A Look in the Past, A View of the Future
Talk about a blast from the past. I was cruising the highways of the Internet when I saw an article about the later incarnation of Tom Swift and one of my childhood heroes, Tom Swift, Jr. , inventor extraordinaire.
I remember reading these books penned by Victor Appleton (a house pseudonym by the publishing firm). I would usually borrow these books from the school library or from the Union Church library in Makati. These books-- together with Hardy Boys and the Bobbsey Twins, both mystery series-- formed the bulwark of my childhood reading days.
With Tom Swift, I marveled at the gadgets and devices that walked, flew and thrived on the pages. And how can anyone not get a kick out of the books with titles like "The Flying Lab" or "The Jetmarine" or "The Ultrasonic Cycloplane" or "The Space Solartron" or...?
At the same time, I enjoyed tremendously the adventures of Swift and co., ranging from their trip to the moon to capturing a meteorite that turned out to have a core of sapphire (I think). It didn't matter that all of these inventions and adventures were far-out fictional: they felt real to me when I read them.
I suppose if there was ever an indication that I would end up a fantasy/science-fiction bookreader of some magnitude, I can point a finger at these books and say, "This." It does make me wonder why the Hardy Boys didn't take but Tom Swift did, why SF/F stayed with me whereas mystery stories didn't.