Not only does this have a new cover, and not only is it now available in paperback, but it has two new stories in it as well.
(Click zee picture for zee details!)
This is the future, and I often hang out in virtual worlds. And in these virtual worlds I occasionally meet and become friends with real people, a lot of them authors. One of these authors interviewed me for his blog, which was fun, but even better he interviewed a very interesting and talented writer who’s book I’m reading right now: Jane Watson
An excerpt from the interview: “Hindustan Contessa is a novel set in Australia and India which follows the journey of an Australian couple, as they travel in an Indian car to meet the husband’s Indian grandmother for the first time, in his family’s ancestral village. The novel’s title comes from a particular car once manufactured in India, the Hindustan Contessa, which the couple travels in, and which seemed to me a fitting image of a dual culture. This car, once made by Hero motors of India, was an imitation of a modern Western style car with a dash of Indian style. It attempted, I felt, to have a foot in both cultures. I wanted it to symbolise the cultural identity crisis that the main characters face.”
Another major part of the story is about the couple being kidnapped and held for ransom in a cave up in the Indian hills — which is beautifully foreshadowed in the book’s introduction, a particularly visual and immediate telling of Persephone’s journey into the underworld.
You can read more about the story, its creation, and the creative process: An Interview with Jane Watson by Alexander M Zoltai.
While I have never met Alex or Jane, at least not in person, I get to hang out with them through the magic of virtual reality, interacting with them in a video-game-like environment that enables communication on a level that I still find astonishing. All physical boundaries dissolve. The people involved in these discussions are from all over the world, with very different backgrounds and viewpoints, but all having common interests. The only barrier that I really find is the one of time zones. The place where we meet and discuss is called Book Island, on a system called Second Life (the continued existence of which seems to be a surprise to a lot of people — when in fact Second Life is not only alive and well, but thriving).
You can find out more about Alexander M Zoltai, his book Notes From An Alien, and his attempts to influence world peace, at his blog. Also you can find our interview as well: Author Interview with Jerry J. Davis.
For anyone who wants to see a genuine miracle, pop open a plant seed.
The amazing thing about life is that it’s a form of matter that replicates itself. Each seed contains all the information and mechanics it needs to accomplish this.
And you can hold it in your hand. It’s a portable miracle. You can even eat them.
Seeds have always fascinated me, and they’re now serving as the basis of a novel manuscript I’m writing. One of the most important endeavors humanity must work on is to develop the technology to replicate a seed, and encode everything needed to grow a whole world inside it.
It is possible. It can be done. And it’s far more feasible than trying to send a starship full of living people (frozen or otherwise) on a journey lasting thousands of years.
Just send a seed. Send a lot of them – small, compact, self-controlled, self-replicating, self-healing, and able to last for millions of years. Scatter them across the galaxy. If any of them succeed, they will send more, and each one will build a whole world full of Earth life. They would be, literally, Earth’s own seeds.
I truly believe this is the only way Humanity is going to spread to the stars.
Here’s the very premature teaser that popped into my head for this current manuscript:
A million years in the future.
Ten different worlds.
Ten different people.
The same DNA.
From Amazon.com’s Editorial Reviews:
Jon August is dead.
If that weren’t bad enough, the place he lands in the afterlife is one where souls prefer vodka, not beer. That’s a problem because Jon is a beer lover. Not just any beer, either. Good beer. Great beer. Because he knows that mankind’s civilization owes everything to beer. It’s the actual Holy Water.
Jon meets and falls under the spell of a mysterious goddess who helps him find his way back to the land of the living. Under the Bridge of Eternity, through the Sands of Time — to emerge not as a ghost, but a living mortal, one who can die again.
His mere presence upsets the balance of our world, and Jon finds himself a pawn in a power struggle between the modern gods — in particular, the feuding daughters of Time and Fate. One is acting as his guardian angel, while the other is trying to kill him. Jon must stay alive long enough to find the Holy Beer and, in the process, stop the power grab being made on our Universe — a struggle where not only is humanity’s fate hanging in the balance, but also the fate of our eternal souls.