomer to Sci-fi and fantasy, having discovered it late in my teens or early 20s. Due to a very paranoid and repressive upbringing, and the literary naivety of my parents, I read hundreds of "classics" as a child/teenager. In my parents' minds, if it was considered a "classic," it was probably safe.
When I was about 15, I read Clan of the Cave Bear, (Auel is a local author!) This was, I believe, my first introduction to the genre, and my mother found it on my desk in my room. I remember that she became completely hysterical, having picked it up and upon opening it to see what this strange book was I was reading, found references to cavemen, which were proscribed as impossible by our religion, and um... well... "buttsecks." I also recall that I was grounded from visiting the library unsupervised, due to my inability to "control" my reading material.
Of course, all this did was create a voracious appetite for sci-fi, and over the next few years I plowed through author after author writing future-sci, thriller-sci, space-sci, and alternate reality-sci, with only minor detours to read everything Robert Ludlum ever wrote. I had become much more sly with my library habits by this time. I remember another incident when I was about 18, meeting a boy I liked at the library, in the sci-fi section. My mother, suspicious, came looking for me, and was upset about the boy, but completely unhinged by the unholy sci-fi!