This excerpt is from one of the parts of "Stefan's Owl from Oblivion" that some people find difficult to read. With so much violence in the world and in the movies, it is difficult to write a terrible scene like this in a way that will touch someone’s heart, that will make them care. Literary Fiction seeks to touch a person in a very intimate way, to make a lasting change in their mind, hopefully one that makes the reader more empathetic.
Syon is a normal looking fourteen-year-old teen boy. He has a few differences that he has discovered, but he just believes that he is a genetically messed up human. It makes it even easier to accept the beatings from his adoptive father because, “What if his father is right? What if he really should be killed in some brutal way?" People may believe that an adoptive father would not be so brutal, but as explained elsewhere in the book, Syon was adopted merely to increase the father’s assistance money from the government… more money to feed his alcoholic addiction.
Paul7 is a nine-year-old boy from the planet Sophista, interested in preserving the telepathic children being found on Earth. And yes, as far as he is concerned, all other humans can burn. Stefan is a seven-year-old child that is such a powerful telepath that he can pull people into his mind into a shared dream. Some people believe that he may be creating new timelines. But there is the little matter than Stefan is also schizophrenic.
This excerpt shows some of the interplay between the children and between Ty and his father. Ty is an eight-year-old telepath living in Cambridge, UK; Stefan is an extremely powerful telepathic seven-year-old living in Westminster, UK; and twelve-year-old Tyco is a telepath from Arizona in the US. Tyco is extremely mature for a twelve-year-old, wanting to be a father. He is visiting the UK, staying at Stefan’s house. Stefan’s mum seems to farm out parenting to the nearest capable person. In this excerpt, Tyco has gone to cuddle Stefan while Stefan tries to sleep because Stefan is scared of the “man with the transponder,” a nefarious person who has a device attached to his skull that allows him to hear telepathy and home in on it.
The children can all talk to each other via telepathy (blue text). One of the interesting things about telepathy is that because other people are not telepathic, the children can have a running commentary to each other about what is happening in their lives.
This excerpt tickles both philosophical questions and the contradiction between the instincts of humanity versus the brutality of prosecuting the acquisition of power. The warm affection seeking flesh of a child, a child in need of adult care contrasted with cold steel that will not interact at all with the child’s flesh and can easily be washed of all evidence of a waning child’s existence. A child needing immediate adult attention versus adults totally unconcerned, who are primarily focused on accomplishing a task, like a business transaction, like the pleading child in agony being just an object, a rock whistling in the wind. The sound is simply ignored because protective emotion is not part of the transaction to be conducted. If a child looks human, seems harmless, and is in dire need, does it not deserve the attention, the consideration that any human child deserves. Or does being partly alien render this child a thing, with no rights to receive protective and restorative love and affection. Another question comes from facts hinted: Is Docherty’s change of heart, despite being a brutal murderer, due to a shared commonality recognized, an instinct unique to that commonality, triggered? Is it required that we share a precise genetic heritage with the person in need to be able or willing to lend assistance? Is commonality a mere sharing of the same physicality or of being driven by ideals in common? Do you know an immutable truth with respect to this quandary?
I really hate posting stuff on blogs simply because it takes so much time away from writing on my book. But I have decided to start posting on my blog again as sort of an experiment, a declaration of freedom. You see, I have been posting my book excerpts, snapshots of the draft I am working on, on Twitter to try and generate some interest in the book and to carry people along with me on my rather detailed, very involved adventure. And believe me, it will be an adventure. Writing Literary Fiction is tough, requiring shavings from the author's soul in order for the text to achieve the kind of emotional influence that is needed to carry someone into a long, detailed novel. The novel is meant to be a total, immersive experience, which not only sticks to the reader’s soul, but visually stimulates the reader with illustrations that themselves invoke a sympathetic emotion with the text. Like many Literary Fiction novels, it’s not so much about the plot or the facts of a situation but how it feels, what the characters think, how do they resolve their unique life problems. The book delves a bit into philosophy, its child characters asking the questions that have bedeviled humanity for thousands of years. As most of these children are above an average intelligence, it seems appropriate for their fresh new minds to ask the question and be distressed at their lack of answers. Even though these child characters are little geniuses, I would like to think that a number of children do actually think about the world seriously in their quiet times, possible far more seriously than their parents realize.
Anyway, for an author, Twitter is really a sabotaging element for their development. Twitter is about Twitter making money. The algorithm is designed to jack with your mind and make you feel pining for attention, for connection, willing to pay to get it. The algorithm of Twitter knows who might be interested in what you wish to show and deliberately only displays your posts to a few of them. Even if you have a small number of followers, Twitter will show your post to many other people before it gives some of your followers a peek. And only some of your followers will see it. Why? To keep you willing to pay ever more money to try to reach the people you don’t reach, the ones it only teases you with.
I understand this strategy well, have actually paid Facebook for advertisement. What Facebook didn’t count on was me being a very detailed, numerically analytical person, using devious tactics to track their actions and to track what kind of people saw the ads. And what I found was that Facebook will show your ads to people outside of who you specify, people so unrelated to your target that it’s actually pretty laughable, if it wasn’t your money, in order to spend every last drop of the money you allotted them. So with Twitter, I came into the medium with the philosophy of “show me the gold before I’ll show you mine.” And as expected, the algorithm did its own little dance to extort my gold without giving results.
For grins, I will probably still post excerpts to Twitter on occasion just to see what it does with them. It’s my way of mocking their foolishness. But from now on I will post most of my excerpts here, on my blog. The longer format will also allow me to reveal more of the thought process behind the writing as I build up this complex, difficult to write Literary Fiction novel layer by layer.
I am going to kick off this series of blog posts with an excerpt from the book, which is currently sitting at 438,000 words. In this excerpt, Professor Kettil, the teacher of these advanced children, is having a conversation with Fredrick Docherty, eight-year-old Ty’s father and the head of ERID, the Extraterrestrial Research and Intelligence Department, a department under the British Prime Minister’s office. In his former job, Docherty was an undeclared assassin working for the government organization known as the Snakes. The thing to notice is how hard a person Docherty is, how much he is an unemotional, logical person versus the more humanistic, emotional Professor Kettil, someone you expect would have an interest in children’s wellbeing.
Excerpt from Chapter 4, "The Portal Opens"