My closest pals know that I'm very anti-social media these days, reacting against the collection and selling of personal data because blah, blah, blah, paranoid rantings, etc., because I'm prone to paranoid rantings. The question is: does a love of speculative fiction lead to paranoid rantings, or are paranoid rantings the result of reading too much speculative fiction during one's formative years?

Rather than belabor the downsides of social media, one upside is connecting with old friends. I recently got together with a best friend from high school. I can still recall meeting her. She was a striking girl, two grades above me, tall and blond. She was sitting on a bench in the school yard, intently focused on a paperback.

"What are you reading?" I asked

"Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein," she said. "You're not mature enough for it."

Thus began our friendship, and we spent the next few year's together tearing through her older sisters' stacks of science fiction books, talking and writing and studying and exploring the world beyond high school. We dreamed of writing science fiction novels. Well, the closest I came was writing The She-Hulk Diaries for Marvel. She became a successful computer programmer for the biggest tech companies in Silicon Valley.

She said, "You should write a science fiction novel.

I mentioned this to my brother, also a fan of science fiction, and he said, "That's a good idea. It was your first love."

So I'm thinking about it. And perhaps it's time for me to revisit favorite old books as well.