Mark A. Carter

Mary Chanton Krater
INTERVIEWS Mark A. Carter re:

Always stylish fictional British book critic Mary Chanton Krater sat down with Canadian Science Fiction writer Mark A. Carter and, while sipping espresso, interviewed the flamboyant poète maudit about his Mythpunk Science Fiction novel: Tellusian Seed.

Alien contact, deific evolution, and the heat death of the universe

MCK: 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 Seed?

CARTER: The 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 became Tellusian 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.

MCK: Wow. In a nut shell, what is Seed about?

CARTER: It's 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.

Essentially, 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 New Earth.

MCK: Who do you see as a potential audience for Seed?

CARTER: It 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.

MCK: What can you tell me about Graine de Tellusian?

CARTER: The 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.

MCK: In your first book, you championed Hephzibah. In the second, you championed Thea. In Seed, you champion the third of the Seraphic sisters: Elektra. Does that mean you intend to write a fourth book in this series? What was the name of the fourth Seraph, the young one?

CARTER: Arabella. 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.

MCK: Many 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?

CARTER: Perhaps 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.

MCK: Before I depart this third time, can you give us a sneak peek at what you're currently working on?

CARTER: I 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 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.


End of Interview Three

Mary 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.

AUTHOR BACKGROUND: Mark 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 pen.

Read other Mary Chanton Krater interviews of Mark A. Carter:
Hephzibah of Heaven
Thea of the Seraphim

Now you know.

from the imagination of Mark A. Carter - writer

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