Hosted by Becky Parker Geist, this episode is a discussion with Chris Shockowitz, author of Silent Invasion, book one in the science fiction Zalthuras Series, as well as the novel Colonizing Trappist; also joining the interview is long-time colleague and friend of Chris: Rajeev Nanda, author of AI.gov and RISE: Essential Soft-Skills For Career Management.
Becky Parker Geist and Rajeev Nanda interview Chris Shockowitz about his latest book
A discussion with Chris Shockowitz, author of the sci-fi Zalthuras Series: Silent Invasion, as well as the novel Colonizing Trappist; and Rajeev Nanda, author of AI.gov and RISE: Essential Soft-Skills For Career Management.
Rajeev asks about classic Sci-fi and where Chris Shockowitz fits in with authors such as Clarke, Asimov, and Heinlein. Chris reminds Rajeev of Author C. Clarke.
We discuss Sci-Fi and Fantasy – Sci-fi trends.
Chris’ next book in his work queue is the next book in the Zalthuras series: Earth’s Zero Hour.
Chris researches technological advances and thinks through how they might work and change our daily lives.
Chris does research to incorporate feasible technologies for the timeframe of his books. Earth’s Zero Hour for example includes technologies like an orbital ring and nano rail to transport people and equipment economically to low Earth orbit. These technologies can be built today.
Chris worked at Intel for 25 years where he built high performing teams and participated in new technology research, implementation, and integration.
When Encountering Aliens
When encountering aliens, the first thing is to be mindful of is that an alien will not think like a human. We need to learn their motivations, values, and goals without assumptions based on human norms or emotions.
As humans, we need to focus on how we are alike rather than on our differences.
A common goal or a common enemy is the best way to bring people together due to our tribal nature. We naturally seek out those who are most similar to us. Chris thinks we need to work harder on building bridges than building walls.
Clip from the audiobook Silent Invasion.
Psychology – Chris’ research and his management experience at Intel helped him develop his understanding of human psychology. He applies these in his writing, storytelling, and character building.
Chris keeps his books clean but enjoys Peter Hamilton, Iain Banks, and Game of Thrones.
Dystopian Sci Fi Trends
Are the trends in Sci Fi toward Dystopian futures, the end of the world, or dark topics a sign? Chris believes it is a combination of personal taste, difficult situations that bring out a lot of emotion when telling a story, or for some diminished hope.
Some people have less hope in the future. Chris has increased hope due to technological advances and how fast we progress. The bleaker trends may be helping motivate us to make a change.
Fewer people seem to be writing classic sci-fi with more sci-fi fantasy coming out. Classic sci-fi writers were typically looking out to the future and often making accurate predictions. Why are we seeing this change. It is partially marketing. Partially future technologies are harder to predict. Partially, as technology gets better, it disappears and is harder to write about.
Silent Invasion exposes human flaws through a story about alien manipulation. This story allows us to look at ourselves through alien eyes. Humans need to take personal responsibility for their actions and think of the consequences of personal actions. Things are considered bad for a reason!
What is humanity’s destiny? “It could be many things. We just haven’t finished inventing it yet.”
Looking beyond our solar system – assuming there is intelligent life out there, that we can play a role in interstellar society.
Chris shares about Colonizing Trappists and how each race plays to their strengths. People’s skills will take them into what they are good at. What would we become? Who knows what kind of races are out there and what would we want to do as a race as our specialty.
There is an increasing interest in aliens and UFOs. What else is out there besides humans? The Fermi Paradox defines about how many intelligent alien species should be out there right now and asks, why don’t we see them?
Humanity has an innate curiosity. We always seek to find what is on the other side of the mountains, across the ocean, or on another planet. We need to build common ground with whatever other living species are out there. We need to fuel our imaginations much more than we do today.
Then there’s the multiverse – where they aren’t like us, they are us.
What’s next for Chris
Next (2nd) book in Zalthuras series: Earth’s Zero Hour; the aliens return
Get the Audiobook
Also available at most audiobook retailers
Connect with Chris Shockowitz
Patrick Snow – Becoming A Bestselling Author, Highly-Paid Speaker, and Sought-After Coach. Patrick’s passion is helping authors publish and market their books and build their speaking, coaching, and consulting businesses.
Folsom Digital Marketing: Author platforms, websites, and digital marketing services
Docent at Placerville Observatory