Chatty Cat

Chatty Cat

The Blog

This is more or less the place where I chat about my writing, art and subjects related to writing and painting pictures.

Sometimes I will write about cats and show some photographs.

Writing Sci-fi

PrimoPosted by James Apps Mon, July 07, 2014 17:01:56
The idea of writing a Science fiction or a Fantasy story was attractive after I had wallowed in a surfeit of Science Fiction from writers such as Arthur C Clarke and Ray Bradbury, but it was not until I had read Douglas Adams's book that I realised that zap guns and blowing aliens to bits was not for me. I disliked the concept of rockets and such with amazing powers of speed and all the Sci-fi jargon such as warp speed and all that guff and loved Adams approach. I had no hope of matching his superb wacky comedy but neither did I want to copy his style, but his influence on the way I thought about my story made a difference. I liked some fantasy tales and I enjoyed the iconic Dune series, and discovered the inventiveness of Tad Williams much to my liking.

Williams created a romance within his fantasy and a good epic tale that smacked of the Lord of the Rings tale which included romance, war, the struggle of the ordinary person placed in extraordinary circumstances. I liked that.

I am not a modern man in some ways but I saw that I should have computers, electronics and suchlike involved in my stories and also loved the incongruity of swords in a high tech world. The beastly weapons are much more personal than the zap gun and fit fantasy tales quite well.
I liked the idea of combining "technology" with something a little ancient but instead of wanting to totally invent a whole new world akin to a 'middle Earth' I decided to use the Earth of a distant future in the Cat People series, an Earth of the future not too distant from our present in Star Reach and in The Zradian Chronicles more or less close to our own time.

Star Reach and the Cat People series deal with some serious issues - in Star Reach I have developed a world that has changed due to the effects of global warming, and a radical change in the balance of world power with the question of colonisation and who should go. The conflict is between the Rationalists who have no religion and the fundamentalists of Christianity and Islam and a solution that suits nobody. The Cat People series is about an Earth eleven thousand years in the future and the battle of isolated peoples recovering from a nuclear war.

The Zradian Chronicles is a combination of fantasy and basic Sci-fi with comedy, involving an anti-hero, a demented robot, Stormtroopers, cats, swords, knives, zap guns, matter transfer, a horrible bomb, ravenous rodents and a rather nasty, despotic president of an alien nation. That will all end in tears is possible but there is romance, some really nice people and a lot of horrible ones.

I am not over fond of serious high tech, gung-ho space conflicts although in the trilogy I do have a lot of fighting with weapons. I set out to tell an epic tale and on the way I wanted to create humour, give it a romantic flavour and satisfy the need for the baddies to either get their just desserts, or a chance to redeem themselves, and the goodies to have normal flaws - or in the case of the hero, Julian, big ones.