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From Human Perseverance

Glenn Searfoss
Glenn Searfoss Author Interview

Babouc’s Vision is a riveting dystopian science fiction novel with thought-provoking commentary on society. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

The works of Voltaire (The World as it is) and Dante (The Divine Comedy) inspired this book. As well, many events in the work reflect newspaper reports of criminal, social, environmental, and scientific events happening around the world. The bleak nature of these accounts explains the book’s overall dystopian feel, while the hope buried in the stories is gleaned from human perseverance.

Your characters are intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I like characters and their interactions between each other, and with their environment to feel as real as possible. In this regard, the sweep of characters in the book allowed me to pull on my experiences and those of people I know who were/are in similar situations.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The multiple themes in this book intertwine into a snarled ball, so it is difficult to extract one without impinging the rest.

  • On a personal emotive level, they range from suppressed but inextinguishable hope, to the grief of personal loss, and a dogged perseverance against impossible odds.
  • On a societal scale they explore the question of intentions versus outcomes and the moral implications of both.
  • And from a practical perspective they examine the inevitable impact of a throw-away society on persons and the environment. Too, there is the realistic impact of advances in technology, especially in genetics as it relates to the everyday business world. (It was a concern expressed by medical professionals that I interviewed.) 

What scene in this book did you have the most fun writing?

It was the running dialog between Edna and Marta in ‘Voyeurs on 3rd and Pelmont’. It captured a lifelong friendship and the impact of fear-based isolation among older people.

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The year is 2041 – and the gods are angry. While Carissa scours the city garbage for food and pretty things to show her grandfather, Tom and April strive to prove themselves genetically suitable to conceive a child. Luis fights to protect his unborn son from the gangs. Nora sits alone in her dark apartment, old, tired, and waiting to die. And Izzy, how did he end up on the street? In the backroom of his appliance repair shop, Harl Babouc putters at his workbench unaware the Gods have chosen him to appraise the people of CynCity. Harl’s world turns upside-down as his mind explodes with the everyday lives of strangers. Struggling to remain sane, he must somehow prove the city’s population deserves to survive.

Babouc’s Vision

Babouc's Vision by [Glenn Searfoss]

Somewhere, Dado is regaling his grandchildren with stories of “the good ol’ days” while they hunt for dinner. Izzy is hoping to make it in the big city. Roving gangs fight for supremacy in public spectacles. And April and Tom just hope their genetics are clean enough to gain approval to have a baby. Amid all of this chaos, is Harl Babouc, an introverted tinkerer who has been reluctantly tasked with the decision of whether they, and all other inhabitants of the city, live or die. As he travels around a city he rarely sees, he learns plenty about the true depths of humanity.

In “Babouc’s Vision”, author Glenn Searfoss paints a vivid picture of a city that seems completely devoid of any redeeming qualities, but just below the surface lies the occasional glimpse of hope and compassion. After his introduction, Babouc becomes an invisible presence, nothing more than a specter there to observe, learning about the city’s citizens in real time with us. Through their stories we come to understand how society reached the point of being over regulated to the extreme and the ways they have learned to cope and adapt to the increasing pressures. Searfoss’s prose is amazingly descriptive, laying bare the good, the bad, and the overwhelmingly ugly that comes with both the environment and its people. Even the most insignificant characters come to life in spectacular ways under the spell cast by his words and it keeps the book from ever seeming stale or slow. Even as the chapters rotate from one story to the next in occasionally unconnected ways, the pull of needing to know what comes next remains constant. 

While “Babouc’s Vision” doesn’t immediately seem like a book that would be deeply thought provoking, the ending gives plenty to think about in regards to humanity, diversity, and redemption. It makes the book worthy of a second reading in order to catch all the nuance that’s easily overlooked the first time through. The characters are all human beings, even when it seems like every ounce of it has been drained away. Babouc realizes that those qualities still exist within them, which means those qualities could still be expressed. The book also explores the question of intentions versus outcomes and the moral implications of both. It definitely provides more than meets the eye.

“Babouc’s Vision” was thoroughly enjoyable and difficult to put down, which is always a winning combination. Even the more despicable characters were engaging enough that you cared what happened to them and the ones who were more sympathetic had you actively cheering for their success. “Babouc’s Vision” is an intellectually stimulating science fiction story.

Pages: 248 | ISBN: 1587210118

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Norse Mythology

Glenn Searfoss Author Interview

Glenn Searfoss Author Interview

Cycles of Norse Mythology does a fantastic job of reinvigorating old mythology and breathing new life into their stories. What was the inspiration that made you want to write this book?

I grew up knowing of Odin, Loki, and Thor long before reading comic books. But when I decided to learn more about the Norse gods and goddesses, I became dissatisfied. All the summary sources (e.g. Bullfinches’ Mythology) were about a handful of male gods; they provided little if any information about the goddesses and the animals that populated the world of Norse Mythology. Talking with other people, I found the same limited information.

So, I began researching the topic, more for my own understanding than anything else. Sharing what I knew with others inevitably resulted in requests for more background and tales from earlier in the mythology. So, I had to do more research and to write more stories. Ultimately, this work expanded to encompass the entire breadth of Norse Mythology.

I thought the research was deep delivered easily. What kind of research did you undertake for this book?

Cycles of Norse Mythology is the culmination of 16 years intensive study of Norse myths that involved consuming research literature, multiple translations of works (from 900 – 1400 AD), and story compilations published since the late 1700’s to the present.

I hunted public and university libraries for references. I sought out period references, such as Tacitus’ The Agricola and the Germainia and Ibn Fadlan’s Journey to Russia. I searched new, used, and rare bookstores for any reference. I dug into cited references and searched for those. I still encounter new references (i.e. works from 875 to 1400s), and I hope there are translations.

Always seeking something cleaner, with less bias, I found the following website provided me with an international access to reference source materials: http://www.archive.org/index.php

The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, they provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the public.

Was there anything that surprised you during your research regarding Norse mythology?

I had several great surprises in store:

  1. There was more depth and more humanity in the traditional characters of the Norse Gods than the superficial figures found in many pieces of modern literature and in film. For example, a modern viewpoint has Thor’s hammer as a symbol of storm and war. Whereas, in the traditional myths his hammer was actually a symbol of consecration and protection.
  2. The foundation of our knowledge on Norse Myth is based on fragments of what once was a full oral tradition. And the accuracy of those fragments is subject to question.
  3. The primary source of our knowledge regarding Norse Myth are the Codex Regius (1270s) and the Codex Wormianus (mid-1400s), of which editions of the Poetic Edda (~985 -1000AD) and the Prose Edda (~1220 AD) are a part. These were written down in Iceland, which wholesale converted to Christianity in 900AD to avoid the bloody religious conversions that had wracked Norway and Sweden. Since the writings were filtered through the lens of several generations raised under Christianity, and it appears only those tales and the portions of those tales which did not conflict too much with Church doctrine were kept, they are likely subject to differences in tone, focus, character presentation, and bias that are different than the traditional unfiltered belief.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m currently finishing up a fiction novel that pays homage to three great Victorian characters of literary fiction: Sherlock Holmes, Dr. James Watson, and M_______―the time traveler of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. It is set firmly in the Victorian era, with all the social attitudes and prejudices of that time. I am hoping it will be out next spring.

A new work under development involves the Sigurd Myth, but it is too early to provide a timeframe.

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These stories are old, old as the Behmer Wold and seldom in life has there been such a brewing…

Cycles of Norse Mythology captures the passion, cruelty, and heroism of an ancient world. Encompassing Odin’s relentless pursuit of wisdom across the nine worlds, Gullveig’s malicious death at the hands of the Æsir that sparks a brutal war with the Vanir, Thor’s battles against the giants of Jotunheim, the tragedy of Volund, the many devious machinations of Loki, and the inescapable events of Ragnarök, this lyrical re-imagining of the Norse myths presents the gripping adventures of the Norse gods and their foes in a style to delight modern readers of all ages.

A detailed glossary provides a quick reference to the meaning behind names and terms used in the book.

A Source Reference is included for persons who want to delve deeper into the study of Norse mythology.

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Cycles of Norse Mythology

Cycles of Norse Mythology by [Searfoss, Glenn]

There are many stories about the Norse realm. Only a few are common and easily accessible. Glenn Searfoss gives readers access to more than just the common ones. The reader gets more dimensions with regards to the characters in the fictional universe. This book is a rewrite of the stories on Norse mythology with a fresh voice and packed with exciting tid bits. The book offers a revamped look at all the suffering, victories and battles of the characters in Norse mythology accompanied by a glossary for a better reading experience.

This may be a rewritten version but it sure does not feel like one. The author has such a talent with words and phrases. The stories read like a symphony. With a captivating melody that makes the reader inch closer with every sentence they consume. It leaves the reader feeling like they are floating through a universe with endless possibilities with all their favorite heroes and characters. The author packs all the action and adventure possible into this book with ease.

One thing that the reader will note from the very beginning is the depth of research that has gone into this book. It is uncanny how one person can have such a mastery of the Norse universe, characters and everything in between. It is a sign of obvious passion and curiosity about the subject matter. The author’s understanding is the basis for their unique and original voice. This is actually quite infectious. For a person who is not a fan of mythologies, these stories will sure make them into definite enthusiasts.

If you have encountered characters like Thor and Odin, this book will make you fall even deeper in love with these characters and many more just like them. The author has carefully sculpted each character to have a unique element while also maintaining their original and beloved qualities. To take characters that have already been established and to give them a fresh coat of personality but still managing to keep their usual façade takes pure brilliance.

The voice of the author that comes through their retelling is provocative and fulfilling. The stories themselves are evocative and exciting. The imagery is borne of sheer talent and brave application of language. Any lover of mythology, regardless of age, and related fictional works will surely enjoy Cycles of Norse Mythology.

Pages: 838 | ASIN: B07QKL9CRK

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