Archive for May, 2012

Doing the impossible

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

I did a book signing a few weeks back at Chapters in West Edmonton Mall, and there are a few advantages to do a book signing at that location. First, it’s close to where I live. Second, the mall, and thus the store, has good traffic and lots of potential buyers. Finally, there’s a Starbucks located in the bookstore, and coffee is absolute necessity for me to be spending hours at one spot. I would like to thank those who took pity on me sitting at the table and bought me coffee.

I actually had four books with me that day. Besides the Castle trilogy, I also had my first book Talnut, which I thought I’d talk about.

Talnut is a science fiction story of a young man, Carl, who was abducted by aliens and dropped in a zoo. Not an ordinary zoo, as there weren’t any cages or vendors selling hotdogs to visitors. However, he was placed on a peninsula, bounded by a sea and an impassable desert, which effectively locked him in. Besides Carl, there was a village of people who, for the most part, were descendents of others abducted by the aliens.

So Carl figures that the only way to get home to Earth is to get off the peninsula and to the mainland, where he suspects the aliens are. If they can take him away from Earth, they can also return him. I know he’s naive in thinking that, but he’s young and doesn’t know the word impossible. He also refuses to believe the witchdoctor’s daughter (Tanya) won’t agree to marry him, despite her statement she’s not allowed to marry and doesn’t even like him.

So Carl can’t get to the mainland by sea, or by land, and his love life is stalled by Tanya’s refusal to see his point of view. What can he do? At this point I’d like to bring in the famous Kobayashi Maru situation in Star Trek. Captain James T. Kirk manages to beat the no-win situation. Of course he cheated, but he did find a way to win.

If you want to know what Carl did to try to accomplish what he wanted, you’ll have to read the book. But also if you ever feel stymied on solving a problem, remember there’s always another option. If Captain Kirk can do the impossible, surely we can manage the improbable.

Jack Wear   Talnut link: