Taking Very Unethical Actions
Posted by Literary Titan
Animal Lab follows a group of rats that can suddenly think and act for themselves as they try to build a society in a world that no longer includes humans. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I’ve loved George Orwell’s Animal Farm since I read it as a teenager. It was such an easy read yet conveyed important concepts about society both intellectually and emotionally. I’m concerned about the directions our society is going and always thought back to the warnings of Animal Farm, but these days the issues are somewhat different. I’d been thinking about writing an updated version for a few years, but wasn’t sure I could pull it off. During the COVID pandemic, I had more time to think, so I started outlining a book, then filling in the details, and found myself falling in love with it. I don’t know if I can make a difference in the way that Orwell did, but I figured I needed to try.
As the rats grow in intelligence and start building their society, there are some major shifts in their personalities. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
I believe that with a few exceptions, most leaders and influential people believe that what they do is for the common good. Or at least they rationalize it that way. It’s too easy in a novel to have an obvious good guy and obvious bad guy. It’s more interesting to see how people evolve and how good people can come to believe that they must achieve their goals by any means necessary, which can include taking very unethical actions.
I wanted all the animals to start out sympathetic. When a baby is born, without any preconceived notions, it is innocent and lovable. In the same way, the animals in the lab were born on a single day and started out innocent. I wanted the reader to see their growth and the decisions they made. This also acts as a warning that good people can do bad things, so we must judge people by their actions, not by their talk and certainly not by their charm.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
As in my previous novel Good Intentions, I want to show that bad results can come from good people who think they are doing good things. I want to provoke the majority of Americans—moderates of all political, social, and religious beliefs—to not blindly follow extremist leaders and extremist ideologies simply because they appear “fair” and “just.” I want people to recognize that “wokeness” suppresses free speech, that “social justice” attempts to right wrongs by forcing other wrongs, “equity” tries to counter prejudices with different prejudices, and that “even-handedness” is often a way to elevate bad ideologies while demoting good ones. These simplistic concepts are easy to endorse because they don’t require discriminating thought. Doing the right thing actually is hard work, but is absolutely necessary for society to survive and be righteous.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m working on a nonfiction book about creating and running a successful business. I’ve started about a dozen businesses, several of which have been very successful. I’ve learned some important lessons and want to share them with others.
About Literary TitanThe Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.
Posted on January 15, 2022, in Interviews and tagged Animal Lab, author, Bob Zeidman, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, political fiction, read, reader, reading, satire, story, writer, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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