Resonance Themes & Motivations

I have a new book coming out in March 2022 called Resonance. It’s a literary science fiction novel set in the same world as Hoshi. It’s about what lives on the edge of hope and fear and the transformative power of art.

The groundwork for this novel (and the one that follows it–indeed all the Liminal Universe world-building) began more than 20 years ago. The first appearance of the book’s central characters—the human Caran Watts and the alien Muse–is time-stamped 2002 in my exploratory writings. It’s not a stretch to say most of my motivation to hone my lit-craft has been to be able to tell this story.

The back-of-the-book text goes like so:

Outrageous and acclaimed, 26th-century musician Caran Watts depends on two secrets to stay alive: a dangerous drug that hides his illegal neurodivergence and an alien species whose vulnerable existence he has sworn to protect. But when he arrives in the Galilean system to tour his latest work, those secrets are hijacked by a powerful force to advance a genocidal plot. As fear infects Jupiter’s moons, Caran must choose whether to keep hiding or risk both his own life and the aliens in hope of a better future.

I created the Liminal Universe because I was interested in paradigm shifts and social change. What does it take to move large populations to more equitable behavior? What makes some individuals focal points of those shifts? And, what if the paradigms themselves–or the ideas that comprise them–were sentient and we could talk to them? Would they change if we asked them to? Or would they push back?

From these what-ifs, the living ideas that are the élan vitals–like Muse–and the Operator rights movement–fueled, in part, by Mx. Watts–tumbled out.

I also wrote this novel because I was interested in a science fiction story that centers art. It’s usually strategy, or science, or politics, or some clever scheme. I love all of that, but for those of us who might have been saved by a paintbrush or a song, art deserves some room.

And lastly, I wrote this story because all of us neurodivergent, queer, traumatized, beautiful, struggling and imperfect, perfectly perfect, marvelous and marginalized hero/ines deserve to see ourselves on the page. Not shiny and oversimplified, not as inspiration porn, not as objects of pity or sad stakes. But as the complex and real people we are, making the best choices we can and creating wonder in a world that doesn’t make it easy, or straight-forward, to survive.

I love this world, this story, and these characters, and I hope you do too.

Athletic male dancing, leaving trails of colors and shapes behind in his movement.

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