My future’s so hazy … and I’m not talking about the smoke in the Spokane air. I’m talking about the biggest shift in my author’s “brand” since I started writing publicly in 2003. My flight out at the airport departs in a little while, and the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention is in my past. I leave the convention as I came in, a soon-to-be-published SF/fantasy author writing in the genre for the first time. But now I am no longer disconnected to the social universe of SF/fantasy writers and the publishers, artists, and other groups who exist with them in a mutually beneficial ecosystem. I’ve been through WorldCon.
As I officially become known as a SF/fantasy author for the first time, I will still put on the hat of Integral thinker explicitly at times, but newly situated in a novel shade of the East-West, Buddha-meets-Freud philosophy that resonates with my particular poetry and fantasy world building. I promise that my books in progress will articulate an innovative magical system that actually functions in the world in a post-metaphysically “magically” interesting way. My books don’t just open up imaginary worlds; they disclose THIS world in a new fashion by helping us to forge a new and more holistic relationship between body and mind, society and Nature.
Embarrassing admission ALERT! It’s almost unimaginable for me to realize that a year ago I had no idea that I was even writing a science-fiction/fantasy book. I knew was writing a “weird” book, but in my mind it was without genre; I was writing a book I saw in my mind as a timeless classic, one similar to the great books of world literature such as the I Ching or Dante’s Divine Comedy, but imagined through the lens of Integral philosophy that I had hewn from the glass of thinkers such as Ken Wilber.
But it turns out that I was wrong. As my books took shape in the past year, it became apparent that their poetry and prose could not be contained in one book, but in a series of nine books called The Kalendar which tracks a single immortal man gifted with 3,000 years of life on the Earth. The books would need to track him from a time over 2,000 years ago to a point nearly 1,000 years in our future. That means in the early books I have to put a sword in his hand and watch as he grows up in the world of antiquity, fighting for maturity as a swordfighter. And in the later books which I have envisioned I will need to put high-tech gadgetry and maybe even a space-ship in his possession, and watch as he pioneers our shared future.
I thought I was just writing a book. I was somehow oddly blind for a long time to the fact that I was writing a genre book specifically in fantasy and SF. It’s still a book which I have imagined as closer in spirit to Dante Alighieri than to George R. R. Martin. Definitely more Tolkien than Twilight. But (with a publisher on board) very soon what I think of what I’ve written will be less important than what you think, and all the readers think.
One thing I learned at this WorldCon is that if I’m going to be the best SF/fantasy author I can be, I need read fewer classic works of esoteric spiritual imagination and read more books by contemporary storytellers who are connecting with readers TODAY. Actually I just need to make more time to read, period.
So anyways today I am bringing home with me a bunch of SF books as contemporary as can be and will soon be wearing an additional hat: the fan, the reader, the explorer of imaginal universes of contemporary visionaries. Integral thinkers are one kind of visionaries. SF/fantasy world builders are another sort altogether. What sort of overlap there may be, and how their respective positions as purveyors of story and meta-myth may interweave, I do not claim to know. (Naturally I’ve got some ideas, but I need to let them percolate for a while.)
Thus begins the creative process of transformation which as a reader of this blog you have stumbled upon. I’m an author who has booked and blogged for more than a decade in Integral thought and spirituality and LGBT topics … now undergoing a major overhaul in what I do. My coming books will combine a blend of poetry, prose, philosophy, and art with a SF/fantasy twist. If that doesn’t appeal to you, let’s part as friends and I’m sad to see you go. But if you can get your geek on, don your sword or light-saber of choice, then come along with me. There’s important work I can only do from this perspective, and I’d love to have you on board.
Now onward … to build a new blog with lots of fun stuff coming, see the first book in The Kalendar series out the door, and then execute on an ambitious vision for many more books to come.