Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 7/18/14


WHERE oh where are today’s true Science Fiction writers?  In my youthful days, I cut my reading-teeth on such marvelous other-world adventures as 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (by Jules Verne), War of the Worlds (by H.G. Wells) and John Carter the mysterious traveler to Mars/Barsoom.  With each impossible John Carter action and invention created by author Edgar Rice Burroughs, my wonderment increased.  Yet, the present-day genre of “science fiction” now includes other facets that (in my opinion) detract from the legacy left to us by these great authors.

The specific definition of the genre of Science Fiction is “…imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster-than-light travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life.  It often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations and has been called a literature of ideas.  Authors commonly use science fiction as a framework to explore identity, morality, social structure, politics and other literary themes.”  And there you have it!  That is what I’m looking for in my Science Fiction books today.

Did you know that NPR (National Public Radio) did a survey back in 2011 to discover what people were reading in the “science fiction genre?”  This created their list of the Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy books (even though I’m not enthused about the addition of the “fantasy” piece).  Out of their Top Ten, only three are still alive and writing—Orson Scott Card, George R.R. Martin and Neil Gaiman.  Of course, I love seeing the work of many of my favorite writers remaining on top: JRR Tolkien, Frank Herbert, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov to name a few.  However, where are the new writing explorers?

Self-published author, J.M. Erickson has come upon the scene in recent years with some excellent writings.  His most recent, Future Prometheus: Emergence and Evolution, is an excellent beginning to a series that explores the edge of the familiar and the unknown terrain of possibility—a world where the science of today has warped into something totally unexpected.  This is visionary, futuristic, science/technology-based writing that compels the reader to turn the page and think about the possibilities.  Happily, this author has the understanding and background that allows his imagination to explore these “what if” scenarios.  I applaud Mr. Erickson in his writing career, in his choice to self-publish and in his willingness to think and write “outside the box.”

It is my hope that more true Science Fiction writers will step out and accept the legacy to explore human identity, national and world politics, social and cultural paradoxes within this literary framework.  Our lives are changing (evolving) by the minute and we need writers to offer other choices than the ones currently being made.  As Frank Herbert (The Dune series) said, “The gift of words is the gift of deception and illusion.”  That concept needs to be deeply explored allowing us to picture an illusion that exposes deceptions and just might show us the way to better possibilities.

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

2 thoughts on “Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 7/18/14

  1. So great to meet another purist. I too cut my teeth on those sci-fi authors, and I agree with you what passes for sci-fi today, especially the appending of fantasy and horror to the genre, do not meet what I consider the classic criteria of science fiction. Certainly not in the sense of the great authors you listed. I am a science fiction author in the old school classical sense, exploring those very themes you mention, identity, morality, social structure, politics and religion, set on another world, in another time, or another galaxy. I also write mysteries, currently promoting the first two titles in the Bequia Mystery series. But my first sci-fi title is currently at my editor and I hope to have it published perhaps sometime in the fall. I think it will be to your liking. I’d also enjoy continuing this discussion with you.

  2. I really liked your analysis and assessment on the science fiction genre. The use of future technology, cryogenic hibernation, time and space travel…all of it appeals to my sense of wonder about the future. Oh to see more authors like Arthur C Clarke and Ray Bradbury! If you get a chance I have two other books that might appeal to the science fiction lover in all of us – Future Prometheus II – Revolution, Successions & Resurrections, and Intelligent Design: Revelations. Thank you! J. M. Erickson

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