About Fiction with Foresight

Near Future Adventure

Why I Write:

I grew up in a family that loved to read, and guess what, I was the odd man out. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading — it’s just that I love creating so much more. I write with a purpose. The human race worries the hell out of me, and since I don’t buy into death being a better place than life, I crusade to make life on Earth my heaven instead of my hell. It’s not that I wouldn’t welcome being enlightened and sailing off into the cosmos to experience eternal bliss, but as wonderful as that sounds, it’s simply wishful thinking that defies logic.

Mostly writing is fun. Having said that, it would be far easier to simply write to entertain. I step on toes for a purpose. I want my readers to envision a world where men can prosper without the heavy hand of bureaucrats, where men don’t buy into wishful hocus-pocus regurgitated by politicians and preachers, where men don’t become billionaires on speculation or from the blood of slave labor, where men don’t rape the land and deplete natural resources when there are sustainable solutions, where men don’t plan obsolescence to stimulate commerce, or build for the now with no sense of the future.

Although writing solely for entertainment would no doubt be less burdensome, and perhaps marketable to a broader audience, that wouldn’t satisfy my need to make sense of the mess and try to envision solutions that can make life better for everyone. Complacency is like a disease, and if mankind doesn’t wake up to the fact that in the last two hundred years we have eradicated species worldwide at a seemingly faster rate than the Cretaceous Chicxulub event, a day will come when our anthropogenic impact will hasten our own demise.

The Challenge:

The destruction of the environment is not a foregone conclusion, but with the continual expansion of our species we put greater and greater demands on our ecosystem with little consideration to the degradation of the health of the planet. While global warming may be a joke, it’s clear that the impact of man and our ever-expanding population will eventually reach a breaking point. If that’s in ten years or ten thousand years it’s up for debate, but even if it’s ten thousand years, that’s a blink of an eye compared to geologic history of Earth.

We exist in a very diverse world with diverse cultures and beliefs, and unfortunately intolerance runs rampant. Societies are extremely complex in that they are influenced by a broad spectrum of beliefs, many suffused with nonsensical assertions. Societies are a product of time, built on the backs of generations of people who struggled to survive, that coped with sickness, misery, injustice, abuse, fear, hunger, ignorance, insanity, greed, lust, desire, and more. Human survival is an ongoing problem. The degree to which we struggle depends upon many factors, which have a profound influence on decisions being made today in every culture in the world and at every level of society.

Perhaps because men reason that banding together to form nations is the only security for survival, collectively they choose to be governed and in doing so grant factions the power to rule and regulate individual behavior. The end result is often draconian laws and authorities that are empowered to control the masses by any means they deem necessary. Governments disproportionately tax the industrious while often ignoring the ill gotten gains of speculators (the crooks of society) who use their wealth to manipulate markets and stifle competition that could conceivably solve many of our most pressing problems. Those in power intimidate and penalize people, as though power has given them the exclusive right to set the world straight. With their moral high ground and a sense of superiority, they impose their dictates and justify their actions in the name of their adopted beliefs and the authority of their position. They have no problem duping the masses. They confront their opposition and enemies with threats to conform or face the consequences of their power, their laws and even the wrath of divine intervention. How many men have died to appease the moral superiority of those in power that use their faith and position to justify their actions?

Nations are products of successes and failures, besieged by debt and plagued by follies left from decades if not centuries of trying to get it right. The problem is that societies have made and continue to make poor choices, often because we are schooled and are under the influence of institutions that have infused their will with minimal challenges. We are plagued with the masterminded edicts of past generations, as we are plaguing future generations with ours.

Conforming to societal conventions can stifle freethinking and individualism, which can have an adverse effect on the evolution of progress, for it is the nonconformists, the inventors, the scientists, and the visionaries that have given the world a future, not that forward thinkers always get it right, or religions or governments always get it wrong. It is, however, through critical analysis that we solve our problems. Institutions of man, especially religions and governments, discourage critical analysis of their scripture and constitutions, and those that are empowered to pontificate and enforce, and thus men are condemned to the mistakes of those in power and their wards that deem themselves to be the saviors of souls and the stewards of civilization. These are the people that hide behind their prognostications as though they are irreproachable, that condemn and condone for their own agenda.

Social changes that promote the independence of individuals, that include more logical and equitable laws and fairer taxation such as a consumption tax that eliminates all other taxes, are as important as technological solutions to advance mankind into the future. We don’t need big brother policing our every move or threatening us with jail for not filing some tax report. While it’s true that governments are far more oppressive than they need to be, the real problem lies in our lack of foresight, for without a commitment to population control, technology will never stave off the demands of human activity, the end result an Armageddon more vile than the predictions of the Bible.

My Visions:

Envisioning a future of sustainable habitats that will allow man to prosper without mass infrastructure, intrusive government, or dependence upon a global economy is a departure from the prevailing view of most futurists and inventors who stake man’s survival on ultra complex interdependent systems that are ultimately doomed to failure. Refocusing our efforts to save the individual instead of the masses is man’s best chance for independence and a way to heal and protect the ecosystem. Give a man the tools to survive and he will prosper. Give a man welfare to procure food and shelter, and he will stop trying.

Insight into human failings and finding workable if not somewhat hopeful solutions is a common theme in all of my writing. My fiction consists of works of near future adventure that deal with yet to be invented technologies, invading aliens, a wayward planet, and idealistic endeavors by a survivalist who envisions and then builds off-grid sustainable superstructures. My blogging and nonfiction writing explores the steps to procuring a sustainable future. Through self-reliance we can promote autonomy as a way to heal the ecosystem and insure survival of all living creatures and Earth in the process. I strive to write so that my stories are entertaining and perhaps inspiring and educational.

My Hopes:

It is through introspection that I first began to question my own path and how my thinking diverged from the mainstream. I studied the path of civilization and envisioned a future not unlike the doom of Revelations, the sixth great extinction, and I asked the obvious questions. Why should self-destruction be inevitable? Why can’t man change? After nearly 50 years of debate on the subject, I can only say our disregard for finding sustainable solutions will present serious consequences to future generations, but this does not mean that man should accept defeat and wait to be raptured to heaven.

It is typical of men to be irresponsible and expect assistance, compassion and redemption for their shortcomings or misdeeds. This is what makes religion and governments popular. Interdependence is a way of life where it is easy to point a finger and put the blame on someone else. It is a way to be intellectually lazy and not try to solve problems.

As a futurist and speculative fiction writer, I decided it was my duty to myself and to my fellow man to address these issues. I have adopted a theme that is prevalent throughout my work: logic is the foundation for all truth, and truth is the beacon to guide humanity to a better tomorrow. It is paramount to believe man has a future, for without there is little sense in our existence.

I find it very disparaging that anyone accepts the annihilation of the human race as inevitable. Proving the human race can avoid self-destruction and evolve without destroying the environment should be the driving force in all endeavors, for fearful submission to prophetic agendas of doom and damnation, regrettably have detrimental effects in the choices made by nations, society and individuals. If we are in fact doomed, why give a rat’s ass about pollution or anything? If men believe they can be forgiven their sins simply by buying a ticket to heaven by committing their souls to some superstitious theology, why not rape and pillage? Why would God create man in his own image and doom him from the beginning? Why would God then absolve all believers and condemn all others to eternal damnation? Why would God have the same nasty disposition of an irate parent that bribes with rewards and bullies with threats? To me the answer is simple. Religions are all the invention of man, and even if God exists, he has never given man any directives.

Available from Michael Atman



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