Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Straight Chatting from the Library: Michael Leon

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


The Pros and Cons of Writing Science Fiction

Writing speculative fiction has the disadvantage of making predictions that prove to be very wrong! Although it’s a story of fiction, for me, it's a serious attempt at imagining the future, something even the best of sci-fi writers have attempted and got very wrong!

For example, in Robert Heinlein's 1949 short story, All Roads Must Roll, he anticipated city roads would be conveyer belts moving at 100 mph! The closest to that are escalators and people movers in airports, but his prediction about roads was a misfire!

Most science fiction regarding predicting the future has shown how fraught the occupation can be, but some have made bold and eerily accurate predictions. To name a few:

George Orwell's 1949 novel 1984 predicted aspects of today's surveillance world of CCTV cameras.
Edward Bellamy's 1888 novel, Looking Backward, introduced the term 'credit card'.
Ray Bradbury's 1953 novel, Fahrenheit 1951, introduced wireless earphones called 'thimble radios' a half-century before ear pods became available.
William Gibson's 1984 novel, Neuromancer, predicted the world wide web a decade before the internet came.
Arthur C Clarke's 1968 novel, 2001 A Space Odyssey, envisioned electronic news pads thirty years before the first tablet computer.

Engaging in science fiction commentary allows the writer to imagine new worlds, sometimes offering potential solutions to today's problems or warnings about the world's hazards. For me, it's a positive way of learning and thinking critically about our complex world.

In my last novel, Sentient, I imagined the world fell into the environmental decline today’s scientists are warning us to avoid. The threat leads to rapid technological advancement to address the global climate crisis. But rampant, unchecked technological advancement poses unforeseen problems, threatening the human race as post-humans increasingly become the dominant culture. I continue that theme in my new novel, Chandelier.

If you’d like to explore the future world in CHANDELIER in more detail, read my last novel, SENTIENT, available on Amazon.


CHANDELIER is the genre-bending sci-fi/fantasy-romance novel follow up of Michael Leon’s 2019 fantasy-romance book, PHANTOMS. A century has passed since the fabled Phantom ruled the Garnier Opera House. Technology has advanced, and AI has evolved beyond human knowledge. They reside in a virtual Earth, free from the ravages of an environmentally damaged Earth where humans and post-humans live under AI’s qualified governance. CHANDELIER follows one AI sentient’s journey, Benny, whose loyalty for a famous opera singer, Madame D’Arenberg, sets him on a dangerous course, entangling him in The Phantom of the Opera’s deadly web.


The twilight between tired revellers and early morning risers had become Erik’s refuge, a place where the pains of past and present could coalesce in his ritual of the macabre. He’d dreamt of his tormentors again, beasts controlled by masters who understood their canine's savagery as intimately as a mother knew her child and recurring nightly, taunting his mind.

Chilly breezes flowed down from the Lepontine Alps, carving patterns across Lake Como, so he drew his coat closer, protecting all but his face, but he wouldn't feel an arctic breeze there. He touched his pale cheeks, not to warm them for they were permanently cold, an immovable party mask. Instead, he felt the rough texture of the implanted skin, grafted to his face. Habitually, he reached into his coat pocket for a medicated ointment that soothed and camouflaged his face in equal measure.

A single boat predictably made its way toward the Bellagio port, the first for the day, in wait for the steady procession of commuters and tourists that would navigate the Lombardy region, Italy's foothills to the Swiss alps. The light from the slow-moving boat cast a darker than usual spotlight on the famous U-shaped lake, lit by its twin light, a crescent moon. It took Erik back to a dark past when he ruled the Garnier from the recesses of its famous lake chamber. His rule was cut short through carelessness, a mistake he would not repeat. He’d return to the jewel of the opera crown and rule that grand world again, but this time he'd lead it from the stage rather than Garnier’s hidden lake.

Were similar dark secrets contained in the black depths of Lake Como? The thought made him grimace, drawing pain. He held his mouth and cheeks, soothing the scar lines camouflaged beneath a thick beard. The scars, like his name, Erik, were all that remained of his past life, contingencies needed to protect him from those who’d seek to destroy him.


Michael Leon is an explorer, writer and author of the new novel, Sentient. Professionally trained in international trade, Michael has spent the last decade reading and writing SFF novels about new worlds to be explored in the future. His latest work, Sentient, imagines Earth in the year 2120. His next novel, Chandelier, will be released in 2022. Michael has travelled extensively around Europe, walking the paths of his characters, from the famous European opera houses in Phantoms to the mountain tops of Switzerland in Emissary.

Website: https://www.michaelleon.com.au
Twitter: https://twitter.com/michaelleon0433
Blogger: https://michaelleoncommentspage.blogspot.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5369984.Michael_Leon
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Leon/e/B01LNQALBW%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share


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  1. Thanks to Straight from the Library for hosting this stop on my tour!

  2. I enjoyed the author post on science fiction writing. Even if the authors get things wrong, reading their ideas is fun.

  3. Sounds like an interesting story..