When I found visionary fiction, I felt as if I had come home. My stories fit the genre perfectly. Nevertheless, it encompasses many sub-genres. For a robust discussion on visionary fiction, please click here. It demonstrates the dynamics of the genre and the challenges it faces.
Unison, Book One of the Spheral Series, is science fiction in tone and style, but I wanted to see if I could narrow it down even more, so I could connect to the type of readers who would appreciate my book. I recently discovered Libertarian science fiction, and I knew I found another genre that would also fit my series, in particular.
For a recent bloghops, I was asked to compare my book to other books, and that took a lot of thought. I finally came up with the following:
Imagine Atlas Shrugged that champions the individual’s mind and all it can achieve when unbound; the Stand, that promotes strength of faith and will, and A Brave New World, where the individual is controlled by drugs and distraction. Throw them all together and you have Unison!
Whoa! How do I market that? Although the theme of the series is spiritual and deals with the evolution of human consciousness, the characters embrace the importance of individualism and how they can only find the truth if they champion who they are as individuals and not by giving themselves over to anyone else’s authority.
The setting begins in Unity, an oppressive government run by the Corporate Hierarchy that tries to control everyone. Damon, the protagonist, seeks to become a leader and spends most of his efforts trying to make a name for himself. During his ascent, he has precognitive visions of his friend’s death and of a woman who leaves him cryptic messages. It may seem like a Dystopian tale, but I don’t consider it that as it’s not the main aspect of the story. It’s about the quest for liberation on an individual and spiritual level and most of the journey takes place out of Unity.
Many Libertarians embrace Objectivism philosophy. I was first introduced to it by Ayn Rand and was captivated by her novella, Anthem. I also read Atlas Shrugged in three days! That was over twenty years ago, and since then I’ve noticed a synergistic connection between Objectivism and spiritual evolution. And I’m not the only one to find this connection. That didn’t surprise me because Objectivism allows the individual the freedom to unmask his or her uniqueness. It’s an under-appreciated philosophy due to Ayn Rand’s use of the word selfish. It doesn’t help that money manipulators such as Alan Greenspan cite her as an influence. If she truly was his influence, he completely misunderstood her. Greenspan supports a corrupt system whereas Rand’s protagonists abhor corruption. They’re driven by the need to turn their inner-visions into a reality, irrespective of whether they’ll become rich or famous. Take Howard Rourk, from The Fountainhead. He was willing to have someone else take credit for his work just so he could see the building he designed come to life. He only asked that it be built exactly to his specifications. For Rourk, it was about seeing his vision realized, not about money or fame, which is what the person who took credit for Rourk’s work strived for. As a creative person, I can understand Rourk’s drive. If I couldn’t publish my book because I lived in a society that shunned individuality, I would probably do the same.
The selfishness of which Ayn Rand speaks of is not about making money or stepping on other people; it’s about valuing yourself and not sacrificing yourself to the will of others; to live out your dreams and not sacrifice them for others. She took issue with the idea of stripping away your own rights to prop others up. I completely agree with that sentiment because it makes sense. If we don’t treat ourselves as though we’re worthy of happiness and self-fulfillment, how can we desire it for others?
Rand often stated that our highest achievement is happiness. She insisted that self-sacrifice makes us sacrificial objects and believed we were all entitled to be happy but that we must achieve it for ourselves. In other words, we shouldn’t force others to give up their happiness to make us happy. We also shouldn’t be forced to sacrifice ourselves for the happiness of others. Makes sense to me. What type of person would be happy if I had to sacrifice my own happiness to make him or her happy?
One thing I learned on my spiritual journey is that happiness must come from within me. To rely on others for my personal happiness doesn’t make sense to me anymore. People aren’t perfect. They will do things to hurt you, either intentionally or unintentionally. It’s during these times where having inner peace, joy and happiness keeps you from sinking.
This topic resonated strongly with me, and I had to break it into four posts. Clickhere for part two where I discuss how I connect spirituality to objectivism.
Click here for part 2.
Love and light,