Hello awesome readers. Got a real treat for you today. An interview with Varun Sayal the engineer turned author who wrote, Time Crawlers. Time Crawlers is a short story anthology with sci-fi themes including: dark AI, psychics, alien invasions and my favorite: time travel! I have this on my TBR and am looking forward to it!
Tell me a little about your book, Time Crawlers?
“Time Crawlers” is a sci-fi fantasy short stories book. The journey of this book from conception to publishing is an interesting tale in itself. I have been writing short stories on various blogs, websites such as Medium and other such writer forums for a few years now and readers have been loving my work. But sometime around the beginning of 2018, I decided that a more concentrated organized effort on publishing was required if I wanted to reach and ‘wow’ a mass audience. Around February of 2018, I started to pen down stories with a very specific theme in mind, Science Fiction. And that’s how “Time Crawlers” was born. Specifically speaking about the stories. I had written the story “Genie” very long back, perhaps around two years back, but rest of the stories “Time Crawlers” and “Death By Crowd” etc. were written only a few months back. All these stories were just scattered pieces of fiction and were yet to be woven into a storybook. How I came about an idea of choosing these six stories for my book, among many others I have written, was also an interesting thought process. If you look at the underlying tones for these stories, they are very different. Death by Crowd has a very dark theme with a near future kind of storyline, whereas “Nark-Astra, the hell weapon” is an ancient mythology tale from a parallel universe. While Genie, is very light alternative take on Djinn folklore, “The Cave” narrates a story of a powerful planet consuming entity in crosshairs with a legendary telekinetic protector. But the underlying theme which connects all these stories is Science Fiction and also the concept that they all take place in different parallel universes, which are not much different from ours.
Where do you find your inspiration for these tales?
For me, stories have a very unique way of unfolding. I do not plan the whole story upfront but start with a strong idea which I believe can hold a reader’s attention. Then when I start writing, a lot of it starts to unfold, at times in ways that surprise me too. That is where the fun part lies, in pure creation which has the capability of giving you the goose-bumps.
Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
Yes, I have already written a few chapters of my next book which would be Science Fiction Technology Novel based on Mythology with components from the near future and the deep past combined to pack a solid punch. It will also have some elements from Paranormal to make the mix even more interesting and engaging.
Have you always been a fan of the science fiction genre?
Always was and will be. I am a very big fan of shows such as Fringe, Altered Carbon, Heroes and movies such X-Men, Interstellar and Inception which showcase Dystopian worlds which strong backstory grounded in realities of life, greed for power, money, and fame. I am also very touched by the sense of realism bough into Sci-Fi by authors such as Isaac Asimov. Realistic Sci-fi fantasy. That is the genre I inspire to write in.
Did you have to do research while writing Time Crawlers?
Absolutely, I had to research a lot actually. I have been contemplating about sci-fi themes for a very long time and writing short concepts about them. I watch a lot of documentaries on time travel, near light space travel and physics which governs these phenomena. I also enjoy reading a ton of articles around new advances in science especially quantum physics, scientific findings around black holes, fresh controversy theories around aliens, time travel, and a false sense of our reality (are we inside a video game? etc.). Themes from these sources. all deeply ingrained within my backstory, but where-ever possible the details are written in an easy to understand terminology so that all types of readers can enjoy them.
What would you say makes Time Crawlers unique?
With Time-Crawlers, I aimed to bring a few new stories in this world, tales which are not just ornate descriptions that enable readers to pass time. But each of these stories should make the reader put down the book for a second and think about what would happen if that story were real. If I am able to do that I would consider “Time Crawlers” a unique offering which takes my readers on a journey through parallel universes, which they otherwise physically cannot take (as yet).
Sounds awesome! I’m looking forward to taking this journey in Time Crawlers. Thank you so much for joining us today, Varun!
VARUN SAYAL is an engineer and MBA from I.I.T. and I.S.B. (top schools in India), who has been involved in theatre as a playwright, actor, and director, and has also been an independent movie-maker. His genre of writing is predominantly science fiction blended with mythology and a sprinkle of the gruesome actualities of life. In his own words:
“I think of each story as a surreal, fast-paced narrative that pulls in the reader right from the beginning, takes them through a voyage into an alternate dystopian realm, bequeathing to them images etched permanently on their minds. I live by the quote, ‘a true art calms a disturbed mind and disturbs a calm mind.’”
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