Michael A. Banks, writer and editor of science fiction and non-fiction recently shared with us how Stephen Meader’s Bulldozer inspired him at an early age and helped shape his goals as a writer:
I first read Bulldozer in 1959, at the very beginning of the Space Age. Anything seemed possible, what with satellites orbiting Earth and men to follow. I was constantly exploring how things worked and trying to do more with my chemistry set and microscope than was possible. I built models, I read books, magazines and newspapers. With my friends I even built miniature Interstate highways on the dirt floor of an abandoned barn, using our Doepke and Tonka bulldozers, graders and other toys. My area had no organized sports to offer, and even the pickup baseball games I so enjoyed were given rather short shrift as I packed all my other activities–including Scouts–into days that always seemed to need more hours.
Through all of this I had a fine example–a role model–to inspire me to keep going and try new things: young Bill Crane and his bulldozer. This inspiration carried on into my young adult years, when Bill’s failures as well as his successes began to ring true. With the realization that I had no real support and would face failures came more inspiration, because that was exactly Bill’s situation. Decades after reading Bulldozer, I can look back over my own doubts and opposition, and feel good that I faced them and made it through them to succeed–just as Bill Crane and Stephen W. Meader himself did. Overcoming the doubts and opposition were in themselves successes, and further inspired me to continue striving for my goal: I became a writer, and next year will see my 45th book published.,