Alex Terrified Hero
The first book in the series
This first novel in the Dark Universe series explores a number of themes,
although many more have been found by readers than I ever imagined were there.
Friendship: This was one of the easiest themes I delved into. The Earthlings are tossed into a mind exploding new type of situation and it is important for each of them to have others they can count on. At the same time the aliens in the book are all involved in a dramatic undertaking, with not just their own lives at stake, but the lives of planets full of creatures. Their friendships are intense, with conflict erupting between individuals who have different ideas of how to succeed.
Coming-of-age: This was one of the harder themes to write about in this story. Alex is struggling with coming-of-age issues, but in a more desperate battle than many teenagers face. Just like most young adults he is struggling with who he will be. We see an alien’s, Hheilea’s, struggles in becoming an adult. Her struggles while dealing with an alien culture still have similarities to what we Earthlings deal with. I’m not going to go into her struggles here, because they are very important to the story and I wouldn’t want to spoil it for any new reader. That was the easy stuff. Writing about A’idah still makes me feel like crying. Where she comes from a young woman-really still a girl can be forced to marry her rapist. Coming of age can mean choosing between faith and death. You can learn more about what her culture is like on the research page.
Religious rights: I don’t cover this. I explore this, meanwhile faith and logic fight. By definition it is the right to have or to adopt a religion or belief of an individual’s choice and either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest this religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, and teaching. Included in this right is to not manifest or believe in any religion. One of my characters is from a place on Earth where it is difficult to freely manifest their religion. I worked very hard and with help to cover this correctly. In the next book these issues become even more a part of the story.
Animal rights: This theme is explored here in the way only science-fiction writing can, via the what-if-question. In this case the questions asked are: ‘What if we could understand all animals? How would the aliens of this universe deal with animal rights?’ Their perspectives are expectedly alien to us. I strive to present one possibility of how Earthlings would react. I would love to hear from readers about what you think. How do you treat your pets or and how do you treat animals you are raising for food? Would being able to understand them change how you treat them?
Individual rights: They are an important part of this story. Who will you be is an important question for everyone and many things inside and outside of us struggle with who we would be. In this story we get into the struggle individuals have with having the right to be who they would be. Do you have a voice suggesting choices or behavior you know isn’t the best choice? If you are fortunate you also have a voice encouraging you in wiser choices. My characters have a hard time making it on their own and I do too.
Women's rights: We delve into them with Hheilea and with A’idah. I don’t write about terms like bodily integrity, rights, or entitlements, but I do write about real things. Hheilea feels like she has no choices about her future. A’idah has very dark memories from her past and a passion to make a difference. Because their issues are really important for the story I don’t want to go into details. Read about their struggles and then get involved in the conversation. Be an A’idah, fight to make a difference. The worst situation is knowing you could’ve done something, but didn’t.
We will continue to explore these in more depth in later books. Please, become part of the exploration by providing your opinions. We might not always agree, but I want to hear what you think. There are other themes, but I will let the reader explore and find them on their own. Thank you for your interest and I hope to hear from you.