Mark A. Carter - novelist

imagination on loan from God


Welcome to the awe-inspiring and official web site of world famous Canadian Science Fiction novelist, aging author, boy genius, futurist, literary theorist, poète maudit, troubled visionary, and writer Mark A. Carter. Have I left anything out? Oh right ... and I'm handy too, which is a rarity among the so-called Literati. Ha.

WHAT'S NEW? A new article about the cyclic journey of our star through the plane of the Milky Way and the mass extictions that ensue has sparked my need to write another rant. Read:  Deep Melancholia, and read the article that made me go back to the same old subject:  Regularity of Mass Extinctions. Believe me, I stay up late at night worrying about stuff like this.

I know. I know. My review of Christopher Nolan's Science Fiction film Interstellar is a year late. But before I reviewed it, I had to do some catch-up reading in Theoretical Physics. Now that I have ... ouch. Interstellar utterly fails to maintain a reasonable suspension of disbelief. Read my film review: Interstellar: popcorn anyone?

Also read the following articles:  Black Hole birth of the universe,  Center of a Black Hole,  Falling down a Black Hole,  Magnetars should freak you out.

I just saw Ridley's Scott's Science Fiction film The Martian based on the novel by Andy Weir. And it is excellent. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Finally, 2015 has yielded a Science Fiction film that is truly worthy and that I can say something positive about. Read my film review: The Martian: why it works.

I have been waiting for months to see the 2015 film Ex Machina written and directed by Alex Garland. Based on the trailers, I had great expectations that the film would impress. And I want films to succeed. But alas, 2015 is destined to be a bad year for Science Fiction, except for the Marvel series, which I can't say enough good things about. Anyway, Ex is utterly dreadful. First the 2015 film Jupiter Ascending disappointed, now this. Read my film review: Ex Machina, crash and burn.

I have been waiting for months for the North American release of Jupiter Ascending. And I attended its premiere performance. Read my film review: Jupiter Ascending: stink, stank, stunk.

To refute Arthur C. Clarke's opinion that machines will never be able to think, I have reprinted an article from CNN about the synaptic, supercomputer brain, the size of a postage stamp, that has just been created by IBM. Read: IBM Builds Brain.

OTHER RANTS: Use the Sitemap at the bottom of the page.

WHY WRITE SCIENCE FICTION? Most people take the technology of our modern world for granted. They just think that pixies invented it. But actually those pixies are engineers and the inspiration for their innovations came from the pages of Science Fiction. I stated back in 1981 that Science Fiction is predictive. And I still believe it, as do others. To quote J. G. Ballard from Fictions of Every Kind:

Everything is becoming Science Fiction. From the margins of an almost invisible literature has sprung the intact reality of the 20th century.

Ballard's statement affirms my assertion. But Science Fiction is a double-edged sword. Some imagined technologies may be used for good. Some are all too obviously designed with the opposite in mind. And in the wrong hands, or with the wrong mind-set, the dire warnings that Science Fiction provides will be played out in reality, with severe consequences. Why? I think it is because our species is smart but foolish. The ancient Greeks knew it and wrote about it in their myth of Prometheus. And if we don't heed the Science Fiction warnings, we are likely to annihilate ourselves. To quote from Terminator 2: Judgement Day where we have lost control of and are fighting a war with our AI machines:

The Terminator: It's in your nature to destroy yourselves.

Let us hope not. But ironically, of course, we are in full development of AI machines right now and the drones seen in Terminator are currently here now too. It's only a matter of time before we lose control of them. Based on my Frankenstein hypothesis, we always lose control of our techology. Yikes. So why on Earth are we developing them? I think it is because we always have to push the envelope. We always have to see if it can be done.

Sadly, that attitude will lead to consequences that are played out in reality instead of merely in the pages of Science Fiction. We haven't yet learned that just because you can do a thing, it doesn't mean we should. Of course, that takes maturity, as a species. Bla ... bla ... bla ... enough said.

Anyway, years ago, while waiting for a connecting train at Union Station in Toronto, as I sipped my coffee and sat quietly working on the final draft of my Master's Thesis to while away the time, a rather rumpled looking man sat down beside me and started to talk. And it was none other than Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. He told me that he had a three hour layover until his connecting train. And although my train was about to board, I sat with him for those three hours and took a later train to my destination.

Vonnegut asked what my thesis was about. And when I said Science Fiction he asked whether I planned to go for my Ph.D. I told him I was becoming disillusioned with Academia. And he nodded sympathetically. "Those who can ... do. Those who can't ... teach." Then he added, "Please don't tell me you have some pie-in-the-sky notion about becoming a Science Fiction writer when this education business is said and done. " When I paused, he said "Oh my ..." He lit another Pall Mall, took a long drag on his cigarette, exhaled, and said:

Young man, be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be.

I have been the soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled Science Fiction for a number of years now, and I would like out, particularly since so many senious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal.

He went on to tell me how he had mysteriously been classified as a Science Fiction novelist after writing Cat's Cradle. And he was vexed by it. The saving grace, in his opinion, was that the novel finally garnered him a long awaited, if not anti-climactic, Master's degree in Anthropology ten years after the fact.

All in all, we talked for three hours about the Bokononism, the science, and the technology found in Cat's Cradle, the Tralfamadorians found in Slaughterhouse-Five, and the Doomsday theory I was proposing in my thesis. And the time passed altogether too quickly. When it came time for me to board, with thoughts of my conversation with Vonnegut running through my head, I forgot the draft of my thesis on a bench at the station, and had to rewrite it, over the next few weeks, from memory.

Months later, I received the lost paper, by mail, sent by Vonnegut, who had picked it up absent-mindedly with his other papers at the station and had only gotten around to finding it and to reading it. He wrote a simple comment on the cover: "You don't really think we have a 50/50 chance of survival, do you? Be honest." Remarkably, the rewrite was virtually identical to the original, including my disingenuous conclusion, because I was emotionally unable to face the truth that we were all doomed unless we found a way to leave this planet. To quote Vonnegut: "And so it goes."

Some thirty years have passed since that fortuitous meeting. And here I am in South Detroit, of all places in the known universe. My physical location doesn't matter as much nowadays as it may have decades ago. The resources available to me through the internet have made living and writing feasible anywhere. And it isn't my external environment that is important to my writing anyway. It is all about what is going on in a head that is usually out there like Pluto.

When people ask me where I live, I am tempted to say, with a tip of the hat to Rod Serling: "I am imprisoned in the Outer Limits, with day trips to the Twilight Zone for good behavior." Nonetheless, but mostly because I live in a beef and potatoes working town, it is now my turn to be vexed with the label:  Science Fiction. People just don't get it although it exists all around them. Alas.

If, after discovering that I am a Science Fiction novelist, and I get this all the time, your first, boring beyond belief, burning, utterly disingenuous, weird and wonderful question is: "What kind of books do you write?" then you have missed the point entirely. And I am forced to quote Josephine Saxton who posed the question, "Did your mother only breast-feed one of your heads?"

As the CHANCE card in the Parker Brothers board game Monopoly commands: Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200. Go directly to: Sycophants and arrogant diminishers and read what I have to say about kind and that kind of people. And for those of you who think anybody can write a novel, even you, merely because you have a writing program on your computer. Read: Tripping the Light Fantastic.

For the rest of you, I created this web site as a venue to share my anecdotes and to express my opinions about this, that, and the other or to otherwise rant. And, yes, I also created this web site to promote my books, essays, fiction, literature, novels, stories, tales, and tomes. There you go. I'm living the dream, baby. Let the fiction begin.

In case you've been sleeping for a few years and have just awakened, or have been away for twenty years on a long sea voyage, or just arrived from a prolonged journey through space and time, today is .

"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream." - Edgar Allan Poe

WARNING:  If you proceed, you may be forced to think. It's not illegal yet.

If you want to merely exist in your happy, happy, happy, censored, homogenized, and uninspired "Cloudcuckooland", a term coined by Aristophanes in 514 BCE, in his comedy The Birds, then stick your head in the sand elsewhere. Otherwise, this web site is sure to corrupt you with ideas. OMG. So, buckle up because my rants and ravings often go to Hell in a handcart. And if you read them, you are doomed to join me on the tormented downhill ride.

WHAT'S NEW IN BOOKS I HAVE WRITTEN? For those of you who have e-mailed asking why my novels aren't out in hardcover, I have heard your laments.

Thea of the Seraphim is now available in professional US trade hardcover binding with 100# full color gloss dust jacket, black and white interior ink on 50# cream paper, blue linen hardback with gold spine, and 178 pages for $39.95 USD. Support independent publishing:

Buy Thea of the Seraphim at

Tellusian Seed is now available in professional US trade hardcover binding with 100# full color gloss dust jacket, black and white interior ink on 50# cream paper, blue linen hardback with gold spine, and 192 pages for $37.95 USD. Support independent publishing:

Buy Tellusian Seed at

I hope you find my web site anecdotes, opinions, rants, stories, and tales amusing. Feel free to link to any page of this web site from your own. Read my books and send me your feedback. Start a discussion group. Be inspired to look at the world differently. And spread the word, baby, about my rants, me, my books, and this web site, s'il vous plaît.

Also, I believe it is my obligation, as a so-called high priest of literature, to write well, to set an example of polished writing, amid the sea swell of swill out there on the internet. It is especially important nowadays, during this new literary dark age where semiliterate Neanderthals with attention deficit disorder scrawl their electronic one-liners with their thumbs replete with errors all over God's green Earth, and consider themselves published. Heaven help us all. And damned be the Devil that invented the exclamation point.

But I get ahead of myself.

And yes, writing books is a full time job, and then some. How could it be anything but an obsession that occupies every waking and sleeping moment of my life? J'écris donc que je suis. For the uninitiated, that's a play on René Descartes' "I think therefore I am." Instead, I have written: "I write therefore I am." In other words, I would like to believe that my writing defines me.


Tellusian Seed and Thea of the Seraphim have been translated into French at long last. They are available in Trade Paperback.


For those of you who are out of the loop where my books are concerned, here is the scoop: Hephzibah of Heaven is the Mythpunk novel that began it all. It is about what once was, what is, and what shall be.

It is about a Seraphim in love with Christ at the time of the crucifixion, who punishes mankind for what he has done to her beloved; and, in turn, is banished from Heaven and forced to walk the Earth for two thousand years. It is about good versus evil and how human beings fit into the mix. It is about the end of the old world and the beginning of the new. It is about belief.

Thea of the Seraphim is the Mythpunk prequel. The first part of the novel is about Angels, Demons, God, Lucifer, and the War of Heaven that once was. And the second part is about a young human girl named Alex with a passion for dioramas that alter reality who is stolen from our world by Satan to change Hell. And it is about our part as Dream Warriors in the War of Hell that continues to this day.

And Tellusian Seed is the Mythpunk sequel. It is about the first creature outside of Heaven to evolve into a God. It is about a human girl on the New Earth who travels to Heaven as Quetzalcoatl, meets God Almighty face to face, and receives his blessing. And it is about her timely return to Heaven as Tezcatlipoca, when all is said and done, to perform the ultimate task. And then ...

Hardcover Editions, Psycho-Thrillers ... maybe, and my first Book of Rants ... oh my. Read: Coming Soon.

Now you know.

from the imagination of Mark A. Carter - novelist

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