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Q: "Of course I have to ask you what the book is about."
Z: "Yes you do. Unfortunately I have had great difficulty in summarizing the book in one or two sentences. It is difficult to summarize an immersive, thought-provoking, complex story that has taken years to write with a brief statement that is truly meaningful. That is why the story is told with many rather than a few words; it gradually introduces events and ideas that take time to be understood as the story progresses."
Q: "You have labelled the work as 'metafiction'. What does that term mean to you?
Z: "Metafiction is a playful term which I believe applies to subject matter presented as a factual examination of events, even though, apparently, the story is a product of imagination. Since 'generator' is set in the future, the narrative has yet to unfold from our present perceception - yet years from now, when the book is read, it will seem like a historical account. I am not inferring that the book is prophetic - all that I am trying to do is create a state of mind within the reader which enables them to think; okay, this has already happened - I was not aware of that. That thought may be enough to transport them into the future temporarily - long enough to take a look around them today from a perspective in which they may pause to reflect on where contemporary technological trends are heading - examine their relationship to the ongoing flow of cause and effect - and perhaps make a decision on how they wish to participate in that process."
Q: "You also designed the book. Why did you create such an unusual - can I use the word 'generic'(?)- cover?"
Z: "Generic.. genesis... genetics... generation... generator. The book is described within the novel itself (on page 187) as; "... the cover design wasn't all that interesting; just a plain white cover titled with a generic text block resembling the identity label from some type of machine printed in one colour on the front." [Although within the novel it is refering to a book by a character named Kropton Ernst; entitled 'The Disposable Mind'.] Generator also has a plain white back cover - no reviews, no hype about how wonderful the book is, not even a description of the contents. It is a pure white void: a warning - this book is different - an indication that if you are willing to explore it, you will discover for yourself what it is about. Obviously there has been fair criticism that this is the worst possible marketing scheme for an unknown book and author, but I had decided to maintain the integrity of the concept I was exploring - and if the reader is able to complete the book the cover itself will be recognized as being very appropriate."
Q: "The content is challenging to the reader."
Z: "The concepts presented are densely detailed - the content is sometimes difficult to wade through, and I am not proud to admit it; but there are also typographical errors throughout the book. In my defense I would like to say with a word count somewhere around 180,000 that the percentage of errors are quite small. As it mentions inside the cover - this is version 1.0, and I don't know of any code out there that is completely error-free."
Q: "One final question. You deal with several 'controversial' topics in the book and describe 'drug' use and include explicitly sexual scenes. Are you concerned that some readers may be offended by this content?"
Z: "No. People can be offended by whatever they want to be offended by. I have not included any subject matter with an ulterior motive; I am simply describing the events that the characters are experiencing without trying to mask their intensity. It is the character's 'reality' which I am attempting to communicate: and quite often, I discovered, it is very difficult to present situations or actions consistent with the character's lives which come into conflict with my own perceptions and values. For example; I prefer not to depict scenes of violence - and fortunately there are very few incidents within the set of four novels where a violent scene is described. But even in these rare instances I have made an effort not to censor myself. I believe that to read/ or not to read is a choice which each reader is capable of making for themselves."