When I’m talking to people at book shows, scifi gets a curious reaction. Some simply dismiss it out of hand, some love all the shoot-em-up high-tech space-wars stuff in it, and others look for something more in it.
I’m not really into the shoot-em-up stuff, but I do love space ships. But what I love even more are people, personalities, and the possibilities in creating alien entities. People who develop on planets unlike our earth are unlikely to have the same physical or emotional reactions as ourselves. If they are part of a human diaspora, then they might—but the culture the original settlers bring with them will alter their viewpoints.
If you think how many and varied our cultures on earth are now, how much more wonderful would it be out in the galaxy?
It’s really an ecology question. Why do creatures evolve as they do? What functions do their forms provide, and why so different from something else in the same niche? Are opposable thumbs really essential for grasping tools? How does one categorise ‘intelligence’ of wildly different forms?
That’s one reason I admire author Becky Chambers so much. Her worlds, her cultures, her people… her AIs growing sentient… all wonderful, and logical developments. It gets difficult to write scifi that has no influence from the authors I admire most.
So I settled on an out-of-the-way star system that is the main source of something the galaxy needs for instantaneous communication. One of the protagonists talks to the trees, and wonders what lifeforms were destroyed when they settled the planet. The Viridian System series stems from there. Some people thrown together, in institutional arrangements that most of them hate. A chance for an extended chase in search of a mythical sword, followed by a space accident that results in meeting aliens with a common goal.
And now the last in the series. People cut off from their loved ones in a galactic disaster. I didn’t realise when I was writing it, but it’s really about people adjusting to isolation, to changes to their customary freedoms, and rediscovering self-sufficiency. Mostly, it’s about missing loved ones.
It’s a mystery adventure set in another solar system, but you may find something of your own world that seems familiar.
I hope you enjoy it.