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 Larry Laswell's Blog 
Tuesday, June 02 2015

Susan Young for Marshell Publishing

Larry spoke in an earlier post about his new project, a science fiction novel series called The Ethosians, where I asked him to give us a glimpse of the upcoming series and premise. In this interview, Larry provides more insight into how he made the decision to begin a science fiction project, and what has inspired his work and character development.

Susan: What made you decide to jump into the world of science fiction?

Larry: Funny you should ask that. There are two reasons.

My newest book, Vows to the Fallen, required extensive research to get the history, technology, and dialogue right. It wore me out! In the midst of this research, I began to wish I could write fantasy or science fiction so I wouldn’t have to do so much research; I could make it up as I went along. Wrong! In creating this advanced society, I wanted the technology to be plausible and different.  For example, everyone has warp drives or uses worm holes to get around the galaxy. Both are based on true physics, but this wasn’t good enough for the Ethosians, so I had to invent a new type of star ship drive that was also based on true physics.  Guess what: I was neck-deep in research into string theory and Einstein’s laws of relativity and the like.  Oh well; such is the life of an author!

The second reason I got into the world of science fiction is more general. I have always wanted to write a story with a strong heroine, and I have one. In the three-book arc, she starts out as a formidable character, albeit a minor one. By the end of the third book, the heroine is even more formidable and becomes the main character. I think my readers will like her as they watch her evolve from normal to incredible across the three book arc. 

Susan: Were you inspired to write this book because of any other sci-fi novels or movies you have seen?

Larry: Yes and no. I enjoy the imagination and creativity exhibited in science fiction novels and movies, and they spark my imagination on what the future will bring. I also can’t leave well enough alone because I want to “up my game.” We have come to expect that science fiction writers will provide some imagination in the technology they present to their readers, but to me, most of it is common stuff. I want to present new ideas and concepts in this series and not use all of the old, tried-and-true science fiction clichés.

This is an interesting challenge, because as an author and storyteller, the more technology you give a civilization, the easier it is for them to solve their problems.  No problems, no conflict, no story. So the problem becomes one of withholding technology in a credible way. If I give the Ethosians one technology, then the reader would expect that a similar technology would be available, but I can’t give them that technology because it would cause the plot to implode. The trick is in making the technology matrix (what’s included and what’s left out) credible to the reader.

Susan: What other topics do you explore in this book, aside from the moral and economic aspects of Ethos?

Larry: I have only begun to scratch the surface on other issues.  I have already written about 30,000 words on the Ethos backstory, and I haven’t yet put the characters into action. When I do, I know that more paradoxes and dilemma will surface. I have dozens of ideas right now, but I know that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Susan: When can we expect to see this book published?

Larry: When it is right. I am more concerned in writing good novels than in meeting deadlines. That is part of my promise to my readers. I want to outline all three books before I begin actual writing. There will be individual sub-plots within each book and sub-plots that span the trilogy. The main sub-plots of the trilogy are the backbone of the story, and I may want to write those sub-plots before I start serious work on the first book. It is a daunting task.  However, to answer your question, I would expect that the first book would be published late 2016 or early 2017.

Don’t worry: Between now and then, I will be publishing the third book in the Marathon trilogy about mid-2016, and continue with my Ship-Load of Sea Stories series as well. I’m excited!

Posted by: Susan Young AT 04:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 28 2015

Susan Young of Marshell Publishing

Larry’s newest book project involves a science fiction series called The Ethosians. The novel describes a complex society on a planet called Ethos, and delves into the social and economic facets of life on this planet. So I thought we’d kick off this new genre with some questions for Larry. Here is my interview:

Susan: tell us about this new book project and the characters who live in Ethos:

Larry: I am starting work on my next novel series, The Ethosians. Initially, three books are planned about this unique planet. The premise is that the Ethosians are ethical to a fault to the same extent that Star Trek’s Vulcans are logical and unemotional. Because of their ethical nature, they are intrinsically trusted in the galaxy, and have been hired by the other 71 advanced planets with sentient life to act as the peacekeepers in the galaxy. Each planet pays Ethos 2% of their GPP (Gross Planetary Product) to maintain peace in the galaxy. This is a good deal for everyone. 2% of GPP is less than what we earthlings spend on our military. As a bonus, the planets are free from the secondary costs of inter-planetary war, including loss of life, destruction of cities and infrastructure, medical costs for the wounded, and the diversion of resources.  So far, Ethos has been effective in keeping the peace for the last seven millennia. Sounds good doesn’t it? Ethos seems to be a perfect place to live; everyone is ethical and can be trusted, and no one will take advantage of your or cheat you.

Susan: Why do you think this book will appeal to readers?

Larry: Some people might get a kick out of the book because all of the males on Ethos consider themselves warriors. All of the intellectual stuff (science, engineering, etc.) is done by the women. It’s an interesting twist on things.

Susan: Tell us more about how you explore the social and economic aspects of the Ethosians in this book.

Larry: Because Ethosians can’t do anything that’s illogical or unethical, they have a very orderly society — almost an idyllic environment. Think about it for a minute. Such a perfect world has problems, and its society will face paradoxes. Some of the implications of such a world include:

  • How would an ethical society respond if someone committed a crime? Would they have the death penalty?
  • How do the Ethosians handle offenders of their ethical code?
  • If one assumes war is intrinsically immoral, how can the Ethosians engage in combat to maintain the peace?
  • What might the other planets do to take advantage of the Ethosians?
  • What does Ethos do when it discovers it has been cheated?
  • What relationship exists between Ethos and the galaxy’s criminal elements?
  • Are there paradoxes within the Ethosian culture?

Susan: Interesting questions, Larry. Hopefully the readers will respond with some their thoughts on how they would face some of these paradoxes if they were an Ethosian. I can’t wait to discuss more of Larry’s new science fiction series in the coming weeks. 

Posted by: Susan Young AT 04:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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