by Peter Riva
In a massive spaceship destined for Alpha Centauri B, with a genesis crew including Zip the telepathic dog, his old friendly nemesis Cramer, and a computer being named Ra (now inhabiting a human form and calling herself Aten), Simon Bank emerges from a hundred-year coma and is hailed as an awakened hero. Stuck with unwanted responsibility, he is forced to try to solve the entire enigma of the universe—a small undertaking—before the spaceship, his friends, and all life on Earth are swatted out of existence by super beings he has accidentally awakened.
Simon’s only hope is to plunge into other dimensions with his mind—into the secrets of the universe’s pan-dimensions—as only he knows how. The fate of all life hangs in the balance as he struggles to prove himself worthy of the Path and the absolute trust his friends place in him. Simon knows all too well that if he fails there is no hope—none at all—for anyone, and that includes his best friend, an artificial intelligence computer called Apollo, which he sadly left behind. Besides, Zip would not be pleased, either.
For fans of cyberpunk and classic science fiction, Reaching Angelica (Yucca Publishing; February 2, 2016; 978-1-63158-069-7) is the second book in Peter Riva’s Tag trilogy, the comic, thrilling, and continuing saga of Simon Bank—ex–master system computer wrangler and very unlikely galactic hero.
About the Author
Peter Riva has worked for more than thirty years with the leaders in aerospace and space exploration. His daytime job for more than forty years has been as a literary agent. He resides in New York City.
- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Hobbies, pets, fun facts? Tea or coffee?
Hi Emily. I’m a tea drinker, Assam or similar, one sugar and milk. Very British… I’m not, but my taste buds seem to be. When you get as old as I am (65) and have had the fortune to run as many programs in the science arena as I have, you are either a sponge or myopic. I am definitely a sponge. And nothing I like to do more than share the good knowledge I have been lucky enough to encounter.
Now, I will admit that my dog, ‘Lil Lady (a golden Retriever), hardly understands anything I share with her, but she does listen patiently, sleeps on my feet while I type—often late at night—and is always reminding me that she wants to play catch by placing her ball in my lap.
- What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
There is something about a new awakening. That feeling of being young but old in your head. The fear of will it turn out the same way or can I make this second life better? So from that perspective, the moment Simon Bank awakens on board, the journey became more fun, more possible…
- Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Oh, I cobble things I have learned and am still learning throughout the book. It is not so much about my life experiences (well, maybe Zip’s fierce common sense does come from having dogs as companions for most of my life), it is more about imparting things I have learned and then allowing their logical extension into realms that, frankly, seems totally way out there… ah, but are they?
- What inspired you to write this book?
There are perceptions of reality that most people cannot grasp that to me make absolute sense. Here’s a short list to get people thinking:
- If you expanded an atom of Hydrogen to the size of the Earth, the nucleus would be the size of a basketball and the electron would be the size of an orange. There is nothing whatsoever there, really. It is all energy and just these teeny tiny bits of matter. Inconsequential really. We all are.
- To fish, we seem to be flying above them. To birds we seem to be earth bound. And to anything occupying space? And to anything occupying the galaxy’s regions? Perspective is everything.
- There is no invention, really, just an uncovering of that which was already there. The maxim is that you cannot think of anything new simply because your brain is built upon what already is. All you can do is uncover that which you hitherto could not “see.” A transistor turned out to be a neuron of the brain “discovered” thirty years after. A bubble memory board, again, turned out to be a copy of how we store information in organic brains. If all we can see and experience is limited by that which is already hard-wired within us, then it follows that all life is only about uncovering, not inventing. Experiencing, not pretending. That which you can imagine therefore may be true, somewhere.
- Is there a particular author or book that influenced you in any way either as a child or an adult?
Oh, dear, there are too many to mention here… have you got a day or two? If I had to pick one or two, let’s say that the encyclopedia Britannica of 1953-6 still forms a backbone of what I know or feel the need to know. Added to which are authors Heinlein, Brin, Clarke and Lyall (for a good yarn).
- Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
I do so, often. First write about what you know. Even in Sci-Fi, write based on what you have learned or can learn while writing. Second, if writing is not the most rewarding thing whilst writing, don’t bother. Writing may be undertaken as a discipline, but that discipline should only be to schedule the time clear of anything you really would rather not do allowing you to have that soak-in-the-fun time of writing. And re-writing, and re-writing again. Revel in it.
- Is there anything you would like to say to your fans or readers?
I’ve got fans? Ha-ha. Really, that would be nice, but what’s rewarding is, as a nuclear scientist doctor told me the other day, “I was laughing out loud, he is such a reluctant hero – and then the immensity of the concepts began to dawn on me… great stuff!”