The Institute is all Adan knows. And the scientists who run it don’t seem to know or even care who he might have been before he came there. But the strange technology they’ve fused inside of him and his missing memories are only the beginning as he finds himself swept up into a conflict between the researchers and the last remnants of humanity untouched by their experiments.
Part mystical science fiction, part dystopian thriller, Into the Vast is the high-tech exploration of humanity at the pinnacle of innovation and achievement, a time when science has made virtually anything possible. But in getting there, something has been lost along the way. And perhaps the only person who knows what that is, is the one who doesn’t know anything at all.
Targeted Age Group:
Teen through adult
How is Writing In Your Genre Different from Others?
I’m not actually a huge fan of the concept of “genres”. I know they have their place but they seem to be more a convention for publishers than writers. I know science fiction and fantasy are the convenient, broad terms for the kinds of things I write, but if I had to classify or describe my work, I’d call it the genre of the imagination or maybe “imagination fiction”. For me this would include everything from fairy tales (the real kind like George MacDonald’s Light Princess or Phantasies) to super-hero stories to tales from the far future.
The key element is to take the reader out of this present world where we have all of these preconceived ideas about how things work and to take him or her into another world, a place where they are able to discover reality afresh, from the inside out, so to speak. It is often only in stories like these where we can really see courage, hope, and forgiveness clearly, isolated and undistracted by all of the routine and monotony of our daily experience.
Stories of this sort do not take us away from reality, but take us into that very real reality of the soul and the imagination which we so often neglect. In this way, they actually enhance reality, giving us experiences we might not otherwise have and showing us truths we may have forgotten or have never even seen before.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Keep writing. If you hit a rough patch, just keep writing. It’s an odd fact that writing can actually inspire you to write. You don’t need to wait for inspiration to come first. And if you don’t get it right the first time (few of us do, I think) you can always come back and fix it. Just keep forging ahead. Keep writing.
DJ’s writing career almost began in the 5th grade after he discovered and fell in love with Choose Your Own Adventure books. He promptly set out to co-author one with his best friend, but fifty pages into the effort, the potential masterpiece suffered a fatal setback when Bantam Books released Adventure #13, The Abominable Snowman, the very same story he was working on.
Undaunted, DJ went on to write for several years in the High School newspaper, churning out off-beat commentaries on life in the vein of Andy Rooney. Later, while pursuing his undergraduate English degree, he dabbled in poetry and essay writing when not studying classic literature.
It wasn’t until many years later, however, when he began attending a literature club fashioned after C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien’s group, the Inklings, that he began to consider writing novels. The group reignited his passion for story and, along with another member, he formed an informal writing group where he began to write in earnest.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I had been thinking for several years about some of the tendencies and directions I see the world going in. I wanted to spin them out far far into the future and ponder what might happen and what the world might look like if we continued on that path. I’m sure you have heard the old addage ‘be careful what you wish for’. Well, if you read the novel, I think you might see how that applies. There is something fundamentally broken within all of us though we don’t like to admit it. As Solzenitsyn said, “the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts.” And because of this, what often seems good is really just evil with makeup on and we don’t realize it often until it’s too late, which is tragic.
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