Interview with Mac Braxton

What inspired you to write DREAM SECTOR?

Like many kids growing up in the Sixties with "Star Trek" and movies and books about space travel, I'd been intrigued by faster-than-light (FTL) travel.  I'd also read Joe Haldeman's FOREVER WAR, in which FTL isn't part of the milieu.  I got to thinking about the expansion of humanity through the galaxy and how it might possibly work without FTL.  Telepathy was, for me, the solution.  With telepathy, one could govern at distance.  Imagine if back in 1776 the British could govern the American colonies via telepathy.  History would have been different.

I've always liked young adult SF.  Although I wouldn't necessarily label DREAM SECTOR as "young adult," it certainly has young adults in it.   There's something fresh and engaging about their view of the universe that we all enjoy.   Some of my favorite books were Orson Scott Card's ENDER novels, and many others that featured children or young adults as main characters.

How good is the "science" in DREAM SECTOR?

Science is the theatrical backdrop for story.  It's certainly not "hard" science - it's quite soft in places - but I did spend considerable time calculating just how far humanity might push by the time the book begins with the premise that there is no FTL drive.  Also, I've got a bit of mathematics in my background, so I was able to calculate orbital velocities and the like for the spacecraft that appear in the book.  Surprisingly, even though the science isn't hard, I do have quite a stack of paperwork in the form of maps, tables and other technical notes for the book.  Someday, it might be fun to assemble all of this into an addendum of sorts.

There's another kind of science that doesn't have to do with rocketships.  There's social science.  In a very meaningful way, the book is an exploration into social dynamics.

Fortunately, the book can be enjoyed whether you speak Science or not.

Will there be a sequel to DREAM SECTOR?

Although the book is a complete story unto itself, the ending does leave one wondering.  When I have time, I will probably write another book featuring Preacher P'Tahn, Elleyne and Alisoun.

What are you working on now?

My next book will be called THE DOGS OF SPRING.  There's no FTL drive in that one, either - and that's all I'll say for now.

How long have you been writing science fiction?

I've been writing science fiction - and fantasy - under a different name since the early 1990s.  I've had my work published in many venues including anthologies like Marion Zimmer Bradley's SWORD & SORCERESS series, and I've enjoyed being a guest speaker at several cons.

Why have you changed your name?

For over a decade now, I have pursued a different career under my real name [author and artist Michael Chesley Johnson.]  I've been quite successful at that career.  In order to avoid confusion with my "brand," I've chosen Mac Braxton.  It's a composite family name.  At any rate, I'm the same writer I was before, but certainly older and perhaps wiser.

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