samuel x. brase likes to write

A Paradox of Realities

Posted in novel planning by Sam X. on 14 April 2009

“You can’t deny the other person’s reality.”

Another caterwauling presentation from a social eccentric, who brought to the table a number of ideas that didn’t really affect me (I’m not too interested in the relationship between a standup comedian and his audience), and a number of ideas that I found pretty interesting.

Unfortunately for the purpose of my experiment, a lot of what Emily Levine has to say doesn’t feel completely relevant to me as a writer, especially a writer who aspires to writing a space epic. Yet I feel like it should be relevant. She spends time discussing how we understand reality, and that so much of 20th century thought was centered on the Ayn Rand philosophy of objectivism, that I, speaking as the subject, discover reality around myself.

The unfortunate thing about Levine’s talk is that she spends so much time making connections between different topics that much, much is left unsaid. Fine, it’s only a twenty minute talk, but there is a lot of basic modern philosophy tossed around and left by the side of the road. The only thing I came away with was the rather basic quote: “You have paradox — you allow more than one reality to exist.” This ties pretty directly into the quote I led with. Because you can’t deny the other person’s reality, you have paradox. You have your reality, and this other person’s reality. Paradox.

Society is thus paradox, the meeting of personal realities in any number of ways.

I find that delightful. Certainly something I want to explore in my novel. Reality is a very… malleable belief, the same as truth. A common theme to be sure, but one that I think is still very relevant, and could be compelling if I attack it in a way that is fresh and unique. As with most good popular art, I will appropriate various themes and tropes until the mixture of them becomes something new.

I don’t want to just allow the audience to question their sense of reality as “the” reality. I want to smash it all into dust. But the possibility of doing that seems unlikely. I’m not giving up, it will simply require a great deal of thought.

The goal of my novel project, the Doveiron saga, was always very basic: to create a breakthrough sci-fi work of art the likes of which had never been seen. This desire is a combination of ego and hunger, but at some point I had to stop denying these two things. The longer you ignore your ego, the longer you silence your hunger, the more likely you are to never attempt your shot at greatness. There is an excellent chance that my novel will never be realized, or if it is, that it will never become popular. But I’d rather try and fail than give up on my dream this early in life.

So my desire to transcend science fiction burns bright. My desire to write burns bright. I won’t be satisfied until I’m 75 years old, I’ve written godless amounts of text, and no one has really bought any of it. If that point comes, I’ll be satisfied. I tried, people weren’t having it, so be it.

So be it.


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