“What do you write?”
“I’m currently working on a sci-fi series.”
“Cool, what’s it about?”
I never know how to answer that question without launching into a lengthy, spoiler-filled summary of the books. I want to stop doing that, but I don’t know how.
Here then, is my attempt at an abbreviated explanation:
Ever look at an old tree and think about history unfolding around it while it stands rigid and unmoving?
Ever notice how human nature never seems to change?
Effugium, at its core, is all about cycles, patterns and parallels, and the universality of those things. It’s about viewing the world with new eyes.
What does all the allegory I pack into these books mean? It means you want it to mean. And I mean that.
The gist is this:
Earth is threatened by a mysterious entity who declares human beings an invasive species. In ten years, it tells us, those deemed suitable for relocation will be contacted with further instructions. Nobody has a clue what that means.
Eccentric tech mogul/cult leader Richard Kryuss doesn’t want to wait around and find out. He converts his company’s prototype of a recreational spacecraft into one more suited to a long-term, generational voyage.
Centuries later, the progeny of that ship’s passengers colonize a world they call Galenia, and eventually they settle other nearby habitable planets.
200,000 years pass.
Kryuss is resurrected, as are thousands of others from 21st century Earth. How? Well, now we’re venturing into spoiler territory, and I said I wasn’t going to do that today.
The first book is an anthology of chronologically ordered stories that show the development of this post-Earth human society through the eyes of those living it. Each story is bookended by an online journal entry from one Diego Rodriguez, AKA Caldo, a 21st century teen in a wheelchair who documents the Time Remaining from his perspective. The books that follow it all take place after the resurrection of the Prophet Kryuss, and a resurrected Caldo becomes one of the series’ main characters.
I’m reaching for big things here—concepts and ideas that I don’t necessarily understand, but strive to. There’s lots of humor, lots of emotion, and lots of outside-the-box speculative technology. I want to to write deep, multi-layered but highly entertaining and original page-turners.
Have I achieved this goal? I’d like to think so, especially in the case of Exitium, the third book in the series and by far the longest. In order to write it, I needed the foundation of the first two books, which serve to flesh out my universe. I favor gradual, organic world-building by which the reader eventually gleans understanding through context. There are no information dumps.
They aren’t 800-page bricks padded with filler, either. Exsilium is particularly short, but it’s exactly the length it needs to be. It’s a fast-paced, action-packed adventure novel with little breathing room.
By the same token, Exitium is a much longer book because it’s a more expansive slow-burn of a story that needs breathing room in order to properly unfold.
This isn’t modern science fiction-by-numbers. I wouldn’t even know how to emulate whatever’s currently happening in the genre because I haven’t paid the least bit of attention to it in years. Effugium aspires to be something unique unto itself. If you press me for influences, I’ll most likely list Douglas Adams, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Orson Scott Card, CS Lewis, Jules Verne, HG Wells and Mark Twain.
The truth is, though, the biggest influences on these books are as follows: Fear, uncertainty, the sun, the sky, the moon, trees, hope, clouds, rain, mountains, laughter and people, among other things.
The first three books are available in both Paperback and Kindle editions, and can be purchased here.