This week Teen Word Factory is hosting multi-published authors, Rob and Karina Fabian. They are currently touring their book Infinite Space, Infinite God II.
A little background about the author/editors:
On November 3, 1990, Rob and Karina Fabian were married at the Air Force Academy chapel, thus starting a collaboration that has resulted in four children and three anthologies. While the children are still works-in-progress, their books have won an EPPIE award for best sci-fi (Infinite Space, Infinite God), and been top placers in the Preditor and Editor polls (Infinite Space, Infinite God and Leaps of Faith). In their spare time, they like to play crazy card games and watch sci-fi and Mythbusters.
Robert Fabian: Rob is a Colonel in the USAF whose training is in military space operations, but whose career has ranged from commanding an ICBM maintenance squadron to tracking satellites in deep space, and from working as a space policy analyst for the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy to speechwriting for the Chief of Staff of the US Air Force. He served as an Air Force Research Fellow with the Rand Corporation. He has written several articles on the military and commercial use of space, the most recent of which appeared in Astropolitics: The International Journal of Space Power and Policy. A life-long sci-fi buff and real-life space enthusiast, Rob handles the technical/detail side of the Fabian writing team.
: After being a straight-A student, Karina now cultivates Fs: Family, Faith, Fiction and Fun. From and order of nuns working in space to a down-and-out faerie dragon working off a geas from St. George, her stories surprise with their twists of clichés and incorporation of modern day foibles in an otherworld setting. Her quirky twists and crazy characters have won awards, including the INDIE book award for best fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem), and a Mensa Owl for best fiction (World Gathering). In May 2010, her writing took a right turn with a devotional, Why God Matters, which she co-wrote with her father. Mrs. Fabian is former President of the Catholic Writer’s Guild and also teaches writing and book marketing seminars online.
An Interview with Rob and Karina Fabian:
Reb: Did you grow up in a ‘reading’ household? Do you think that made a difference in the amount of reading you do? Did it affect your desire to write?
Rob: My dad was a voracious reader, but was so busy with work that we rarely saw him reading. My parents taught me to read at an early age and red to me every day until I wanted to do the reading myself. Plus, as a military brat, I made it a reading household because I was the reader. My own reading certainly made me very interested in being a writer--but it took my wife to get me past the "I'm interested" stage.
Karina: I grew up in a TV household. CHiPs and Emergency 51 and Star Trek and all the crazy cartoons. My dad taught me to read at age three, and we always had books and comics around, though I only remember him reading a couple--Louis L'Amor and the Gray Lensman series. I was a very shy child who took refuge in books, however, and in telling tall tales. That's what gave me the desire to write, I think.
Reb: As a youngster, what did you want to be when you grew up? When did this change, if it did.
Rob: Until about 10, I wanted to be a detective or a paleontologist, mostlye because I was reading Hardy Boys or dinosaur books. At age 10, I discovered Heinlein sci-fi and decided I was going to be a military space officer--and I've done that ever since.
Karina: I wanted to be a teacher, a nun, an astronaut… For a while, I thought I'd be a scientist--then I took a physics lab and realized that much as I'd like it, the equipment would not! I became a military officer because I got a scholarship; and a wife and mom because I fell in love. However, I've always loved writing, and I'm happy with how things have turned out.
Reb: What was your favorite childhood activity and why?
Rob: Reading, because I was a military brat and packing up and moving every couple of years. It enabled me to escape to worlds where I could be in control and be the hero.
Karina: Reading, because I could escape to exciting new worlds and live out lives different from my own.
Reb: Has your writing ever been influenced in any way by this activity?
Rob & Karina: We certainly hope so!
Reb: How does your spouse/significant other respond to the demands writing takes on your time, energy & finances?
Rob: It's her job. Karina flexes for my job and I flex for hers. It's a partnership. Frankly, Karina has to be more flexible than I do. (Rob is a colonel in the Air Force.)
Karina: Rob is a writer's dream husband. 'Nuff said!
Reb: If your child declared they were going to an author while a senior in high school. How would you respond?
Rob & Karina: Get a day job! (Seriously, any art-based career outside of advertising and journalism is difficult to make a comfortable living on.)
Reb: If your daughter wants to marry an author who is just starting out and has no other job, what would you tell her? If your son wants to marry an author… Does it make a difference?
Rob & Karina: Doesn't matter, as long as one of them has a day job and the other is willing to take care of the house, etc. They've seen how a great partnership works; we'd hope they'd take that experience with them.
Reb: Would you rather go on vacation alone or with others? Why?
Rob & Karina: With each other, definitely.
Reb: When you go on vacation, do you write or work on WIP?
Karina: All the time. I love to write in the car while Rob drives, and when we went househunting in California without the kids, I took advantage of the quiet time to write two stories that ended up in The Zombie Cookbook. One, "Wokking Dead" was so enjoyed, the publisher asked me to write a novel based on the characters. Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator was published in December 2010, and I'm working on the sequel. Vacations are very good for me.
Reb: What would happen if you lost the ability to type or speak?
Rob & Karina: Padded room? Cybertechnology to link the computer to mind waves, or (to go low-tech) a device like Stephen Hawking has.
Reb: If space-flight became viable during your lifetime, would you take a trip to Mars or elsewhere? Why or why not? Would you live in a space colony on another planetary surface? Why or why not?
Karina: No. (Though I would to be with Rob.) Maybe when the kids are grown.
Reb: If there were no restrictions of any sort (time, money, etc) what would you love to do and why?
Rob: I'd be going into space! I can't afford a commercial ticket now, but if money were no object, I'd be in orbit. More to the point, I'd be doing things to push mankind beyond earth's orbit--long term settlements off-world, etc.
Karina: I'm already doing what I love. I'd like to have more time, money, energy, knowledge to do everything better.
Reb: Do you think people who are especially good at something, writers, singers, musicians, artists, etc, were born with talent or can it be fostered throughout a lifetime?
Rob: I think that individuals have innate interests but you have to work to bring them out. If you took the same person in two different circumstances, you will find they have very different abilities because of the paths and choices they take on the way.
Karina: I think everyone has a group of innate talents, but those they nurture and get support for are the ones they will eventually excel in.
Reb: Where in the world is your favorite place and why? Have you ever been? Do you have plans to ever go or go back?
Karina & Rob: Our favorite place is wherever we are together. However, in our military career, we have been to Texas (where we met), Italy (where Karina was stationed and Rob visited), Japan (where our first two kids were born), Wyoming, Colorado, Rhode Island, Virginia, North Dakota, California and Utah. We had wonderful adventures in each place and would be glad to go back to them, but right now, Utah stands out as the favorite. What will the future hold for moving? That's up to where Rob gets transferred or finds a retirement job. For us, home is truly where the heart is.
Reb: You’ve been asked to choose 5-10 books for a space capsule. What would you choose and why?
Rob & Karina: Rob's "Eschbrick": Eschbach's Handbook of Engineering Fundamentals, single volume set of Lord of the Rings, The Bible, a Catechism of the Catholic Church, a survival manual (for space, of course), a historical timeline (so we don't forget where we came from), a dictionary for the languages of each of the major space-faring nations, a Rudyard Kipling collection…
… We spent a long time discussing which of our favorite novels to put in for entertainment value, but tastes are so varied, we couldn't decide except for LoTR and Kipling. If it were personal, then one of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden novels, some of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, Heinlein's Starship Troopers and a sampling of his early works, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle.
Reb: If Science could make immortality possible, would you do it? Why or why not?
Rob: I'm torn. I wouldn't want to be the only one, but I can see the resource problem with that. We'd need to expand into the solar system, but if we conquer that--yeah, I'd love to see where we are in a thousand years. I just don't want to be on Planet Earth with 18 trillion people and I don't want to see all the people I love die.
Karina: No. There's something even better waiting after I die. (Not that I'm in a hurry, mind you.)
Write a Twitter tweet about your next release. (140 characters): A blind date with Coyote the Trickster? Not the Perfect 10 she'd hoped for. (link for the rest)
SummaryTwelve science fiction stories featuring Catholic heroes. Meet a time traveler who sacrifices his life to give a man a sip of water, and the nun who faces venomous snakes to save a friend. Share the adventures of priests who battle aliens and machines in order serve the greater good.
Infinite Space, Infinite God II spans the gamut of science fiction, from near-future dystopias to time travel to space opera, puzzles of logic to laugh-out-loud humor and against-the-clock suspense. A great read for any science fiction fan--a must-read for the Catholic sci-fi lover.
Sample of ISIG II
Excerpt from "Antivenin" by Karina Fabian:
No, Ann was not durak. Now if Rita could just keep from doing anything lethally stupid. She grabbed the line, gave it a tug of her own to make sure it was secure, and pulled herself to the Mark 16:18.
Once inside the other ship, they exited the suits, positioning them for emergency donning. Then Rita set up the rescue balloons: nanomylar bags large enough to hold a man. Once sealed, a small motor generated air and heat for thirty minutes--an hour with an expansion pack. She pulled out the retractable strap on her medical kit and slung it over her shoulder.
Ann, meanwhile, had tried to contact the pilot and passenger both via the intercom and by yelling down the hall. Nothing.
Sr. Thomas spoke over their headsets. "Small asteroids coming. Brace yourself!"
They managed to grab the threshold just as the ship jinxed wildly to the left.
Sr. Thomas called, "At least two more, but you have a couple of minutes. Ann, can you disable those sensors before we jerk that tow line off?"
Rita's stomach clutched at the thought. "You go to engineering. I'll search for wounded."
Ann hurried down the corridor, while Rita followed more slowly, opening each door to scan the room. The ship was larger than she'd expected: six doors on each side led to rooms that had been converted to storage. Most were packed wall to wall, floor to ceiling, with an empty strip just wide enough for a person to pull something off a shelf and carry it out. She wondered what kind of cargo the ship carried.
It was eerily quiet, with nothing but the background hum of the engine, the hissing of doors and the sound of her own footsteps. What had happened to the crew?
"Rita! I found someone in the center compartment. He's unconscious. Respiration shallow. He's drooling a lot. I've never seen anything like it."
"Ann, pull up your collar, now." She pulled at the collar of her own skinsuit. The tightly compacted fibers stretched until the fabric covered her mouth and nose. She pressed along her nose and cheeks with thumb and forefinger, creating a seal. The fabric, actually a sophisticated biofilter, would enable her to breathe while blocking most airborne hazards. "Make him comfortable. I'm on my way. If there's nothing you can do, go on to engineering."
"I thought I heard something in the port corridor. I'm going to check that first."
"But if the tow line breaks--"
"Basilica has more. Tommie will catch us again."
It only took Rita a minute to get down the long hall, through the pie-shaped galley room and into the central hub. Ann had set the man upright against the wall and put a slap-patch on his cheek: Oxyboost and a mild stimulant. A second patch read his vital signs.
Rita knelt beside him and puzzled over his stats. They looked more like poisoning than a virus. His face was slack, eyelids drooping. She lifted one. The dilated pupils responded sluggishly to the bright light of the room.
Sr. Thomas called over the headset: "Brace!"
Rita braced one hand on each side of the victim. Again the ship jerked. Rita heard the metallic sound of dishes sliding and clattering to the floor. The man bumped against her arms, but did not fall.
Sr. Thomas said, "One more coming. You've got about two minutes-thirty, maybe three."
"I'm fine. I definitely heard something this time. Last room on the left, port corridor. Door's jammed."
The man was stirring feebly now, but not enough to help. Rita muscled him around until she could get her arms under his and drag him back to the rescue bag. Despite the months of heavy exercise, she was panting from exertion as she all but dumped him into the nanomylar bag. The man forced a moan. His hand twitched and bumped her.
"Be still. We'll get you to our ship where we can treat you."
He tapped the floor: three slow, two fast. Universal Space Code for "Attention."
"You want to tell me something? Go ahead. I'm listening." They'd drilled the universal tap code daily in her training, and at the convent Mother Superior declared "tap code hours" to keep everyone in practice. It had annoyed her no end, but she was glad of it now.
But he tapped, "No. Look. Attention."
"All right. I'm watching your hand." Slowly, as if it took great will, he spelled:
Ann called, "Got it! Opening the door now."
"Antivenom? What?" Was he hallucinating? She pulled up his sleeves, then his pantlegs.
"Rita?" Ann's voice was a thin ghost of a wail. "Serpents..."
Two small puncture marks, like pinpricks around a slightly swelled area.
"Annie. Just walk out quickly but calmly--"
"Brace!" Sr. Thomas called.
The ship swung, knocking Rita off balance. Through the headset and the ship, she heard Ann scream.
Excerpt from "An Exercise in Logic " by Barton Levenson:
In her room, Julian pored over data she had downloaded from the honendo library. She aligned pictures of a honendo, a desli, a meschottu, and a human. The first three had tails, the human didn't. Tails? Could it be that simple?
Don't be stupid. Look at the other similarities. The three alien species were all reptiles, and all about the same size -- the human picture on the same scale was shorter than the others. All three alien species were egg-layers, and that was probably a big part of the picture. If reproductive physiology was as important to them as it was to humans, that might be the key. The religious primers she had looked through often used a picture of an egg to illustrate existence. Their writers talked about the inside of the shell of the sky when talking about astronomy. And even though their written symbol for "zero" was a sort of check mark rather than a circle, the word for zero (sfuh) also meant "egg."
Doesn't matter. Whatever the difference is, they don't believe humans can produce a luendo. It's a dead end. Think of something else.
* * *
Seventeen days to go.
"How many worlds do the honendo still occupy?" Julian asked the High Council.
Greddil replied, "If you mean how many have a honendo majority, I'd say about eight, isn't that right, Rann?"
"Eight is correct," said Rann.
"But there are over a hundred worlds and habitats with at least a few honendo on them," added Greddil. "Used to be millions, but we've declined since then."
"Do your people ever indulge in interstellar travel?" asked Julian.
"It has been known to happen."
"Then I submit to you that there could be honendo on New Canaan now, even as we speak, and one of them may have laid an egg. The egg may contain a fetal luendo."
"It doesn't seem very likely," said Greddil. "But I'll put a request through TravelNet. It may take a few days to get an answer."
Uh oh. There went her argument, except in the unlikely case that she was right. "Does TravelNet keep tabs on every individual honendo?"
"Of course," said Greddil.
* * *
Thirteen days to go.
"I have researched legal precedents," said Julian. "Please take note of the case In the Matter of Charril, 11,319,255. The court held that Charril had, and I quote, 'The legal, moral and religious duty to render aid,' and that she had failed egregiously in not warning the family of the defect in the robot's programming."
"You raise an interesting point," said Greddil. "We do respect court decisions here. Will you hold on a moment while I review the case?"
Greddil manipulated something on the bench. It was too high for Julian to see if he had a Pad or used something built in to the surface in front of him.
After a while, Greddil said, "The court referred to the earlier precedent of Honendo Sphere of Enlightenment v. Drann 5,123,582, which said that the legal, moral and religious duty to render aid was implied by the duties to one's family, and that all living honendo were ultimately to be regarded as one family in such matters."
"Surely that distinction is not pertinent," said Julian. "In a larger sense, are not all sentient beings creations of the gods, or as my beliefs have it, of God? And are they not all, therefore, to be regarded as one family in the sense required? A great expounder of my religion, anticipating the coming days of space travel, said, 'Those who are, or can become his sons, are my brothers even if they have tusks or feelers'."
"Well, that's very nice, but note that the Honendo really are biologically related to one another, having all come from the same evolutionary ecology. We and humans did not come from the same ecology and are not really related."
"You're not related to desli or meschottu either, but they can produce luendos, can't they?"
"Yes, but humans cannot."
"It should be obvious," said Greddil. "You're not our type."
"But don't you see Lewis's point? It's not the physical things that matter. What makes someone a person is the ability to reason and make moral decisions, not how they're shaped or what color they are or what planet they come from!"
"That may be," said Greddil. "But we have no legal precedent for saying so."
* * *
Eight days to go.
Julian said, "Imagine a polity coming together from a state of nature in which individuals of many species are forming a government. They have to make their social system function fairly. They deliberately adopt a veil of blindness -- they do not know, beforehand, which roles they will occupy in the new society. Is it not obvious that they would not institute rules making one species the masters and another slaves? Because with the veil of blindness, they might wind up as the slaves!"
"I see your point without taking its significance," said Greddil.
"People should be treated with a presumption of equality whatever planet they come from. I submit that it is immoral to treat humans differently from honendo based solely on the fact that they are of different species."
"Based on the social contract you envision?" asked Greddil.
"But, you know, societies don't really form that way," he said gently. He began to talk about anthropology.
* * *
Five days to go. "At T minus two days we're going in," said Captain Todd. "It's against my orders and I'll undoubtedly be court-martialed for it. But I don't give a damn if the library gets blown, and I certainly don't care about my career path. I'm not going to stand by and let thousands of innocent people be wiped out. T minus two days, and I'll grab those honendo bastards by the scruff of the neck and make them give us the recall code."
"If the library wipes its memory it may wipe the recall code as well," said Julian.
"Unless one of them already knows it."
"Why would they?"
"To be prepared in case they change their minds!" said the captain. "If I were in their situation, I would want to know the code."
"But you can't be sure."
"No, I can't be sure. But it's a better chance than doing nothing and allowing all those people to die!"
"Perhaps you're right," said Julian. A thought occurred to her. "How, exactly, would you make the priest give up the code?"
Karina’s books Infinite Space, Infinite God Books I and II are currently on sale at Amazon: $2.99 April 14-23.
Here are the links for purchase:
From Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/product.aspx?box=1606192310&pos=-1&ISBN=1606192310
From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1606192310?tag=virtuabooktou-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=1606192310&adid=0NE55AA7QR7XAB89EQ4C&
E-book formats at Fictionwise: http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b115867/?si=0