In the realm of books in the late sixties I discovered two of all my all-time favorites, Frank Herbert’s Dune and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Although I’m still awaiting the perfect cinematic adaptation of the former, Tolkien’s opus was well-served by Peter Jackson’s brilliant trilogy. In the seventies I took a detour away from science fiction after discovering horror novels, mainly William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist and the early books of Stephen King. But like being caught in the energy of an irresistible tractor beam, I was always pulled back to the home base, SF.
Like many fans of the genre, there were some preadolescent and teen efforts at writing, although never with the necessary discipline to master the craft. Yet even in my early twenties, during a period when I drifted away from SF, the urge to create was always present. It hovered there in the distance like the cosmic microwave background, that leftover radiation from the big bang.
It was Hollywood that reignited my interest, basically during that two-year span from Lucas’ Star Wars to Ridley Scott’s Alien. I decided it was time to put up or shut up when it came to making the writing dream come true. Finally I got serious enough to compose my first real novel, Anachronisms. It was a flawed work and in its earliest incarnation didn’t sell, but it taught me a lot about the art and craft of storytelling.
Subsequently, I returned to a novel I’d abandoned a few years earlier because it had seemed derivative and uninteresting. But tucked away within that aborted project’s flawed chapters was a relatively minor story element about a murderous creature known as a para-twin, whose consciousness existed simultaneously in two distinct bodies. Para-twin was transmuted into Paratwa and “Liege-Killer” was born, which became my first published novel and gave birth to the universe of the binaries.
And late last year came the publication of Binary Storm, fourth book in the Paratwa Saga (although a prequel to the other three). Today, the very idea of science fiction - writing it, reading it, watching it, relishing it - is an enduring part of my psyche, a transformative facehugger permanently attached.
Life would be unimaginable without it.