Friday, September 14, 2007

To Sleep, To Dream, Perchance to Write Fan-Fic

I woke up today with my busy ADHAD brain writing a fan-fic spin-off of "Mindstar Rising" by Peter F. Hamilton - and I don't even like fan-fic. I don't even know if I like Peter F. Hamilton; I'm only on page 65 of his first book, "Mindstar Rising", published in 1993. If I want to keep reading, I'll have at least thirteen additional novels of his to explore, and all of them highly rated on

My dream fan-fic had something to do with designing a trail-ride for horses in front of a mansion, there was swimming pool, and a smart, semi-tame badger I set loose that was making holes in the lawn (dangerous to the horses, you know - might break a leg). You'd have to read the book to see any connection at all, and I'm sure an interpretation of my dream would be nearly x-rated, so please don't go there!

For now, I'm planning to read this trilogy, in which a modified human detective, Greg Mandel, fights crime on earth and in space using talents he developed in the military, including his enhanced psi abilities. Hamilton's future earth is a result of global warming and the resultant social upheavals. England is a tropical island where suntans are free and palm trees grow readily. Peter's characters are complex and drawn with a sharp pen. His futuristic society is many-layered and robust. His prose has a bite instead of a drawl.

One of his intriguing inventions, on page 64, is a passenger blimp powered by"hydrogen electrolyzed from sea-water by the thermal-exchange generators". There are hints earlier in the book of Turkey (and presumably the other oil-rich desert lands) going into 'that black night', and no one uses oil for power. My non-fic TBR book-shelf includes "The End of Oil" by Paul Roberts, "Natural Capitalism" by Hawken, Lovins and Lovins, "Beyond Oil" by Kenneth S. Deffeys (signed by the author!), and "Plan B 2.0" by Lester R. Brown. One item all those books have in common is an exploration of alternate power sources. Interesting how power (political, financial and physical) is so often at the crux of writing, whether fiction or non-fiction.

After reading so much space opera with female MCs, Greg Mandel's POV feels nearly alien to my mind - not bad, just very different. Hamilton's fecund mind presents a luscious variety of novum to ponder, all of it well-integrated into the 'past' of an earth we're currently living. Indeed, he creates so much food for thought, my brain was still chewing on the details in my sleep.

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