Sunday, January 3, 2016

Realm Explorers Part LXXX: Visit the Jackverse with Matthew Kadish

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. One of them is available for FREE!

Author’s name:

Matthew Kadish

Title of book and/or series:

The Series is called The Earthman Jack Space Saga.  The first book is called “Earthman Jack vs. The Ghost Planet,” and the second book is called “Earthman Jack vs. The Secret Army.”

Brief summary of the story:

The story centers around a young boy from Earth named Jack.  He’s kind-of a slacker, isn’t all that bright, and is also a bit of a troublemaker.  But he’s got a good heart and maybe possesses more courage than smarts.  The Earthman Jack Space Saga is the tale of how this kid became the greatest hero the universe has ever known, and we get to see him grow and mature from that unassuming underachiever he was at the beginning of the tale to a kick-butt superhero who is the universe’s only hope for survival at the end of it.  It’s an epic story filled with massive battles, deceit, treachery, magic, spaceships, aliens, robots, mind-boggling technology, friendship, coming of age, life lessons, tragedy, humor, adventure, mystery, and pretty much every other adjective known to exist.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:

Since this is a massive, sprawling space opera, there are multiple locations that make up this universe. Even though it’s set in our “Milky Way” galaxy, there are a number of planets, moons, asteroids, space stations, and other habitable bodies that exist within it.  The basic background of the universe is that long ago, there was an Ancient race of advanced beings who helped to populate galaxies and then suddenly (and mysteriously) disappeared.  There is now a galactic Empire based on the technology these Ancients left behind, and this Empire is being attacked by mysterious aliens who may or may not have had something to do with the disappearance of The Ancients.  This Empire consists of 100 planets, and a number of colonies, outposts, and space stations encompassing roughly 30,000 lightyears of space.

I don’t really have an official name for the universe I’m creating, so I just lazily refer to it as “the Jackverse,” named after my main character, Earthman Jack.

If we were to visit the Jackverse as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?

Oh, there are many great vacation destinations in the Jackverse, depending on what it is you enjoy.  For those looking for culture, they can tour the Hive Mind of Valghanna VII which houses the largest repository of art and literature in the known universe, including the complete collected works of the famed poet Vonnugat Van Habledorff (known more commonly as ‘Lil VonVan), encompassing approximately 7,000 volumes written in iambic pentameter, each of them containing sonnets where he rhymes the word “shoeboxes” with itself in every line – a feat previously believed impossible even by the most hardened of literary snobs.

For those interested in history, one can visit the capitol planet of the Empire, Omnicron Prime.  Though Omnicron has a long and colorful history, like being the capitol of the infamous “Twilight Empire” – a rival Empire manned by autonomous, sentient robots a thousand years previously – it was chosen as the new capitol for the Empire after the original homeworld – Regalus Prime – was destroyed by the Deathlords.  Capitol City, the seat of Imperial Government on Omnicron Prime, contains massive supertowers which are tens of thousands of feet tall, each one catering to specific worlds of Imperial members and housing millions of life forms.  Capitol City also consists of up to 200 levels, called “stratums,” with each stratum housing various commercial and residential districts.  The stratums and supertowers make Capitol City one of the largest and most densely populated cities in the universe, and also makes it a “melting pot” for every culture and race represented within the Empire.

If one is interested in more entertainment-based venues, they can travel to the pleasure planet of Vas Lagas, 98% of which is covered in ocean, which makes it easy to house numerous man-made islands for beach living and tropical nightlife.  Vas Lagas is also surrounded closely by an unregulated asteroid belt where numerous casinos operate.  “Resortroids,” as they’re called, run the gamut from “cheap & seedy” to “luxurious and family-friendly” and cater to any and all types of tourists and vacationers.  In fact, it’s just been announced that the Convention for Leisure & Anti-Social Male Escapism (also known as LAME Con), the largest pop-culture convention in the universe, will be re-locating there after outgrowing its old venue.

There are literally millions more destinations to recommend to tourists travelling through the Jackverse.  For a complete list of getaways, please see The Intergalactic Wayfarer’s Guide to Tourist Traps for more ideas and great offers on lodging.  (Be sure to use promo code “Earthman”)

What dangers should we avoid in the Jackverse?

As with anything in life, the Jackverse is not without its fair share of hazards.  Anything that shoots at you should probably be avoided, if you’re not into that type of thing.  There’s also your run-of-the-mill space piracy, malfunctioning robots, and the rare swarm of space insects which will consume any and all matter they come into contact with.  Mysterious viruses which cause intense illness followed by turning one into a violent, rampaging zombie have been known to break out on occasion.  Oh, and an evil, malevolent race of aliens called Deathlords which like to kill anything they meet and blow up entire planets.  It’s recommended you avoid them at all costs.  They’re kinda jerks.  And, of course, don’t drink the water on the third moon of Davlos Penumbra.  It’s been known to cause explosive diarrhea, followed by explosive vomiting, followed by an even more explosive build-up of ear wax.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in the Jackverse?

The Jackverse has a wide palate of intergalactic delicacies to be enjoyed, depending upon your species.  Food runs the gamut from spicy fried larvaworms (a bar-food favorite) to slow-cooked spiced Gourvine belly in a sweet-and-sour mustard glaze (particularly favored among Gourvines, who are well-known cannibals).  Though most food is of the replicated variety, since it takes large agricultural resources to cater to such a huge Empire, occasionally you can enjoy a genuine Demonsaur steak, which is heralded to be one of the most tender, succulent, and flavorful pieces of meat in all of existence.  As long as you’re okay with dozens of Ramballah hunters dying to provide your meal, since Demonsaurs are also one of the deadliest animals in all of existence.  But boy, do they sure pair well with a nice glass of nectarplum wine!

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in the Jackverse?

Though some cultures still use melee weapons and projectile weapons, the primary weapon used in the Jackverse is some form of “plasma gun.”  Essentially, these guns fire superheated bolts of gas, and can appear to look as though they are “laser bolts” as they light up from the chemical reaction of the plasma being heated.  The plasma bolts tend to melt whatever they come into contact with, and the heat of the gas can be adjusted depending on the goal of its use.  For instance, when engaging on a firefight in a spaceship, the heat level would be toned down so as not to pierce a ship’s hull.  Plasma weapons also use gas canister magazines, which make the weapons lighter weight and allow them to hold greater ammunition since gas is far more compressed than projectile weapons such as bullets.  While a typical handgun may hold just 12 rounds before needing to reload, a plasma gun can hold hundreds of rounds in its compressed canister magazine.

Fighting styles vary from culture to culture and species to species.  For instance, a species with six hands will have a different fighting style than a species with only two hands.  Most fighting styles are catered to a species’ specific anatomic strengths and weaknesses.  A truly skilled fighter must know the vulnerabilities of the race he’s facing to best defeat them.  This can make close-quarter combat and hand-to-hand combat complicated.

The best fighters in the Jackverse are usually “Warrior Paragons,” who are trained in the way of the Free Mind.  Paragons tend to favor melee weapons since it’s easier for them to control and exert their unique brand of “magic” through them.  Because of their “free minds,” they often have knowledge of how best to defeat whatever opponent they may be facing, and they can quickly learn new styles of fighting by simply opening their mind and discovering the knowledge of how to fight the way they need to in order to win.  This makes Paragons extremely formidable opponents in any combat situation.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to the Jackverse?

Travel methods vary depending upon which planet one is on and that culture’s preferred modes of transportation.  But the most common ones on a planetary level involve teleportation, which facilitates matter transference locally, allowing fast travel across great distances on the surface of planets (but at great energy expenditure). 

Between planets, one can travel through the Portgate network, which is a network of stable wormholes which allow instantaneous travel across thousands of lightyears of space.  Portgates are extremely safe and reliable, however, they were built by the Ancients long ago, so the network is limited to a certain number of planets, and no new Portgates are able to be made, thus limiting the number of destinations one can travel to using this method of transportation. 

If the destination is outside of this network, one must rely on hyperspace travel to go somewhere.  Though hyperspace allows for faster than light travel, it still takes much longer than a Portgate.  Depending upon the destination, a hyperspace trip can take days, weeks, or even months – and that’s on pre-scouted hyperspace lanes.  Deviation from these routes could lead to fatal collision with gravitational bodies.  However, sticking to these routes can also leave one vulnerable to piracy.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in the Jackverse that we don’t see on Earth?

There are actually far too many to list here, but I can give some examples of each.  For instance, there is a plant named Solanacus, which is more commonly known as “dreamleaf.” The Solanacus plant is mainly used as a recreational or medicinal drug.  It is a purple, cabbage-like plant which only grows on the dark-side of the Barbitol Moons.  Its leaves are often harvested, dried, and consumed for its psychological and physiological effects.  Chemical compounds in the plant shift brainwaves from Alpha state to Theta state, mimicking the effects of REM and NREM sleep cycles while the consumer remains conscious and aware.  This allows those who consume dreamleaf to stay awake for long periods of time with no adverse side-effects from sleep deprivation.  It is a popular recreational drug for those who work long hours, students cramming for exams, and partiers who wish to avoid feeling tired.  While under effects of dreamleaf, users can experience “waking dreams” that bleed into their conscious reality.  While not harmful in low to moderate use, continued heavy use of dreamleaf has been known to cause permanent dream states.

As far as animals go, there is a wide and varied bestiary across the galaxy, ranging from domesticated pets to wild beasts.  One of the most peculiar is the Lucheep, a small animal with fur that reflects light around it, causing it to be practically invisible to the naked eye.  Though harmless and docile, large packs of these animals can cause all types of problems, particularly if they wander into busy roads.  Though their fur is highly sought after to create “stealth suits” for military purposes, it takes a great deal of patience and skill to raise these animals, since it is easy for them to wander off and never be found again.  Also, because their fur is practically invisible, even when shaved off them, it makes building such suits a difficult and trying endeavor, making Lucheep shepherding a risky and potentially unprofitable endeavor.

When it comes to sentient races, there are over 50 sentient races within the Empire alone, and that doesn’t count those that exist outside the Empire.  The Jackverse has an extremely diverse and eclectic collection of sentient life, ranging from slug-like Scollums to sentient colors such as #00B2EEn (who is able to communicate with all shades of the color blue).  There are the monstrous, hulking Rognoks, the rock-like Recklek, the boisterous Stonehooligans, the dragon-like Izards, and the multi-colored Visini.  And that’s just scratching the surface!

However, Regals are the dominant race within the galaxy, mostly due to their colonization efforts of other inhabitable planets.  They are descended from a race known as The Ancients.  Those with stronger genetic links to the Ancients tend to be tall and beautiful, fair in complexion and with great skill of body and mind.  Regals tend to be slender, graceful, and strong, with slightly pointed ears that have a subtle leaf-shape to them.  Regals are very similar to humans, and though those with strong genetic links to the Ancients may look close to perfect, not all Regals have such strong ties.  Those with weaker links to the Ancient gene can have various differing appearances.  But even though hair color, eye color, height, and weight may differ, Regals tend to be very homogenous, and are by-and-large Caucasian in appearance.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in the Jackverse?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.

In the Jackverse, the “magic” that exists is basically science we have yet to fully understand.  The magic is based on a holistic synergy of the body, mind, and soul which is referred to as a “Free Mind.”  Essentially, the magic system is based on two things – quantum physics and the biocentric theory of reality.

In quantum physics, existence essentially comes down to the consciousness of the person observing their reality.  In essence, quantum physics says that our brains “make things real.”  And until we make an observation, an infinite amount of possibilities exist in our reality.

The biocentric theory of reality is a theory that says consciousness creates life, not the other way around.  This theory essentially states that sentient consciousness uses quantum physics to form the reality we find ourselves in, as opposed to our environment forming the life that exists within it.

By meshing these two concepts together, those who wield “magic” in the Jackverse essentially use quantum physics to change the reality around them.  They can manifest into reality weapons, vehicles, armor, and pretty much anything else their brain can come up with.  Since quantum physics states that everything already exists – including knowledge – someone with a “Free Mind” can conceivably know everything there is to know in the entire universe.

By aligning one’s body, mind, and soul, and achieving a “Free Mind” capable of manifesting anything, it would appear as though one is able to perform supernatural feats.  The Ancients are a race that created astounding wonders that break the very laws of physics using this method.  In the Jackverse, there is a group called “Paragons” who study the teachings of the Ancients and strive to achieve a Free Mind.  These are the primary “magic users” of this universe.  However, it is hard to free one’s mind from all its limitations, so most Paragons are only able to achieve small amounts of quantum physics-based magic, depending on their skill level.

Because this is so difficult, Paragons are relatively rare.  However, the Emperor of the Empire usually has a strong connection to the technology of the Ancients, which is based on this “magic,” and the Emperor and his offspring are usually the ones who are naturally gifted when it comes to achieving “Free Minds.”

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in the Jackverse?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.

There is a multitude of advanced and unusual technology at play in the Jackverse, mostly from the creations of The Ancients.  Some of the Ancient’s greatest technological advancements have been studied and secularized so that their use becomes common, while other advances are so complicated and hard to understand, that they have yet to be replicated.

In terms of advanced technology, one example is hyperspace travel.  In the Jackverse, this is how spacecraft traverse large distances between planets at faster than light speeds.  Essentially, an engine called a Brane Accelerator creates a field that excites the particles that form membranes between dimensions (known as “branes”), allowing windows into other dimensions which can be crossed.  Hyperspace is a mirror dimension to our reality, but whereas our universe is constantly expanding and growing, Hyperspace is constantly contracting and shrinking, making distances far shorter than they are in regular space and time.  By entering the hyperspace dimension and engaging lightspeed engines which accelerate ships to 99% the speed of light, starships are essentially travelling “faster” than lightspeed in our reality, without actually breaking the laws of physics.  And since the hyperspace dimension is linked to our own, when a ship reaches a certain destination in hyperspace and exits back into normal space, they come out at basically the same location, even though it took far less time to get there.

Probably the most unusual technology known to exist takes the form of “Great Seals.”  Great Seals are remnants of the civilization of The Ancients and are responsible for creating mind-boggling feats of scientific engineering that bend (and sometimes even break) all known laws of science.  Though no one fully understands how Great Seals operate, it is theorized that a collective form of corporeal knowledge is housed in a chamber behind a Great Seal, which the Seal then manifests into reality.  In this respect, the Seal acts like a sentient consciousness, one powerful enough to alter reality based on the corporeal knowledge it houses.  This allows for the creation of wondrous things, such as habitable planets with a breathable atmosphere but no plant life or nearby star.  The entire Portgate network is powered by one such Great Seal as well.  Though powerful, only a few Great Seals have been discovered to date, and their study is ongoing.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in the Jackverse.

For those looking for recreational activities in the Jackverse, there is a multitude to choose from.  Popular activities include going to the holocinema, nightclubs, and robot wrestling matches.  One of the more popular games in the Jackverse is a card game known as Loquir, which is a game similar to poker, but with multiple elements of strategy to it.  Loquir can be played for fun or for money, and is a large part of any gambling establishment in the galaxy.

For those looking for more of a mental challenge, one can partake in the game of Optiass, a chess-like strategy game played on a 12x12 board using holographic figures as board pieces.  Each figure has its own Artificial Intelligence, and can only be moved on the board by having the player convince it to perform the desired action.  Players communicate with the pieces by holding a “thought stone” which allows them to have mental conversations with the pieces.  The goal of the game is to get one’s pieces to move so that the Emperor piece of the opponent is captured.  Because of each piece’s unique personality, this can be quite challenging.  Some pieces will not act as the player wants them to, particularly if the piece realizes it is about to be sacrificed, in which case it may choose to act in its own best interest.  Both sides play in turns, and games have been known to last anywhere from a few hours to months or even years, depending on the difficulty setting of the A.I. being used.

Each culture in the Jackverse has its own type of sports that it enjoys watching or participating in.  For instance, the Egoi like to partake in a sport called Mentat, which consists of two Egoi entering a circular ring and trying to use psychic abilities to push the other player out of this ring.  Though exciting to other Egois, most races find the sport to be rather boring since it mostly consists of two beings staring at each other for long periods of time.  Another example is the popularity of the Orean dance competitions, where the most powerful politicians in the Orean race show-off their sweetest moves.  Though popular among other races, Oreans communicate through body language, and find these dance-offs rather stale, since to them, they are the equivalent of watching political debates.  And then there’s the Stonehooligan sport of ROCKBALL, which is essentially an excuse for Stonehooligans to headbutt each other.

However, probably the most popular sport among the Empire is the sport of Gravityball.  Gravityball combines elements of football, basketball, roller-derby, and rugby in various degrees of gravity.  A typical Gravityball court is divided into five vertical arenas, each with its own anti-gravity generator.  The goal of the game is to get the gravityball from the bottom arena to the top in order to score.  The weight of the ball decreases the higher up it gets, whereas the weight of the players are inversely proportional, with the first arena being nearly zero gravity for the players and the top arena being normal gravity.  Players use magnetic grind boots to skate along rails within the Gravityball court, and use a grappling hook to pull them to other levels, as well as trip up other players and steal the ball.  A typical Gravityball match is two hours long, and is normally comprised of two teams consisting of 8 players each.  Because of its fast-paced and chaotic nature, it has transcended cultures to become an almost universally loved sport.

Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in the Jackverse as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?

All calendar measurements vary depending on the planet one is on, but there is a “Universal Timedate” which is based on the revolution and rotation of the Empire’s original homeworld, Regalus Prime.  Though not all planets in the Empire adhere to the Universal Timedate standard, it is used throughout the universe for the purpose of commerce, shipping, and communication.  A typical day on Regalus Prime was very close to that of Earth’s, so its minute/hour/day/week/month schedule is very similar.

Every culture within the Empire celebrates their own holidays and special events, such as the Stonehooligan culture on the planet Brittlecore.  Known to be some of the hardest laborers in the universe, the Stonehooligans are also the hardest partiers in the universe and will declare holidays for the smallest of things as an excuse to cut loose.  Their latest holiday, “My friend Remar found a penny on the ground” day, was said to have lasted several weeks and created a shortage of good beer on the planet.

Outside of these “local” holidays, there are universal holidays set out by the Imperial Government and the dominant religion of the Empire, The Church Of The Great Observer.  For instance, “Foundation Day” is a universal holiday celebrating the founding of the Empire by its first Emperor, Arcturus I, who was the first man to discover and utilize technology from The Ancients and unite his planet under one government.

Then, there is Chrimeria, which is the big religious holiday of the Church of the Great Observer.  Chrimeria is a month-long time of reflection where those who follow the religion are meant to examine their lives of the past year and try to right their wrongs using the teachings of the church.  However, the holiday has become quite commercialized, since most people choose to right their wrongs by sending gifts to others as a form of atonement, thus creating an intense retail season for the month of Chrimeria.

Is there a particular religion practiced in the Jackverse?  Please describe what it involves.

The Jackverse has numerous religions which are practiced within it, since each culture tends to support multiple different religions based on its species’ history.  However, there are some religions which are extremely popular and attract followers across planetary and cultural boundaries.  For instance, The Church of RNGsus of Pre-Determined Destiny (the RNG Church or, informally, RNG) is a popular galactic religion dedicated to the God of Random Number Generation.  Followers believe in pre-determined destinies and that through random numbers they can be guided toward doing what they need to do to in order to follow the path fate has laid out for them.  The church is most widely recognized for its RNGsus booths, which can be found throughout the galaxy.  They are a great source of income for the church and give followers guidance on what to do by printing tickets with random numbers that correspond to advice on how to live one’s life.  Members of the church can also roll church-sanctioned dice to assist them when making decisions.  There are a number of actual church buildings where the congregation of RNGsus gather to worship.  Their services are often described as being very similar to games of Bingo.

However, the official religion of the Empire is that of the Church of the Great Observer.  It was started by Emperor Arcturus I and the first Order of Peers, based off the teachings of the Ancients.  The doctrine of the church preaches the existence of a “Great Observer” who watches over the universe, and is responsible for manifesting everything within it.  The Great Observer is the embodiment of a true Free Mind, and possesses knowledge of all things, thus being “all seeing and all knowing.”  Followers of the church believe that all life is connected to this Great Observer, and that all living beings are part of him.  It is said that should the Great Observer ever blink, even for one second, all of existence would cease.  It was Arcturus’s belief in this Great Observer that led him to adopt the symbol of an all-seeing eye to be the official crest of his family, and thus the symbol for the Empire at large.  The religion is said to foster “free minds” in its followers, creating a culture of learning, freedom, and acceptance among its congregation.

What is the political or government structure in the Jackverse?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?

The central government of the Jackverse is known as “The Galactic Regalus Empire.”  Though imperialism is typically frowned upon as a system of government, it has been found to be the most effective way to govern lightyears-worth of territory.  Democratic or republic-based governments, though good on a planetary level, are far too inefficient on the galactic level.

The Regalus Empire is essentially a constitutional monarchy, with an Emperor at its head.  Though the Emperor has certain reserve powers, his job is primarily as a figurehead, and his primary responsibility is the use and discovery of Ancient technology for the benefit of the Empire.

There are two major governing bodies within the government, known as the Council of Juniors and the Council of Elders.  These are the government bodies which make the laws, with the Council of Juniors representing member planets of the Empire based on population and the Council of Elders representing all the member planets equally.

There is a judicial branch called the Royal Judiciary which consists of a “Council of Seven” and acts as a watchdog group to not only enforce the laws, but keep the Emperor in check as a way to prevent tyranny from taking hold.  The executive body is known as the Directory, and consists of five Directors who oversee their own little slice of the Empire.  Since the Empire is so massive, it is impossible for one being to oversee all of it, thus, the Directors have a great deal of flexibility in how they run their own sections of the Empire, but they must also reach majority agreement in order to govern the Empire as a whole.

The governing of individual planetary systems falls to regional governors known as “Legacies.”  A Legacy is a title that is usually passed down from generation to generation, ensuring consistency in the governing of a planetary system.  The Empire allows all planets to govern themselves on a local level, but Legacies oversee entire planets and ensure that Imperial law is enforced.  Essentially, a Legacy is the ruler of their own “mini-empire,” with every planet, outpost, settlement, and space station in their system under their control.  Legacy titles can only be granted or revoked by the Emperor.

At the time of Earthman Jack’s adventure, the only member of Legacy Prime still alive is Princess Glorianna, who is next in line to become Emperor on her 18th birthday.  She is a young girl who is overwhelmed by her position, and it is unclear what type of ruler she will one day become.  However, with Jack’s support, she may just grow to be one of the greatest Emperors the universe has ever seen.  Only time will tell.

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit the Jackverse?

Indeed, and it is entirely dependent upon which culture or race one is interacting with.  An example of this is the Tygarian race, which appends silent letters to their names as a way to dignify certain achievements.  To possess a silent “K” in one’s name is the mark of a great warrior.  However, pronouncing the “K” is considered to be an insult and a direct challenge to the Tygarian who possesses it.  Thus, mispronouncing a Tygarian name with a silent “K” in it, even by accident, could in fact lead to a deadly encounter.

Because it is so easy for a “faux pas” to occur between cultures, it is highly recommended that one always travel with a certified attaché android that is fluent in the various cultures of the universe to best advise one on how to deal with all the different species one will encounter on their travels.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?

Pretty much everything in my life inspires the different aspects of the world I’m creating in my books.  I love taking normal, mundane things I see around me and giving them a unique, sci-fi twist and coming up with something fun and different.  A lot of what I create comes from pop-culture influences from the 80’s and early 90’s.  In lots of ways, this story is a love-letter to the sci-fi I grew up enjoying, and I find it a lot of fun to build this world out and make it feel real (even if most of what I come up with is a bit goofy).

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?

Pretty much everything you can think of, but not blatantly.  For instance, in the Jackverse, there is an alien race that bases its class system on the color of one’s skin.  In their culture, most beings have yellow skin, but the upper class have blue skin and the elite have purple skin.  Criminals and undesirables have red skin.  A white-skinned being is said to be the pinnacle of existence, while a black-skinned being is said to be inherently evil.  They think the skin is a reflection of the soul, so what a person is on the inside is reflected on the outside.  Of course, this brings into play issues of race and what one’s skin color really means.  It’s not an overt way of analyzing the role skin color plays in society, but it does allow me to underhandedly convey the message “racism is bad, m’kayyy?”

The story I’m writing has lots of themes, ranging from personal responsibility, to religion and spirituality, gender issues, political beliefs, and a host of other hot-button topics.  But they’re never the focus and it’s not preachy.  The great thing about sci-fi is that as an author, I can mask different messages in the cloak of fiction and explore them in a non-threating way for the reader.  This way, if the reader doesn’t agree with my viewpoint, they won’t get turned off by the story, and if they do agree with my viewpoint, they’ll enjoy the story even more.

Author Autobiography:

Matthew Kadish is an independent author and world-recognized evil genius. When he isn't writing or being evil, he enjoys relaxing at the beach and videos of puppies. Much like Scottish cuisine, most of his literary works have been based on dares. He currently lives in Las Vegas and always bets on black, because Westley Snipes has yet to steer him wrong in life. He is the most talented author ever. His mother tells him so every day.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?  

You can purchase my books in the usual places – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc.  If you’d like to check out the Jackverse yourself, try reading the first book in the series “Earthman Jack vs. The Ghost Planet.”  I actually give a special edition of the book away at my website, which contains special features like full page illustrations, interviews, and appendixes that you can’t get in the retail version.

If you want to check out the first book, just head over to to download it for free.

Where can readers connect with you online? 

I am all over the interwebz!  If you’re interested in checking out my inane ramblings and getting glimpses into my rather boring and nerdy life, feel free to cyberstalk me.  I make it SUPER easy!

And of course, my official website!

I’m pretty active, so if you have any questions about the series of the universe I’m creating, feel free to contact me.  I love hearing from readers!

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the Jackverse.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to the fantasy world of Cupola, in Realm Explorers Part LXXXI!
-Annie Douglass Lima

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