I’d be remiss if I didn’t include S.H. Jucha in this science fiction interview series. His Silver Ships series has taken root on Amazon, as well as in the imaginations of many thousands of avid readers. Plus, he’s just a genuinely super nice guy, and his outlook on the purpose of fiction is exactly why I read and write, which alone is enough to make me a fan.
Zen: What did you do (professionally) before you focused on writing?
Scott: I’ve had several careers: a biologist, working and teaching in the Bahamas; a corporate and commercial video producer; a director/VP of technical associate degree programs in electronics and video production; and marketing director in software corporations. However, my love of storytelling started in 1980, and, despite my lack of success, the desire never died out.
Zen: You’ve recently published the fifth book in your popular Silver Ships series. How many more are to come?
Scott: This year will see the release of a sixth novel, Espero, and a novella, Allora. Next year, I plan to publish two more novels in the series.
Zen: What’s your favorite science fiction franchise?
Scott: I love the Jurassic Park series from Michael Crichton’s book of the same name. The wonderful CGI work recreating dinosaurs aside, I think it’s a wonderful cautionary tale. Pure scientific research has an intrinsic value, but that doesn’t mean that every discovery should have an application. Some things are better left alone until humankind is equipped to manage it.
Zen: If you were going to live a week as any science fiction hero, who would you pick, and why?
Scott: While my choice may not be considered a “hero” to most people, I would choose to be Julien, the SADE (self-aware digital entity) from my novels. With Julien’s social conscience and tremendous computing power, I could accomplish an enormous amount of work, helping the world solve its fundamental problems of climate change, pollution, and the fair distribution of fresh water, food, and quality healthcare.
Zen: What do you think is the most likely significant benefit of space exploration in the near future?
Scott: For the near future, space exploration should foster international cooperation, private company involvement, and infusing technological innovation in today’s commercial applications. I believe the most significant of these three will be the growth of private industry participation such as we are witnessing from SpaceX, Blue Origins, and Orbital ATK.
Zen: Do you prefer hard science fiction, or something more character-driven?
Scott: I love inventive hard science fiction, but so many of those writers eschew character-driven stories to concentrate on the science. I’ve always enjoyed stories when the two aspects are entwined. In my novels, the characters and their relationships are first and foremost, and I present them in worlds influenced by technological invention.
Zen: What are you currently working on?
Scott: This may sound odd, but I work on multiple novels at once. Just this past weekend, while proofing Espero, I made notes for four stories in two different series … that’s just the way my mind works. In addition to the Silver Ships series, I’m planning a second series, tentatively entitled The Pyreans, with an anticipated release in 2018.
Zen: What do you hope people take away from your novels?
Scott: A sense of optimism that humans can solve our problems. I’m not saying that successfully tackling our issues will be easy. I just believe that pessimistic mindsets do a disservice to ourselves and those around us. A positive and hopeful attitude does much to buoy our spirits and those of family, friends, and associates. It also drives us to actively support the changes our world needs, socially and environmentally.
Word association round! (Today’s words provided by the “All Our Yesterdays” episode of the original Star Trek.)
Glove— Nerve actuated hand prosthetic
Breakup— Iceberg calving
Chamber— Council of Leaders
Delighted— Thrilled that you requested the interview.
I’ve been enamored with fiction novels since the age of thirteen and long been a fan of great storytellers. I’ve lived in several countries overseas and in many of the US states, including Illinois, where I met my wonderful wife thirty-six years ago. My careers have spanned a variety of industries, including the fields of photography, biology, film/video, software, and information technology (IT).
My first attempt at a novel, titled The Lure, was a crime drama centered on the modern-day surfacing of a 110-carat yellow diamond lost during the French Revolution. In 1980, in preparation for the book, I spent two wonderful weeks researching the Brazilian people, their language, and the religious customs of Candomblé. The day I returned from Rio de Janeiro, I had my first date with my wife-to-be, Peggy Giels.
Since 1980, I’ve outlined dozens of novels, but a busy career limited my efforts to complete any of them. Recently, I’ve chosen to make writing my primary focus. My first novel, The Silver Ships, was released in February 2015. This first installment in a sci-fi trilogy was quickly followed by books two and three, Libre and Méridien. Haraken, Sol, and Espero the fourth, fifth, and sixth novels in the series and Allora, a novella, continue the exploits of Alex Racine and company.
I hope to continue to intrigue my readers with my stories as this is the most wonderful job I’ve ever had!