Interview – Preston Dennett

Interview with Preston Dennett, author of Collidor story “Footprints on the Moon“.


Where did the inspiration come from for “Footprints on the Moon”?

I have always been fascinated by the moon, and have written about it before, both fiction and nonfiction. Ever since reading “Rocketship Galileo” and “A Fall of Moondust” and “The Trouble with Tycho” I was hooked. Many SF writers have written stories that take place on the moon. One day, I knew, I would be one of them. The central trope of this story came to me when I was struggling to come up with ideas to deal with the moon’s harsh environment. Must people really live in domes?

Why did you decide that people would live on the moon when Earth became inhabitable? Why not another planet (real or fiction)?

Humanity’s movement into space is still in its baby steps. But as we move onto the stars, the moon, I think will be the first stepping stone. Whether for science, military occupation, or colonization is an open question. And there’s the conflict. Who has the right to live on the moon?

How did you come up with the idea of the moon-dome replacement technology?

Moondomes are a common trope in science-fiction, and authors have mixed and matched various materials to describe their visions of possible futures. What, I wondered will be the future of moondomes? What if there was some technology that could replace them completely?

Do you think this technology, and potentially living on the moon, is in the future for us?

There is little doubt in my mind that people will soon be living on the moon on a permanent basis. We have the ability to do it now. It’s only a matter of time. My guess is that it will begin scientific outposts followed by military outposts. Citizen settlements will likely be last. Sooner or later, it’s going to happen. The only real question is, when?

Is the Moontech company based on real world examples of large corporations?

Yes, in a general way. The abuses of large corporations with the oil industry, banking, insurance, food and drugs and others are well-known. However, many people might be surprised to find that new technological discoveries that will help humanity are not always welcomed by the people in power. For example, the technology involving electric cars was not good news for the oil industry, who took steps to suppress this technology. Some of the most advanced technology is not available to the public but is in the hands of the military and corporations. What happened at Moontech in “Footprints” is closer to the truth than many people might realize.

Reality Skimming Press brands itself as ‘optimistic sci-fi’. Tell us what that phrase means to you.

To me ‘optimistic sci-fi’ is a story that brings out the best of your characters. I adore a classic adventure story with a happy ending, a story with a sense of awe that brings you into its world, making you forget your surroundings. Then you finish the story “wake up” and realize how far away you were and what a wonderful place it was. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m the kind of writer who likes to have several projects going at once. I have a good dozen stories half-way done, and am currently working on one about a misfit alien. And then of course, there is the requisite novel that never seems to quite get finished. And always some nonfiction articles and books, just to keep busy.

Ellen Michelle is the managing editor for Reality Skimming Press. She is also a freelance editor at ellenmichelle.com and volunteers in the editing and science fiction communities in western Canada.

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