Thursday, February 25, 2016

FIRST LOOK: "Letters to Olivia" by EC Holm

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a new series of posts called FIRST LOOK featuring excerpts from stories by up-and-coming writers. We hope you enjoy getting to know them!

Welcome to EC Holm, who was born in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is an honorable veteran of the US Air Force, and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Maryland University College in Computer Studies. He was influenced by NASA’s space program all his life. Alan Shepard, John Glenn, and Neil Armstrong were some of his heroes. Written works of Steven Spielberg, William Shatner, Ursula Le Guin, E. M. Forster, and Mark Twain piqued his interest in science fiction and adventure.

From: Letters to Olivia

Dear Olivia,
Well, I’m out here, like I said I would, writing to you on my tablet. I’m traveling in a cramped capsule with five other people, and all of them are guys. Even after 10 days of travel, they have been behaving, but I’m going nuts missing my best friend.

How are things back home in San Jose? I hope you’re keeping yourself safe with the gang fights everywhere. Who would have thought that the news of alien contact, a few years ago, would rupture into civil unrest worldwide, right? The Encounter mission, to meet the aliens, has still a few years to launch. What will happen then? Full blown wars? I hope not.

The Writers’ Lens is about "Bringing fiction into focus." What brings your writing into focus-- the characters, the stories, the love of words? What brings my writing into focus is the idea that the written word is code for the brain. The brain then creates this world as prescribed by the code. Then our soul is immersed and plays in such a world. The reader can touch smell and taste in this world. It’s the ultimate virtual reality. You cannot get that with a computer. In short, it’s the love of communicating a good story.

How do you find time to write and do a demanding job? I have two jobs. What I do is I use Google Drive/Docs to write any free time I have, like on breaks, using my phone. At home, I write on my laptop. Leveraging modern technology this way allows me to make progress even with a demanding schedule.

What inspired your latest book/story? There are many companies interested in mining asteroids. Following these efforts and other space commercial efforts helped inspire me to write Letters to Olivia. The storyline is also inspired by my personal travels. Ever so often, I have encountered amazing people. So this story is about meeting new people in a new place.

What do you think readers will like about your work? I’m working on this idea of immersing the reader into the story. The stories are adventure stories set in a science fiction multiverse. I have taken from an ancient book, The Book of Enoch, to create beings of a different dimensional realm. I’ve also taken from M-theory the 11 dimensions and fashioned 3 realms. Lastly, I’ve taken the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics that explains multiple universes or realities.

This mixture of scientific theories and religious mythology gives a rich multiverse to explore adventures in the human condition in relation to the vastness of space. So, I think my readers enjoy stories about bad guys and good guys, about love and loss, about what it means to have it all and what it means to have none of it.

How much fact is in your fiction? I do base my fiction on real science. The Earth-based ships operate on known scientific principles. The alien ships operate on some more exhotic principles. Though scientific principles are applied, the engineering may not exist. Also, the dimensional beings get more fantastical, or fictionalized, technology. I like to keep in mind modern accomplishments such as smartphones, tablets, artificial intelligence in software, 3D printing, Virtual Reality, etc. I like to give a nod to these as well as the developments in commercial space.

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