the picture above : Davalon and Farbick near Mars (by Leah Cim Reyeb)
I am constantly bubbling over with ridiculous ideas and dreams. After writing the book Catch a Falling Star, I was asked by an editor what happens next to some of the characters. The Morrell family, changed into children, travel into space with the Tellerons aboard Xiar’s Base Ship. Harmony Castille, the elderly church lady who falls in love with the Telleron Commander Biznap marries him and travels with the aliens too. The task; find a new home world and start a mixed civilization. Since the aliens have no inherent religion or morality, it falls to the humans on board to make Christian values the norm for the Telleron frog people. That is a challenge old church ladies can’t resist, but also can’t manage without help.
So what can I do with this story? Where can it go? I am trying to build my work in fiction around certain rules or boundaries that will give it the consistency and power that I need to achieve with my work. Well, the biggest rule is that all my stories have to fit like puzzle pieces into the entire picture, an imaginary history of the universe centered on the little town where I grew up. Space empires in the future, time travelers popping in and out freely, and imaginary breakthroughs in physics, astrophysics, and various sciences cannot be allowed to interfere with the unified history of the future of the galaxy. I know how silly this sounds, but silly rules inform the under-structure of all reality. How else can you explain things like the politics of Texas? Further, I adhere to other silly rules. It must be science fiction or fantasy. It must also be humor. And the most important characters are always children.
So what will this book I am planning be like? Well, first of all, there must be strong elements of science fiction. Of course, silly me, my heroes are on a starship looking for a new home-world. You can’t get too much more science-fictiony than that. But I have been overwhelmed with internet researches of late into the looniest of the internet conspiracy theories. Besides my obsessions with who killed JFK and what really happened on 9/11, I have also found cartoon characters like Alex Jones (the conspiracy world’s version of Elmer Fudd on PCP and prodded to ridiculous levels of vitriolic-aggressive anger management failures) speaking about lizard men from outer space who have taken to controlling our government by shape-changing and masquerading as Hilary Clinton. Whew! Humor is a breeze! All I have to do is set my lost space-colony down on the hostile, warlike world of the space lizards, the world of Galtorr Prime. The science fiction is then firmly grounded in the pseudo-science of paranoid madmen. And, joyfully, further research into the lizard people trying to take over earth will be justified by the creation of this book. Who knows? I may actually uncover their secrets in real life!
The humor, as I already indicated, is built in. Warlike lizards who want only to conquer and destroy! And don’t forget, this will be set on their war-torn home world. The satire is set. I will be writing political satire about Republicans and Democrats. Hot dang! And I can depict crazy folk who would gleefully destroy their own government and their own environment in order to spite their worst enemies, who are thankfully not us, but themselves. I can continue to describe the battle between good and evil in my book in the same religious terms I have always tried to use. It is not good against evil as much as it is Love against Heartlessness. All good comedy, from Mark Twain, to Charles Dickens, to Terry Pratchett, to Douglas Adams, is precisely about that. (Of course it will mean more of the run-on sentences, multi-adjectival descriptions, and infantile allusions and metaphors that I always use in my signature purple-paisley prose.)
And finally, I have the characters already fairly well set. Davalon, the boy Telleron explorer, his nestmate/sister Tanith, their friend and mentor Farbick, Davalon’s adopted child-parents Alden and Gracie Morell, and the crew of Xiar the Slightly Irregular’s whole wacky starship are already living and arguing in my head. Of course, the moldy underwear and dirty dishes in my head are not a particularly good thing. When will fictional characters ever learn to clean up after themselves? Only time will tell.
So there you have it, an entire book idea that came into being in the last week and a half. It will be interesting to chronicle the progression and creation of it. Will it actually get written? Will it take twenty-two years the way Catch a Falling Star did? Will it be worth doing more with than merely writing it and then burning it to save future generations from reading it and burdening themselves with the corrosive insanity it will most likely cause? Well, please, don’t bet any actual money on it. Imaginary or funny-money will be good enough.