Wednesday, February 11, 2015

An Interview with the author of "Conquest of Humanity"

Tonight we have an exclusive interview with the Author of Conquest of Humanity, Mr. Philip Comer.

Thanks, it’s a pleasure to be here.

This is your second book right?

Yes, and my first fiction one.  

Alright, so tell us a little bit about the new book. What’s it about?

Short answer, it’s a book about my dreams.

Ah. And what are your dreams? What do you hope to accomplish in life still?

No not my aspirations, literally my dreams. I thought they were interesting so I wrote them down.

Oh. That sounds like something you’d have a hard time making a coherent story out of.

Yeah… it was. One of my fears, you know I guess it’s the fear, is that the whole thing isn’t very coherent because the number of locations and images changes so drastically. I’m hoping that the whole ‘simulation’ thing worked and allows the reader to bounce nicely between short stories, but I’m not sure.

You said “dreams” was the short answer, what’s the long answer?

In the future humanity invents neural implants which allow us to instantly gain perfect comprehension of a text file. Just imagine downloading Moby Dick and knowing the whole book immediately and you have the right idea. Well things go awry when people start reading the Bible and achieve nearly perfect sanctification. That badly spooks the ruling governments of Earth because it’s obvious evidence that God and angels (extra-terrestrials) are real. So they begin killing Christians. The atheists nearly win, but the Bible proves too hard to destroy and a world war erupts that goes badly for them. In danger of losing and in desperation they create a fleet of starships and flee to a distant planet in the hopes of engineering people who are resistant to the Bible. Much of this is told in pieces that are backwards looking but it’s really at this point that’s my story picks up. Rooks world is a deadly dystopia because the scientists running it are trying to figure out how to stop God from tampering with their minds, and that leads to purposeful violence in the simulations where everybody spends their time. They finally figure out how to change the desires of a man and set their plan in motion to retake Earth.

Who’s the main character?

It’s like Les Miserables in that the principle character is God. Him aside, the main character is Rook. Most of the story is told through his eyes, although I had one dream where I was in hell and that didn’t fit for him, so I have an antagonist named Samir as well.

Tell us about Rook, what’s he like?

Self-serving, borderline sociopath, desires to kill Samir who is in the ruling class while he’s a nobody. Kind of like a Sherlock Holms, he a one of a kind perceptive problem solver who doesn’t connect well with people.

What about Samir?

Arrogant, genius with manipulating computers. He’s a research scientist more than anything, if you’ve met one of those then you know what he’s like.

Anybody else?

There’s Rook’s friend Anak who is the first one to open the file. She’s curious, paranoid, easy going. Quick to laugh. Detests the status quo. And Tyson who doesn’t come up much really, he’s an accessory to Anak.

So did you write down all your dreams in that given period of time?

No, some of them I left out. Most notably one where I was having a dinner of steamed broccoli aboard a silk pirate ship with Kim Jung Un. Another involved psychic parasitic spiders that ate peoples minds, but in that dream everyone died and I couldn’t figure out how to use that with the rest of these.

But the ones you wrote down, that’s just as you saw it right?

Pretty much. If I saw it or felt it I put it in, but the dialogue was all made up. The zaniness of that decision comes through in a number of places where I have the characters seeing or doing things that makes absolutely no sense, but dreams are like that. You'll see it when you read the Starship dream for example. But to answer your question yes, unless my writing wasn’t good enough to describe it like it happened I put it in.

Can you give an example of that?

Sure, the dream of Satan (the prince), was one I just couldn't get right.  He looked like a skeleton and spoke like a politician, but he talked with a really strong lisp. I couldn’t find an eerie way to say “he looked like a walking corpse and talked like a gay guy” because he was horrid and that was just funny. So I left that part out.

Any particular challenges you had while writing this?

Oh my yes. I went into this project as a terrible writer and had to fight for every word. A good book sweeps you along you know? You just get caught up and start reading and eventually you get so carried along that you start skipping words to find out what will happen next. I wanted my book to do that. I’d be very happy if it did.

And you’re a better writer now I take it?

[Laughing] Not a bit. If I succeeded at all it’s because I treat people as adults and don’t spell everything out for them, and if they don’t find that approach flattering, interesting, or overdue then I’m out of luck. If they’re anything like me they might also crave a good science fiction/fantasy book that doesn’t continually blaspheme God. I might gain their appreciation that way I suppose.

Any hidden surprises or things people wouldn’t pick up on?

Yeah, there’s a lot of humor I don’t think will come though. Take the premise for example: it’s essentially saying Wesylian Methodism is true, but since I’m a Baptist I think the idea of sinless perfectionism is silly. Or for example I thought it was funny that I have a big segment in my book about the dispensationalist end times, although the book as a whole is an argument for post-millennialism, although I myself am a staunch a-millennialist.
There’s some more basic ones that’s more likely to be picked up on, like how in the Scriptures Anak is the name of the race of giants, the Anakaim. Or how in the book the cities are named after the fruits of the Spirit. Stuff like that.

Where can we buy it? It’s $1.99 and should take you about 4-5 hours to read through to really enjoy it. 2-3 hours if you’re a speed reader or I did a really good job writing it.

Only one way to find out right? Go download the book and let us know your thoughts. 

Yes please do.

Alright that’s all the time we have, thanks for the interview Phil.

My pleasure.

Coming up next, more insults for the emergent churches, don’t go anywhere America.

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