Interview with Navin Weeraratne

What's the story behind your latest book?
Burning Eagle is a Transhumanist, hard science, military scifi story about humans having trouble with their newly-encountered neighbors. It's also about a layered society where "baseline" humans interact with super sapient, Transcendent AI. This of course generates its own issues, and become the greater conflict in the story.
What are you working on next?
It's a book I'm calling The Hundred Gram Mission. It's about a private venture to send an expedition to Alpha Centauri, in the late 21st century. The mission profile demands new (and banned) technologies like Von Neumann replicators. Against this effort, a climate changed world has bigger problems. It's a choice between science and exploration, and managing refugees and collapsing nations.
Who are your favorite authors?
Dan Abnett, Paolo Bacigalupi, David Brin, Alistair Reynolds. For non-fiction, give me Michio Kaku any day.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
New Horizons gets closer to Pluto, every day. There's water on Europa and Enceladus. The James Webb Telescope (JWT) will show us what Earthlike planets our nearest neighbors have. There's so much to find out. It's a great time to be alive.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, playing D&D, nerding out over the latest science, especially if it's planet science or astrophysics. I paint miniatures for a living.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh God yes. I was 8 years old, and it was called "The Generator Quest." Bad guys were invading, and of course, all it took was a journey through the desert (with a robot) to find their one special generator, and blow it up, wrecking their plans. It had pictures. Some might have been colored in.

Now in defense of my childhood, the idea an overwhelming enemy with a single glaring weakness, I must have stolen from George Lucas. Fortunately, I grew out of that. Lucas - well... But what does it matter? We don't have to deal with him anymore! You take that George, you take it and you like it!
What is your writing process?
It's a mix of planning and discipline - with letting ideas simmer and sleeping on them. If I let planning overtake, then the work just feels hollow. If I take my time, not much happens and a lot ends up getting chucked in the end. Creativity and design don't require less discipline, in many ways they require more.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not the first I read, but Arthur C. Clarke's 2061 blew my mind. I read it when I was 11 I think. I was hoping for lasers and explosions. What I got was the Monolith and realistic space travel.

I never looked back.
What do you read for pleasure?
Non-fiction science mostly. Anything to do with astronomy, space travel, and especially history (any period). If you want to get new ideas in science fiction, you need to sit down and read through the new papers coming out. Otherwise, anything you do, will be derivative.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Friends, Amazon recommendations, and blogs.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I've lived in the Middle East (Kuwait), Sri Lanka, and the US. All three have made their mark. It's hard to really pick it apart, but its useful I think to have a sense of both Western and Third World narratives.
Published 2015-05-30.
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Books by This Author

The Hundred Gram Mission
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 85,130. Language: English. Published: March 28, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » Military
An "Elon Musk" of asteroid mining, launches a private, interstellar, space program. Its mission: to settle humans at Alpha Centauri. He is mocked by a climate-ruined world of failing states. Yet, as the "Pathfinder" Program progresses, it inspires hope for the lost and ignored. The status quo fights back - the world order of the "Big Five" superpowers isn't to be overturned by an upstart dreamer.
The Ice Moon Explorer
You set the price! Words: 18,410. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(3.00 from 1 review)
An astronaut scientist studying Saturn's moons, learns that all is not as it seems. A short story about science, exploration, and life elsewhere in our solar system.