Sci-fi month continues! Today I have an interview with Guy Hasson, who has been involved in so many different science fiction and fantasy projects. He's a science fiction author, a playwright and a filmmaker. His newest projects include Tickling Butterflies, a serialized fairy tale; and a new digital comics company called New Worlds Comics. Check out his blog http://guyhasson.wordpress.com/.
1. What draws you to science fiction (and fantasy)?
Isn’t the real question this: “Why do ‘regular’ people not like SF and fantasy?’
When we’re kids, almost all the stories are either fantasy or SF: Fairy tales? Animals talking? Wizards? Witches? Magical beings? Dwarves? Giants? Trolls? Smurfs?
What happens to people when they grow up that they suddenly block all that stuff from their minds and can’t stand or understand it? Writing SF and fantasy just means you have a wider palette to draw from and a greater canvas to draw on.
2. What recommendations do you have for people new to science fiction?
You know, I’ve asked myself that question quite a bit a year or two ago, and it spawned the beginning of New Worlds Comics.
I’ll tell you why.
My first instinct is to give new SF fans the classics I grew up on: Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, etc. But a lot of that is, though written in a compelling way, outdated for the teenagers of today.
Is there a current-day equivalent? I haven’t seen it. Most of the SF today talks to people who have already read most SF genres.
I wanted to fix that. I wanted to give teens and adults today the same experience kids used to have when SF was new. But to do it, I’d have to do it with subject-matter relevant for today. And thus Wynter came to be. It’s Brave New World retold for the social media world. Imagine the sense of wonder you had decades ago when people first saw a spaceship or aliens or walked on alien soil – I’m delivering the exact same emotion while exploring the fantastic virtual world of tomorrow’s social media.
3. You've been a filmmaker, an author, and a playwright. Which role is your favorite?
I really just love to tell a story. Some stories want to be theater shows: comedies or personal dramas. Others want to be stories or books: the more idea-oriented subjects. Some want to be movies, showing a realistic world in which SF is possible. And some want to be comic books: There I can create movies with an Avatar-like budget for almost nothing – it’s the ultimate playground.
4. Describe your science fiction comic series, Wynter, in 6 words or less.
Describing Wynter in 6 words or less is beyond me. So I’ll tell you, in 6 words or less, what people have been saying about it all over the web:
It. Will. Blow. Your. Mind.
5. What is the process like for creating a graphic novel? Do you write out a manuscript and then adapt it, or work directly with the artist?
The artist gets a manuscript that has everything from beginning to end: Breaking down the pages to panels, what we see in every panel, sometimes the angle of the camera. The artist is then invited to come up with something even better – and when s/he does, I accept it with open arms.
The process is: I send the script, and then I get draft pages of each page. I either comment on the page or accept it, and then the next thing I see is the finished page. I comment on that, if necessary, and that’s it: Page by page a comic book or graphic novel is formed.
7. What is your fantasy novel Tickling Butterflies about?
Stories have power.
The more a story is told, the more power it has.
When a story is told one million and eleven times, it becomes real in a special land of fairy tales.
Tickling Butterflies explores the power of imagination and story. It probes the depths of the fairy tale land, its secrets, its hidden recesses, and even the secrets of The Storymakers – us. Because somewhere in that land is a way to get to Earth and to find the secrets of those who tell and invent the stories.
Tickling Butterflies is a novel built like a fairy tale book: It is constructed of 128 fairy tales that come together to create a huge, epic tale.
Tickling Butterflies was serialized at my website and can now be found in its entirety here. I'm currently in talks with a publisher about it. We'll see what happens.
8. Do you have any upcoming projects you want to talk about?
On January we're going to release our first in a graphic novel series called Lost in Dreams.
Imagine a mother and father checking in to the hospital in the year 2,000, ready to have their baby. The doctor says, "Push, push, push!" and the mother pushes until the baby comes out. Except no one else sees or feels the baby come out. Nor is it still in the womb.
The baby girl was born into the Dream, the place where we all go when we dream.
That's where she spends her life.
She's raised by a father, not her biological father, who is only there when he dreams, a father who doesn't remember his dreams when he wakes up, and doesn’t know he has a daughter.
This is an epic adventure story about the life, birth to death, of Joy Shelley, the girl who lives in dreams, and the adventure she has with her father, her friends, and creatures created by dreams. We explore the dream, its mysteries, the reason Joy was born like this, to name but a few things the series explores.
The first graphic novel shows her birth and then her first adventure as a 6-year-old as she discovers for the first time who she really is and where she is, and decides to run away from home… into other dreams.
With every graphic novel, we're going to jump ahead 3 years into her future. So by the second one, she'll be 9 years old. By the third, she'll be 12. You get the idea. We're going to stick with her for as long as she lives. And so far only I know how long that's going to be.
Lost in Dreams is an epic adventure for the entire family and will be released in January 2015.
9. If you could pick any science fiction character to have dinner with, who would it be, where would you meet, and what would you be eating?
I’m pretty sure I’d like to sit down with Marvin the Paranoid Android at The Restaurant at the End of the Galaxy, eating Soylent Green.