Thalendri, Terrorism and Tolerance

Theology in space! Or, as the blurb for the second anthology in the INFINITE SPACE, INFINITE GOD series puts it, “Twelve science fiction stories featuring great adventure with a twist of faith.”

I’ve been lucky enough to get an interview with authors Ken Pick and Alan Loewen, who collaborated on “Dyads”. They gave me a lovely long interview which, in the interest of posting short for the A-to-Z Challenge, I’m placing on a separate page for now. I’ll leave you with an excerpt and a link to the whole interview (well worth reading!) and buy links for the book. After reading their answers to my questions, I not only bought ISIG II, but ISIG I as well.

Q: Can you say how your main character first occurred to you and how he or she evolved from that first spark to a full character?

ALAN: When I first met Ken, he had a character looking for a story, and I had a story that was in search of a character, a typical “haunted house in space” scenario that eventually became “Mask of the Ferret.” I have always been attracted to stories that feature a group of people trapped in a restricted space and forced to fight for their lives.

Ken’s only further instruction to me was that he would like to see a Roman Catholic character in the story and that he was to be displayed realistically and respectfully. The result was Father Eric Heidler, a Roman Catholic priest high in the fictitious Order of Saint Dismas and a man working out his penance for his work before he joined Mother Church which explains his appearing fascination with Jill.

The story did so well, we wrote “Dyads” as a sequel for ISIGII.

KEN: The main character in “Dyads” is Father Heidler, whom Alan came up with for the initial story “Mask of the Ferret”. Originally a clergyman covert operative, he became fixed as a Catholic priest (fictional order) when “Mask of the Ferret” was tweaked for ISIG1 and took off from there.

This Fr Heidler is never physically described, other than being human and getting on in years, a common convention allowing the reader to insert their own – these days, probably Shepherd Book…. Especially since his milieu has some of the gritty retro-future feel of Firefly.

Q: Did you choose your subject, or did your subject choose you?

KEN: Both. It began with “Mask of the Ferret” in ISIG1, with a character who does not appear in “Dyads” – a chain-smoking Goth ferret-woman named Jill Noir.

The “furry” angle (aka “The Cold Wet Nose school of non-human design”) has always been a constant thread through my fantasy. In this context, I think of it as following an old space-opera tradition: basing alien races on animals or composites thereof. Main difference in “Dyads” is the alien cosmic archetype is Fox instead of the more usual Cat.

If that doesn’t whet your appetite, I don’t know what would. Read the rest of the interview with Ken Pick and Alan Loewen here. I mean, anything that wrests a penny from my unrelenting grip has got to sound good.

INFINITE SPACE, INFINITE GOD is available from the Publisher

From Barnes and Noble

From Amazon in paperback and for Kindle

and in other E-book formats at Fictionwise

WRITING PROMPT: Go to the American Catholic Patron Saints page (“Saint of the Day now available for the iPhone) and pick one. Read about him/her on the site and come up with a three-sentence story arc for a character that has some connection with the saint.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Thalendri, Terrorism and Tolerance

  1. Karina Fabian

    April 23, 2011 at 11:02am

    Thanks, Marian, for posting this today. I learned a lot from the interview, about them and the story–and I’m their editor!


    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. damyanti

    April 23, 2011 at 12:23pm

    Great Interview, and so nice to be back on your blog again!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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