Echo, a Dystopian Science Fiction Novel: Chapter 2 and Author’s Notes

Echo, Chapter 2: https://dirtyscifibuddha.com/echo-chapter-2/

Author’s Notes: I’m going to allay this fear right away. Yes, within the sample chapters, there will be an epic a** beating. You will stand and cheer (I hope!) as Atriya smashes the f*** out of some obnoxious idiots. Ok, there’s a lot going on in this one, especially under the surface. The dynamic change here is that basically Atriya goes from being passively bothered by his problems to actually deciding to try and fix them. His training equipment, the state of his home-they are reflective of him being stuck in a state of stagnancy. I’ve put a good bit of focus on the rotten pomegranate as a metaphor for Hell (or Hades, to be nitpicky about it)…I’m sure you all know about Persephone. Yes, I realize I stretch a little for the art here (who keeps pomegranates in their fridge? Not me) but I felt it was warranted by the thematic backing. When he sees and is disgusted by, and also disposes of the rotten fruit it signifies that he recognizes the need for change on a deeper level.

His weapons-Here I start opening the setting a bit (along with the holo pad) I don’t want to deluge you guys with fancy technology and exotic culture because then it starts to lose its meaning, especially if it isn’t tied to theme. His weapons are used to illustrate his eccentricity, his lack of belonging.

Basic things such as the shower and the book passage are used to illustrate his discomfort with everyday creature comforts; the guy can’t relax cleaning off or while he tries to study or entertain himself.

Verus/martial arts-In the military, I never personally encountered women that inspired me at the “badass” level. Don’t get me wrong, I believe they are out there. All you got to do is crack open history books and you can read about tons of women warriors that didn’t just outperform men but rose to the top of their field. Hopefully, as women are allowed to serve in combat, we will get to see more women “meat-eaters.” Women that would have inspired the hell out of my younger, testosterone-addled self. But seeing as writing is where we can inject our hopes and dreams, why not have an ultimate warrior-sage that happens to be a woman? That’s why I wrote in Verus. I tried for awhile to think of a good name for Verus because I’m a big fan of significant names. Even Atriya’s name ties into a reveal/payoff way down the line. After a lot of combing, I decided on Verus. A little on the nose, I know. The martial arts are also indicative of Atriya’s character.

The Takuan reference-Huge easter egg that pays off way way down the line. Hundreds of pages down the line. Any of you who are fans of Samurai culture will like it (I think!)

I realize I got a little Stephen King-esque describing the fruit in the last few paragraphs, but once again, I like to stretch a little bit for the art if it makes sense and it’s not a crazy reach. Hope the use of “retard” doesn’t offend anybody.

Okay, I think I’ve covered everything. I plan to release chapter 3 two weeks from now on July 15. Thanks for reading!

11 thoughts on “Echo, a Dystopian Science Fiction Novel: Chapter 2 and Author’s Notes

  1. Man that chapter took me right back to English class. It feels very imbued with meaning. The bit about the fruit is like an allegory of the rotting society, something I’m sure Atrya will react to in a similar way once he realizes it -if he realizes it-, with surprise and disgust. I’m halfway through reading the Art of War by Sun Tzu right now and the passage about the monk had a similar feel, though the Art of war isn’t a narrative so to speak. I’m glad you brought up the names, because I was speculating about their origin myself. Verus, I assume, is influenced by Venus, goddess of beauty and only planet to bear a feminine name? as for Atrya, probably comes from the atrium, one of the chambers of the hearts? I’ll continue reading the sneak peak you have on here in the next few days, leaving my impression after each read. The quality is amazing. I have much to learn from you. Keep it up.

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    • Thanks! Verus is actually one of my lazier moments; the Latin root for truth. Atriyas name is a play on words: Kishchan Atriya. Kish Atriya. Kshatriya. The Hindu warrior caste. I’m glad you’re into themes and motifs as much as I am! 🙂

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    • I’m glad you liked a chapter with a guy essentially futzing around his house! Sorry if it’s too dark, if you want a lighter read that still has all those underlying meanings check out the rarefied tightrope; I started writing that to take a breather from Echo.

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      • To be fully honest, themes and motifs aren’t my strong suit. I find that action and narrative are more interesting, from a creator point of view, but, as a reader, I think I can appreciate more meaningful pieces, and this one has the added benefit of flowing really nicely. Hence I had enough focus left to analyse and dig a little deeper, which was very enjoyable. Congrats.

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      • Thanks again! My primary love is action and one-liners; I love comic books, especially the mid 2000s stuff, Ennis, Ellis, Bendis, but I find that in order to give those scenes more punch, I’ve got to weave things as tight as possible. I also believe in something I call “progression of action” which means you start out with an exciting base of action and you have scenes that build off it. Movies that do this well are the Matrix and District 9, where the first action scenes are awesome and you would be satisfied with those alone, but they keep getting better and better. I’m always, ALWAYS on the lookout for one-liners and good action ideas.

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  2. In Verus veritas. I enjoyed it. An expanding club and a .38 special S&W Model 38? That really is retro and lightweight. Most cops today probably have at least a compact 9mm or 40cal semi-auto for back-up. I sense upcoming disarmed combat against a worthy dissident.
    Good work, looks like you’re having fun. I’ll have to check out your army service post. I was a regular in the US Army from ’69 till ’71 with a counter-battery, counter-mortar unit in the central highlands near Pleiku. The decrepitude of the flat matches the filth and disorder of a combat bunker for sure. Keep up the good work.

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    • Thanks! As I approach old codger-dom (only in my thirties but you know how dog years and the military go), I wanted to impart a bit of seen-too-much on Atriya. And I had to resist going too in depth with it, even to the point of sacrificing detail/minor accuracies for the sake of story streamlining. Not every reader out there is a technical nut, and while they won’t notice minor inconsistencies, they’ll notice story drag. Sorry if I skip over anything that’s significant from the technical side!

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  3. Hi. Finished Chapter Two and still impressed. Great detail on the disgusting fruit. I am an Edgar Allen Poe fan and I am reminded of his great lines in the short story ‘Silence’, how “the lily flowers sighed unto one another …”. Jane

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