It has been nearly three years since I began writing the The Third Thaw. As ridiculous as this may sound, I wrote the first draft on the commuter train to-and-from work using a Bluetooth enabled keyboard connected to my Samsung cell phone (I've since progressed to using a laptop). This was the first creative writing I had done since high school, when writing was pure torture using a typewriter and White-Out. I've re-discovered that writing fiction is actually fun!
I am a newbie to the writing world, and I am currently learning about book marketing. The Internet has created amazing opportunites for new writers like myself. The only down side is, there seem to be millions of writers out there selling books, like schools of little fish, gobbling every plankton in the ocean. It would seem that a good book will grow in popularity if there are enough readers required to generate "reader fission" - however there needs to be a certain minimum "critical mass" of readers!
As an engineer, I've always been interested in scientific subjects, but I also enjoy reading fiction, too. My favorite writers are Michael Crichton, Lee Childs, Nelson DeMille - authors who write stories with plenty of action. On the deeper end of the literary spectrum, Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie is perhaps my favorite book. It is ironic that I have written a book categorized as science fiction, but I typically don't read scify, unless it is hard scify. A good example of "hard scify" is Jurassic Park, which is one of my favorite books. I have been particularly inspired by several science fiction movies, such as the original Time Machine and Logan's Run. And, of course, Star Trek, the original series.
The premise of The Third Thaw is based on an idea for interstellar space travel, seemingly within the grasp of present technology. This idea, which I believe I was the first to mention in a 2010 blog, seems to be gradually growing credibility in scientific circles. With all the advancements we are seeing in artificial intelligence, it almost seems "doable".
However, The Third Thaw is much more than just an idea about interstellar space travel. It is an exploration - a social experiment - of what it would take to re-create civilization. There will be implications sustaining civilization on a new planet. The story describes the various basic technological needs of this new community. As the characters attempt to recreate civilization, they discover their limitations on this planet..
The Third Thaw is also about the evolving relationship between humans and machines; in particular, the relationship of humans to artificial intelligence. This subject is similar to the theme of the fantastic 2013 movie, "Her", about a man who falls in love with a computer operating system. Similarly, The Third Thaw comes full circle in the relationship of Adam and Clare, exploring the question Can humans have feelings for machines?
Finally, The Third Thaw story deconstructs society into basic components, as the naive characters learn about society. The scene where the Thaws learn about romance, marriage, money and raising kids, were the most fun for me to write.