Crashing Eden Script in Semi-Finals!

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Charles Disney’s TV pilot based on my novel, Crashing Eden, has made it to the semi-finals of the Pilot Launch TV Script Contest. Charles initially wrote a movie script based on the novel, but decided he had too much material. So he switched gears and wrote a TV pilot, and then submitted it to the Pilot Launch TV Script Contest.  The winner of the contest receives $1,000 cash, professional consultation with the ScreenCraft team, and personal introductions by phone to top Hollywood managers, agents, and producers.

 

 

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Visionary Fiction Challenges Our Species to Evolve

 

 

 

(The original post of this article can be found at: VisionaryFictionAlliance.wordpress.com)

Human nature is not fixed. It has evolved over the course of millennia and is capable of further change. Is it overly grandiose to suggest that visionary fiction could help play a role in such a transformation?

Most likely, but I shall nevertheless make the case.

Visionary fiction overlaps with several better established genres, such as science fiction, fantasy, speculative, and inspirational fiction. What’s unique about visionary fiction is its focus on the expansion and evolution of the human mind, imagining new frontiers for the human spirit.

What’s the importance of visionary fiction in today’s world?

There is no denying that we live in an era of unprecedented change and extraordinary uncertainty about the future. It’s the Age of Crises. Population explosion, pollution, natural disasters, climate change, economic recession, scarcity of resources, terrorism, and ethnic wars all threaten to disrupt or end civilization as we know it.

Perhaps science and technology can help solve some of these dilemmas. But even the most astonishing technological breakthroughs will not save us if they are not accompanied by a transformation in how we think, act, and relate to each other.

Just as science fiction has furnished the inspiration for many technological advances, it’s conceivable that visionary fiction could help provide the inspiration for a new awakening of the human spirit.

For it is now evident that it’s the shortsighted, self-centered, greedy, and xenophobic aspects of human nature that have created our predicament. Only by evolving into a wiser, more generous, compassionate, and cooperative species can we hope to survive.

My novel, Crashing Eden, envisions a world in which humans are transformed by regaining the capacity to hear the primordial vibration of the universe, reestablishing Edenic consciousness. This may be pure fantasy, but unless we can manage to overcome our differences and think on a planetary scale, our future may well be bleak.

 

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God Condemns Crashing Eden

 

 

In a rare interview on Good Morning America, God denounced my YA novel, Crashing Eden, as “blasphemous rubbish.”

With His face blurred and His voice artificially altered, God proclaimed, “This book will corrupt young minds with its irreverent tone, sacrilegious content, and contemptuous portrayal of Me. It ought to be banned from schools, libraries, and any remaining bookstores.” God also criticized the story’s uneven pacing and weak character development.

Likening the novel to The Last Temptation of Christ and The Da Vinci Code, the Lord declared that “Crashing Eden distorts history and makes a mockery of sacred texts.” Asked about his one-star rating of the book, God replied that He would have given the book zero stars “if that was permitted by Amazon.”

 

 

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Crashing Eden Giveaway

 

I am giving away two free copies of Crashing Eden. Enter to win at Goodreads, where the contest runs from today through June 8th. Open to anyone from the U.S. or Canada.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Crashing Eden by Michael Sussman

Crashing Eden

by Michael Sussman

Giveaway ends June 08, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

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Crashing Eden is now in Paperback

 

 

 


I’m happy to announce that my novel, Crashing Eden, is now out in paperback. It’s available at Solstice Publishing and at Amazon, where it has garnered several 5-star reviews.

I’ve also been busy doing interviews on various book blogs, including Nicki J. Markus, I Am a Reader Not a Writer, and Books R Us.

I’m grateful to those generous bloggers and invite others who might be interested in doing a review, interview, and/or giveaway to contact me.

And any filmmakers who might be interested in making the novel into a movie can access my dreamworld via this portal. 😉

 

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My Son; My Muse

As a baby, my son was high maintenance. I stayed home with Ollie for the first couple of years and he always demanded my full attention.

At the time of his birth, I was preparing to record a CD of my own piano compositions. Ollie, however, had other plans for me. My job was to entertain him, and he made it clear that this did not include playing piano. The only time available to practice was during his naps, but I didn’t want to wake him.

So I canceled the hours I’d booked at the recording studio and shifted from playing music to writing fiction. Since it was a quiet activity, I could write during my son’s naps and in the evenings after he went to bed.

I wrote a comic mystery novel, titled Soup to Nuts, which I never managed to publish. But my writing continued to improve.

By the time Ollie was five, I’d read him hundreds of picture books. I didn’t care for most of them, and decided I could do better. So I began writing for children, and in 2009 my debut picture book—Otto Grows Down—was published by Sterling.

As Ollie aged, I started writing for older kids. He had an incredible imagination and became something of a writing partner. He supplied me with ideas and gave me invaluable feedback on my stories. He was even a good editor.

When Ollie was eleven, I began working on a young adult novel. Being precocious, he was already reading some YA novels himself. Ollie helped me construct the plot, develop characters, and refine the manuscript. The result, Crashing Eden, has been released by Solstice Publishing. I dedicated the book to Ollie. In truth, his name should accompany mine on the cover.

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Crashing Eden is out!

 

 

 

I’m pleased to announce that the e-book releases today. The paperback will soon be available as well.

Like most novels, this one has its flaws. Like most works of art, the finished product pales in comparison to the original vision.

Still, I’m genuinely happy with the book and feel proud to have written it.

I’d like to be one of those authors who ignores reviews, but I’m incapable of such restraint. Reading negative reviews can be tough, of course, but I take comfort in noting that all my favorite novels have plenty of 1-star reviews on Amazon.

Anyhow, I’m looking forward to feedback from followers of this blog. And I’m looking forward to starting a new project!

 

Cover Reveal!

The front cover of my soon-to-be-published novel has arrived. Pretty cool, no?

I’d love to hear any feedback, especially about the lettering (which can still be altered.)

Can’t Wait

Who doesn’t hate to wait?

The facial expressions of people in post offices and waiting rooms across the globe tell the story. Waiting is hell.

From childhood onward we’re told to be patient. But as Ambrose Bierce succinctly put it, patience is “a minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.”

Many jobs and professions entail a good deal of waiting, but perhaps writers have it worst of all.

We query agents and editors, and then wait weeks or months to hear whether we can submit a manuscript. (These days, we may never hear back at all; an increasingly popular policy among these folks is to reply only to queries that interest them.)

If you’re lucky enough to receive an invitation to submit your work, entire seasons may come and go before a response arrives.

And if you’re fortunate enough to receive a contract from a publisher, you’re waiting has just begun; it can easily take two years before your book hits the marketplace.

Currently I’m waiting for an illustrator to complete the cover art for my novel, Crashing Eden. I’m also waiting to hear back from reviewers who have advance copies of the book.

The usual advice writers hear for dealing with this ongoing dilemma is to start work on your next project. Makes sense. Now I just have to wait for my damn muse to get in the mood…

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What is Visionary Fiction?

When I first heard the term visionary fiction, what came to mind were such literary giants of the past as Dante, Milton, Goethe, Blake, and Whitman. Each of these authors bent toward the future, envisioning a human race struggling to evolve toward a higher spiritual plane.

Two of my favorite twentieth century writers, Nikos Kazantzakis (Zorba the Greek, Saint Francis, The Last Temptation of Christ) and Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha, Narcissus and Goldmund, Steppenwolf, The Glass Bead Game) were firmly in this tradition. Their novels portray protagonists who are striving to reach a more enlightened state of being.

Only recently have I discovered that visionary fiction is resurfacing as a “new” literary genre. In collaboration with fellow authors Shannon Sinclair, Jodine Turner, Saleena Karim, and Sandy Nathan, I’ve joined a Visionary Fiction Web Ring, and invite other novelists to become involved.

So what exactly is visionary fiction?

Perhaps the most cogent answer I’ve come across is from author Michael Gurian, who defines the genre as “fiction in which the expansion of the human mind drives the plot.”

According to Gurian, what moves the story along in visionary novels are such things as visions, hallucinations, mystical experiences, paranormal abilities, channeling, precognitive dreams, eerie coincidences, profound insights, and a feeling of being “utterly at one with the world.”

Visionary fiction overlaps with several better established genres, such as science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and new age fiction. What seems to be unique about visionary fiction is its focus on the expansion and evolution of the human mind, imagining new frontiers for the human spirit.

Although I didn’t set out to write visionary fiction, my forthcoming novel—Crashing Eden—seems to meet all of the relevant criteria. Still, the story ultimately defies categorization in that it can also be read as a tongue-in-cheek send-up of both organized religion and new age mysticism.

The last word goes to that quirky comedian and philosopher, Steven Wright, who said: “I was a peripheral visionary. I could see the future, but only way off to the side.”

 

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