I happened to check my Amazon listings yesterday and noticed a new review had popped up. I was delighted to discover that it was thoughtful, fair, well-thought out.
I absolutely love this review, because a complete stranger took note of the originality of my Kryuss Trilogy. Called the writing excellent. Two major things I was shooting for. The goal was to be as bizarrely unique as possible, yet articulate what I was envisioning in way that made sense to anyone existing outside of my own head.
I also appreciate and understand the fact that he was confused by the structure of the first book, because it is indeed highly unconventional, and I wrote it with the understanding that it might be received in such a way. Its a lot to ask of a reader. It’s the way it demanded to be written, though. This review clues me in to what specifically might be confusing to readers, and gives me an opportunity to explain myself and perhaps provide more accessibility in future volumes.
See, when I was a kid, I saw the TV edit of Dune, and it included a lengthy prologue, accompanied by still pictures, explaining the backstory of the Dune universe. I was enthralled by this, and though I only saw it once, it stuck with me.
Fast forward to an episode of Star Trek: Voyager called Blink of an Eye. It’s an homage to a book called Dragon’s Egg.
In the Trek episode, Voyager is trapped in the orbit of a planet upon which time moves faster than it does outside of the planet’s atmosphere. Thousands of years pass in what seems to be mere days to the Voyager crew. We’re shown little snippets of life from civilizations that have risen and fallen over the centuries, and throughout it all Voyager itself, or “The Skyship” has been mythologized. It’s become an integral part of their culture. I loved that episode, and it always stuck with me.
Effugium began as a short story, which spawned another short story, and then another, and so on, until at some point I asked myself, “Why not take this and make it into a “Bible” for a larger, more expansive universe with infinite possibilities for more books and stories? Give myself hundreds of thousands of years to play around in?
The stories are chronologically ordered, and designed to show subtle changes in human civilization over the course of 200,000 years. They’re snapshots of pivotal points in future history that I reference frequently in the two full-length novels that follow. The idea of threads, sometimes of dubious origin, running through history and weaving a complex tapestry has always fascinated me. We use words and phrases coined in ancient times, or derivatives of them. Religions stick around forever. Richard Kryuss started a cult, on Earth, in the early 2000s, and all these centuries later, it’s still a huge part of human culture millions of miles away, on distant planets, in a faraway galaxy.
The entire thing represents me straining really hard to reach for some greater meaning to our existence, and as such it tends to get a little esoteric at times. It’s about the resonance of small actions, their impact on the course of history.
But yeah, I 100% get what the reader is saying here: it’s pretty weird. The two influences I mentioned bear few superficial similarities to my books, but they did spark my imagination, and my desire to, as another reviewer put it in regards to the novella Anshar, “tell a larger story through a macro lens.”
Both of these reviews sum up exactly what it is that I’m going for and have provided me with lots of food for thought.
Here’s one that Amazon decided to delete:
I always intended Effugium to impart a classic science fiction vibe, and according to this reader, I was successful. That made me happy.
I’d like to thank everyone who has read these books, and I’m grateful for any feedback. That’s why I appreciated the well-crafted review that prompted the creation of this post so much.