“Inspirations and Influences” is a series of articles in which we invite authors to write guest posts talking about their…well, Inspirations and Influences. The cool thing is that the writers are given free rein so they can go wild and write about anything they want. It can be about their new book, series or about their career as a whole.
Today, we are thrilled to welcome A. Lee Martinez to the blog to talk about his inspirations. Martinez writes humorous Fantasy/SciFi novels like Chasing the Moon and his newest Emperor Mollusk vs. The Sinister Brain, which Thea reviewed today.
Please give it up for A. Lee Martinez!
The universe used to be a heck of a lot more fun. There was a time when the world was hollow, when dinosaurs roamed in secret places, and humanity looked out into space and expected to run into green space babes or savage alien invaders. In those days, outer space was less a void between planets than a magical ocean of old, full of weird monsters and grand adventure. Then we took our first tentative steps into a grand cosmos and discovered that, if there are Klingons out there, they’re keeping their distance. Granted, we haven’t gotten very far. Still, we’ve all accepted (reluctantly, on my part) that Mars isn’t full of aliens and that the odds are slim that we’ll discover a lost civilization of Amazonian women on Venus.
We still have some hope. The universe is vast. There could be something out there, but if it is, it’s a long ways off. At the rate we’re going, you and I will probably be long dead before we discover that ancient intelligence boosting obelisk hidden on Pluto. I’m optimistic that one day, alien robots will invade. Well, as optimistic as one can be with the prospect of being destroyed by alien robots. And I’ve begun digging holes in hopes of discovering a race of mole people living in my backyard. I’ve made excellent progress, but there’s only so much a man can do with an old shovel and a rusty eggbeater.
The universe is indeed a wondrous place, full of mysteries and fantastic discoveries, but I’ll admit it still annoys me that we haven’t found one jungle island teeming with dinosaurs. This is why I wrote Emperor Mollusk versus the Sinister Brain. If the universe refuses to cooperate, I’ll just create a better universe. In Emperor’s universe, lost civilizations are a dime a dozen, and EVERY planet in our solar system is inhabited. There are mole people from the center of the Earth, lizard women from Venus, and stone men from Saturn. Alien armadas appear in the skies regularly. And Atlantis and Shangri-La are, if not popular tourist spots, at least relatively easy to find.
It’s not a realistic universe. It’s the product of a fevered imagination influenced by a thousand pulp tales and weird adventure stories. And that its hero (or is that villain?) is an eight pound invertebrate who is a scientific genius is actually one of the more believable aspects of it. But Emperor’s universe isn’t goofy. It’s a realm of absurd adventure, where ray guns, robots, and giant pet centipedes clash for the fates of worlds. Call it escapism, if you must. Call it silly. But deep down, in that place where we all used to dream of saucer men and blob monsters, we know it for what it really is.
The universe our inner kid would love to live in, even if it does mean a better-than-average chance we’d be eaten by mutant dinosaurs.
You can read more about the author on his website.