HUMAN-SIM and Infinite Connections

Cal Newport recently published an article about Ray Bradbury and his short story THE MURDERER. What caught my attention is how real the world Bradbury illustrated has become. Interestingly enough, HUMAN also captures this idea of being constantly connected, though my focus is not on the mental distraction as portrayed in Bradbury’s tale or Newport’s writings. I am much more interested in the social implications and conversational impatience which I see evolving in regular discussions. Bradbury’s distracting phone call or Newport’s note of the disrupting email are the same as the conversationalist who interrupts one when speaking, believing they know the rest of the sentence better than the speaker. The remaining stories to be told in the HUMAN story universe explore the consequences of when these situations are amplified. An idea misinterpreted because the listener came to their own conclusions prior to completion of the speaker’s thought. Seeking to be understood when the patience or capacity doesn’t exist. Being in many conversations at once, intending to capture it all. These works are the basis for my own thoughts on conversation and one’s ability to listen and the other’s need to be understood. HUMAN-SIM is the attempt for the story world characters to have it all – or to have “the world” – at the same time. What happens when we can’t have it all? When we have to chose “the world” over something else? What if the real world is speaking to us, but we are too focused on “the world”[…] [Keep Reading]

HUMAN: The eBook

Perhaps the most motivating feeling in the world is to self-publish an ebook for the first time. For me to see my own work on Amazon available for sale is an incredible experience. Last week I self-published my short story, HUMAN, and of course I encourage everyone to read it. A huge thanks to Ani Paoletti, who provided the cover art. The story world of HUMAN is the result of my own reflections on our social experience in the last ten years (prior to COVID). Much of my incorporated ideas are expressed in further detail in my interview with fellow creative Andrew Hall. HUMAN explores the emotional response to professional and social situations given technology’s presence. How do we feel when we can’t remember something specific or keep up with someone in a conversation? How do we feel when we can’t contribute to a conversation because we didn’t read the latest news story? How do we feel when we aren’t genuinely listened to? These are questions I’ve been trying to understand since I graduated from college. I believe we all feel this way at some point in our lives. We’re in the middle of talking and the person we’re conversing with is looking elsewhere, or they pull out their phones or cut us off and attempt to finish our sentences. One thing I never understood was how someone could come to realize what I was going to say before I finished my thought, while at the same time being able[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #49 – B. K. Bass

Highlights How to start a publishing company. Why the classics are critical for improving our writing. How to create new creatures and monsters for our stories. Welcome to the forty-ninth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I’m very excited to be chatting with BK Bass, my friend at Kyanite Publishing. I met Mr. Bass through Benjamin Hope, and they’ve published two of my short stories: THE SCHLIKT and HUMAN. Mr. Bass also shares more writing knowledge in an in-depth interview with our mutual creative friend and photographer, Andrew Hall. Arthur: Tell me about how you came into writing. Are there any experiences you have which inspire your stories? BK: I fell into it at a young age. In fifth grade I started reading Greek mythology, Edgar Allan Poe, Terry Brooks, Tolkien, and others. I fell in love with everything fantasy, mythological, and macabre. Soon, that branched out into science fiction. It wasn’t long before school writing assignments turned into a chance to explore my love of these stories from the other side of the pen, and before you know it, I was writing for fun. I kept practicing for about 25 years, and here I am today! Arthur: Tell me about Kyanite Publishing. I love working with you and your team. How did the idea for the company come about? What were the challenges? What has been the most positive part[…] [Keep Reading]

Setting – Why I Chose Saturn’s Moon: Daphnis

The prologue is complete at 2,500 words. Finally. I went through this many times, adding content, revising character names and deleting it entirely to re-write it twice. I tried putting as much into the first pages of the novel as possible, while finding a balance between establishing the setting and capturing the reader’s attention. Our story begins when a distress signal from an unknown source on Daphnis is received by a protectorate patrol ship. The ship lands on the moon to investigate. I chose Daphnis as the setting because I wanted the opportunity to explore the moon in detail. The moon orbits Saturn within the Keeler Gap in the rings. Its gravity impacts the nearby edges of the rings by creating waves with opposing amplitudes moving away from moon in different directions. How fascinating would it be to stand on Daphnis, looking at the huge waves of the rings, with Saturn itself looming in the background? Many of the edits to the prologue concerned Daphnis’ geography. What is the surface of Daphnis like? Humanity hasn’t been close enough to know. The closest photo we have that I’m aware of is from 2017. One of our characters originally stepped out of their ship onto bare rock, but after more thought on this, I changed the surface of Daphnis to have a fine dust. If Daphnis has a gravitational force significant enough to impact Saturn’s rings, perhaps it also brings any nearby dust particles from the rings to its surface. (I’m sure there[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #19 – Amy DuBoff

Highlights Why writing science fiction allows us to explore the human experience. Self-publishing and being part of the entire publishing process. There’s a new way to watch television which can help us improve our writing. From initial conception to publishing the first volume, it was a seventeen-year journey. Welcome to the nineteenth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with science fiction writer Amy (A.K.) DuBoff about self-publishing and finding our own writing voice in the science fiction genre. Arthur: You’re a prolific writer. Tell me about your journey to becoming a writer. When did you start writing and how did you get to where you are today? Amy: I can trace my first real writing project back to fourth grade. We were given a writing prompt (“It was a dark and story night…”), and I began working on a middle grade horror/mystery/adventure novel that was starting to turn a little sci-fi/fantasy before I abandoned it. I might go back to that project eventually, but I’d need to figure out where it was going since I had no idea at the time! I really started writing in sixth grade, when I was about 11. I’d been kicking ideas for the Cadicle series around in my head for several months, so I wanted to get words on the page. I wrote the first few chapters of what eventually became VEIL OF REALITY,[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #10 – Adam Inglis

Highlights There are no hard rules to writing. Managing all the tasks associated with being a writer. Strategies for our writing productivity when we only have 20-30 free minutes per day. It has an adventurous and hopeful feel, which fits my attitude to writing.  Welcome to the tenth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with short fiction writer, Adam Inglis, about how he focuses during his writing sessions. Arthur: Your website is very well maintained. Do you run it yourself? Adam: Thank you, it has taken quite a lot of work to get it looking the way it does. In short, yes I run it. I own the domain from one company (fasthosts) but the hosting and design tool comes from wix.com. They have a rather bold claim that “It all starts with your stunning website.” There is, however, some restrictions on what you can and can’t do. If you can live with that, then it’s a decent service. It took a while to accept that what I wanted was too complex. The website as it can be seen today is a happy compromise. Arthur: How do you create the images on your site? Adam: I created all the artwork using free-to-use images that I’ve either manipulated in an editor, or cropped and filtered. It is an obsessive compulsion to give every story, or poem, a sort of “cover[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #4 – Tobias Klausmann

Highlights The use of names in our stories and their importance to the story’s world. Strategies for self-publishing. Why writing daily is important. Writing isn’t “I have an idea, now I’ll just write it down,” but “I have an idea, I’ll start writing and see where it takes me.” Welcome to the fourth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I’ve asked science fiction writer Tobias Klausmann to tell us more about how he found his writing voice and his approach to writing character-driven science fiction. A. Macabe: You mention on your website you moved to Switzerland. What’s the history behind the move? Is English your first language? Do you think speaking multiple languages has helped your writing? Klausmann: I moved to Switzerland for work. Before June,  2010 I lived in northwestern Germany for twelve years, after moving there from the very southwest. Despite now living abroad, I am much closer to the town I grew up in. My mother tongue is German, but my father used to be an English teacher and in general – English-language media, especially music and books – were easily available to me as a kid and teenager. As for whether it helped with writing, it has definitely influenced how I think about language. Sometimes you know the perfect idiom or turn of phrase in one language, but come up empty in another. For me, that usually[…] [Keep Reading]