A little more on science-fiction...

Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, SETI Institute, Cynthia Phillips, Marty Valenti 

Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, SETI Institute, Cynthia Phillips, Marty Valenti 

You’re free to speculate as you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning of the film—and such speculation is one indication that it has succeeded in gripping the audience at a deep level—but I don’t want to spell out a verbal road map for 2001 that every viewer will feel obligated to pursue or else fear he’s missed the point.
— Stanley Kubrick

If you arrived here from my about page, thank you for taking interest in knowing more about my writing.

I love telling stories. I love creating worlds so I can populate them with my vision. I want to create futuristic scenarios that capture my readers’ imagination, and allow me to present my ideas in an exhilarating fashion. It's quite impossible not to inspire awe with tales set in the far future. Much of it is novel. Much of it is speculation. That’s why I love science-fiction. It's the perfect convergence of escapism and philosophy. 

Strictly speaking stories don't have to be set in the far future to be called science-fiction. In my opinion, a story enters this genre when it explores how an inexplicable phenomenon affects human life. By this I'm not alluding to supernatural happenings, like the apparition of ghost-like figures. Though, these phenomena may be described as being supernatural. (Spoiler) Like in Interstellar, where the ghost analogy is present throughout the plot. 

Sleek X-wing fighters following closely the surface of the Death Star; a desperate pilot attempting to dock, even though all odds are against him and the remaining crew; humanity discovering a mysterious black monolith on our moon; a rotating space ship entering the warped dimension of a wormhole; androids fighting for the chance to have their lifetime extended. There exist a myriad stirring moments like these ones in the long history of science-fiction. They represent our struggle to find and keep our place in this universe. 

To me, writing is capturing a snapshot of the human condition. Every word, sentence, and paragraph is a time capsule. Books (or eBooks) hold within them the memory of one moment in time that would otherwise be lost, ‘like tears in rain’. (I always wanted to use this quote from Blade Runner.) I'm often interested in discovering the breaking point of our sanity. What's a more formidable test for human nature than travelling the cosmos? Surrounded by limitless nothingness, it's a matter of adapting. At least for me it would be. The cosmos itself isn't exactly welcoming to us humans, yet there's no malice out there, but so much beauty. Even this state I call 'nothingness' isn't truly void. Within the parameters of our understanding a lot out there among the stars is as yet beyond comprehension. Therefore, I prefer to focus on humanity's future. There's so much inspiration in the realm of space exploration, technology, and philosophy. Combine these three very different subject matters, and the result would be good science-fiction. Always, always, always, an author should ask a question. 

Hereafter follow some questions that swirl around in my crowded mind:

  • Will there be a noticeable disparity between wealth and poverty, a hundred years from now? 
  • How will life on another planet affect our soul? 
  • If we ever colonize other planets, will we become homesick? 
  • Many generations from today, will people perhaps even forget Earth? 
  • In what ways and to which extend, will technology continue to shape our way of life? 
  • Can we become truly benign beings, without ulterior motives and delusions of grandeur? 
  • Why should we even aspire to leave earth, to explore the cosmos, or do any of the fantastical undertakings presented in science-fiction stories? 

These questions and the ensuing ruminations are but a few of the reasons why I love science-fiction. Technological innovation is fascinating on its own, but coupled with a dramatic plot dwelling around the fate of our civilisation is truly scintillating. Well, it doesn't always have to be such an epic setting. My point is that even a small, more intimate story can be told on a grand scale. No matter how modest the presentation, a big idea will always stay big. It won't shrink with the plot's scale. It'll only become more focused. 

To come to an end, I'll explain why I began this blog post with that quote by Stanley Kubrick. Those who know me well, and all who will get to know me, understand the significance of this little film called 2001: a space odyssey. On the classic poster, the tagline calls it 'an epic drama of adventure and exploration'.  It's no doubt a filmmaking milestone, which many deem boring and pretentious. While it may seem to be unnecessarily ambiguous and slow, to me it was a revelation the first time I watched it. It captured my imagination. Since then I have watched it numerous times, and each time I find more clarity. Interstellar comes close to having had the same profound effect on me.

If ever any of my novels make readers ponder the themes explored therein, then I'll consider it a job well done. 

Write on!