When I write, there is a certain kind of music I like to listen to. It is difficult to pin down exactly what kind of music it has to be, but I notice that most of the music has a narrative thread running through it.
Sometime in 2005, I was browsing my local library’s CD rack for new music. I don’t remember how I conducted my search exactly, but, somehow, Open fatefully caught my eye. I had not heard of the Cowboy Junkies—not surprising since they are relatively unknown outside of Canada—but I checked out the CD and listened to it.
The opening song, “I Did It All For You,” is a haunting narrative, about death, murder, guilt, and rage. What the narrative exactly is must be teased out from the lyrics and calls for the listener to dwell on its meaning. After years of listening, I am not even sure that I can entirely define what story, or stories, it tells. But the emotions communicated throughout the song are clear, and I listen to “I Did It All For You” when I am teasing out aspects of intense scenes.
This will be the first post in a series exploring various first contact scenarios. As those who have read my novella, The Joining, might surmise, first contact is one of the aspects of science-fiction that I find most interesting and compelling. To me, one of the important aspects of first contact is that it challenges some part of the human experience and this is what I will be discussing here. I start with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s pilot episode “Emissary” for no reason other than I began rewatching the series a few weeks ago.
A quick recap and scene setting for those who may not be familiar with the series: ST:DS9 takes place on a space station the Federation has taken over from the Cardassians, the main enemy of Bajor, the planet nearest to DS9. Commander Sisko, our brave protagonist, has assumed command of DS9 to assist the Bajorians, now recovering from the Cardassian occupation. The challenges Sisko faces in assuming command of the station is the Bajorians, some of whom believe that the Federation’s help will turn into another form of exploitation, and the fact that he is troubled by the death of Jennifer, his wife. In a meeting with the spiritual leader of the Bajorians, Kai Opaka, she declares Sisko to be the Emissary of the Prophets and shows him the Orb of Prophecy and Change, a seemingly mystical object that allows him to relive a memory of the first time he met Jennifer. Kai Opaka explains that the Orbs have mysteriously appeared above Bajor and as the Emissary Sisko is destined to find where they come from, the Celestial Temple of the Prophets.
Today I am excited to announce the release of my novella, The Joining. From the book’s description:
The Joining explores humanity’s attempt at first contact with another species. A crew of scientists travels to a distant star to contact a race truly alien in more ways than first realized. This encounter will not only question whether or not humanity is ready for such an encounter, but also challenge their basic beliefs of what it means to be human.
The Joining is available as a Kindle e-Book from Amazon.
The cover art was done by Trevor W. Shields. Visit the artist’s website here.
Thanks to all who have supported me throughout the process. Follow me here for updates on future releases as well as other periodic content.