Interview with Author Tui Allen

tui4visfic

Eleni Papanou interviews Tui Allen

Hi Tui. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview. I have to say, Ripple: A Dolphin Love Story deserves five stars for its originality alone. You’ve truly done something visionary here, and I can see you put your heart and soul into the story. It was a pleasure to read and a pleasure to conduct this interview with you. Before we start, why don’t you tell us the meaning of your name.

I’m a New-Zealander. The tui is a bird, native to my country. It’s slightly larger than a blackbird and appears black from a distance, but the plumage is overlaid with a shimmer of iridescent blues, purples and greens. It has a white tuft at the throat and a tracery of white across the shoulders. They have a beautiful song.
Here’s a picture.

What inspired you to write this story? 

It was during my youthful ocean sailing voyages that I found much inspiration that later became the story of Ripple. But it really started even earlier, when as a teenager I discovered the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I memorized The Ancient Mariner and would recite it silently when alone on watch at night sailing across the Pacific. Coleridge and Richard Bach are my greatest literary influences. Although my plot is completely different, Ripple shares three things with AM.

  • The ocean setting
  • The presence of the spirit world
  • A message of respect for the living things of the sea

The non-human point of view is something Ripple … Continue reading

Novel Excerpt – Ripple: A Dolphin Love Story

ripplecoverStars were appearing when Zenith saw Cosmo approaching. He listened carefully as Cosmo described the events of the afternoon.

‘What will you do now?’  Zenith asked.

‘I’m leaving,’ Cosmo said, ‘I’m not yet sure where to, but you’ve told me of the northern astronomers. I’ll swim their way until I decide.’

‘Do you want me to come?’

‘I need solitude for this journey.’

‘You may meet danger, Cosmo.’

‘I am danger.’

‘Avoid waste. You have much to offer any school.’

Oh for the skills of Alcyone now, thought Zenith. But Alcyone was dead. Zenith observed Cosmo’s departure and saw that he did indeed head north.

Many of the Southern School tried to contact Cosmo in the days afterwards, but failed.

We (deities of the Hereafter) observed Zenith taking steps to ease what he feared could be a hostile reception for Cosmo – should he ever win through to the School of the Astronomers five or six days hard swimming away. Meanwhile we followed Cosmo on his lonely passage.

Cosmo swam towards the Astronomers with only the vaguest intention of arriving.  He could think of no reason to travel in any other direction, and only the north held something that had once been of interest to him. He swam fast, causing the acids to collect in his flesh until his muscles burned. Icy squalls lashed the ocean through the first night of his journey. He watched the stars that gleamed between flying clouds and recited their names as he raced onwards. He ignored hunger all the next day, and … Continue reading

Novel Excerpt – Unison – by Eleni Papanou

RESONANCE

 

First Incarnation

 

Time is relevant to sound. An infinite voice sings life into this universe, and I’m but one note resonating within this expanse of boundless potential. While that’s an easy abstraction to grasp, my own potential remains elusive. After eight parallel lifetimes I’ve been adrift somewhere between struggle and mastery, both of which I now see as an illusion.

I first realized there was something unusual about me in my ninth year, shortly after winning the lottery to go on a camping expedition. My friend Wade and I had taken climbing classes to prepare for our hike up Emerald Mountain. Because of our age, we were restricted to the beginner wall which soon ceased to challenge us. When Headmaster refused to move us to the next level, we waited until the athletic center had closed for the night, then snuck inside to climb the advanced wall. The ropes and harnesses were locked away, and we ascended without them. Finding it difficult to handle grips positioned for longer limbs, I fell during my descent. After Wade yelled out my name, the outside world disappeared.

My awareness returned in the hospital, but my body remained unresponsive. I screamed and cried out in silence when I heard a doctor tell an Overmaiden I was in a coma and wouldn’t last beyond the week. Seven days later my condition remained unchanged. To alleviate my increasing restlessness, I imagined myself exploring the deathlands. They had fascinated me ever since I learned about them at school, but the poison left over from the Great Cataclysm meant I could never visit them. The Earth I created had no limitations. There were no fumes to contaminate my lungs and no scourge to keep me from venturing too … Continue reading

Interview: John A.A. Logan

Michelle Gordon interviews John A.A. Logan

John A.A. LoganDo you believe that we are all, every one of us, connected on an energetic level? Why?

I suppose my instinct tells me that this is true. Twenty-four years practice and study of meditation and yoga also predispose me to see the world from that viewpoint. I was brought up on a farm, where the energy of animals and natural surroundings, forests, fields, insects, snow, sun, may have left me with a sense of the inter-connectedness of things. There were people of all ages on this Highland Scottish farm, from very young children to a very elderly First World War veteran, and again, everything and everyone seemed connected. This kind of life seemed to prepare me later for the Taoist or Yogic ways of perceiving the individual in a matrix of life. I was also very influenced as a teenager by a much older friend who eventually went off to live permanently in Scotland’s only Buddhist Temple. I would walk and talk with him for hours, regularly, over a period of several years, it was like a free education. But my own instinct was telling me that we are all interconnected spirit, from one source, and destined to return to that source, even before I was fortunate enough to have a friend who could help me articulate this.

Have you ever had a spiritual experience, involving synchronicity, angels or spirit etc?

On the farm as a child I often experienced nature as a numinous, and luminous, thing. Lights and colours of trees and plants, even the sound of wind, could be both … Continue reading

Guest Post: Setting the Stage: Visionary & Metaphysical Fiction

Karen M. Rider

Genres

Setting the Literary Stage for Visionary & Metaphysical Fiction

Rapid-fire change is ongoing in the publishing industry—and it’s not just in the way books are produced, marketed and distributed. Perhaps like no other period in literary history, writers are experimenting with voice, style and format. Such literary exploration arises from both a writer’s creative urge and in response to market trends. This has led to the emergence of new genres and a shift in the way books are marketed and categorized. On physical and digital bookstore shelves,  we find books grouped as  “alternate historical fiction”, “slipstream” and “paranormal romance.” These categories may arise from official sources (e.g., the Library of Congress), publishers and sometimes from authors and readers. Rarely is there agreement and many books can be placed in more than one category. For example, novelist Alice Hoffman’s book The Story Sisters has Library of Congress designations as Fiction/Psychological fiction/Loss/Mothers & Daughters. The same book has been described as a literary magical realism (for which Hoffman is most widely known) and mystical fiction. (It even popped up under fantasy on my Goodreads profile—and this book is definitely not Fantasy.) M.J. Rose’s series of novels dealing with the quest for tools that can reveal past life memories (The Reincarnationist, The Book of Lost Fragrances) are categorized as suspense right on the cover. On Amazon, these books were once listed under both suspense and occult; now you can find them under metaphysical.

Within a major genre, the waters in which we swim get even murkier. The sub-genres of the speculative fiction market … Continue reading

Reflections of 2012

Thanks for supporting the VFA!  We look forward to another year of posts, book reviews and insights from visionary authors.

Here are some of our highlights from 2012:

The article that started it all – read how the VFA began.

Relevance Of Visionary Fiction Series

Visionary Fiction Challenges Our Species to Evolve – Michael Sussman

Relevance of Visionary Fiction in Today’s World – Sandy Nathan

Visionary Fiction: Its Relevance in Today’s World – Jodine Turner

Visionary: Fiction of the Future – Saleena Karim

Visionary Fiction – Light Carrier Of This Dark Age – Eleni Papanou

Relevance Of Visionary Fiction – Margaret Duarte

Special Guest Post

Story vs Message: Striking the Balance –  Randy Davila

Margaret Duarte’s surprise response from Dean Koontz regarding a post she wrote about him.

2013

From the Visionary Fiction Alliance

0

Novel Excerpt – Crashing Eden by Michael Sussman

The discussion was cut short when Jason Bard, quarterback of the Prescott Academy Panthers, descended the stairs covered in blood. He was the first of what was to be a series of bungee-jumping casualties and had sustained a deep gash on the side of his neck. Turned out, he was directed to me by a student who’d been sledding at Danahy Park on the day I mended Callie’s broken ankle.

I suggested taking Jason to the ER, but everyone was curious to see whether the rumor about my having healed Alessa’s burns was true, and I eventually gave in to peer pressure. It was a messy procedure, but—with the help of the OM—I managed to close Jason’s wound. When the bleeding stopped, the mob of kids around us erupted into wild cheers and whistling. That didn’t surprise me, but what happened next did.

Someone suggested that I attempt to heal Tasha Gomes, and soon the whole room was chanting, “Heal Tasha! Heal Tasha!”

Although somewhat uncomfortable with all this attention, I was happy to be of service. But Tasha Gomes didn’t just have a neck wound. She’d been blind since the age of three!

“Listen guys,” I said, “broken bones and bruises are one thing, but I can’t restore sight.”

The partiers would have none of it. As they continued chanting, “Heal Tasha!

Heal Tasha!” the crowd parted just enough to allow Tasha Gomes to approach me, proceeded by her guide dog, a German Shepherd named Fred.

Tasha was an auburn-haired beauty who wore aviator sunglasses. Her blindness followed a bad case of the measles, which she’d contracted because her parents didn’t believe in vaccinations. Despite her handicap, she was active in school affairs and never missed the honor roll. I’d known her since kindergarten and had always admired her strength and determination.

“I’m sorry, Tasha,” I told her, … Continue reading

Novel Excerpt – Systems by Saleena Karim

CHAPTER FOUR

Catharsis

Perched at the top of the scaffolding with his legs crossed, he focused his thoughts on emptiness. This was the only way he could distance himself from the droning energy of the people.

His eyes were closed, and his body perfectly at rest. His pale blue T-shirt and black jeans dripped constantly as the rain pelted down. Yet he was oblivious to the cold and the wet. His mind simply sought the peace.

Most would find it difficult to believe that a man of such quiet composure could at the next moment be possessed with wild, irrepressible energy. However it was as natural to him as the weather. The red ribbon that he wore permanently round his head symbolised that he was different. His self-appointed title, the Peace Man, was a testament to his mission. No one knew it but him.

Doctor Hargreaves believed that his patient’s sociophobia was just a part of his illness, but the Peace Man knew better. He felt utter contempt for the state of the human race. He’d been free for just three days, but in the world of the so-called sane he’d found only what he’d known all along. Hell was earth. The people had vacuous minds, empty souls. They weren’t even alive. They merely existed from the cradle to the coffin. They were not human beings, but androids tagged with serial numbers, whose sole purpose was to work and make never-ending payments for the things they would never own. And in all their mindless running around, they had no time to stop and think; certainly not before their bodies wore out and forced them into the death before death. The have-nots of the modern world were not the unemployed; they were the unenlightened. They knew nothing of their … Continue reading