…with Tom Olbert
The Cartesian Theatre now welcomes guests from around the worldosphere, with an invitation to tell us all about themselves – in 25 words or less. Okay, okay, it’s not as bad as all that: they get 25 words per answer. They can wax lyrical if they want, but beware: I edit with an axe…
This week, let’s give a big hand to Tom Olbert, a writer of darkly fantastical science fiction tales.
Hi, Tom, tell us “all” about yourself.
I’m an author of science fiction and dark paranormal fiction, and a volunteer for progressive causes.
What is the most inspirational thing you’ve ever read – and why?
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury – because it fuelled my imagination with an effective mixture of wonder, horror, introspection and social commentary, and did so by putting human nature before gadgets.
What was your first published work?
My first published work was a short story entitled Rat Race, published in a small-press subscriber publication called “Unicorns and Space Stations”.
What is the best thing you’ve never had published?
In my opinion, the best thing I’ve yet to get published is Wages of Truth, a space opera about sectarian war and science vs. religion.
Interesting themes there. What are you most proud of – in your life, not just your writing?
I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve committed to working for causes I care about, whenever possible, and to striving for self-improvement.
Tell us about your latest work – novel, short story, shopping list, whatever.
My latest release is Long Haul, a darkly comical science fiction adventure novella about truckers who have to cross alternate universes to deliver their loads.
Pitch us your unwritten masterpiece – you’re in the Hollywood elevator now…
What if the CIA and US Military waged a covert spy vs. spy war against the fossil fuel industry?
Huh – I did not see where that was going! So, if only one person was to ever read your work – who would you want it to be?
Ray Bradbury – because he inspired me the most. He blended magic, wonder and philosophy the most effectively, and I’d like to know if any of that rubbed—
Oops – sorry, Tom, you ran one word too long!
What are your plans for the future – all of it?
I plan to keep writing, working for what I believe in, and trying to improve at both.
My sympathy to Tom for not quite making it the finishing line intact – but I reckon people will be able to guess where he was heading before the axe came down! You can find out more at his blog, and maybe he’ll come back again one day, more under relaxed circumstances…