NOTE: THIS IS NOT A REAL NEWS INTERVIEW.
THIS IS A FICTIONAL INTERVIEW GIVEN FOR MY NOVEL-IN-PROGRESS INFINITE WORLDS.
NOT A REAL INTERVIEW
Good morning, I’m Sybil Sanderson.
We here at ‘Science Weekly’ are pleased to report a new development in the world of space. A shake-up has been reported in the Canadian government that may have an impact on that country’s contribution to space exploration.
Minister of Space, Jonathon Erikson died last week after being shot in his bed. His body was discovered by his wife. His post has been filled by his Deputy Minister, Anika Lavalle, who was only recently promoted to the deputy position from advisor. Investigators are still trying to piece together the evidence that may lead to an arrest of Minister Erikson’s murderer. It is with great curiosity that we turn our attention now to the newly minted Minister Lavalle. Who is she? How did a virtual unknown rise to such an important position? We were able to ask these questions, and more, of the Minister herself in a brief interview granted just this morning.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to us today, Minister Lavalle.
You must have an enormous amount of work waiting for you, so I’ll get right to it. How does one go from an advisory position to Deputy Minister of Space?
In my former position, I apparently caught the attention of our Prime Minister Cohen. He asked that I advise him on various occasions, after which he appointed Deputy Minister of Space. It’s a great honor.
I can imagine. Has the mandate of the Ministry of Space changed at all since your promotion?
Yes, it has, Sybil. The Prime Minister has tasked my office with establishing the preliminary steps to building a research station on the Moon. Then we’ll work to meet the criteria that will allow us to build a multi-national research station there. While no country can claim the planet, only politics stands in the way of working together. That said, it is our wish that Canada take a larger role in exploring space. Research, asteroid mining and launching exploratory craft from the Moon is all a part of that plan.
Will Canada still play a technological support role on the International Space Station?
Yes, we will. The Government of Canada wants to expand our role in exploring space, not reduce it. We want to be a leader out among the stars. We are putting plans into place that will enable many more Canadian citizens to be a bigger part of that. We expect to see more job creation come from this new mandate, as well as current contract extensions. Residual economic developments are expected to boost the overall health of our economy as well. Obviously, I can’t go into a great number of details, though.
It will be fascinating to see how it all unfolds. Thank you for sharing a small part of your vision with us, Minister Lavalle.
Thank you for having me, Sybil.
So, there you have it, folks, Canada gets a new Minister of Space, and a new purpose out among the stars! Stayed tuned for Ryan Rutledge’s report on the repairs to the Hadron Collider…
I wanted to take a couple of minutes today to tell you about two women that are about to go off on an incredible adventure across space and wondrous worlds. But before they can save an expedition lost on a world that is not Earth…they have to meet, right?
You’ve heard me talk about Cori and Devi, and how they’ve been tasked by the Canadian government to find and retrieve a ground-breaking expedition. You’ve seen little snippets that I’ve posted here. But how did they come together?
“If It’s Easy” is an inexpensive short story that recounts how Devi and Coriander met in the most unlikely of places, Northern Ontario. It’s sweet, charming and a reminder of how easily our hearts can fall for the right person. You can find it at iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Overdrive, Kobo, Scribd, Tolino, Amazon, and 24Symbols.
I hope you enjoy it. I hope they charm you as much as they did me. I’d love to hear what you thought. Please drop me a line in the comments below!
Zip stirred and promptly wished he’d died instead.
His head pounded with the force of twenty-five dancing rhinos. No hangover he’d ever suffered through had split his skull quite like this. He stilled as a thought came, painfully, to him.
Wait…I’m not dead? There’s a metal floor under me, where am I?
Slowly, Zip cracked one eye open and surveyed what he could see without sitting up. He was slumped in an uncomfortable position on a light grey, metal floor. He could feel a vibration running through the floor.
Okay, I’m in a ship. But not mine. The floor is wrong.
The light wasn’t harsh, so he eased his other eye open. He was in an empty room, illuminated by a source he couldn’t see. The walls seemed to curve organically from the floor, as did the ceiling above him, and all of it was the same metal. He should have been cold, between all the metallic surfaces and the blue-tinged light, but he was surprised to be warm.
He patted his body, intending to take excess clothes off, but found himself no longer in his own clothes. They had been removed somehow and replaced by grey pants and a grey tunic-style shirt. He was barefoot.
“Hello? Is anyone listening?” He called out cautiously.
There was no answer.
Zip waited a moment before repeating himself. “Is anyone there?”
HIs stomach growled, loud in the empty metallic room.
A panel slid open with a whisper, and Zip could see a hallway beyond.
He stood slowly, mindful of the rhinos still dancing on his skull. At the door, he looked both ways, wondering which direction held food.
A blue line lit up a stripe in the floor, leading off to the right.
Zip looked around once more. No space mercenary lived to see old age by letting his guard down. Muscle memory taking over, his right hand went to his hip. But his weapon wasn’t there. He scowled. If his head didn’t hurt so much, he’d be pissed off. He had invested time and credits in that hand-laser, and he wanted it back.
His stomach growled again, and the line in the floor pulsed, as if to hurry him along.
“Damn it, this better not be an ambush,” he muttered as he padded silently down the hall.
To be continued!
Zip knew his oxygen wouldn’t last forever, so when he felt himself growing lightheaded, he figured his nefarious career had come to an end. He couldn’t even sigh in resignation. He felt logic and conscious thought slipping away, like that old Earth desert jello used to slip through his fingers as a child.
His view of space grew blurry, even as the damned asteroid continued to plummet through the stars and space dust. He coughed once, a desperate and involuntary plea from his lungs for more oxygen. When none came, his eyelids simply slid closed.
As Zip’s eyes closed, the space rock that was his killer, slowed and finally stopped. A long arm tipped with a pincher separated itself from the surface, inched toward Zip, and pulled him off like a bird trapped on the grill of a tractor trailer.
Had he been conscious, he would have found the similarity hilarious.
The long arm pulled him back toward the bulk of rock, where an airlock opened. The pincher dropped him in, the airlock closed and the arm receded.
Then the rock that wasn’t, promptly changed course.
Taking Zip Harrington, Space Mercenary, with it.
To be continued!
In my ‘Infinite Worlds’ series, (which starts with ‘If It’s Easy’) a previously unknown planet is discovered in an alternate universe. The scientists who discover this world call it Terra Geminus. Without giving too much away, the initial expedition finds the planet is not only colonized but already named New Olympus! Confusing? Not really. It’s common for one group of people to call a landmark one thing, and another group refer to that same landmark by a completely different name.
I knew sooner or later, I’d have to decide where in the skies my imagined planet of Terra Geminus resided. I already knew the planet would not be in our skies…but where? Did I focus on its immediate galaxy? Was it in a solar system?
Before I drove myself even further nutty, I knew it was time to buckle down and learn the differences before I made a mistake there was no coming back from. So, here’s what I learned.
A star system is a large number of stars and accompanying bodies with a perceptible structure. (Sounds a lot like a galaxy to me)
Our solar system is a collection of eight planets and their moons, comets, asteroids, gases and star dust in orbit around the sun.
A galaxy is a system of millions of stars, gas and dust, all held together by gravitational forces.
A universe is all existing matter and space as a whole containing vast, uncountable numbers of galaxies.
So then my question changed. Did I want to focus on only the planet or the larger galaxy it belonged to?
My overall plan is to tell the stories of other characters on other worlds, all of whom will be in the same galaxy, and will all have some degree of interconnectedness.
(Think of knots in a web. Connected, but still on different points within the web)
I knew then, that I had to name the galaxy as well.
Just as Earth is but one body in our Milky Way galaxy, so too will Terra Geminus/New Olympus be just one planet of many in the Claudisius galaxy. There are other worlds, stars, comets and gas balls in the Claudisius galaxy of course. There are scientists, dreamers, cartographers, xenobiologists and explorers as well, all roaming about and having adventures.
‘If it’s Easy’ introduces us to two of those explorers, and ‘Infinite Worlds’ shares more of their story with us, and allows us to go with them on the adventure of a lifetime as they race to save an expedition to Terra Geminus. Like our own lives, small grains on a large planet, in a larger galaxy in a vast universe.
After all, we can’t possibly be the only life among the stars.
Question time, my lovely reader!
Can you name any science fiction, fantasy or speculative fiction books that have
- indigenous/Native/First People as leaders of a culture/planet/world
- queer/LGBT/trans/gender-fluid cultures portrayed as commonplace
- disabled folks (visible or otherwise) as world leaders
If you know of any, shout out in the comments below and expand our reading horizons!
Next time, a review of Fletcher DeLancey’s fourth book in her brilliant ‘Caphenon’ series!
I’ve been thinking about this book for days, trying to pick out a favorite character, or favorite part of the story. I can’t. There are just so many great elements, themes and snippets of dialogue.
I admire the way the characters are presented, and developed. Early on, even before we see the Caphenon, the characters become people, seemingly REAL people. We are presented with a plausible world that we can nearly touch, such are the world building skills of the author. We are drawn into this world so vividly that we feel the windows explode, we feel the ground shake when the ground-pounder walks by and we mourn at the Flight of The Return ceremony.
It was a sad twist that the two people most suited for each other could not be together, but I hope we see more of them in future books. I was impressed by the explanation of FTL flight, because it was so easily understood! The science was so deftly woven and explained that it becomes a reasonable, vital tool that supports the main stars of this book, the characters.
The quality of the e-book needs mentioning here too. I read a great deal, fiction and non-fiction, across a wide range of topics and from a wide range of publishers. I did not find one error in this e-book. Not one. I could go on for hours about how much I appreciate the care and eye for detail that has gone into this e-book, this story, and how readable it is. I could, but I won’t.
Simply, I have fallen in love with Alsea. If Lhyn and Ekatya go back, can they take me too?
If you haven’t read this book yet, you need to. If you have read it, please let me know in the comments what you thought. Surely I cannot be the only one who thinks Fletcher DeLancey is a brilliant genius!
|Any reviewer, or just the most honest among us, worth their salt is supposed to declare when we’ve been given an advance copy of a book. So, in that vein, I’m going to go on record and tell you straight up that I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
That being said, I can say this is the deepest, most intelligent book I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a very long time. It is thoughtful, and thought-provoking. It makes you question bits of our own world without you even consciously realizing it. At first, it’s hard to draw parallels, but they are there. Some more obvious than others, but it’s kind of a ‘a-ha!’ moment when you do see them. When you begin to understand how the book-past got the characters to where they are, it’s a bit of a shock. But this book is the wisest speculation of our future I’ve read. There is genetic manipulation, an altered, poisoned world. There is injustice, cruelty and yet…There are those who question everything they’ve been taught. They seek freedom from lies and accepted truths born of fear and the lure of what is easy.
This book is one of those you should re-read every six months or so. Not only because it’s simply that great, but because I promise you’ll notice something new each time you read it. Some clever description, some characteristic you hadn’t noticed before, or maybe another new parallel between Tyler’s imagined world and our own.
Before the Borg, there were bionics.
Assuming you could get a “bionic improvement” for free and with no negative side effects, what improvement would you ask for?