Jennifer A. Jilks – My Muskoka
It took me a bit to get into it, but it seemed to build and grow on me. The characters are intriguing as The Fahr, the ‘alien’ species in the story, aren’t like anything you’ve ever read about.
As I read, I kept thinking what an amazing imagination this author possesses! The more I read, the more I understood about his allegory for greedy profiteering, and those who exploit nature.
By happenstance, perhaps serendipity, we went to the pet store to buy some goldfish. I encountered some bobble eyed goldfish (see below). That was my AHA moment! Whilst we must abandon a modest amount of scientific belief, the author manages to create a new species, a plot, and a story that makes us care about the outcome. There was a great deal of personification in his aliens, which somehow fit, I suppose.
The setting is terrific, including the outer space situations, as it is located in places on Planet Song which I’ve heard of, and seen, at least on TV. British Columbia is an amazing setting. The Coquihalla, for example. His descriptive passages are wonderful.
Set in Canada, and having been to B.C. a number of times, I quite felt I cared about it location.”
“An advanced long-lived race of fish base their entire civilization and economy on music, particularly sounds made by living beings. Having found the ultimate song—humpback whales—they come to Earth to take some home, in a story obviously inspired by the fourth Star Trek movie. (With a small touch of Harlan Ellison’s original draft of City on the Edge of Forever, where sound could be addicting.)
This is written on a huge scale, taking place over hundreds of years and having around thirty points of view. The main character seems to be one of the very few females of the Fahr species, who manages to work her way into a position of power and then just as quickly loses it. There’s a lot of political wrangling, both within the alien ship and the humans who finally figure out there’s trouble out there. Telescope technology is a fun running theme.
Other Articles by T.K. Boomer
Guest Blog Post on Java John Z’s – “Thought Experiment”
The scientific method, in most instances, proves or disproves hypotheses by physical experimentation. Most scientific research proceeds in this way, but there have also been many instances where physical experimentation has not been available due to the nature of the problem. In these cases, thought experiments, experiments done not by physical means but rather by imaginative speculation and deduction, have led to significant discoveries. It is now the principal means of advancing theoretical physics. Albert Einstein’s thought experiments gave rise to his theory of relativity.
In literary endeavors, science fiction can be understood as thought experimentation though with different goals than those found in conventional science. What’s common to both endeavors is the speculation element. Albert Einstein, in his theory of relativity, speculated about what would happen to the passage of time as we approach the speed of light. Arthur C Clarke, in his novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, speculated about what might happen if we gave sapience to a computer. However, Albert Einstein was seeking to advance scientific knowledge whereas Arthur C Clarke was constructing a compelling narrative. One was doing science; the other telling a story…
Interviews with T.K. Boomer
Interview with Author T.K. Boomer – BookMarketingBuzz
What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?
I see science fiction as a form of thought experimentation, a way of speculating about the way certain alternate scientific realities might play out. Scenarios where humanity comes in contact with an extraterrestrial species have always interested me, but more than that, I’m in the way we would be perceived by such a species. Planet Song is written largely from the alien point of view. As a writer, I’m quite theme driven. This comes not from a conscious decision to write to a specific them but often, when I begin a story, I will find elements within it that suggest the exploration of a deeper idea. In Planet Song the Fahr have corporate entities that dominate their culture. For years I’ve been thinking about the way that business interests and behaviours shape our culture and our environment, for better and for worse. With the Fahr these business interests are feeding an addiction that is threatening to destroy their society. That addiction is to song. The Fahr react to song with a combination of sexual arousal and intoxication that leads to addiction…
Interview with Author T.K. Boomer – Hal J. Friesen
“HJF: Do you think libraries will become sentient in the future, and is that a good or bad thing?
TKB: They will but I don’t think sentient in the human sense of the word. The trick will be not to build in a survival instinct into our machines. We should not be trying to create a human-like mind in our machines for that reason. If we do then we’re asking to be out completed by them…