Speculative Fiction

Establishing a Category

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What is your favorite category of fiction?

I’m frustrated. My Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy has come to life. The characters have clarified and paraded before me richly displaying themselves. And I can perceive the forces of the universe which drive them and give life to the future of humankind.

But I have to place this work in what is called a real context. That means, in part, I have to say what type of fiction it is. I can tell you what it is not and run into a road block when I must say what it is. A concise description has been alluding me. I want to call it speculative fiction but Amazon has no such category.

Encompassing

It seems that speculative fiction is a broad category with elements, settings and characters which are derived from imagination and speculation. I created the blog cuspofreality.com because I don’t believe in a hard edged reality. Everything is far more nuanced. Evidently speculative fiction encompasses science fiction, horror, fantasy, science fantasy, magic realism and something called alternative history. I have to say that I believe those terms do not well describe Gaia’s Majesty.

My Personality

I know exactly what’s going on and why I’m having trouble with terminology. And it has to do with my personality. Other blog posts on cuspofreality,com will relate to the full array of personality types but I know mine and I know what’s happening. I’m what’s called an introverted intuitive thinking type. That means my perspective comes from deep inside of me (introversion) and my intuition means I’m intrigued by possibilities and forever ask “what if”. Then comes my auxiliary function which is thinking. That means after generating the possibility I turn to refining and organizing.

Possibilities and Our Future

In terms of the fiction there are specific consequences. I don’t write literature. I find the turn of the phrase is something I stumble over as if the area in which I’m working is strewn with boulders in my way. I want the image and the possibility.

Out there is a world of changing possibilities and they invite social commentary. Certainly there is a history and what composes the history. For me, under the guidance of Carl Jung, history has deep mythological roots. And then there are the images. One image which has always intrigued me is the image of that darling mermaid. She is not an isolated image but is found in almost every society which has significant water. Who is she and why does she exist?

Threat and Conflict
I believe she represents the mystery and threat of women. Yes, both of those things. Is love concrete? I think not. Is a man being enraptured by a woman something which can be taken lightly? I think not. The mermaids in myth are beguiling but also may bring a man to his death. We can see the conflict and the ambivalence. Those things are not fictional. They exist in our world as it is and are often not discussed or recognized.

And then there is the fact of human conflict and what much of the rule of men has brought us. Again there is a reality but behind it there is the myth and the varying truths. How could I not explore all this. There are deeply hidden elements in humankind which include deeply beguiling forces and fearful destructive forces. But look at the maelstrom in the universe and see the creativity that comes out of the clash simultaneously. Out of it comes new planets, suns, stardust, of which we are made, and all manner of creative life. How can we not explore these things.

An Emerging Future

And then there is the matter of blending history with emerging themes. The power of women is not seen in the image off a women with a sword. It is seen in so many other elements bewitching and beautiful but powerful in their own right as well. And now, in our world we have the movement to empower women. I must wonder at the possibility (that word again) and where it may lead us and what are the deeper meanings.

Realities Budding Before Us

These books are not just adventures. They ask us to look at the possibilities before us and what the stirrings in the world may indicate about our potential and our future.

And so I created a world of speculative fiction which is not full of multi headed creatures or strange science. It is not meant to horrify nor be pure fantasy because there is a reality there. I see human cultures as waves of change and we are in a fundamental one right now I’m convinced. And so, what if, our earth goddess set aside a movement of women to guard our future and they live safely in the sea and are seen from time to time as mermaids. And what if they are now coming to power and the empowerment of women is indicative. And as they come to power they come into true partnership with men. Surely there is a struggle ahead but quite possibly a glorious future.

What struggles and futures do you see?

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Nicolai Redux

 

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I’ve posted previously about my friend from graduate school, Nicolai Khoklov.

To review – One day at Duke University I was introduced to a new graduate student by the name of Nicolai. His heavy Russian accent was intriguing. Later it came out. He had been the head of the KGB for Eastern Europe and finally, after much soul searching, he defected.
In some ways the story is dramatic. Our intelligence service was to get his family and take them out of the country when he went on Radio Free Europe to announce his defection. They didn’t do it and he lost them forever. Later, when he was in Germany, Russian intelligence tried to poison him with a radioactive substance. He survived. That’s the drama.

The Truth Is Spoken

Then there is the other part. One evening Nicolai talked at length about his experiences. The key words he uttered in conclusion were – “You think it is like James Bond. It is, in fact, like Get Smart.” (For the younger generation, Get Smart was a television show which satirized intelligence services.)

Nicolai’s words continue to resonate with me. Especially in this election year. We are looking at the people who are running to be the president of the United States. Without being grandiose, the position is rather important. But what we are showing the world is embarrassing.

How Are We To Assess This Specter

At the same time Nicolai’s statement relates. In this campaign season, we may dismiss the show as a form of comic opera or are we seeing life as it is? Many of us are shocked at the Trump phenomenon, but, is the truth that this was there all along and we have not seen or experienced it this openly?

Get Smart was meant to be funny but what we are seeing is anything but funny. Or is it that we should be honest with ourselves and that we are seeing fundamental truths about humanity? It is sobering to realize that these kind of beings were there all along and we need to attend to the fact of their existence. Maybe the recognition is uplifting and useful.

Remember, Nicolai’s job was to safeguard the underbelly of the Soviet Union in Europe. He was to gather intelligence, kill people if necessary and build an underlying defense force for his country. In the end he felt it was all a lie and his job violated his sense of humanity. And so he followed the guidance of his conscience. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had more politicians with his integrity.

Another Form of a Reality Show

The lesson for us is that this is not comic opera. It is reality and it is often dysfunctional and displays the faults and frailties of humanity in its worst forms. We may laugh, but often should cry at what is revealed. Will we see a form of the Gunfight at the OK Coral in Cleveland at the Republican Convention? If we do, or if it is just an outrageous congestion of the soul almost doesn’t matter. We will see ourselves and what is lurking under the surface. That, in itself, is valuable.

Get Smart was for fun but as is often the case with comedy, it displays lessons to which we need to attend. Again we come back to our view of reality. We have to decide how we interpret the events of this season and what we do with it is another matter.

What have you concluded?

Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery Amazon page

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

#cold war,#intelligence services,#reality show,#KGB,#James Bond,#Republican Convention

A World in Crisis

Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery – An Unbearable Choice

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(Book 1 of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy)

Available now at Amazon.com 

Personal Versus Collective Future

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What do you anticipate?

Is It Hope Or Is It Fear?

Call it interregnum. Call it denouement. Without question humankind is at a set of crisis crossroads. The Middle East is simply one indication. It looks very much like Europe at the dawn of World War I. And we know where that went for the following decades.

I doubt you need a catalogue of all of the crisis points, from China hanging on the edge of chaos, to our own political menagerie fumbling toward failure. It was not so long ago that there seemed so much more hope for consolidation and stability. So much of it dissolved and the process hints of monumental change in the years ahead. And change can be good or bad. But in my mind this kind of process puts me in the position where I don’t wish to simply be an observer.

Fascination With Possibilities

Throughout my life I’ve always been drawn to the “what if”. For me possibilities are the staff of life and before us I perceive a feast. Such evolution and revolution does not lend itself to a thoroughly logical analysis because the underlying forces are never clear. And so I chose to name this blog Cusp of Reality because I firmly believe that is where we all reside—like it or not.

That means this blog is partly a thought document and is meant to present thoughts for examination and to lead us to the “what if”. And always there are different vehicles which may be chosen for the what if.

Waves, Hope and Promise

There are currently discussions of waves in human events. What did the waves of the twentieth century lead to? We are now being overtaken by a wave of information technology and, in the field of economics there is speculation that we are entering the postcapitalism era. Human affairs in all their forms offer hope, promise and promote fear.

I’ve chosen to write speculative fiction where the possibilities can be made graphic. Each of us has a rich inner life and there is a larger context. In the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I tell a story with a mythological context to lead us through possibilities as we see our future unfolding. Are we in a denouement of sorts and will it end in a transformation of some kind. If nothing else the discussion and examination in this time is fascinating.The question always remains, “What If”?

Which among the possibilities would you choose?

Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery Amazon page

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

#hope and promise,#dreams,#myth or reality,#future hope,#personal fulillment

Reality – Who Needs It?

 

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Wonderment

Our birth is a cruel process. It was cozy in there. Nurturance in all forms was assured and it was nice and warm. No wonder we complain at birth. But, of course, we have to wonder what this place is that we suddenly landed in. There were these strange moving objects doing things to us and making what we came to know were noises which meant speech. It was time to adjust to a new reality although we didn’t know what to call it or even that it had a name.

Preparing for the World

What we know is that preparations are being made in the womb. We bounce our babies almost instinctively which probably duplicates something of the experience of riding in the womb. When my first daughter was born I was amazed that the dogs disturbed her not at all. She would be sleeping in our arms and one of the dogs would suddenly bark. It didn’t wake her. She had been hearing it for some time and was not at all surprised. We have to wonder what else the child was learning in the womb.

But there is a lot of learning to come. Adults understand that but tend to see it in concrete terms. There are many other levels of learning. Constantly there are new forms of reality to be addressed. The world has to be defined and understood and we have to define ourselves as well. Those may be static things but there is the matter of interactions with the rest of the world. The array of things to be learned and organized is staggering when we begin to catalogue them.

Defining the Self

Defining the self is crucial to relating to the other beings around us. And those beings are not just humans but the animals in the person’s life whether they be house dogs or the bird outside the window. In all this we build a personal framework which includes self definition so that we can respond to other humans and the world in general. Am I bold or restrained? And we do this on many dimensions.

Establishing a Platform

Overall, one way to look at it is, we establish a platform from which we respond. Another reality is that there are changing platforms for the self. It may change daily and certainly does over a lifetime. And it involves personal discovery.

Certainly, if you begin a catalogue for yourself you’ll find there is quite an amazing array of selves and platforms. And through it all we constantly work to define a reality of the self which is how we view ourselves. Over time that reality changes.

How do you define reality?

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#gaia’smajestydiscovery,#anunbearablechoice,#gaia’smajestychallenge,
#thechosenrise,#gaia’smajestytransformation,#lifeforcesrevealed