But I do have to say, after reading from the lower half of page 180 through the upper half of page 185, my first thought was, "If Ingmar Bergman made a Trek movie, it would be like this."
I have to say, as a recovering film major, I take that as a compliment.
Here's a question for David Mack:
Were you influenced at all by the movie The Fountain in writing Hernandez's story? Not only does she name a new-found planet (star?) Xibalba, but Iynx speaks about death as a disease, using language very similar to words spoken by Hugh Jackman. Both stories also deal with different aspects of immortality. Or is this just a case where both your story and The Fountain's story just happen to be sharing similar themes? Certainly, the Mayan afterlife, curing death, and immortality aren't exclusive to The Fountain... but the similarities did catch my attention.
There was some influence, but it's not what you might think.
I didn't see the movie The Fountain
(or read the graphic novel) until after I had finished writing and editing the Destiny
trilogy. I had seen the trailers for the film (which include the signature line about death being a disease).
For me, however, the real influence was the soundtrack to the film, composed by Clint Mansell and performed by Kronos Quartet. It is, put simply, the most heartbreaking music I have ever heard in my life. It ranks right up there with Yo-Yo Ma's final track on the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
score in the list of music that can reduce me to tears on its own merits.
I first heard it in 2006, around the time that I had been approached to write the trilogy. And as Marco can probably confirm, one of the things that I said to him around that time was, "I want to write a novel that feels like this sounds."
Most of the sequences involving the Caeliar in the trilogy can probably be better understood if you listen to that soundtrack while reading the relevant chapters in Mere Mortals
Also, one of the tracks on the CD is titled "Xibalba." I Googled it and was intrigued by the meaning of the name, hence its inclusion in the story. And the imagery of the pool with the tree in Axion was inspired by this image from the movie:
Also, I think this may be the first Trek story to reference masturbation, when Fletcher is needing a good shag, Hernandez mentions something like "going into your room and being your own best friend" or such like that. I was wondering how four humans in isolation would deal with their relationships. Libido is certainly a powerful drive in the human experience, and it was good to see that addressed in this situation.
I'm glad that it worked for you. I wasn't sure that would make it past licensing, but I'm happy that it did.
In any case, excellent writing. It's kind of sad that Trek novels are relegated to a small shelf space in the back while other properties get greater exposure, especially since the writing has been so top-notch lately! Reading a Trek novel isn't just reading another media tie-in. There are times when I know I'm reading quality writing and very thoughtful and imaginative science-fiction. Destiny is capturing one of the core parts of Trek—and indeed of literature in general—where the most epic journeys are the interior human ones.
Thanks so much — it's very kind of you to say so, and it's always nice to hear.
I hope that Lost Souls
continues to live up to the expectations set by the first two books of the trilogy.