Why Science Fiction? Well, I write in most of the genres from time to time, including mysteries as Mary Freeman (my birth name). But Science Fiction has always seemed to be the strongest genre out there. We take so much for granted, we stop really ‘seeing’ what’s going on around us and we don’t think about it. We focus on what’s in our paths…work, the family, the credit card bill, the diminishing 401K. Yet we live in a time of many thresholds leading us to many ethical and technological consequences. What is the definition of ‘human’ going to be when someone has been engineered from more than just Homo sapiens genes? What does it mean if you can choose your child’s attributes or just clone yourself and have done with it? When the supermarket basket greets you personally and suggests your favorite food and reminds you to refill that prescription, what else is going on? Maybe we should think about these things… But who wants to think? It’s work. That’s where SF shines…you can sneak into a reader’s head through that fun story, tap them on the shoulder and whisper ‘have you ever wondered what if….’.
Science Fiction gives us a magic lens that allows us to look at the future before that future blindsides us. Well, good SF does that, anyway! What will we
What will we be if we manage to leave our planet with the tides, gravity, elements of earth and sky and water that create us? Will we still be human....at least as we think of human now? Horizons takes us ahead to a time when the third generation has been born to people living in orbital habitats. These children have no direct ties to Earth. Are they really us?
Horizons was a distinct science challenge. I worked hard to create an orbital platform from realistic science. The challenge is radiation. We can bring water ice down from the asteroid belt, we can grow our food hydroponically, but we have to protect ourselves from our sun's wrath. And how does a society function in the constraints of life in space? What social customs develop to defust interpersonal tensions in a society where private space is at a premium?
Water Rites is the book I love best. Published by Fairwood Press, t's a collection of three novelettes that were published initially in Asimov's Magazine, back in the early nineties. They featured three characters; Jeremy, Dan, and Nita, who come together with Major Carter Voltaire in a dessicated Northwest as a crisis over water threatens to blossom into violence.
I've been following the science of Climate Change since the early nineties and even back then, what I uncovered frightened me. I don't like to play Cassandra when I, myself, may get to see that truth. Considering that when I researched this book, the events we're seeing today in terms of weather disruptions, huge wildfires, and widespread droughts, were predicted for about forty years in the future....and they are happening now, about 15 years in the future...I am afraid. I do not want to live in Nita and Major Voltaire's world.
Synthesis and Other Virtual Realities is about the clunkiest title I've ever put on one of my books. Actually, it's all Jim Turner's fault. He asked me for a better title when he proposed the Arkham House collection, and I simply couldn't come up with one. But I forgive him. Jim was a great editor with a lot of insights. The book is a nice collection of my early work, ranging from Synthesis, the original novelette that introduced David Chen, who later became the protagonist of Chimera, to Entrada, a very dark story about the price of getting by. I was delighted when my good friend Elizabeth Bourne was able to illustrate the book with her incredibly cool computer art. When you add in the stunning Bob Eggleton cover, it's quite a collection.
Chimera was one of my favorite books. I created the main character, David Chen, in Synthesis, a novelette that first appeared in Asimov's Magazine. Now, it's seeing a new publication in France, as Chimere. While I've seen my work translated into a number of languages including Polish, German, and Russian, this translation I can at least read!
Stone Garden was another story that had its origin as an Asimov's short story (do we see a trend here?) This was my look at art and the price of art.