Author of: “Requiem”
Current Geographic Location: Seattle, WA
Recent publications: “Grand Opening”, published at Everyday Weirdness; “Perchance to Wake”, published by Stupefying Stories; “Necrotopia”, in CHILDREN OF THE MOON; “Fluke”, published at Crossed Genres Magazine.
Do you think alien life exists in the Universe? Absolutely. However, there are reasonable arguments to be made that we will never find intelligent life in the universe. If we are very lucky, we might find the remains of some other race someday – but at this point it seems more likely that it will be someone else that finds ours.
If you could travel off Earth, would you? Yes
What if it meant you could never come back? Not unless the alternative was extraordinarily grim. I don’t care to imagine the set of circumstance in which I would walk away from everyone I know and love.
What inspired your piece? Generally, a desire to explore the idea that the success or failure of organized religions can be understood entirely in terms of their societal fitness value, without any preconceptions or beliefs about underlying universal truths. More specifically, the desire to illustrate one possible degenerate endpoint of such a belief system, when deliberately exploited for a specific purpose. Also, I’m fascinated by the question of whether it is possible for a sentient species to achieve an ecologically stable state.
What music or movies helped you to write this story? Although I often write stories based on how particular music makes me feel, that wasn’t the case this time. If anything, this story is a nod to author Jared Diamond’s work (think Guns, Germs, and Steel, or Collapse).
How many rewrites did you do before submitting? Two complete rewrites, and lots of tinkering.
What is your favorite bit?
The following bit of Jel’s monologue, since it gets to the heart of what the story is about:
“…For reasons neither you nor I can guess, and that I do not care about. Now they are degenerate post-sapients that somehow programmed themselves to mindlessly tend statues to their ancient gods. If they accidentally created something of value in the process, then good for us.”
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