The Martian Child

by David Gerrold

While this is categorized as fiction, most of the content is autobiographical. Gerrold is a single gay man who adopted a son, and while the idea of the boy considering himself Martian is inspired by another adoption, a lot of what happened in the book came from real life. It is a moving story about a boy in need of love and a man who so generously gives it. A boy who has been rejected so often he feels that he is an alien. He wishes for a father but is certain that the father will one day no longer wants him. So heart breaking, and so heart warming.

Definitely one of the best book I read in years. I’d love to buy a bunch and share it with everybody I know. I would love to shove it to those people who insist on laws making gay ineligible for adoption as they can’t be good parents, but then those people will probably would just trash it.

In some way I find it funny that the author thinks so much of the boy’s claim as a Martian. As mentioned in the book, plenty of kids imagine weird birth origins, and I think I had my share as a kid too. But I suppose it means a lot more when you are a sci-fi writer to have a Martian in your house.

BTW I found this blog that has a very nice review about the book, with pictures of Dennis as a boy (the agency picture that stole Gerrold’s heart) and grown man.

The blog mentioned that in the movie version, the father is not gay, but a widower. Hmph. I can see the reasoning for it, from a commercial standpoint, but it’s somewhat disappointing.

(And oh one more thing about this book’s category. The author is a sci-fi writer so this book is actually published under science fiction and had in fact, in its original novella format, won the “triple crown” of science fiction that year: The Nebula, the Hugo, and the Locus Readership Poll.

Published in: on December 20, 2010 at 7:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

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