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Post-pandemic sci-fi story

I got an idea today for a post-pandemic sci-fi story that’s joyful, and it’s one of the things keeping me going right now: a vision of a better future.

I’ve written some of it at home today, where I usually write. So, not much change for me there. If there’s anything good I can take out of these Covid-19 “stay at home” times, it’s that, with any luck, I’ll be more productive with my writing having to be home more right now. If I can stay off the Internet long enough that is…(a usual battle for those who work at home, and yes I spelled Internet with a capital “I” despite what some recent word-trends would have you do; after all, the Internet is the name for a thing: the world network of computers that is public (used to be just the WWW prefix of the World Wide Web, but has grown). That’s a proper noun. /Grammar rant mode off.  If you think I’m wrong you can get off my lawn 😉

Funny how that works, that staying home and productivity ratio! Writers (and I think this is true for most who work from home) generally get more done during the cold months than the warm months. Too many things to do outside when the weather is nice, pulling away our time and attention, it seems. Then the cooler weather eventually sets in and thoughts go back to word counts rather than vacations,  warm summer nights, and days that never seem to end.

Writing about a possible future can be an important part in creating it. We’ve seen this happen again and again, but unfortunately those futures were mostly dystopias. As much as I have enjoyed such stories and movies that were very artfully done, I hoped such worlds would not come to be, and yet they largely have; I always wondered why there were not more possible futures I’d like to live in. What we choose to write is up to us, but I think it’s time we write about more uplifting possible futures than the current state of the world we are now in. Maybe then we will find we are living in a better world one day.

See my previous entry about The Prescience of Science Fiction Authors for more on this topic, and where writers get their ideas to write about the future.

 

The Prescience of Science Fiction Authors

The Prescience of Science Fiction Authors
By David Sloma

In his 1981 novel “The Eyes of Darkness” Dean Koontz named the pandemic virus in his story “Wuhan-400” as it starts in Wuhan, China, the same place where the current COVID-19 virus was first found. That’s a pretty big coincidence! Did he know something was going to happen there in the future? If so, how?

Philip K. Dick (PKD for short) predicted “precrime” and coined the term in his 1956 story “The Minority Report” (which was the basis for the 2002 movie “Minority Report”) – now computer models are being used to determine where precrimes will be committed before they happen and assign resources to those areas. Does it ever feel like you’re living in a PKD story? (Also in the “The Minority Report” were the Pre-Cogs who had the ability to predict the future, as “living computers.”)

These authors display what is called prescience, which means foreknowledge of future events; in essence, being able to predict the future. If we look at the word “prescience” we can see it’s made of two other words: pre and science – a natural topic for science fiction writers! Some people scoff at such an ability to foretell the future, while many more pay for fortune-tellers to do this very thing for them, often with real results (and also with fantastic failures). Then there are those people who dream of things before they happen…How is this possible?

One thing is for sure and that is many so-called science fiction or “sci-fi” writers do just that: tell the future. Or maybe they are creating it. Or also, perhaps, they are tapping into some stream of consciousness that tells them the future and they write it down. Whatever the case, the results are impressive.

There’s a theory called “The Morphogenetic field” which talks about ideas contained in an energy field that can be tapped into. This is similar to the “collective unconscious” discussed by Carl Jung, Sigmund Frued, and others. Maybe some sci-fi authors were tapping into such a thing; maybe they were following trends and extrapolating; maybe both.

As a science fiction writer myself, I think it’s been a combination of these things. Sometimes the future trends of technology and society can be easily seen and they allow the imagination to fly; other times the ideas just come and where they come from could be from many sources, both mundane and Divine. I have had the experience of being surprised when something I’ve written comes true in the world, and I’m sure many more authors have had this experience too, not just the ones I’ve listed.

I’ve never quite considered science fiction stories to be purely fiction. It seems the world is quickly catching up to that notion.

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Copyright © 2020 David Sloma. All rights reserved.

http://www.davidsloma.com

My Ebooks in Public Libraries

You can now read my ebooks from a growing number of public libraries the world over!

Just check the online catalog of your local library for my titles.

If you don’t see my ebooks in the catalog, ask the librarian to order them  – my ebooks are supplied to libraries by Bibliotheca, OverDrive, and Baker & Taylor.

(Some libraries may even be able to order paperback copies of my books from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.)

Happy reading!

 

 

Writing: Staying Focused in the Summer

A blog of a writer I read frequently is that of Dean Wesley Smith. He’s been a professional writer for a long while now, about forty years I believe, and has some good insights to share about being a writer.

One of those is his observation that during the summer months, which he calls the “Time of Great Forgetting,” many writers abandon their writing to do summer things, only to come back to writing in the fall months shocked at what they didn’t accomplish.

I can say that his observation has been accurate in my writing life, but only in the past. I’m no longer plagued with the “Time of Great Forgetting,” as I’ve made my writing so much a part of my life that I’d miss it if I didn’t do it daily. And I do miss it, on those rare occasions that I don’t get to do it on a given day.

Here are some of the ways in which I’ve made writing part of my daily life and tools I’ve used to accomplish that. Some of these I’ve learned from Dean, I’m sure; others came from personal experience and from other writers:

  • Try to write at the same time every day.
  • Write daily, no matter if you can only squeeze in a little time or a few words – something is always better than nothing. It keeps the writing “muscle” in shape and keeps the stories flowing.
  • Set goals for your writing in the form of words per day, per month, and per year. It’s amazing when you look back at your progress, or lack of!
  • Keep a log of your written words. This way it’s easy to see where you’ve slipped or where you’ve advanced.
  • Always keep learning in regards to writing, on the craft side and on the buisness side, through following writing blogs, reading books on writing, watching instructional videos, listening to podcasts, and taking courses. This will keep your mind focused on writing, especially during those times you might not have a lot to devote to the actual writing.

Dean’s got a great blog for writers, and he offers workshops and video lectures, too: http://www.deanwesleysmith.com

My D.U.M.B.s (Deep Underground Military Bases) series on Amazon (but if you click this link first before you buy anything on Amazon, I will get a small payment for each sale): https://amzn.to/2ngYD2a

Thank you!

 

Harlan Ellison – Memories and Lessons

Harlan Ellison was one of the first professional writers I ever met.

It was in the 80’s, during one of Harlan’s lecture tour stops. I was a wide-eyed teen, voracious reader (especially of fantasy and sci-fi), and also a beginning/aspiring writer. His talk to the large crowd was wild and entertaining, filled with outrageous stories – here was a real celebrity writer in our midst! His admonitions on the hardships of the writing life were not enough to deter me, but they did shock me at the time (I found out years later he was mostly right).

The highlight of the show was when he read one of his new stories! That put me in awe, not just because I got to hear a wonderful story from a master writer in his own voice, but he said afterward that it was “just how it came out of the typewriter.” No rewriting! He explained that he was able to do this after being a writer for over 25 years. I thought he might have been embellishing about his skill slightly, as some of his tales seemed a little far-fetched, but now I’m not so sure. I’ve learned from him and other long-term writers that this sort of thing is possible; I’ve even had my own experiences with it.

After the show, I lined up to get a book signed by Harlan and also got his infamous barbed wit/temper directed at me! Seems I was being a little too much the acolyte writer as I hung around at his elbow after getting my book signed, wanting to bask in his presence and collect any pearls of writing wisdom he might choose to bestow on those crowding around him. So he shooed me away like a fly! I believe he even said “Go away, shoo!” I can chuckle about it now, but at the time I was a bit miffed. Ah, Harlan!

Harlan Ellison gave me someone to emulate, showing that the dream I had, to also be a writer, was possible. For that I’m thankful, and also for the many stories of his I enjoyed and dreamed on.

“Saving My Rotting Cactus” #8 in Kindle Store > Cacti & Succulents

My book “Saving My Rotting Cactus (an illustrated, step-by-step guide to saving your rotten cactus)” is currently at #8 in Kindle Store > Cacti & Succulents! https://amzn.to/2HJrpoR

Friday the 13th! Ohhh noooo!

An update from writer/filmmaker David Sloma on this scary day of bad luck (naw, it doesn’t have to be that! In fact, for one of my books it’s being a rather good day – see the video for more!):

“MIB Files: Introduction” Charting on Amazon

My short story MIB Files: Introduction (Tales of the Men In Black) is doing well today! It’s in some good company, sitting at #53 on Amazon Best Sellers 15-Minute Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Reads. Not bad for a Friday the 13th!

Blogging

I’ve been doing this “blog streak” exercise for nearly 2 weeks now, and think I could continue for longer, if I was enjoying it more. But I’m not.

I dislike having to do my own writing to a set schedule, always have. I think my time is better spent working on my novels and short stories, of which there’s a big backlog!

That’s not to say I won’t make blog posts from time to time, but I’d rather make a post when I have something I really want to express, rather than have to come up with something daily, just to have it done. I was never much of a blogger anyhow.

So, look for less blog posts and more of my books and stories. Good deal? I think so, hope you will, too.

Why do I write?

I’m sure people wonder why a writer writes. It’s often not for the money, as it’s often tough to make money as a writer (not impossible, and the chances are better today than ever, but still, it can be tough, especially during the first few years to the first decade of professional writing).

To be a writer you’ve got to like being alone and using your imagination. Those were two things I enjoyed from a young age, so no problem there.

You have to love words and reading – again, no problem, as I was reading at a young age and developed a love for words and books that is still with me.

And you’ve got to like to tell stories and get into the world of the characters you write about. That seemed to come second nature to me, so good there as well.

In the end though, ask any dedicated and true writer and they’ll often give you an answer like this: I write because I need to. It’s a creative outlet for us, without which we don’t feel as alive. It can even be a spiritual path and experience – I know I’ve felt that way many times.

I just think writing is a wonderful thing, as is reading; the two go hand-in-hand. It was a natural progression from my love of reading to try my hand as a writer. I’m so glad I did, as it brings me a lot of joy! I’m also glad that others enjoy reading what I’ve written – I’m ever thankful for my readers and hope you will come along on many more tales and adventures with me!

And writing is an adventure for me, too, as I often don’t know where it’s going or how it’s going to turn out until I get to the end. That keeps it entertaining for me as well, so you can’t lose with that!

Blog Post Streak Count: Day 9

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