ABOUT THE BOOK
Linus is taken prisoner from earth by a barbaric civilization rampaging through our galaxy. He is to be sold into slavery, spending his life toiling in the factories or front lines. Or he may be killed at any time for the amusement of his captors.
This evil Empire is ruled by invincible tyrants with limitless abilities. They have powers to make any wish come true just by thinking of it. And the depravity of the rules filters down to every level of society. This empire has vast armies with advanced technology far beyond that of any of the conquered planets. Linus is not a superhero. He is an ordinary person with no special weapons or fighting skills. His journey through this society is a revelation about ourselves and our culture.
It's a study of power, who has it and how they got it. This novel is about 157,000 words (about twice the size of the average sci-fi book). It is not intended for children or teenagers, but will be entertaining to thinking adults.
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Why did I become a writer?
For most of my life, I’d been happy to sit back and be entertained. When you have a job to keep you busy during the day, all you want to do when you get home is unwind. Other people have stories and ideas, let them dazzle you with their brilliance. Then, I retired. This hits different people in different ways. My retired friends gave me a clue about this, but you can’t understand it until it happens to you. Retirement at first seems like a way to finally forget about plugging away day after day, racing the rats. But having endless free time has its own pressures. Now you have the time to think about things – to examine in more detail the ‘entertainments’ that used to pass so effortlessly through your brain as you recuperated your way to the next day.
At first, life goes on as it always did. But little-by-little, you realize that you’ve seen this all before. The same shows, the same plots, the same people. Sure, the names are different and the architecture changes. But the ideas – those pesky ideas – are all just the same idea over and over again. And they are painfully simple ideas. Surely the villains are not all evil geniuses, with unlimited funding, and dozens of accomplices that efficiently do their bidding? Surely, those thousands of bullets couldn’t have ALL missed?
Is this the best that modern man has to offer? Spiderman? Terrorists are going to blow up a) the president b) a major city c) a mother and her children? Select story ending: a) the villain gets killed in a fantastic final battle b) the protagonists get killed off one by one c) they have sex.
Ok. Not quite fair. This must be what people want because (apparently) it sells very well year after year. Hey, I like money too. It’s just that there is a growing need in me to look for something a little different. Something requiring a bit of thought. Good and evil are not simple in real life. How do we address the biggest problems imaginable and also the simplest problems that we face? I have wanted to kill a few people myself, but always seemed to end up finding other ways to work through it (although I confess that my solutions to real life problems were sometimes affected by the fact that I do not actually know how to make a bomb).
As it turns out, writing can be fun, especially when I try to trick myself into impossible situations – and then try to find ways out of the mess – that is, reasonable ways out of the mess (reasonable having some ambiguity of definition in the worlds of science fiction and fantasy). I’m already tired of reading part way through a book and realizing that I don’t want to read any more. I’m tired of watching a movie and knowing exactly how it will end after the first ten minutes. I’m tired of tv (period).
I have come to the conclusion that real life changes you. In reading various sources about becoming a writer, often strategies to get over “writer’s block” are given. The tricks apparently work. The writers are not blocked, they are just mundane. I also have run into points in a manuscript where I have to think about how things will/should turn out. Fortunately, a lifetime of struggling in the yoke has things all bottled up inside me, and they’re all trying to burst out. I’ve seen the tragedy of failure and the ebullience of success. Too many evils have not been smashed and too many promises have yet to be kept. If your writing doesn’t seem to be working out for you, then you might want to charge into something really important. Watch your efforts over the years blunted by waste, stupidity and fraud. And you might want to try so desperately that eventually you can feel what it’s like to finally have reached the top of the mountain – if even just a small mountain.
I hope this writing career works out. Quite often, I find that I like it. Sometimes I look at the clock, and it’s dinner time already. Where did the afternoon go? This is much better than having all that time on your hands. One thing is for sure. If I don’t find some way to entertain myself, I THINK I WILL GO ABSOLUTELY CRAZY!!!!!! Retirement – who’d a thunk it?
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