Welcome to Keira’s Corner...again :) What can I say...you are my favorite Sci-fi Guy :D
Keira: A date has not yet been selected. However you have a story coming out though the very awesome Hellfire Publishing, if I do say so myself, lol pretty soon entitled, Fearful Symmetry. What is that about?
EFM: Let me quote a little from the blurb we worked on for it...
Fearful Symmetry is the second of three novels concerning Robert Fenaday’s search for his wife Lisa, and his companion and sometime lover Shasti Rainhell’s search for her humanity. The trilogy is written so the reader can pick up any of the books and have a complete SF adventure in hand, yet all three form the overarching story of Robert’s quest and Shasti’s emotional voyage of self-discovery. Robert Fenaday, reluctant privateer, and the genetically engineered, but emotionally crippled, Shasti Rainhell have survived the terror of the doomed planet Enshar. Fenaday, now wealthy, returns to New Eire to restart his life. Something unexpected has grown between he and Shasti. Love? Perhaps, Shasti cannot tell. Her hard, cold life has little prepared her for such feelings, which both exhilarate and terrify her.
On a mission to Earth, Shasti is intercepted by the Confederate spymaster, Mandela, who offers her one of her heart’s desires, revenge on her abusive creator, Jalgren Pard, leader of a guild of assassins on her homeworld of Olympia.
Torn between a new life and an old hate, Shasti falls back on what she knows best, death. She joins a Confederate team dropped on Olympia to assassinate Pard. But disaster overtakes the team. Shasti and the survivors must flee and hide on a world rife with murder and intrigue. Fenaday learns of the mission and launches a rescue, gathering old friends and new, as well as an old enemy, the cyborg, Mmok, who serves only Mandela.
Keira: What made you choose that title?
EFM: Jalgren Pard, the antagonist of this book is one of the largest and most powerful of the genetically engineered. He is a frankly terrifying figure suggestive of the poem by Blake Tyger, burning bright / In the forests of the night, / What immortal hand or eye / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?).
Keira: Where did the idea for your story come from?
EFM: A discussion of divorce by a friend of mine! In the first part of the trilogy, Was Once a Hero, it was revealed that Shasti, our powerful and deadly female assassin, had been in what I hoped came a complete surprise, the creation of Jalgren Pard. She was a concubine built to order and suffering the sort of abuse that too many women may have experienced or seen among their friends. As powerful as she was, she was not immune to someone more powerful still. Shasti’s life has been a constant battle to escape Pard’s minions and triumph over her brutal past. But as with so many abused, she will not recover without facing her nemesis, Pard. So she signs on to assassinate him. Larger military and political issues surround their fight and escalate it into a world-wide cataclysm but it has its roots in an abusive “marriage.”
Keira: Please share a particular detail about one of the new characters, please.
EFM: Telisan, the ace fighter pilot of the first book, comes to Shasti’s aid in this book, but he brings his two fiancées, Arpen the empath, a “true” female, and Sharla, a “demi-female.” His species has three genders and the interplay between the three of them is one of the more fascinating aspects of the book as it deals with issues of cultural roles for “females” and the multiplicity and flexibility of gender roles in such a culture.
Keira: You also have a prequel to Was Once A Hero and Fearful Symmetry that was recently with Hellfire Publishing, Regrets and Requiems that was…free… Is practically free at .99 cents and will be a free again. *wipes sweat from brow and runs away crying* Can you tell us anything about that?EFM: I know it’s hard to give away your words away for free but it’s a chance to reach out to a lot of people with a story about Robert Fenaday and Shasti Rainhell in one of their early adventures when they were just getting to know each other. The current plan is for a free Kindle download on Amazon and Smashwords, maybe to have it added as a bonus to the first Kindle book, Was Once a Hero. Hopefully the freebie will wet people’s appetite for the whole trilogy and make you and I just a little bit more secure in life. Well that’s the theory anyway.
Let’s get personal…
Keira: You’re very diverse activities such as kung fu, ballroom dancing and sci-fi, tell us that you have an artistic spirit, your wife too, I understand she is an artist. Are there any other artistic activities or hobbies that you partake in?
EFM: What that’s not enough for you? J My writing is my primary creative outlet. I draw a little, usually airplanes or pretty women, and I occasionally indulge my old hobby of building plastic models but writing is the focus. I have written SF, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, crime stories and the occasional literary piece along with some non-fiction. I do see myself primarily as spec fic writer since I do both SF &F.
The martial arts and ballroom are to keep the body up with the mind. Otherwise there is a danger of spending too much time in front of this shiny box of pictures.
Keira: Why sci-fi? Good sci-fi is so hard to find and we have found it :)
EFM: Science Fiction is the literature of the imagination, in that is has supplanted or at least supplemented the old legends. The Odyssey is essentially a speculative fiction tale of its day, then came the other tales of gods and genies and Grimm’s fairy tales. The SF tale takes up this challenge in the form of a story more grounded in our present world of empirical science, whereas the fantasy tale comes out of the older tradition where nature was observed and its powers attributed to larger and more powerful variants of ourselves the gods, the elves, the goblins ect.
SF is the genre of ideas. It is cliché to say that today’s SF is tomorrow’s science, but true. We handle our cell phone and tablets that outdo in some respects the tricorders and communicators of Star Trek. The world of Gattaca, where one’s prospects in life are determined by one’s DNA is coming true now. If a genetic test can foretell your Alzheimer’s or other disease, what are your employment and insurance prospects? That is a real issue in the courts now.
The world of the anime, Ghost in the Shell, where elite teams of special forces hack their way through networks in search of unseen enemies who lurk in cyberspace, is coming true around us. We hunt terrorists with drones, fight Chinese hackers with back hacks. The days of armored divisions clashing may be gone as we clash more and more in cyberspace and only in limited fashions on battlefields. The assassin and the SEAL Team may replace the battalion as the measure of a nation’s fighting strength.
So in what genre is the future and its issues of strained resources and populations, its future conflicts and solutions being tried? Science Fiction. Maybe it merits some more serious consideration. Or sometimes it is just about alien princesses in metal bikinis and go-go boots. You have to have fun too.
Keira: I see that you are proud of North Carolina. Go Panthers! Woot woot! Have you always been from there?
I am actually from NYC originally, yes the Big Apple. However I have now lived here longer than there. I love both places and write two series based in them. One is the Lair of the Lesbian Love Goddess Series set in the 24th century spaceport of NY with a very noir-comic sensibility. The other is the Jeremy LeClerc series about a Knight Templar living in present day Charlotte North Carolina, with his incarnate guardian angel, Shadowheart. It allows me to have a lot of fun at the expense of certain institutions down here, in a good natured way. One of which is the Renaissance Festival.
Keira: Do you do a lot of traveling? Where have you gone so far? (are there any pics you can share)
EFM: I have been to Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Spain, France, (Paris and rural southern France which are very different experiences) and most recently Italy (Verona, Lake Guarda and my beloved Venice. I love Europe with its mélange of cultures. The French are truly the angels of food, there is no bad food that I ever found in France, even mediocre food was largely a myth. I found no place in the world so beautiful as Venice and wish I had spent more time there. My promise to myself is to return.
Schelly and I with a lion of Venice
Venice with Schelly Keefer, Michael Church who did the cover of Was Once a Hero is a talented photographer and our friend Sandy Heisey.
With Author Tim McLoughlin (Heart of the Old Country, The Narrows (movie) Brooklyn Noir, his wife Renette Zimmerly, writer and musician, my wife Schelly Keefer artist in Caramany, Southen France
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