Following on from our short review of ‘The Mystic Functions’, we have been lucky enough to bring you a short interview with the author of the book; Ted Skewes! Please enjoy…
1. Briefly tell us about yourself. When did you first discover your passion for writing?
I’m your older geek; I was doing tech support for the pc when it was first introduced. I started writing my first science fiction story when I was about twelve; in fact I seem to remember that the first paragraph was much the same as in The Mystic Functions with a thought-guided ship descending towards the planet (a good idea will always stick around). I got a real taste for writing a few years back when I had a column called How Far Is Far Out? in the Victorian UFO Research Society’s bulletin. The point of the article was to show how the explanations for the behaviour of UFOs weren’t all that strange when compared to our own scientific theories.
2. What can you tell us about The Mystic Functions?
There’s a lot in it. I call it ’238 pages long and 10 miles deep’. It’s scientific philosophy wrapped up in a science fiction story. There’s a central technological idea which is a brain implant (Bioface) that interfaces with electronics, there’s a storyline with action, intrigue and romance and there’s a philosophical thread which is Karmic Field Theory (action and reaction in eleven dimensions).
3. How and when did you get the idea for The Mystic Functions? How long did it take to write?
I had the idea for the bioface about twenty years ago and was going to start writing the story then (it was going to be called The Matrix). Anyway that didn’t happen. About 6 years ago I started writing down my ideas on karma and the laws of motion which I called Hyper-spatial Karmic Field Theory. I was always saying to myself “One day when such and such happens, and I’ve got more time, I’m going to write a book about this.” Then I realised that I had to make the time and just do it. It took a year to write and a year to edit and publish. That was 2006, then I had to do a re-edited 2nd edition to publish in Australia and in 2010 I did another revamp for the ebook.
4. What people inspire you the most?
People like Michio Kaku, scientists who know how to convey complex ideas so they can be understood. People who tell it how it is, whatever the subject, and don’t bullshit. I admire people who come up with great ideas and I admire people who react to new ideas with possibilities. So many times we hear “Oh, that can’t work” instead of “Hmm, I wonder what it would take to make that work.”
5. Finally, as this is Geek Base, what ‘geeky’ things are you most interested in?
Computers mainly. I need people to go and buy my book so that I can afford to get myself a tablet. See, a geek will put always put tech before mortgage.
The Mystic Functons, a book by Ted Skewes, is a science fiction story about a technological idea of a brain implant that interfaces with electronics. The storyline features action, intrigue, romance, and there’s even a philosophical thread.
The official synopsis for the book is as follows:
Reticulans understand that the Universe operates in at least eleven dimensions and that reality is mostly hidden. If they cannot liberate Earthens from their dimensional blindness, the planet is destined to be consumed by forces spreading inwards from the outer galaxies.
New philosophical and technological ideas add a rich vein of meaning to this story of believable futurism flavoured with action, romance and intrigue – a meaning that may just explain, in a completely non-religious way, how the universe really works.
The ideas presented in The Mystic Functions are compelling – the story a cinematic experience of the mind.
The Mystic Functions has been described as “the thinking person’s science fiction” and heralds a return to the days when books left you better off for reading them as well as thoroughly entertained.
The Mystic Functions is an exciting book that really does get you thinking. We believe the ideal reader would be a teenager or adult who loves their science fiction!
We have been lucky enough to get the chance to interview the writer of Gamers’ Quest, George Ivanoff, where he talks about his passion for writing, Gamers’ Quest, Gamers’ Challenge and his love for Doctor Who! I would just like to say thank you to George for taking the time out to participate in this interview! Please enjoy:
1. When did you first discover your passion for writing?
It was somewhere during high school that I realised just how much I liked to write. I loved it when we got to write short stories as English assignments… Mine were always about space battles and invading aliens and things like that. It was not until much later that I discovered I could get paid for it.
2. We know you’re a reader of Geek Base, what ‘geeky’ things are you most interested in?
Doctor Who is my geek obsession. I love both the old series and the new, and all its spin-off… Even the K9 series. I’m also into crappy old tv from the 70s/80s/90s. Things like Tomorrow People and Blake’s 7. I’ve just bought and watched The Martian Chronicles mini-series on DVD and now I’m on to seaQuest DSV. I used to be really into computer games when I was younger. I don’t play them that often these days… although I do borrow my daughter’s DS in order to play Space Invader Extreme!
3. How and when did you get the idea for Gamers’ Quest? How long did it take to write it?
It all came about because I watched a documentary about online gaming. It got me thinking about how much time I spent playing computer games as a teen, and about how I loved game-related movies, like TRON and The Last Starfighter. So I decided I wanted to write something set inside a computer game. Gamers’ Quest actually started off as a short story, “Game Plan”, which appeared in a young adult anthology called Trust Me!. I then expanded it into a novel. It took about 4 months to write and re-write before I sent it off to the publisher, and then another couple of months going back and forward between me and the editor for more re-writes.
4. What can we expect from Gamers’ Challenge and do you have any idea when it will be released?
At this stage it looks like Gamers’ Challenge will be released in August this year, by Ford Street Publishing. I just got the final back cover blurb from my publisher, so that might give you a clue as to what to expect from it:
“Tark and Zyra’s world is a game, their every action controlled by the all-powerful Designers. But when they break the rules life becomes a whole lot more complicated … and deadly. Pursued by a powerful computer virus they must locate the Ultimate Gamer, then face their greatest challenge — finding a way out.”
5. And finally, as you are a Doctor Who fan, who is your favourite Doctor and why?
Jon Pertwee is definitely my favourite from the old series. He was dashing and stylish, he was a man of action as well as intellect, and he was always so incredibly rude to bureaucrats and authority figures. What more could you want from a Doctor?
David Tennant is my favourite of the new series Doctors. I’m fascinated by his combination of child-like enthusiasm and desperate loneliness.
Gamers’ Quest, a book written by George Ivanoff, is science fiction adventure aimed at young teenagers (although it is a great read for all ‘geeks’ of any age!) that follows two main characters (Tark and Zyra) on a quest to reach Designers Paradise.
Tark and Zyra are two “teenage thieves in a world of magic and science, where dragons and mages exist alongside drones and lasers”. During their quest to reach Designers Paradise, they “realise their world is not what it appears to be, and their sancturary is about to face destruction”.
Gamers’ Quest won the Speculative Fiction Award in the 2010 Chronos Awards and certainly deserves to win many more awards.
We were lucky enough to receive a review copy of the book and believe that this is a must have for anyone who enjoys both gaming and reading. It really does connect gaming and reading in a way that no other story has done before. If you play a lot of games but don’t do nearly enough reading, then this is the book for you! So take a break from computer games and enjoy a good read of Gamers’ Quest.
George Ivanoff has recently completed the sequel to Gamers’ Quest, titled Gamers’ Challenge, which is due out later this year so check back for more information soon!