Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Name of the Rose


Within my own family the name of this blog is instantly recognizable as the title of a futuristic novel I wrote ten years ago. I began to market it just a month before 9/11 changed the cultural landscape, although my failure to find a publisher, I hasten to add, had perhaps little to do with that event. The book is rather long and, while technically a work of science fiction, it crosses the boundaries of the genre. This isn’t the case of a would-be author who’d always longed to publish a novel. In the late 1970s and early ‘80s I’d published a number of novels, a collection of stories, and a series of novellas that all appeared in science fiction magazines. I have what is called a “name” in the field—not a big name, but there it is. A search on my name on Google will show that my books are still out there, used copies still available from Amazon.com. Nor did I lack access to publishers in 2001. Several saw the book but chose to decline. Too bad. Ghulf Genes is probably the best work I’ve ever done. Not only that. It is the first in a three-volume work that I’d tentatively named Symphony in Ghulf Major. What I had to say in that series included views that did not resonate with the times, including a favorable take on Muslim culture and a very dark view of the future American empire in the twenty-fourth century and beyond.

The subject of the novel is a fictitious clan, the Ghulfs, whose involvement in space travel is complex and long-lasting—but that’s the outer wrapper. The real essence of the book is the family saga itself, traced across several generations in three separate novels. One of the requirements laid on every Ghulf who wished to participate in the family in a substantial way was that he or she file with Ghulf Records an annual report—by computerized means, of course. When members of my family began to blog in earnest, this suggested Ghulf Records to me, and, consequently, led to my own choice of naming this record after the book in which the clan is introduced to the world at large.

As for the content of this blog, enough of it exists now so that neither introduction nor comment is really required. The perspectives offered here are philosophical, by and large, appropriate for a person of my age and experience. Beyond writing science fiction off and on, I’ve had careers in the military, in big business, and in big government (I was once the nation’s Garbage Man at the Environmental Protection Agency). I’ve been an independent consultant, a self-taught computer wizard, and ran my own small publishing business, Editorial Code and Data, Inc.—which continues on without me. My education, such as it was, centered on literature and history, but most of my work focused on economics, markets, and technological development.

My real interests have always been cosmic, however—and that occasionally bleeds through here although I do try to keep things accessible.
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Picture credits: Karen's Whimsy, reachable here.

3 comments:

  1. All sorts of things I *could* comment on, since I have indeed read that most excellent sci-fi saga and am equally perplexed at its failure to find a home.

    But instead what I really want to know is where you dug up the cool "Term Cloud" widget!

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  2. Check your e-mail for the low-down.

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  3. I've always been a bit slow but, I will get to blogging myself one of these days....
    In the meantime, I do enjoy your blogs! Keep up the good work, my virtual Ghulf network.

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