Sci-Fi/Fantasy writer Emma Newman has written a great personal piece about how science fiction was her escape route as a child. She explains that:
I had no confidence, self-esteem lower than the depths of the Mariana Trench and I was the only person in the school who thought that time travel and space exploration were amazing. That I knew of, anyway…
This was when ST:TNG and my obsession with it deepened even further. It wasn’t just a sci-fi show. It became my sanctuary. Now I look back and know that the crew became my surrogate family when my real family life was being put through the mill. Of course I loved Data; I wanted to be him, I wanted to be free of emotions and in love with the idea of being human again.
The full story — in which Emma is inspired by writer Melinda Snodgrass and, without spoiling too much, winds up meeting her — is at her blog.