People who read my books often refer to them as “science fiction”, but here’s the strange thing. I don’t like books that generally fall into the category of science fiction. Stories about intergalactic travel, space wars and super beings hold no interest for me. The notion of time travel can be slightly interesting when it tackles important historical topics, but otherwise, forget it.
So here’s where you ask yourself: “Why does this guy write science fiction if he doesn’t like science fiction?” Good question. The simple answer is that I don’t consider my work to be science fiction. Sure, there are aliens. There are humans spread throughout the universe. There are amazing human-like machines called “Gardeners”, and some of the storyline takes place on a distant planet. Surely, a clerk in the local bookstore would shelve these books in the science fiction section. Still, I describe my books as “suspense, with elements of political intrigue, speculative history, religion, romance and a little science fiction”. In fact, the science fiction in my books is all based on generally accepted scientific principles, such as quantum physics, properties of light, and the realities — not the fantasies — of space travel. Most of the action takes place right here on Earth, in places like Tampa, Detroit and Manaus, Brazil. The characters are ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances.
There is also a very important speculative anthropological angle to the novels. Suppose humans on a faraway planet “seeded” the Earth with human embryos a little over 50,000 years ago, along with three “Gardeners” to tend the crop. That would explain what many anthropologist call “The Great Leap Forward”, when humans began to develop such things as sophisticated languages, art, music and communities. Protohumans had existed on the planet for millions of years before then, but had changed little in their use of communications or tools. Readers who are unfamiliar with the topic should read Jared Diamond’s wonderful book The Third Chimpanzee. Of course, Diamond doesn’t propose alien embryos as the source of the Leap and I sincerely hope he isn’t offended by my use of his work in such a speculative manner.
In categorizing The Eden Project and The Salt Castle for publication on Amazon, I have decided to use “suspense” as the primary category. I felt that readers looking for space-opera type science fiction would be disappointed with my books. On the other hand, I think readers looking for intelligent suspense will be delighted with these “outside the box” novels.