Having just published EARTH ESCAPE, a relative sci-fi space odyssey, about a crew sent on a 27 year voyage to colonize the first exoplanet – one of the nearest to Earth, and the epic journey that the captain of this starship undergoes in achieving his mission and his unrelenting search for the answers to our existence, I began to ask myself, who will read this book?
I suppose, like myself, that most authors are eventually forced to cross this threshold – the giant question – WHO are my readers? I know that many authors determine the answer to this question before they even write their book, but in my case, the developmental road that EARTH ESCAPE took, and the eye-opening revelations which it proposes about existentiality, my own personal journey of over 30 years of research, I couldn’t honestly answer that question. I’m not even sure that I can right now, and maybe time will be the only witness to finally reveal the answer. But, that said, and taking license to express my unfettered opinion, and it is just my opinion so please take no offense, I think that EARTH ESCAPE will be read by, and truly appreciated by, the MISFITS and maybe even most people simply because there is a misfit inside most of us.
The Cambridge on-line dictionary defines a misfit as someone who is not suited to a situation or who is not accepted by other people because their behaviour is strange or unusual.
Rob Siltanen is credited with this quote about misfits… “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Since I was a young boy, when Star Trek hit the tv screen, when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon and when Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001 hit the big screens, I have been certain that we are living inside a very small box, in an intensely infinitesimal speck of the Universe, and that our existence cannot be entirely explained by such theories as the Big Bang or Divine creation. And of course, speaking up openly about these views, suggesting that maybe we didn’t crawl out of the primordial seas and evolve from Johnny the Chimp, or that one God did not create the entire Universe in six days with the wave of his or her hand (just to be gender correct), can be seen as blasphemous or disrespectful of other accepted conventionality, I think that with due respect for the rest of us misfits, who cannot squeeze our brains, let alone out minds or souls, into any of these paradigms, that we deserve a piece of the platform too.
Sci-fi, or SF or science fiction, is still the new kid on the block – largely popularized by the greats, Asimov, Heinlein and Clarke – and now, in the past thirty years or so – sci-fi is starting to show tremendous merit.
In spite of the naysayers, those who claim that NASA never landed a man on the moon, which is pretty much on the order of was Osama Bin Laden really killed – a moot point, the truth is that in a matter of years, the first human beings will be landing on Mars whether the space agencies accomplish that feat, or Elon Musk. Within two years or so, civilians will be taking shuttles into space, and within a decade or less, the International Space Station will not only be a research port, but a landing port for countless Earth shuttles, taking people up into orbit, and then landing them on the other side of the world within a matter of a few hours instead of twelve or fifteen or taking them to the new colony on Mars.
EARTH ESCAPE was written by a misfit, a mind which cannot help itself but to see a different perspective, a new reality, a questioning mind which refuses to accept the proferred paradigms of existence. I am quite sure that there are many like myself who don’t agree that Johnny the Chimp is their ancestor, and who challenge the divine theory of creation because, with all due respect for anyone’s beliefs, where’s the proof. And in as much as the Big Bang sounds plausible, there are many holes the size of the Grand Canyon in that model too.
EARTH ESCAPE not only takes the reader on a thrilling space odyssey, but in fact, because the Captain of the spaceship Evolution is himself a misfit, someone who has never been able to find the answers to his own existence and who has never felt comfortable in his own skin, the book takes us deep into the realm of the Universe never explored, where Jim Tale and his Ai computer, CASS, discover answers to existence. And all the while, during his trip and their many adventures, circumstances on Earth are on the rapid decline, with enviromental declination, mushrooming population, food shortage, and impending nuclear war. The box.
One could say that this book is somewhat dystopian in nature, but I rather consider that EARTH ESCAPE is more of a metaphysical and philosophical trip, a story that will resonate with others, people who, like me, have always felt a sliver in their souls, a small dissonance in the depth of their being, who have never quite reconciled the questions about themselves and life.
I believe that no matter one’s background, no matter one’s religious affiliation, whether you are in the Republican or Democratic camp, everyone to one degree or another is still questioning existence. And like Jim Tale, in this story, those questions do not stop no matter how much nonsense or theories are poured on top of them.
EARTH ESCAPE is the book which I wish someone had handed to me when I started asking questions about existence. And while it is a fiction novel, relative sci-fi to be exact, the book will open new doors and new ideas to any mind and soul willing to step through them.
I do hope you find EARTH ESCAPE not only entertaining, but a compelling reason to keep looking for the truth about existentiality, and that you see it as a reason to embrace the misfit inside you, because in the end, all the money and all the cars and all the STUFF, won’t be worth a nickel when we are fading into oblivion – but truth, that cannot be expunged from our souls and it goes with us wherever we go.
Réal Laplaine authors high-concept thrillers in geopolitical, crime and sci-fi genres. Earth Escape is his ninth published book. Author website