Have you ever wondered why it is that a writer prefers to work in one particular genre instead of any another? In my case, ever since my late father thought it was high time I put away the books of my early childhood, to read something far more worthy of my time, at least to his way of thinking, by giving me one of Arthur C Clarke’s brilliantly written science fiction books to read on my ninth birthday back in nineteen fifty-seven, the genre has remained my first love.
When I finally plucked up the courage to become a serious writer in nineteen ninety-five, the first book I ever wrote, and later self-published, was a science fiction tale entitled Turning Point predominantly set in my other home country – New Zealand.
If you saw my recent post (yesterday) not only showing you my body of work to date, but also the Amazon links you need to find them, you will have realised that writing tales that fall within the boundaries of the science fiction genre, is what I enjoy the most. Yes it’s true I have written a couple of books in other genres, namely Goblin Tales a pure fantasy, and also The Adventures of Ursus the Bear a delightful tale I specifically wrote for parents to read to their tiny tots. What can I tell you, they both needed to be written. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!
Like all genres, the heading science fiction covers a multitude of… Oops, I almost said sins. No, lets make that definite possibilities. That’s much better. Now where was I? Oh yeh; some science fiction writers prefer to set their stories in the far distant future, while I tend to set mine either in the present day, or at a stretch, within a plus or minus period of one hundred years from the present. Having said that, my second science fiction novel Onet’s Tale was also set way into the future. It was the only novel of mine to be published by a traditional press, albeit one of the small pursuasion, which, entirely due to the hissy fits and tantrums of its capricious owner/senior editor, is no longer available, despite the fact that it still appears beside my name on Amazon. Then people wonder why I have no time for business executives who think it would be a good idea to set themselves up as publishers, purely to impress their equally shallow colleagues and social set. Life is too damned short to waste your time arguing with them…
If you are wondering why it still appears along with all of my others, join the club along with every other writer. Amazon flatly refuses to delete any title on their list just in case someone may want to sell their copy back to them – yeh right, pull the other one Amazon, it’s got bells on it!
I finally shifted my science fiction writing into the time slot I far prefer in 2012, when I wrote my best seller to date, The Seventh Age. Ever since then, each and every science fiction tale I have written is set roughly within the same time period. My latest WIP The Guardian occurs not too far into the future in the next century – the twenty-second.
I leave the humorous, totally bizarre, fantastical and utterly unbelievable brands of science fiction to other writers. Let’s face it, this is one science fiction writer who would much rather write a thoroughly believable tale any day. As well as always trying to achieve that, I also ensure that the technology my characters use is either from present day, or is currently either in the design phase, or being field tested. For instance, In The Guardian I’ve ensured my current crop of character’s weapons are actual, such as the LSAT 5.55mm calibre Assault Rifle, the M110 Sniper Rifle and the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement (CDTE) air burst grenade launcher, along with some old favourites that most males will be totally familiar with, such as the Claymore anti-personnel mine and C4 plastic explosive.
If you will pardon the pun – In my book(s) there is no place for light-sabres or ray guns in any belieavable science fiction story. I leave that kind of thing entirely in the hands of the George Lucas’ of this world. These days I also tend to leave ET style aliens to Steven Spielberg and co, preferring my characters to be human, even though I did include one in two of my books a few years back. I’m not averse to the idea of slipping in the odd artificial or virtual intelligence into one or other of my stories now or in the future.
Well, now that I’ve bored you to death – sorry, I mean now that I’ve given you a brief insight into how this science fiction writer not only thinks, but prefers to work. If you want to know more, why not pose me a question as a comment below this post? Remember to keep them valid. In other words, no silly questions concerning things like inside leg measurements etc.