Friday, 1 April 2016

Guest Post ¦ "Mr Prump is NOT Donald Trump" - Robert Eggleton

Not so long ago I did a spotlight and guest post on the new adult book Rarity from the Hollow, which you can view here.

Today, I am joined again by Robert for a new guest post! Should you be interested in the current Presidential elections, I highly recommend giving this a read! (It is NOT political propaganda).

All characters appearing in Rarity from the Hollow are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Politics in science fiction has a very long history. Perhaps not the first, published in 1895, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells addressed social class issues, similar to how, especially, the Bernie Sanders campaign has been addressing them in the real-life U.S Presidential Primaries of today. Over the years, many utopian and dystopian societies have been created in speculative fiction literature. Tremendously amplified in this election by technology, utopian and dystopian visions of America’s future are being projected by Democrats and Republicans to market their campaigns.

In 1962, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein was the first science fiction novel to be acknowledged by the New York Times Book Reviews best-seller list. Heinlein grew up in Missouri when racial segregation was practiced and subsequently challenged by the civil rights movement. He consistently denounced racism in both his fiction and non-fiction. If he were alive today, I wonder how Heinlein would react to Black Lives Matter, disparate incarceration and unemployment rates by racial grouping…these and other memes that divide voters, not to mention whether or not we should all buy automatic weapons to protect ourselves from the purported inevitable Muslim invasion.

Many other speculative fiction writers have leaned toward the literary side in their works, most popularly: Doctorow, Clarke, Sagan, Le Guin, Herbert, Huxley, Orwell…it’s a long list. However, not everybody approves of such message fiction.  For a comical take on the situation, please see: Fresh Fiction: “Literary Fiction Dates Genre, The Shocking Truth!” 

One opponent of such inter-genre dating is named the Sad Puppies.

Most active beginning in 2014, the Sad Puppies reportedly staged a coup to overthrow the Hugo Awards, an annual recognition of the best science fiction and fantasy, an organization that has been around since 1955. Sad Puppies, and a more extreme offshoot, the Rabid Puppy members allegedly conspired to promote awards for pulp fiction instead of message fiction. The situation made the news all the way to the NPR. Without intent to get in the middle of anything, I’ve written a futurist science fiction story about the control of literature.   

There are many messages in Rarity from the Hollow. I think of it as adult literary social science fiction. The messages will likely not be interpreted by one reader the same as interpreted by another. I don’t write or want to read anything that is “preachy.” Heck, I don’t even think that religious literature, like the pamphlets that one finds on the floors of public toilet stalls, should be so preachy. I wouldn’t want to touch such content, even if it would have been delivered under more sanitary conditions. I want to write about important issues that one person may think support a particular position but the next reader finds the opposite. I don’t have the answers to the most important questions and challenges that humans face, and I’m not going to campaign for a presidential candidate either, well, at least not here.

Rarity from the Hollow addresses: poverty, domestic violence, child maltreatment, local and intergalactic economics, mental health concerns – including PTSD experienced by Veterans and the medicinal use of marijuana for treatment of Bipolar Disorder, Capitalism, and touched on the role of Jesus: “Jesus is everybody’s friend, not just humans.” These messages do not advocate for anything specific.

In the story, the central planet of the universe is a giant shopping mall – Shptiludrp (Shop Until You Drop). It is where universal governance is located. The surface of the planet is managed by Mr. Prump, an extreme capitalist who oversees consumerism as a means of determining the fate of all other planets in the universe. Planets found ineligible for continued existence face mineral extraction exploitation – Shrinkage. No, Mr. Prump does not have orange hair and any similarity between this character and Donald Trump is purely coincidental. Oh, by the way, Mr. Prump is a highly evolved cockroach, an Orwellian take-off similar to Animal Farm, a novel that once was required reading in public schools.

Mr. Prump has a brother, Mr. Rump, who lives in and manages the sewers of Shptiludrp under a socialistic structure. Any similarity between this character and Bernie Sanders is purely coincidental, even though one of the major crops produced by the workers under socialism is the best marijuana buds in the universe. A long-standing family feud between the brothers has prevented them talking to each other for thousands, well, for a very long time.

Lacy Dawn is the protagonist of Rarity from the Hollow. She’s an empowered victim of child abuse who saves the universe from an imminent threat. The novel begins in realism/ magical realism, but becomes increasingly satiric and comical. I’m not going to tell you how Lacy figures out this big mess because it could spoil your read, but I will say the story has a happily ever after ending, one that might be relevant to both U.S. politics and the science fiction community given our present day, real-life turmoils.    

Now, I hope Robert doesn't mind me adding this part, but he also expressed that;
 In Rarity, Mr. Prump and Rump, the extreme capitalist and the socialist, cockroach brothers, are described as Danny DeVito look-a-likes with cockroach bodies. There is no facial similarity between them and Donald Trump. Except -- in facial expressions. DeVito, whom I admire for his talent and political values, and Donald Trump, each have accentuated facial expressions that send messages beyond the words that they speak.

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