Eric Klein Author

Interview with Dellani Oakes (2)

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Today we have a returning visitor, Dellani Oakes with more about her Series The Lone Wolf Series – Lone Wolf – Book 1, Shakazhan – Book 2, The Maker – Book 3. There is also a volume of short stories and novellas linked to characters in this series, called The Lone Wolf Tales.

Thank you for coming back, I must say that I had a lot of fun chatting on your radio program Red River Radio Dellani’s Tea Time.

I know that I have asked some of these before, but let’s try again.

What was the most surprising thing you found out while researching/writing your latest book?

Well, I can’t say it was particularly surprising, but I found that I know less about science than I thought. I guess those A’s I got as a kid were a lie. It proves that I am very good at cramming for an exam, but not so good when it comes to actually applying the knowledge to real (or fictional) life. I imagine that lack explains why I went into the fine arts, instead of sciences, in college.

Why did you choose this setting?

The choice was two fold. First, I’ve always felt that sci-fi doesn’t travel far enough into the future. Early sci-fi authors thought we would be much more technologically advanced (flying cars, robots, etc) in the 21st Century. Sadly, we’re still dependent upon fossil fuel, ground based cars and our human workforce to accomplish tedious tasks. That being said, I decided to push the envelope, and place it well into the future, like Star Trek. Why did I choose the year 3032? No idea. I just liked the feel of it.

Secondly, my original idea was to write a book very loosely based on some characters my husband, and a couple friends, and I came up with in our Traveler game. Traveler was a forerunner of Cyberpunk, a space age Dungeons and Dragons, if you will. My husband ran the game and I played Matilda Dulac, also known as Romance. One friend created the Marc Slatterly character. I forgot the character’s name over time, so his is completely made up. The other created Wil, the Lone Wolf. I couldn’t remember his full name, only that it was Wilhelm Van—Something. I gave him the name Wilhelm VanLipsig. Since Traveler is set well in the future, I followed that lead.

What’s unique about your world?

I have several worlds, all of which are strange and unique. The most action takes place on Shakazhan, the home planet of the legendary race, the Timokuan. This race of warriors were responsible for overthrowing the evil Kahlea. In the battle, their planet was so deeply damaged, they abandoned it, and took to the stars.

However, some of their people went underground and built homes there. They were able to do this, because the planet is an artificial construct, which houses hundreds of unique races inside. The Maker – Book 3, delves into more of the history of the planet.

When Wil, Matilda and Marc first arrive, Shakazhan is all but dead – at least on the surface. Little do they know that beneath the parched earth, the planet teems with life, very little of which, is friendly.

How real do you think the science is in your book?

I gloss over the science part. This was another reason for setting it well into the future. The technology has advanced so much, it can’t be explained in 21st Century terms. As I mentioned, science was never my strong suit, but I have a hell of an imagination. My ships travel through portals in space called Interstices. These lead to Ubiquitous Space. This technology replaced hyperspace travel several centuries ago. All this was made possible by the discovery of Trimagnite ore, a semi-liquid, highly toxic material, which is the most sought after substance in the universe. The Galactic Mining Guild finds and extracts it. The Navigation Guild is the primary purchaser of the refined ore, as it uses it to power its ships.

Their tech is nothing compared to a new race the humans find, when they delve deeper into uncharted space. When they reach Iyundo, another mythical planet, they encounter the Kindred. It would take an entire essay to explain these folks, so I’ll just let you read the books. They introduce the humans to a race of sentient ships, who can produce whatever their occupants need. It is with their help that the mismatched group of miners and Marines find their way to Shakazhan.

What was the most mundane item that you used that really has cool tech behind it? What is the tech?

Probably the most mundane, every day item used in my books, is the synthunit. These come in different styles and sizes, but basically, I stole the idea from Star Trek. The name is different, but the principle is the same. People can make clothing and meals with the synthunits. The units can recycle anything from used clothing, to human waste. Everything is processed by the ship to make the raw material for the necessary items. The units are programmable, so that you can create a meal, as if cooking from scratch. Some people still manually cook, but this is a dying art, mostly found only in primitive places. Different synthunits have different levels of programming. The very simple ones will only produce basic meals and uniforms. The really fancy ones will produce a seven course, gourmet meal and designer clothing.

What’s the tech? – Magic? (Fine Arts Major)

What did you include that you wish was real today?

I really wish that the sentient ships were real. The technology is later adapted, and applied to living quarters on Shakazhan. Wouldn’t it be great to have a house which prepared your meals, cleaned itself, and always had your favorite caffeinated beverage waiting for you? It would certainly solve the age old issue of “Hey, Mom! What’s for supper?” I get seriously sick of that question.

What technology or science do you think will most affect the world of tomorrow?

The technology that seems to have most greatly affected society now, is the cellphone. I can see it further influencing the future. Call me old fashioned, if you will, but I see cellular technology as both a blessing and a curse. Sure, it’s great to be able to call anyone, anywhere. But – it’s possible to call anyone, anywhere. People’s conversational boundaries are gone. They act as if no one else can hear an intimate conversation, just because they are talking on their phone.

An example of this was a young man I overheard at an airport. Before anyone accuses me of eavesdropping on his conversation, let me explain. I was sitting there first, and he sat behind me. He was talking to a young woman on his tablet. They were discussing their Night of Passion – I kid you not, he said that. I couldn’t hear her side, but his side of the conversation was quite off-putting. He’s surrounded by others, speaking less than quietly, in intimate detail. I tried not to listen, but he was directly behind me, and loud. Whether he simply forgot where he was, or the really was that much of an exhibitionist, I don’t know. I was so glad when that conversation ended.

This is, perhaps, an extreme example, but we have all been unwitting, unwilling partners to conversations that don’t directly include us. I don’t see that changing, in fact, I think it’s getting worse.

Anything else to share with our readers?

I am currently editing The Kahlea – Book 4. My goal is to have it out this year, but no precise date on that.