Mark A. Carter re:
fictional British book critic Mary
Chanton Krater sat down with Canadian Science Fiction
novelist Mark A. Carter and,
while sipping espresso, interviewed
the flamboyant poète maudit
about his Mythpunk Science
contact, deific evolution, and the heat death of the universe
I began my interviews with you about
Hephzibah of Heaven and
Thea of the Seraphim by asking you why you wrote
the novel. So, why did you write Tellusian
obvious answer is that at the end of
Hephzibah of Heaven the
Tellusians send a thousand starships into the Milky Way
to spread the Word of the Mother through the
Book of Gabriel. I wanted to elaborate. And that
sequel is Tellusian Seed.
The less obvious answer is that Seed is what started
it all. Before there was Hephzibah
of Heaven and Thea
of the Seraphim, there was
Tellurian Seed. And that goes back to 1997. But
Tellurian sounded too
much like an Irish lullaby and also did not fully express the
meaning I wanted. So New Earth
became Mother Earth or Earth Mother ergo
Tellus Mater, and Tellurian
bla ... bla ... bla. It is
a real trip to read the original stuff from back then. But the
premise was there, as were names like
Deesha and Utera.
Anyway, in order to get to the point where
Seed made any sense, I had to write a back story.
That back story became Hephzibah.
And, in turn, Thea
became the back story to Hephzibah.
In a nut shell, what is Seed
about the reception that the Tellusians
get when they idealistically journey to the stars to
spread the ideas or should I say the ideals found in the
Book of Gabriel. Like the idealistic missionaries
who came to the Americas, at the outset, they are not met with
open arms. I have the Tellusians
encounter three types of aliens who are technologically advanced
enough to communicate with them by radio for years, but differ
in their social evolution.
the Tellusians encounter civilizations
that are benevolent, ambivalent, or malevolent. In the first
instance, the missionaries and their teachings are accepted.
In the second, the missionaries are cooked in a stew pot. In
the third, the missionaries are killed because their teachings
pose a threat to the government. Moreover, these malevolent aliens
send a space armada back to Tellus
Mater to destroy the meek who inherited the
do you see as a potential audience for
goes without saying that readers of
Hephzibah and Thea
would want to read the third entry in the
Hephzibah of Heaven Trilogy to find out what happens.
But the novel stands on its own strength too. Science Fiction
readers who enjoyed Ursula K. Le Guin's
Left Hand of Darkness will enjoy this novel because
it takes on an anthropological approach. Fans of
Harlan Ellison's story The
Great Space F**k, will see my take on seeding the
galaxy with belief rather than our genotype. And fans of
Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles will enjoy
Tellusian Seed because I talk about the Martians
and their involvement in our future. And yes, there is the suggestion
that we are the aliens bla ... bla
...bla, at least in part. Read it to find out how.
What can you tell me about Graine
moment I was told that my novels were going to be distributed
in Europe, I sat down and began to translate Seed.
It was during a prolonged hiatus during the summer of 2012, and
I was looking for something to do to occupy my mind. I did my
best to get across the nuances of the original text. But, my
French being what it is, I'm sure that the translation is rife
with errors. Je suis très désolé
. Later the same year, I translated
Thea into Thea du Séraphin.
When I have time, I will translate
Hephzibah too. I thought I would start with the smaller
books and work backwards toward the epic.
your first book, you championed Hephzibah.
In the second, you championed
Thea. In Seed, you
champion the third of the Seraphic
Does that mean you intend to write a fourth book in this series?
What was the name of the fourth Seraph,
the young one?
I'm not sure yet. So
far, I don't have a story. But it would be only right to create
a book about her, just to balance things in my own mind. I have
also debated whether or not to write the
Book of Gabriel. The problem, as I see it, with
writing the Book of Gabriel
would be that it would most likely come off sounding
like as a religious text and quite possibly become the foundation
of an actual religion. Look what became of
L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics. The prospect of that
occurring with the Book of Gabriel
scares the Hell out of me.
of your readers have commented that your novels need to be made
into movies. I, for one, agree. Your stories are exactly what
the Wachowski Brothers, directors
of The Matrix, 1999; Lars von
Trier, director of Melancholia,
2011; and Terrence Malick,
director of The Tree of
Life, 2011; look for. What's your opinion?
you should tell them. I could see any of these innovative directors
putting my books on film. But, so far,
Hollywood has yet to come calling. Perhaps it's because,
in Hephzibah of Heaven,
I wrote that they're all going to
Hell in a handcart. Anyway,
Hollywood is missing out because I'm perfectly willing
to sell them the film rights. But there is no way I'm willing
to rework my projects into screenplays. To me that would just
be spinning my wheels. And
I've already moved on to new projects. The directors you mentioned
are fully capable of writing the screenplays themselves. I would
be happy with that.
I depart this third time, can you give us a
sneak peek at what you're currently working on?
can give you a ball park idea.
I am writing a thriller, starting
a Steampunk novel, and writing
weekly rants for my web site.
Go to markacarter.com to read
them. And the sweet smell of gesso
fills the air of the Little
Kingdom because I am painting once again.
Such is my life of late.
Chanton Krater: It has indeed been an honor to read and to review
Tellusian Seed. I recommend
that you read it. Moreover, I recommend that you read all three
books of what has come to be knowm as the Hephzibah Trilogy:
Hephzibah of Heaven,
Thea of the Seraphim,
and Tellusian Seed.
They will change your outlook on life, death, and our fragile
place in the cosmos. They have changed mine. And, as a side effect,
these novels may actually reaffirm your belief in
God, if you haven't already become a
demonic minion. Ha. Thank you very much sir.
A. Carter holds a B.A.
in Drama and Psychology, a B.Ed.,
an Honors B.A. in
English, and an M.A., with
thesis, in English Language and Literature. He lives in the outskirts
of Canada and in the shadow of so-called
civilization, with his wife
Donna. As always, he wrote his novels by hand, in the
presence of messengers, using his fabled translucent, red, fountain
other Mary Chanton Krater interviews of Mark A. Carter: