Rijel 12 author, King Everett Medlin, wants to go to the moon.
We sat down with Rijel 12 author, King Everett Medlin, to talk books, movies, technology, and food.
CP: Hi, King. Thanks for making time to chat. We’ll start with an easy one. Give us your top five favorite books.
KEM: My favorite books have usually been spy or suspense novels but I also enjoy historical fiction. I loved reading novels by Robert Ludlum and Frederick Forsyth growing up. When I got older I preferred books like Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse as well as Narcissus and Goldmund. Hesse's writings taught me to create a flawed hero that you can't help growing to like despite his or her imperfections. Ludlum novels such as Parsifal Mosaic got me interested in weaving stories with intricate details that pique the imagination. I also remember reading Raise the Titanic! by Clive Cussler, then Inca Gold as a teenager. These books inspired me to devise bizarre challenges which require a story's main characters to exercise deduction and problem-solving in order to survive or prevent catastrophe.
CP: That sheds some light on one of your main characters from Rijel 12, Archibald Hicks. You put him in a number of difficult situations that he has to think his way out of. Follow on question. Give us your top 5 favorite sci-fi movies.
KEM: Interstellar because it evolved from a partnership between a real-life physicist and a screen writer who created the script using that scientist's input. The Fifth Element because of the juicy dialogs and the actors they hired (Gary Oldman, Bruce Willis, Ian Holm) for key roles - also because the creator started writing it when he was only sixteen years old. Logan's Run because it has a very simple plot with an easy-to-digest premise - portrayed before an amazing backdrop of domed cities, beautiful young people, yet a sinister 'backstory' which is slowly revealed during the course of the film. Total Recall because it's an action film blended with a relatively plausible 'alien intelligence' scenario. Children of Men because it indicates how fragile our species' existence really is and how an imbalance could cause panic among the populace; insurrection soon to follow. Rollerball because of the way a domineering society seeks to dehumanize the individual for the benefit of the world's elite.
CP: We love Interstellar and The Fifth Element. Those would be in our top 5 too. Interestingly, like the books, you can see some of the themes you mention play out in Rijel 12; especially Rollerball. Let’s see if we can keep this going. What’s your favorite food?
CP: Well there went our streak. I don’t recall anything about Cheez-its or any other cheesy snack in Rijel 12. Changing gears a bit, what is your favorite thing to do in your down time?
KEM: Hiking. I live in Colorado so there are lots of opportunities and most are only a short drive from my home. Increase in elevation mixed with physical exertion causes an exhilaration that's hard to describe. It arcs as my lungs adapt to the strain. Following that is the long, drawn-out ordeal of reaching the day's objective. Step after step it becomes rhythmic and mundane, yet my mind clears itself of distractions and I begin to envision the latest scene or chapter I'm working on. Returning to the trailhead hours later I've got loads of usable material.
CP: Hiking is fun, but we’d rather be at the beach. So, are you binge watching anything right now?
KEM: My wife Caroline and I followed The 100 through the first three seasons before moving on. Now we're watching The Umbrella Academy with my stepson Aaron. He's the one who came up with the premise for episode three in the Rijel 12 series. It's going to be called Deathwalker Colony and will be finished by November when Episode Two: Return of Anarchy comes out. By the way, The Umbrella Academy was his idea for us to binge-watch.
CP: Nice plug for the next books in the series. You have any travel plans coming up?
KEM: Caroline and I will be traveling to Los Angeles Thanksgiving weekend for Loscon 46. Sci-Fi conventions in other cities have become our newest vacay-craze. Discussing my stories with fans and what direction I'm taking the Rijel 12 series is a joy. It's also quite useful in expanding my concept of what I can accomplish with future story lines.
CP: We’ll be there with you in LA. Let’s look to the future a bit. What piece of sci-fi tech do you wish we had right now?
KEM: Food replicators and solar-powered vehicles. Food replication systems would function much like microwave ovens do today. I saw this concept years ago in the movie Fifth Element, but the idea I came up with is to dehydrate/compact components of popular dishes into cubes which could be purchased in small packages and placed in a device which turns them into complete meals within seconds. In Twin Paradox, a book I wrote under a pen name, a totalitarian government manages every aspect of society, thus nutritional content is controlled and regulated. I envisioned a modern society with healthier people as a result of carefully controlling food distribution and calorie intake while reducing waste. I also depicted solar powered vehicles which utilize synthetic material that mimics the properties of the naturally occurring mineral perovskite. I work for a tech company in Golden, Colorado and our neighbor NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) is developing them to where they can be painted onto an automobile and provide photovoltaic energy in order to power it. Fossil fuels will be depleted within decades. At current rates of production, oil will run out in 53 years, natural gas in 54, and coal in 110.
CP: Speaking of going places, clearly we’re going to colonize the moon at some point. Would you rather be an early colonist, later arrival, or not go at all?
KEM: Later arrival. Early days of colonization are phenomenally dangerous when considering our world's history. The information one receives regarding living conditions, opportunities for financial success (not to mention physical safety) is by and large theoretical if not exaggerated in order to lure potential prospects. Discovery of ice at the lunar poles since 2008 has sparked interest in colonizing our nearest neighbor. Also, the existence of constant sunlight means an infinite source of solar energy. Unfortunately this could lead to the threat of radiation poisoning, thus the creation of a Moon village would necessitate lunar domes to house colonists who'd be at the mercy of new technologies which may or may not function properly (such as algae-based air purifiers). Even if these domes protect from excessive radiation one would still have to deal with micrometeoroids striking the surface and occasionally hitting man-made structures.
CP: You make some good points. Ok, being a writer seems like the ideal job to many. What are some of the upsides and downsides of author life?
That's the best question yet! At times I feel like an outsider, a ghostly phantom invisible to the eye, always observing human interaction and world events, ready to comment on and describe, yet not really part of the society around me. It can be intoxicating; then again it can make it difficult to relate to people. I like it even though it's not always comfortable being the weird guy in the corner booth of some all-night diner typing away when the waitress comes over to ask what I'm working on. It's become my life; something I have to accommodate, because dialogs are everywhere to be found. Not from television and movies scripts, no, but from real people conversing with each other in otherwise 'normal' circumstances.
CP: Why should a reader buy Rijel 12?
KEM: I bury plots inside of other plots which may or may not later reveal themselves as the one central to the story line. A conflict might seemingly resolve itself (or be resolved) only to reemerge later as a serious threat to the story's main characters. By then you've grown attached and wish for them to succeed. Also, at every possible opportunity I'm providing social and political commentary within my narratives and dialogs. When I want it to be obvious it's easy to pick up on. Sometimes it's not so easy to detect. Might be expressed as sarcasm; might be a serious indictment of human nature, the dark realities of capitalism, the inherent flaws of democracy, the commercialization of journalism, the minimization of the individual in an industrial society, or the manipulation of personal will via political or military indoctrination. Even if you don't connect with or find these observations relatable, the science in my science fiction is completely accurate, painstakingly researched, and accurately applied using the latest theories. If scientific principles are not compatible with a proposed scenario it won't be included. I'd rather re-write the scene to get my facts straight before proceeding.
CP: Thanks for your time today, King. How can folks find you on the interwebs and IRL?
KEM: You can grab my book here: https://www.amazon.com/Rijel-12-Australia-action-packed-rebellion/dp/1949964043
And follow me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/KingEverettMedlinAuthor/?modal=admin_todo_tour
Finally, I'll be at Loscon 46 on Sunday December 1st. Find me at the Chandra Publishing booth any time between 10am and 4pm. Come by and say “hi!”